? about using a van for apps

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Victor, Dec 18, 2007.

  1. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,637

    Hey guys... I'm going to switch over to using an extended 1 ton van for applications this year. I think I've got everything figured out on how I want to set this rig up, but was wondering about one thing. Since this van is obviously going to keep my skid out of the weather, I'd be able to have solution in my skid on nights when temps are scheduled to drop below freezing. Since there wouldn't be any wind-chill effect on my skid, the way it was exposed to in the bed of my F250, I should be ok, even if the temps drop down into the low 20's overnight.
    Having said all of this, does anyone here know of a type of heater I could use in the back of my van (for insurance purposes) that would use some type of latent heat? It wouldn't have to put off much heat at all to keep my cargo compartment above freezing. Since I'm going to build an airtight bulkhead that separates the cab, from the cargo area, this heater would only have to heat the cargo area.
    I'm asking this, because I obviously wouldn't want to chance putting any type of heater in the back of my van that would risk throwing sparks, or have any kind of open flame. I'd swear that I've seen a heater that just warms up an outer shell, or something. There's no blower to it, or anything. Even a blower could possibly throw a spark.
    Anyone know of a heater that would be safe to use for this purpose?
  2. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,057


    That is a great question!

    I wouldn't think you would have to worry about anything freezing over night, but I could be wrong.

    I was wondering about using a heating blanket like people use on beds.

    These are very safe and use very little electric and they also have a "thermostat" type setting on them. You could just throw it over the top of the tank and you would be good!

  3. Leaf Jockey

    Leaf Jockey LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 360

    Are you asking for a heater that runs on household current? I think the oil radiator units are about as safe as they get. A high wattage light bulb will heat a small space but probably not the back of an uninsulated van.

  4. sclawndr

    sclawndr LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 326

    A van is a great way to go. I've used one for a long time with no problem. It has to get really cold before and stay that way for a while before the tank contents would freeze. I would suggest insulating the tank first if you're really worried about it. If you keep the van in a garage, you don't have to be concerned at all.
  5. mkroher

    mkroher LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 539

    You should consult the DOT in you area about a cargo heater with a hazardous material like that. They'd probably never find out, but if something DOES happen at least you covered your angles...

    As sclawndr said, a heated garage is probably the ideal situation.
  6. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,057

    I wouldn't be worried aboout the tank freezing, I would only be worried about the lines, valves and pump freezing overnight.
  7. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,744

    It would probably take more than one night of 20 degree temps to freeze that amount of solution. However, it is the pump and lines that would freeze overnight in 20 degree weather.

    Heated garage is the way to go.

    What about one of those old style diesel warmers that you put on the oil pan? With a foil wrap around it and the pump to retain the heat?

    BTW my understanding of windchills -- it does NOT affect objects like a tank only animals, humans etc. The wind pulls the heat off of us. I dont believe windchills have any effect on equipment.
  8. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,539

    If I were you I woud get one of those drop lights like mechanics use. Has the clamp with the aluminum reflector back. Put a Heat Lamp bulb in it...you're good to go. Ive done it here.All you have to do is keep that pump at 32 or above. We don't usually get that cold but occasionally we'll have a stretch of a few days of mid 20's. If I'm not using my pump at all, I shut the main off empty the strainer. Turn the strainer housing upside down and pour about 1/2 gallon of RV antifreeze in the pump while running. When you don't have a shop to park your vehicle in you learn a few tricks. Drop lights and antifreeze are much cheaper than pumps. Good luck
  9. PHS

    PHS LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 724

    I think a mechanics light would be plenty also. It doesn't take very much heat inside an enclosed area to raise the temp a few degrees.
  10. Victor

    Victor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,637

    Thanks for all the great advice. I really do appreciate it. Some of you mentioned parking the van in a heated garage. Unfortunately, I wouldn't be able to fit it into my garage. It's too tall and too long. Like some of you also mentioned, I guess the only part of the skid I'd have to worry about freezing, would be the pump and lines.

    Of all the ideas mentioned, I think I'd like to go with a mechanic's drop light (since I already have one) with a heat lamp in it. That would be really quick to put in place and very economical too. Would there be any threat that the heat bulb would ignite a vapors coming off the skid, or fertilizer in the back of the van?

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