Multiple tanks, 1 pump...

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by LIBERTYLANDSCAPING, Dec 14, 2007.


    LIBERTYLANDSCAPING LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 1,283

    As inticing as it seems, sprayers with multiple tanks & only 1 pump don't seem as if they would work out in many situations... It would be nice to have 3 tanks to 3 pull from-1)Tree & shrub , 2)perimeter pest, 3) Herbicide, but this doesn't seem like it would work out because of chemical diferences. If you wanted to switch chemicals, you would have to switch tanks & spray out what was left in hose reel... Has anyone had any experience with these set-ups, is this type system worthless, or am I looking to far into it?

  2. Hissing Cobra

    Hissing Cobra LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 705

    When I worked for the Lawn Company of Cape Cod, all of our lawn trucks had a 3 tank system and our tree/shrub trucks had a 4 tank system, each with only one pump. They worked awesome!

    For starters, it is not recommended to use a tank that's been used for the lawn chemicals on trees and shrubs, unless it's been cleaned really well. That also includes the hose. Cross contamination can kill the trees and shrubs. Not good!

    Anyway, our lawn trucks would allow me to carry 200 gallons of a liquid fertilizer combined with a blue dye, Merit, and weed control in one tank, 100 gallons of liquid fertilizer, green dye, and weed control in another tank, and 100 gallons of weed control in the last tank.

    I'd pull up to the lawn, read the invoice and determine which tank to spray out of. Then I'd adjust the ball valves into position for the tank I needed and grab one of two guns (we had two reels on the truck to choose from). One reel would be dedicated to the main tank (200 gallon unit (Blue dye) and the other would be for the 2nd (Green dye) and 3rd tanks (Natural coloring). If I was on the 2nd reel and needed the 2nd tank's product with the green dye, I would check the color of the liquid and if it wasn't green, I would take the lid off of the 3rd tank and spray the liquid from the hose into that tank until the Green dyed liquid showed up.

    We sprayed the lawns at 2 gallons per minute
  3. PHS

    PHS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 724

    I've also used almost exclusively multi-tank systems but I would stongly advise against using herbicides and your tree/shrub materials out of the same rig. That's a recipe for disaster if you're doing it on a regular basis.

    I would also strongly advise that your material list is completely compatible with each other and the plants you are spraying. In other words, if you are using it for turf grasses (I treat Centipede, St. Augustine, Bermuda), make sure all 3 materials in the tanks are safe on all 3 grasses. If you're switching tanks there is always going to be some cross contamination so you have to plan ahead a little bit. The dye sounds like a good idea to help keep that to a minimum.

    Sometimes you do have to use a narrow range material (for me Sethoxydim is only safe on Centipede) so mix it, then spray out and clean out well before you start switching tanks again.
  4. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Messages: 6,162

    I am running a two tank system (each tank is 50 gallong) on my truck with one hose reel and one electric pump.

    I am currently only using the tank to tender my PG and do perimeter pest control, so I don't have any issues with "contamination" as I add the herb directly to my PG.

    However this year I am looking to add a third tank, a second pump and another hose reel so I can have a little tank (about 12 gallon) to do very small lawns with or spot spray.

    Once my 12 gallon is MT, then I will just transfer water from the 50 gallon tank as needed and remix. I will barely use it so that is why it is going to be so small.

    I feel there is too much risk of using one pump and hose reel personally once a herbicide as been used.

    Thats just my take!

    LIBERTYLANDSCAPING LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 1,283

    That was one of my concerns- Using 1 for say 3-way, would mean you couldn't use 1 for Perimeter Pest, as plants around foundation with get sprayed & possibly damaged with residual left in hose, pump, etc. I see a lot of these systems offered, just wondered how many go about using them (with what mix of chemicals?) I can see 1)3-way 2)fungicide 3)grub control.

    If you switch products & spray into empty tank until desired product is at spray gun, what do you do with chemicals that get sprayed into "purge" tank?
  6. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969


    I might be a little too anal, But I never cross contaminate my spray equipment. A number of year back I bought a used TrueGreen NPR with the one PTO pump and two tanks plus two hose reels. I could never understand why they used two hose reels with only one pump. My Lawn mix has Iron that stains while my Shrub and Tree mix doesn't stain. So the first thing I did was to replumb the truck with a 8.5 GPM electric pump for shrub spraying. I added a third tank, pump and reel for spraying straight select Herbicide. I also carry several back pack sprayers for those special need jobs. Each back pack is labelled with the product used in them and never used with an other chemical. I do not cross contaminate any of my spray equipment. In addition I also have a older F 250 with a 300 gallon holding tank that a Bilge pump fills a 50 gallon skid sprayer. Once again no matter how big a job I keep the 300 gallon tank as potable water and mix each batch of 50 gallons. This truck also never get staining chemicals or herbicide.
  7. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Messages: 6,162

    That is the think I like with my setup!

    I don't ever have to clean out my lines.

    Once I am done with the perimeter and go to spray a lawn I have a bypass before the hosereel to where my water doesn't go through the reel. I actually have a seperate line T'd off to load my PG. That way I don't have to "reload" the reel each time with Bifen.

    I would think hard about sharing a tank and pump. All it takes is one minor accident and it would have paid for your extra pump and reel.

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