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Spray Fittings and Tanks - The Right Small Spray Equipment Components Matter Too

Posted by Andrew Greess on

One area often overlooked when building pest control equipment trucks or commercial lawn spray trucks is the small parts. People know enough to specify the big brands: Honda motor, Cox hose reel, Hypro pump, etc. but, often think the rest then doesn't really matter. I can show you for a fact in pictures that just throwing together the valves coming off the tank is not the place you want to throw cheap pieces on. It's almost like people building them don't fully think through all the work this valve area does.

First – that is high pressure and force coming through that small area. Spun welding sounds like it'd be great. It's not going anywhere, well that is sort of the problem. You can't take it apart to fix anything. If something happens to that valve area you are replacing the whole tank.

Second – Hose Barbs and clamps. There are many different kinds and if you know what kind of product you are using through that valve then you should buy the right barb. Toss away the cheapest its nylon it's not going to be of use to anyone! A poly/plastic would be great for landscape spray companies using granular fertilizer. If you are pumping pesticides through that sprayer though you should have a brass barb. It can stand up to those harsh chemicals.

Third – Shut off valve. How can you not have a shutoff valve? Or worse why would you put it UNDER the truck!! This example truck is in Arizona: really hot summers, hot pavement, cheap plastic. This is not a combination that is sure to succeed. If you have no shut off valve or your valve hits a pot hole on the road and busts off, you have no way to stop the 200 gallons of herbicide from pouring out behind your trailer. Add a shut off valve between the tank and a filter so that you can shut off the valve, check your filter whenever you need and not just when your tank is empty.

There are definitely ways and areas to save money but, here is just not our recommendation. We have been in the commercial spray equipment industry for many years and our goal is to help our customers be productive and profitable. We spend a lot of time thinking about pest control and landscape spray equipment. 

Contact us at Qspray.com to learn more ways to save your company money and cut down on sprayer equipment problems.

The next video talks about the importance of a good hose reel. 

Andrew Greess: When a company or an organization requests a quote on a power spray rig, they'll often spec the expensive component. "I want a Honda engine, I want a Hypro pump, I want a Cox hose reel," but they don't mention the little stuff. If you're getting multiple bids going with low bid, then the company that puts the cheapest junk on there is going to win.

This is such a good example. These are clamps. There's different qualities of clamps. These, right here, are what we call hose barbs. These are all one and one‑half inch hose barbs. They have half‑inch male pipe thread on one side and half‑inch hose barb on the other. They're all half‑inch hose barbs, but, if you are not looking at the little stuff, you're never going to see this.

This one right here, the first one, is a cheap piece of junk. It's made out of plastic. It's actually nylon. It's just garbage. The second one is actually plastic, but its poly. That's perfect if you're a golf course or a landscaper using granular fertilizers. That plastic will hold up just fine.

The third one is brass. That's what you generally use for pest control. It holds up very well. The one on the right is an extra‑long, extra heavy duty steel hose barb and that's the one we're using. If you're using really high pressure, we put the long hose barb on them. We'll put three clamps on it so it holds.

When you're looking at purchasing spray equipment, you should be looking at not just the big stuff. You got to look at the little stuff because this is what fails often. The little stuff breaks. Here's just a perfect example. This is a sprayer built by one of our competitors. Frankly, I could do an hour just on this one picture alone.

What we have here, this is the output, or suction side, of the tank. There's four problems with this design. One is this tank fitting is welded. It's actually part of the tank. It's called spun weld. It's part of the tank. If it breaks, there's no way to fix it. If this breaks, you're buying a new tank. It's really a bad way to do it.

Number two, look at this. Remember I mentioned the cheap plastic nylon fitting? That's a cheap fitting. Think about that fitting after a year in the Arizona sun or in the cold somewhere. It's got torque on it because it's got the way to that hose.

Number three is that's just a garbage clamp. That's a clamp I'd take off a backpack and put a good clamp on. This hose, this isn't even hose. This is really reinforced tubing. This should not be on a power sprayer. My concern is there's four places that this can fail.

I was sharing this photo in a different presentation in Tucson. Had a room with 60 people and one guy raised his hand and said, "That happened to me. I had a brand‑new 200‑gallon weed control sprayer full with herbicide. First day we are using it, I go to drive off the lot. I hit a bump. The fitting breaks. I spill 200 gallons of herbicide."

Now, the good thing is, he was still in the lot so he wasted three tons of kitty litter and half a day cleaning it up, but he didn't get fined and he wasn't on TV. This is the kind of thing I want you to start looking for because that's going to fail. A 100 percent guarantee that's going to fail.

Here's an example. This was a customer came in, and this is a little hard to see, but the backpack was not secured. The backpack fell against the tank fitting. Here's a close‑up of it. You can see, this is that same kind of spun weld fitting.

Not only did the backpack break the fitting, they spilled 50 gallons of pest control product. They also trashed the tank. You see these cracks here. It's unrepairable. [laughs] They not only lost 50 gallons of chemical, the tank was trashed.

They came and said, "Can you replace this tank for us?" We go, "Well, that's not our tank so we'd have to completely rebuild the sprayer to fit our tank." They didn't want to do that. They didn't know where they bought the sprayer, so they had to spend a week trying to find the tank. Like two weeks later, they finally brought us the tank and we replaced it.

They had two weeks of downtime because two reasons. One, they didn't secure the backpack. I'll talk about that later. Two, there was a junkie fitting there. This is a risk that not a lot of people pay attention to, but it's a big risk. A little $3 fitting can cost you a lot of time and a lot of money.

This is how we do it ‑‑ brass.

The other thing is, it's hard to see, but there's a tank fitting in there. It's a Norwesco heavy‑duty tank fitting that screws together with a gasket in there and that's repairable and replaceable, unlike the spun weld fitting.

We also want a shut‑off valve in front of the filter so you can check the filter even when the tank is full. Look at the little stuff because it's the little stuff can bite you really hard.

Remember the 200‑gallon weed spray trailer I showed you? For some reason, I decided to get down on my belly, look underneath it. This is what was underneath a 200‑gallon weed spray trailer that's driving through our state.

This is [laughs] a PVC fitting that's probably worth about 0.29 cents. This is just garbage. It's all plastic. Plastic shut off valve. I don't even think you could use the shut off valve because I think if you turn this shut off valve you'd crack that fitting.

Think about this. There's three of these sprayers driving around our state with 200 gallons of herbicide in them. What's going to happen to this 29 cent fitting after one summer in Arizona? What if they hit a pothole? Are all our roads so perfect, there's no potholes, there's no rocks on the ground? If anything bounced up and hit this, you're going to dump 200 gallons of herbicide.

The only way you'd know you'd dumped...It's a trailer behind you, so the only way you'd know you'd be dumping 200 gallons of herbicides is when a cop pulls you over or when you go to spray and the tank's empty. This is the kind of stuff I want you to look for. This is just crazy. To save money here is just crazy. Does that make sense?

Is anyone still awake? All right. Good to nod. That's good. Thank you.

If you missed any of the videos in this series, catch up on them here:

Experience Pays: Top 10 Avoidable Spray Equipment Problems And Ways To Avoid Them https://goo.gl/NRB4qj

Choosing the Right Spray Equipment Engines, Backpacks, Pumps and Trailers https://goo.gl/r7L8zJ

For more information on Andrew Greess, visit https://www.qspray.com/