Backpack sprayer capabilities

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Bhplyler, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. Bhplyler

    Bhplyler LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15


    I am adding pesticide applications to our landscaping inc. I already have everything I need, I am now looking at equipment.

    Can a 4 gallon backpack sprayer do for example; a corner to corner application on a 1/2 acre lawn or will I be refilling + having to risk mixing on site? I am trying to decide if I can offer full services with a backpack sprayer to start out with. I don't plan on having massive amounts of customers for spraying immediately so no large routes. Thoughts?
  2. Will P.C.

    Will P.C. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 965

    I have done my own yard with a backpack sprayer with I remember using Revolver at a rate 1/2 tbs per 4 gallons. I ended up hiring the yard done even though I was getting the chems for free.

    -the flow does not come out with enough pressure so you need it to be perfect conditions to spray. chemicals get all over you
    -even distribution can be a problem
    -cross contamination is a big problem. I always rinsed it thoughly a few times and then sprayed 2 gallons of water though it and still ended up killing some roses
    -figuring out the rate is a pain in the ass since the instructions are for commercial sized tanks.
    -time consuming

    IMO, not worth it
  3. inzane

    inzane LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,365

    what i've been doing is blanket apps on smaller lawns with my back pack sprayer calibrated at .5 gallon per 1k. i spent alot of timing figuring out my avg. walking speed, i have a 1k section roped off in the yard.. I picked up a constant flow valve from gemplers (the red one) it keeps the psi at a constant (19psi i believe) it turns off if you go below a certain psi so you gotta keep pumping the handle.. (tiring on the arm) anyways, so i got it to where its comming out .5 gallon a minute. I do 8,000 sq. ft. out of a backpack. for weed control it has seemed to work fine, however I would not want to rely on it for a pre-emergent app because i'm not sure how even of a coverage you would really get.. but with post emergent weed control, i've gotten really good results that way. with tracker dye in the mix its alot easier to see where you are spraying. I sprayed my backyard recently which is 6,000 square foot, and 3 weeks later looks like i hit all the weeds and there were plenty. but a half acre of turf, i wouldn't want to do it this way, unless it was just my own lawn or something. you'll probally have to fill up 2 or 3 times.. probally alot more if your at a higher rate.

    I'm in the same boat though, i just stick to smaller lawns 10k sq. ft. and under... dry pre-emergent and fertilizer, backpack the weeds.. i blanket app the ones that need it.. but mostly spot treat. I just got home from picking up my first skid sprayer tonight though, so hopefully this year will be much better.

  4. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,899

    I use the Shurflo electric backpack for small lawns. I use 1gal/k mix. Any lighter than that, and I feel you are not covering very well. So, you can cover a 4k sq ft lawn with a fill. And believe me, you are not going to want to haul 4 gal load after 4 gal load on your back, it will get old FAST (and hurt).

    What I did was go straight to a used ride on for anything I can manuever it on, and backpack the postage stamps. It works well for me. May want to consider it. Ride-ons are a dream.
  5. Bhplyler

    Bhplyler LawnSite Member
    Posts: 15

    Thank you, for the response. Straight to the point with your measurements and experience.

    Unfortunately, I don't have the funds or guaranteed potential customers (for spraying) to warrant purchasing a ride on. I am only 23 so carrying around a 4 gallon backpack all day is easy money for me that is no problem. I also used to work for a major company in the area where I would be backpack roundup around 8 hour days no problem. At this point I am satisfied with starting with a backpack if I can do a 4,000 SF lawn with 1- 4 gallon backpack tank reload. If it picks up going for a skid or ride on.

    I would still like to here more thoughts on this.
  6. inzane

    inzane LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,365

    seriously, carrying a 4 gallon backpack on your back isn't so bad if you train for it like me lol but i can see how it could be hard on an older person, or fatass that is used to riding on equipment all day. sometimes you gotta start with what you can get.. make the best out of it until you can justify the big purchases to make things faster and easier.
  7. integrityman

    integrityman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,713

    ok ONLY for postage stamp size properties......or spot spraying.
  8. wildstarblazer

    wildstarblazer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 984

  9. gregory

    gregory LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,066

    go check out some of greendoc's post he has a gas powered back pack might be alittle rough to use on a 1/2 arce lot thats alot of fill ups.. unless you put a boom on it you...
  10. inzane

    inzane LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,365

    there was a thread on here somehweres of somebody who had a design and instructions to convert a manual pump 4 gal backpack into an electric sprayer with a shurflo pump.. but probally not as cheap as that hudson sprayer, but wondering if its a quality sprayer..

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