PTO driven sprayer alternate power possible?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by foreplease, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    Other than handhelds and a backpack sprayer, everything I spray is with a 50 gal tank and 14' boom on the back of a John Deere tractor. I do not do any lawns other than my own and have a 2 acre minimum, which is what is practical with my equipment. I do have a short (80') hose and gun if I need to do trim work.

    It is not convenient to trailer this tractor. I do it when I need to but drive it when I can. The sprayer, on the other hand, is easy to move around but there is nothing to drive the pump without the tractor's PTO.

    Have any of you ever used a gasoline engine or electric motor to in place of a PTO at or near 540 RPM? I could consider doing some smaller jobs if not for the tractor. I'm not about to haul that anywhere to do a 15,000 sq ft lawn. I am not chopping at the bit to do any lawn work. It's more a matter of wondering if this is mechanically possible.

    I do not need or want a ride on. I only spray about ten days a year. My tractor, which I do use to spray, is usually at the center of whatever work I do. Often when I start a job I am there several weeks. That is, I am not moving it every week muchless several times a day.
  2. gcbailey

    gcbailey LawnSite Silver Member
    from WV
    Messages: 2,755

    I know they make them, but I don't know the price. My grandfather has an old, old standalone IH made engine that had a PTO on it for stationary farm implements. It could also be used with an adapter to run stuff like a thrashing machine, but it actually had a splined shaft so you can hook a PTO shaft to it. It's a few hundred pounds, so I don't know how practical something like that would be.
  3. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    Thanks for the info. That would be too heavy. Sounds like some of those old PTO pond or trash pumps I've seen: massive. I know an excavator that has CAT diesel engine rigged up as a fire starter for any burn piles he makes. Scary how fast he can make a huge pile disappear.

    Thanks again.
  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,800

    This should work. The typical 6 HP Briggs or Honda engine runs open throttle at 3600 rpm. You need a 6 to one gear reduction on the motor. Commonly available. Or use a v-belt drive and reduce it 6 to one; then you have a speed of about 600. Throttle back until you have a speed that suits you.
    Is the sprayer on a trailer--or--do you plan to slide it onto your pickup? Do you drive on the lawn using the boom or use the hose? Or use a utility vehicle?
  5. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    Thank you, Riggle! I have a good friend and neighbor who could help me set something like this up. I'll also need something splined to step up from the engine shaft or output (I'm rather mechanically inept) to insert into the pump - or something I can insert into the pump that will fit the engine. I can handle finding that. 5 or 6 HP should easily keep up with turning that pump. I have an old electric motor I used for backslapping my greens mower, I have been mentally stuck on trying to figure out how to use that. I don't think it would keep up.

    The sprayer is just on a frame that would not be suitable to support it in my truck bed when full of water. It was not meant for that purpose. I will need to secure it while preserving its normal use: supporting it when I remove it from the tractor. I also had a handy rack welded up that I can hang hose and whatever else I need on it. It helps stabilize the boom too.

    I do athletic fields only. Tractor has a small front end loader and turf tires. While it is heavy and somewhat clumsy - like its owner, I suppose - I am able to go anywhere I need to with it without marking or damaging turf. So yes, I spray with the boom from the tractor mounted sprayer. Only time I use hose is odd shaped cut outs such as turf peninsulas around bleachers, concession stands, or scoring towers, or around fences if it is tight. If I can get the last nozzle on the boom within about 8" of fences and keep it there then I do not need the hose. I made it a breakaway type boom just in case. I only spend about 90 minutes a summer on the end of a hose but I spent plenty of time with one earlier in life. As you can imagine, with only 80' if I have to trim fence all the way around a soccer field I am on and off the tractor a lot. It's like being on leash. Football fields are easier with the track border.

    Thanks so much for your help. Think this is going on my winter to do list.
  6. CL&T

    CL&T LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 493

    Dunno. From what you are saying it sounds like more work than it's worth but I really can't tell without some pictures of the rig and how the pump is attached to the PTO. If it's what I think it is moving the pump and driving it with an engine and figuring how to mount everything isn't something you want to do and undo to put it back on the tractor.
  7. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    It may turn out to be just that. Thanks for your input. I will look for a photo. I should have done that to begin with.
  8. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,126

    This is why I prefer 3/8" hose. No, I am not trying to feed a Chemlawn gun through it. On the other hand, either a single fan tip or multiple nozzle hand held boom can be calibrated to apply 1 gallon per 1000 at a reasonable(not running) pace. 300 ft gets me in and out of most places without having to move the truck too much. I know that the Hypro D series pumps are either PTO or skid mount with the matching gear reduction box. The gear reduction box is light enough that I can carry and move my pump and engine assembly
  9. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,800

    A Lovejoy coupler should work fine in this situation. It will withstand slight misalignment also.

    The Rittenhouse catalog has a Honda with built-in 6 to 1 gear reduction.
    Or...with pump preinstalled for a few dollars more.

    And yes, it may be necessary to mount it on a pallet--or pallet that you cut in half so that it fits on your tractor, and yet will fit on your truck or trailer.

    Do you have forks for the front-end loader so that it can be moved easily? If not, you may need the tank and motor/pump separate so it can be moved in two pieces by hand.
  10. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    No, no forks and every year I think I will look into it. I have gotten pretty good at moving things around. Sometimes it is like a Rubik's cube. I have tailgate height, trailer deck height, stack of extra pallets, ramps, chains, and ropes. Ha ha. The sprayer is light but I can't pick it up and move it. I have, but should not have. Easy to slide, tilt, walk from place to another. Nice idea about the split pallet. Not sure I can make myself track down a soccer field with half a pallet under each side - might look like snowshoes. But it's a good idea of stabilizing it n the truck (or open trailer) bed.

    You guys probably wonder how I get dressed without help in the morning :) And to think people call other people to get my phone number (no business cards) to figure stuff out lol.

    I will check out those links. Thanks.

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