No-Climb Nurse Trailers

December 12, 2008 06:00 PM
A well-equipped nurse trailer is the key to keeping sprayers on the go. It's even handier if you can refill sprayers without climbing on and off the rig.
A nurse trailer built by Brian Bish (photo) and his son Heath carries 2,000 gal. of water and other supplies, with another 2,000-gal. tank mounted on the semi tractor.

A nurse trailer built by Ron Henggeler and his son Keith of Schuyler, Neb., is on its third incarnation. Originally a freight van, it was converted by the Henggelers into a floor trailer for hauling hogs. When they quit raising hogs, they turned it into a nurse trailer.

The trailer holds two 1,000-gal. water tanks, one 750-gal. water tank and a minibulk tank, or shuttle, of herbicide. The remaining room can be used for two pallets of seed or bagged insecticide.

To make the controls accessible from ground level, the Henggelers mounted the pump and water meter under the truck bed on a platform made from deck plate. A herbicide inductor swings outward for use.

The shuttle hose runs through a hole in the side of the trailer. It stores on metal hooks, which also carry the tractor supply hose. The shuttle pump is wired to a switch on the side of the trailer and gets power from the truck's batteries. The batteries also power a 12-volt pump for rinsing the inductor. 

Plumbing the inductor into the water supply line below the level of the trailer deck protects the clean water from chemical contamination. A valve empties the inductor, metering the chemicals gradually into the system. 

A ground-accessible inductor swings outward for easy use on the nurse trailer built by Keith Henggeler (photo) and his father, Ron.
On the opposite side of the platform is a toolbox containing planter, sprayer and drill parts and other farm supplies. The Henggelers spent about $4,000 on the tanks and plumbing, including the cost of the trailer.

Easy to maneuver. Brian Bish and his son Heath, of Giltner, Neb., started with a used 26' single-axle trailer that was designed for hauling seagoing containers—"basically I-beams and an axle,” Brian says.

They lengthened the frame to 30', "a size that's easy to get in and out of fields,” Brian says. A bed made of deck plate carries a 2,000-gal. water tank, boxed or bagged products and a herbicide shuttle, with pump and meter accessible from ground level.

On the bottom side of the bed, the Bishes mounted a plug from a welder, which they connect to the truck battery to get 12-volt power for the herbicide pump. Beneath the bed, they built a saddle to carry a tank from an old planter, which they use as an inductor for herbicides. A valve lets water gravity-feed from the tank to the inductor.

In front of the inductor, the Bishes built a platform to carry a 2,000-gal. water tank and two pumps. One pump is for the water tank on the trailer. The other pump is for a 2,000-gal. tank mounted on the semi tractor that tows the rig. That tank can be used for water or liquid fertilizer. With 4,000-gal. capacity, the Bishes can run for a long time without refilling the tanks—and without ever climbing onto the trailer.

You can e-mail Darrell Smith at

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