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How to choose the right spray equipment

October 15, 2020 -  By
Man spraying tree (Photo: Gregson-Clark Spraying Equipment)

Switch it up Sprayers often feature an adjustable spray pattern so technicians
can effectively spray trees, shrubs and ornamentals. (Photo: Gregson-Clark Spraying Equipment)

Hoses and nozzles and reels, oh my! When it comes to purchasing spray equipment, there are several factors lawn care operators (LCOs) should consider. They include what type of work they will be performing and their desired flow rate.

“A lot of people have different ways they like to operate, so if you have a lot of different types of grasses that you treat, then you want to get a multiple-tank or multiple-compartment spray unit,” says Dave Arnett, sales manager at Graham Spray Equipment. “That way, you can carry all of your products and treat all of your different grasses that day, and you can set up your route based on geography and not based on what you’re carrying with you.”

LM spoke with Arnett; Rhett Clark, president and owner of Gregson-Clark Spraying Equipment, and Reynolds Cook, owner of Southern Lawns, to find out what other factors weigh in to choosing the right spray equipment. Southern Lawns is an 85 percent residential and 15 percent commercial lawn care and pest control firm in Auburn, Ala., Montgomery, Ala., and Columbus, Ga.

Spray guns

When thinking about the type of spray guns to purchase, Clark notes that lawn spray guns typically produce large droplets with low drift in either a showerhead or flat-fan pattern. Nozzle selection depends on the desired application rate.

On the other hand, tree spray guns have an adjustable spray pattern to enable effective spraying of tall trees as well as shrubs and ornamental plants. While multiple gun and nozzle options are available, it’s key that the gun be properly matched to the pump, reel and hose for maximum efficiency.

Spray truck (Photo: Graham Spray Equipment)

Type of work and desired flow rate are two factors that weigh into choosing spray equipment. (Photo: Graham Spray Equipment)

“When we’re setting up a rig, we equate 1,000 square feet to one minute,” Arnett says. “When the customer calibrates how much comes out of the gun in one minute compared to 1,000 square feet, that’s a common calibration technique we use in the industry.”


Hose selection often depends on the desired flow rate, products being used, working pressure and types of areas being sprayed, Clark says.

He adds that spray hoses range from 3/8-inch up to 3/4-inch in diameter, with working pressures up to 800 psi. Common lengths are 300 feet or 400 feet.

“For lawn spraying, 3/8-inch in diameter can be used if the desired flow rate is under 2 gallons per minute (gpm). For rates more than 2 gpm, 1/2-inch in diameter is typically used,” Clark says. “A 600-psi hose is common for lawn spraying, and an 800-psi hose is most often used for high-pressure tree spraying.”

Cook says his company uses a rubber half-inch hose. “It’s a durable hose but more lightweight than some of the other ones,” he says. “We’re generally using a 400-foot hose, which, for the most part, covers all of our needs.”


Reel selection often depends on the size and length of the hose being used.

Many hose reels used in lawn and tree care feature a 12-volt rewind, which is powered from the vehicle battery, but less expensive manual reels are also available for lighter-duty work, Clark says.

“We use a Hannay reel that has an electric reel up on the hoses, which is a lot more effective than manually reeling up a hose,” Cook says.

Sarah Webb

About the Author:

Sarah Webb is Landscape Management's former managing editor. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University, where she studied journalism and Spanish. Prior to her role at LM, Sarah was an intern for Cleveland Magazine and a writing tutor.

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