options on handling fert in 55 gal drum..

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by ant, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. ant

    ant LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,469

    one of my options is to get my fert delivered in drums. the cost difference between 2.5 gal x 2 and the price per gal is significant. i need to weight out my option's on handling the product in a timely mannor..
    my plan is fill 2.5 gal jugs from the drums to fill my sprayer..

    i was thinking about this http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/WESCO-Drum-Cradle-Dispenser-3JJP1?Pid=search
    but i think somekind of drum pump would be better..
  2. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,159

    A drum cradle will work well for dispensing, easier to use than a pump.
    In either case, you need to mix the material in the drum otherwise it will settle.
    Check out http://www.drummates.com/indexflash.htm
    He's a good friend in Hainesport.
  3. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,542

    yup they work great. Screw a spicket in the threaded hole at the top and get it on a craddle, very efficient way to go. I use to work in the printing industry when I was younger and we used a lot of chemicals. They were all stored in a room on craddles with spickets and spill catch basins under them.
  4. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,737

    I sprayed Micros early last year and purchased it in a 55 gal drum. I used a hand pump made by GPI to transfer the product to 2.5 gal jugs. It transfers 16 oz per pump. It worked great, faster than you might think and was fairly inexpensive. I think $50 or so. The only thing I never liked about cradles and spigots was the mess factor and the amount of space they take up when laid on their side, not to mention the possibility of a major leak while nobody's around.JMO
  5. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,795

    we also have done this and used a hand pump that was pretty fast, iforget the gpm of it though.

    if you need the amount of fert, then buy it the cheapest way you can and bulk is a great way to save. get apump or a stand to lay it down and use a spigot
  6. grass4gas

    grass4gas LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 601

    So is your plan to spray fert out of your Z-Spray? Kinda defeats the purpose of the machine if you are doesn't it? JMO
  7. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,795

    I think the drum cradle is the better way to go. Of course you need a spigot and you need a drum bung wrench. You have to open the top opening a ,so as to let in some air. The drum cradle has a long handle which can be used to tip the drum over on its side. A chain over the drim is a nice addition. But remember that the drum weighs about 550 pounds and fert is more heavy--maybe in the neighborhood of 600. Difficult and dangerous to move. And the drums never drain completely. You may find yourself rasseling the almost empty drum to the top of the tank and tipping it up just to get the last gallon out. And you have a disposal problem with the used containers. You need to rinse them and we were charged 5 dollars to give them to a drum disposal company--to recycle and reuse.

    However re the drum pumps--I have two I don't need--can be messy, especially when changing drums. They may lose their prime. The never get the last 3 gallons out.

    Can you get your fert in a 200 gallon tote?
  8. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    Slow Dog

    I have never bought Fertilizer in a 30 or 55 gallon drum. I have purchased Roundup in 30 gallon drums. However you make an excellent point about keeping the product from settling to the bottom. Minor element like Fe, MG, and Zn etc are heavy metals that will fall out of solution. Even 2.5 gallon jugs of 12-0-0 Iron will have a 1/4 inch of Black gunk on the bottom.

    Remember if you are going to deal will large volumes, then you need LARGE EQUIPMENT.
  9. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,159

    One company I was with bought 1000 gal of fert at a time delivered by tanker truck. We would circulate it occasionally, but it was amazing to see how much salt would settle out, cake at the bottom and never go back into solution.

    My friend Dave manufactures a great mixing tool. http://www.drummates.com/Mix_PDF/Drum Mixers Shafts.pdf
    Attach this to a 1/2" drill and it will thoroughly blend the contents in a drum or tote in no time. If anyone contact him about his products, let him know I sent you.
  10. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,795

    Another company I worked for had a 2000 gal tank for fertilizer. It was mounted up high on the second floor in the barn. We could fill our trucks by pulling under it and opening a valve on the hose. Naturally it weighed many tons--so he had to do some major major reinforcement. These days probably not legal because you probably need a secondary containment container or berm system. Also one time the fert batch was not exactly right--water was too cold. It crystalized and settled out in a major way. Fert company man came in and he had to climb inside and dissolve with canoe paddle and power washer. Yuck.

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