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View Full Version : ZTR Sprayer - finished with pics!


Homecutter
04-17-2007, 10:13 PM
Greetings all!

I inquired a few months back about using a backpack sprayer to treat my sedge problem in this thread: http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=174500&highlight=homecutter but based on everyone’s advice I opted to make a ZTR style sprayer. I said I would post some pics of my progress so here they are. I bought a Northerntool 15 Gallon ATV sprayer and fabricated some tank mounts and a boom out of 1/2 sh40 pvc. The nozzles are threaded 90° micro nozzles from Home Depot and run $2.80 for a 10 pack. I drilled and tapped 9 holes 8" apart are on the boom. The sprays overlap each other for even coverage. I made sure the flow rates were calibrated by filling glasses. Except for two, the nozzle flows were identical out of the pack. The boom is activated by pressing the wand trigger with my foot. The Sureflow 800 series pump will empty the tank in 11 minutes and 30 seconds. Now I just need to figure the correct ground speed based on my lawn size to ensure I deplete the entire tank evenly. Spraying Manage this weekend if all goes well.

Homecutter
04-17-2007, 10:16 PM
Some more pics.

lifetree
04-17-2007, 10:25 PM
Ingenious ... nice job !!

indyturf
04-17-2007, 11:01 PM
Looks like it should work pretty good! the only thing I would be afraid of with the PVC pipe is bumping something and cracking it while your spraying. that would be bad!

Shades of Green LService
04-17-2007, 11:31 PM
Really nice job. Let us know how the foeld test goes.

desii
04-18-2007, 12:09 AM
That's really cool, but I was wondering while looking at the pics...wouldn't it be better to have the nozzles in the rear so you wouldn't be riding over the sprayed turf? I don't spray, so I could be way off base here. This may also change your foot control, but probably not. The other concern I would have is having the spray "blow"/ drift back on the operator as your driving into it. Again, JMO.

On the flip side, I'm sure it's much easier to get into tight spots and you can get a good visual on were you are spraying.

RigglePLC
04-18-2007, 08:32 AM
Amazing Orlando,
I hope it works out well. May I suggest...a filter to reduce the chance of clogging the nozzles. Maybe a pressure regulator and guage, if you don't already have one on the pump. Is that a 1 gal per min Flo-jet electric pump? You may find the a lower pressure drifts less, and allows you to go farther on a tank of fluid. Also, for least drift, the nozzles should be slanted back. Short pants --not suitable.

In any event--it is a work of art. Can't wait to hear results.

americanlawn
04-18-2007, 08:11 PM
Very nice job! It's about time we see improvements on a local level.
I think the reason you put the boom in front is to make it more clear so as to see where/what you're spraying herbicide on.

Also....it looks to me that you're getting enough spray to cover the weeds.

I was at my LESCO dealer yesterday....they told me that the PG units still have difficulties killing small-leafed weeds/also no weed control along curbs.
Magnums, Ultras, it didn't matter.

Your machine most closely resembles LESCO's Z-two sprayer/spreader. Our's kicks ass on weeds and spreads too. So I'm sure you will have great results with your new unit. I'm sure you will get that ground speed figured out very quickly, plus you will be able to "put in on heavy" for weedy lawns.

Way to go....it also provides me with ideas I can use. Thanks for the great pics! How much are you selling them for??? (LOL)

Thanks again, american

Homecutter
04-18-2007, 10:54 PM
:usflag: Thanks for the great feedback guys! I appreciate it! :usflag:

Any ideas on using a dye or food coloring to mark where I've sprayed?

You guys had some good points- some of which I did not consider. I think I got lucky with the way the boom turned out. I tried a single broadcast nozzle in my first design but it was useless because it sprayed 80% of the liquid on the outer edges of the stream leaving the center area almost dry. I would not recommend this product, it sucks period: http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200326933_200326933.

Desii - I did not consider the issue of riding over the sprayed turf. Nice observation on your part! I'm not sure my tires will adversely impact the sprayed turf. I'll have to think about that one. As you and others commented, my main concern was being able to see the boom to know when to start-stop the spray and to be able to maneuver around trees, shrubs and my house. As far as drift or backspray goes, I plan to spray on a calm day in the morning. In my test runs there was almost zero backspray. The nozzle droplets are good size (not too misty). I'm considering lowering the boom to a point where the streams just overlap each other at the mid points. As it stands, they cross well past the midpoints. Lowering the boom will reduce air time and should reduce drift. The nozzles shoot forward a little for my visibility. Notice the distance from my front tires to the wet line on my driveway- its about 16 inches. I will be wearing PPE for sure.

Riggle - I mixed a scoop of Manage in a 1/2 full water bottle just to see how homogeneous it became. It looked like light gray milk. Based on this I don't thing it will clog the nozzles but I will certainly keep an eye on them -good point. I have extras and can change them out in a snap. As far as a regulator goes I did not use one. I might however add a hose bib gage to one end of the boom just for kicks since I have a few lying around. The pump is a Sureflow 8000 series which does 1.8 GPM (max). I achieved approx 1.3 GPM through the nozzles (15 gallons in 11.5 minutes). At this point I'm satisfied with the pressure vs drift. I can see your point about lower pressure = less drift, this makes sense. I don't think I'll slant the nozzles back but I might lower the boom as stated above. NO shorts indeed!

