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Tricked-Out Trailers

December 8, 2010
By: Darrell Smith, Farm Journal Conservation and Machinery Editor
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The Allyns’ nurse trailer holds two 2,600-gal. water tanks, a 20-gal. freshwater tank, a 50-gal. fuel tank and up to four 250-gal. herbicide tanks or shuttles. It makes for quick fills for Mike Allyn (on the trailer) and sprayer operator Beauford Wilson.  

With herbicide and fertilizer application, getting the product where it’s needed, when it’s needed, is a key to timely treatment. Being able to fill sprayers without touching herbicides is an important safety factor. These two farmer-built nurse trailers meet both goals.

David Allyn and sons Mike and Matt, of Mount Vernon, Ind., bought a worn-out 41' step-deck trailer, repaired it and shortened it to 36'. They welded steps at the front and middle.

“We like the low profile—two steps and you’re on the trailer—and that we never touch the product,” Mike says.

The trailer can hold two 2,600-gal. water tanks, a 20-gal. freshwater tank, a 50-gal. fuel tank and up to four 250-gal. herbicide tanks or shuttles. “There’s still room for boxes here and there,” Mike says.

Herbicides flow by gravity, through 1¼" hose, from the tanks or shuttles to the three chemical pumps. Only three pumps are required, the Allyns say, because two of the herbicide tanks usually contain the same product.

Herbicides also can be added through a 30-gal. inductor. It contains a valve for rinsing 2½-gal. herbicide jugs.

The fuel tank is made from an old foam marker tank. The upright design takes up little room.

The Allyns set up two identical trailers, so they always have one in place when their sprayer operator, Beauford “Bump” Wilson, arrives at a distant farm. “That way, Bump has everything he needs,” Mike says.

Keep products separate. In Henderson, Ky., Robbie Williams uses a 42' nurse trailer with three 1,600-gal. water tanks. The tanks are connected to a manifold made from Schedule 80 PVC pipe. There also is room for up to three mini-bulk herbicide shuttles.

A 200-gal. tank holds water for the foam markers on Williams’ sprayer. (The foam markers are a backup to his sprayer’s GPS system, in case it ever loses its satellite signal or encounters other problems.) A 100-gal. tank, salvaged from an old semi truck, carries diesel fuel for the sprayer.

There are two inductors for the herbicide tanks. “We like to keep products separate,” Williams says. “If we accidentally add too much of one chemical, we can leave the excess in the inductor.”

Each shuttle has its own 12-volt pump, activated by a waterproof toggle switch. An extension cord from the cab powers the pumps.

“With the shuttles plumbed directly into the inductor tank, we never touch the hoses and rarely have to uncouple [when we might come in contact with the chemical],” Williams says.

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FEATURED IN: Farm Journal - December 2010
RELATED TOPICS: Machinery, Water, Fertilizer

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