SafetyWatch: Spread safely

June 18, 2018 -  By

A fertilizer spreader is used to apply fertilizer and other granular products to surfaces. Other products might include granular pesticides, grass seed, pelletized topdressings or even de-icing products for winter walkway use. A fertilizer spreader, when properly maintained, will spread these products evenly and consistently over the surface of the ground.

Parts of a fertilizer spreader include:

  • The hopper;
  • The rain cover;
  • The screen;
  • The agitator;
  • The shut-off lever;
  • The control rate plate and knob;
  • The impeller;
  • The gearbox; and
  • The wheels.

Follow these instructions to properly use a fertilizer spreader:

  • Make sure the spreader is on level ground with the shut-off lever in the closed position.
  • Fill on a hard surface, not the lawn, as a spill is always possible.
  • Ensure the screen is in place, although this will vary; ask your supervisor.
  • Fill the hopper with one bag of fertilizer, double checking the product label before filling. Keep in mind, a very full hopper is more prone to tipping and spillage on slopes, so you may not want to completely fill it.
  • Set the control rate lever to the level your supervisor tells you and tighten the knob firmly.
  • If you’re concerned about controlling fertilizer that spreads onto a walkway, shut off one hole and use the deflector.

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LM Staff

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