Clean a Lesco spreader?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by PascoPropMaint, Dec 27, 2007.

  1. PascoPropMaint

    PascoPropMaint LawnSite Member
    Posts: 13

    Hello, I just got a new Lesco SS spreader. I'm wondering if I should be cleaning it out (with a hose) after using it for fert or should I be keeping it as dry as possible? I didn't get a manual with mine and I didn't see the answer on this site anywhere. Thanks!
  2. lawnservice

    lawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 589

    a little water wont hurt the stainless steel...I'd clean with water whenever needed
  3. Hissing Cobra

    Hissing Cobra LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 700

    Yup, that's correct. Clean it at the end of the day, when you're done. Also, while using it, regularly check & clean off the plastic impeller underneath the hopper. Some products will build up residue there and the pellets won't throw the way that they're supposed to, leading to an uneven application. I used to keep a 1/2" wide wood chisel behind the seat of my truck for this purpose.

    Oh yeah, if you're cleaning off pesticide residue, make sure that you use gloves!
  4. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,057

    I think that washing and keeping equipment clean is key to the life of the equipment.

    I clean my equipment almost every night! If you stay on top and keep the equipment really never gets that dirty or built up with fert dust.

    Soapy water, rinse and then totally blow down with an air compressor then spray WD-40 on all moving parts!

    My PG looks almost as good as the day I bought it, although there is a little rust on the Honda (which is to be expected)!
  5. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,229

    I almost never clean my equipment. Its not that I am a slob--Ok my wife says I am. But when you clean a spreader you wash off a residue that is contaminated with fertilizer, possibly crab control, possibly grub control--in Michigan it is very difficult to legally dispose of that residual rinse water. Not legal to rinse it down any sanitary or any storm sewer or let it flow into any ditch, gutter or street. You are supposed to rinse equip on an impervious waterproof rinse-and-fill pad. And then recycle the contaminated water back into the tank and apply according to label directions.

    Sure I now have a plastic putty knife to clean off the impeller blades and etc.

    Also I hate to get my spread or Permagreen wet inside the hopper--if it does not dry out by next morning--you have wet fertilizer and a big problem--mainly it will not flow. And you can't turn the Permagreem upside down to let it dry. Last year in humid weather I began to remove fert from my Permagreen at the end of the day by using a small scoop and whisk broom.

    Your Lesco spread is stainless steel. Fert will not hurt it.
  6. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,057

    You make a very valid point on washing equipment and runoff.

    I actually never thought of that before! I just wonder though how much material/residue there really is though?

    When I wash I do have quite a few granulars left on the ground (maybe a handful or so).

    Good Point!

    As far as keeping equipement clean, if you are not going to wash it off:weightlifter: I would atleast blow it off. Earlier on here guys were talking about their tranny's rotting out of their PG's but from what I have heard it only happens when guys don't keep their equipement clean.

    I don't have any trouble drying out my hopper as I use a Air Compressor with 110 PSI so I can dry the PG off very quick. I will still run a dry rag over the outside of the machine and in the hopper if needed.

    Perception to me is #1. When I unload in the morning...I want my machine to sparkle as I know the customer sees it. I always run VERY CLEAN stuff!
  7. lawnservice

    lawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 589

    residual water is a valid point and a good reminder.

    We actually use a small inflatable childs swim pool. You know the kind? About 5 feet wide with maybe 8 inch wall. push spreaders we just lift up and place in pool to hose off, PGs we just roll them right in (no problem if the side walls are not 100% inflated. The water left behind is used in backpacks and spray tanks and/or evaporates. Any solid waste left behind then gets vacuumed and disposed of.
    We're not talking tons of gallons of water. So when the PGs are hosed down we suck up the rinse water with a wet vac. so when we roll the machine out of the pool the rinse doesnt end up all over the floor. PGs are only hosed down once per week but are air cleaned daily.
  8. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956


    I didn't reply to this thread right a way becuse I wanted to see what others did.

    I use a Blower to clean the Spreader on each property that I treat. I will use a Air compressor to do a final cleaning before putting up the equipment for the day. On Occassion I will wash with plan Water. However I always spray WD 40 on my spreader. WD # 40 stands for Water Displacement 40th try . The product began from a search for a rust & preventative solvent and degreaser to protect missile parts.
  9. lawn king

    lawn king LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,279

    I used wd 40 for years, i now use liquid wrench. This coming season i plan to try fluid film.
  10. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Posts: 5,852

    I'm lucky if my guys clean the impeller often enough to prevent streaking -- employees that truly care do this. (we use our plastic flag sticks to clean impellers -- never metal items like screwdrivers) I also tell 'em to always empty out their spreader at the end of each day too, but that doesn't always happen either. (it's not that they haven't been told to do so for hundreds of's just that they get lazy, and they know they have cold beers at home). LOL

    We try to pressure wash our trucks & spreaders at the end of each day. We then grease the zerks. Then we spray lubricant on the deflector sheild rods with oil spray of some sort. Sometimes we have to air up slow-leaking tires as well. I try to help load everybody's truck amd check their equipment before they go out everyday, but sometimes they "rush out to their routes" before I check 'em.

    That's us - not always doing the best everyday, but we do work hard.

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