Americanlawn - you can have the plans! 1/2 PVC and micro nozzles from good ole' Home Depot, CHEAP CHEAP!! Although, your fellow pros might snicker when they see you :laugh:

I'm looking forward to some DEAD sedge! I'll post some browning pics in the future.

Robert

ChadsLawn
04-18-2007, 10:59 PM
What Brand Z mower is that... Because mine is almost exactly like yours..

razor1
04-18-2007, 11:25 PM
Nice Sprayer rig.

Is this the same sprayer from Northern?

http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_200240074_200240074

Thanks

MStine315
04-18-2007, 11:51 PM
Nice work. The only thing I'd add about the boom in back is this. Our turf tracker is in back, the PG's are in front. By the time you see weeds with the PG, you have to turn around to get them. With the turf tracker, you seem them, hit the switch, and you've got 'em, 'cause the boom is behind you. Also, consider your water source. If you use well water, often times there are "fines" that will clog nozzles, it's not just the product you're using. Again, nice job.

ChadsLawn
04-19-2007, 12:36 AM
Nevermind.. That an ExMark.. MIne is a Kees.. Only differance is my tanks and deck is black.. everything else is the same.

G&MLC
04-19-2007, 01:04 AM
I was checking the Home Depot website. Where did you find those nozzles at HD? Are they in the lawn and garden dept.?

TLS
04-19-2007, 11:50 AM
Nevermind.. That an ExMark.. MIne is a Kees.. Only differance is my tanks and deck is black.. everything else is the same.

Thats no eXmark.

ChadsLawn
04-19-2007, 12:22 PM
Then its gotta be a Toro

TLS
04-19-2007, 12:24 PM
Not a Toro....it's got to be a Yazoo/Kees.

Homecutter
04-19-2007, 08:30 PM
Chad - My ZTR is also a Yazoo Kees 52" ZTMax. I restored it and put a brand new 25HP Kolher on it about 1-1/2 years ago. The tanks are painted, that’s why they don't match:laugh: Just as a piece of mower history, Exmark’s main design engineer quit many years ago and started Yazoo. The mowers are very similar and both factories are in Beatrice Nebraska. This is what I was told by Yazoo customer support.

MStine315 - I can see your point and the advantage of the rear boom for "spot" spraying. By the time you see the weeds you hit spray and the rear boom gets em'. In my case I'm spraying my entire lawn so my start-stop points are at the driveway edges. I could probably move it to the back and be just as effective with a little practice but it's a done deal at this point. I'm using chlorinated-dechlorinated-filtered well water with no "fines". Same water I drink:)

Razor - Nope, mine is the non-broadcast version here http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/product_6970_640_640. I added the broadcast nozzle myself which runs $15 but as I stated earlier it sucks:nono:

G&MLC - I bought the nozzles in the irrigation department at the Oviedo, Florida Home Depot. One thing I did was to trim the inlets square right below the threads with a box cutter so that the water would "see" the inlets on the same plane. Threading the nozzles into the boom "as is" might cause the beveled side to face away from the flow which will reduce the flow out of that nozzle. This was my experience. Here’s a pic of the pack.

Good luck!
Robert

green horizons
04-19-2007, 09:58 PM
I love it. Every winter, I say, "this is the year I build a fert/squirt machine". Not even one prototype out of my shop yet. I actually prefer the boom in front, but again, I have yet to build one. Maybe you could design/build a shield for the boom??? Great work. Great post.

razor1
04-20-2007, 03:57 PM
Razor - Nope, mine is the non-broadcast version here http://www.northerntool.com/webapp/w...t_6970_640_640. I added the broadcast nozzle myself which runs $15 but as I stated earlier it sucks
Homecutter

The only reason I asked which model is because I've used the other one that comes with both tips (broadcast and stream) and it actually worked pretty good. Considering it only cost about $150. I wonder if the $15. broadcast tip you bought from Northern is different then the one supplied?

Did you happen to see the Gravely with the sprayer attachment, http://cgi.ebay.com/GRAVELY-PM-260Z-ZERO-TURN-WITH-60-DECK_W0QQitemZ200075867962QQihZ010QQcategoryZ50377QQrdZ1QQcmdZViewItem

Homecutter
04-20-2007, 11:13 PM
The only reason I asked which model is because I've used the other one that comes with both tips (broadcast and stream) and it actually worked pretty good. Considering it only cost about $150. I wonder if the $15. broadcast tip you bought from Northern is different then the one supplied?

Maybe I just got a bad nozzle. It's molded plastic so it was easy to see it was not a manufacturing flaw which made me assume it was a design flaw. Can you tell by the pic if its the same nozzle?