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What to think about before buying tanks, nozzles or hoses

February 1, 2023 -  By
Know where you plan to grow in order to get the right setup for your operation. (Photo: Graham Spray Equipment)

Know where you plan to grow in order to get the right setup for your operation. (Photo: Graham Spray Equipment)

Not only should lawn care operators (LCOs) look at the quality of a product before making a purchase, but they also need to consider what will work best for their specific services and needs — both now and in the future. Donny Pitts, general manager of Graham Spray Equipment, offers this advice on what to look for when buying tanks, nozzles and hoses for spray trucks.

Donny Pitts

Donny Pitts

LM: Why is it important to choose a durable tank?

DP: One reason companies need to buy the best tanks is in the last couple of years, we have noticed a lot more accidents where the spray truck is hit while it’s parked and the tech is spraying the yard — not to mention normal accidents. You don’t want to have a spill out there on top of the other problems. 

LM: How can LCOs select the best nozzles?

DP: There are all kinds of guns and nozzles out there these days, and they spray all different patterns. The user needs to know their chemicals and the rates that they need to be applied to really know which one they need. A lot of guns and nozzles are made to handle certain volumes and pressures and spray the best patterns at those rates. Most LCOs are spraying 1.5 to 3 gallons per 1,000 square feet and like a broad pattern to cover more area effectively. A tree and shrub technician may want to spray 30 to 40 feet in the air, so they will need a different gun and nozzle for that.

LM: What should pros think about when purchasing a hose for their spray truck?

DP: A hose is a personal preference. The first thing to think about again is volume and pressure. The smaller the hose, the lower the volume and vice versa. Most lawn applications are not going to use much pressure — 250 psi or less — and most tree/shrub applications will use 250 psi or more. So, you need to get a hose that is rated for at least 100 psi more than what you need. Another big thing that the techs need to look at is the weight. They don’t want to pull a lot of weight in and out 20 times a day. A good quality hose should last four to five years, but it’s going to cost more upfront. Some hoses only last a season or maybe two. It’s a pay-me-now or pay-me-later kind of thing.

LM: Why is it important to plan for the future when buying these parts?

DP: We have a lot of first-time buyers or people just getting in the business that call us to buy a 200-gallon unit, and six months later, they call back needing a 400-gallon rig. We have a customer now that came in a few years ago and ordered an 800-gallon unit, 600 main tank and 200 auxiliary tank. He came to pick it up a few weeks later, and I was talking to him about his business and when he got started. He said that the next week he was going to take his pesticide test to get his license and was going to ride along with a friend of his that sprayed for another company so he could learn how to do it. He didn’t have any customers yet. Eight months later, he was calling to order his second one. I think that’s the biggest mistake you can make: underestimating yourself and underestimating what doing a good job for people will get you. 

This article is tagged with , and posted in From the Magazine, Turf+Ornamental Care

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