No-Climb Refills

March 11, 2010 06:00 PM

Bruce Bishop likes to keep his feet firmly on McComb, Ohio, soil—especially while he's filling his sprayer or nitrogen applicator. Hopping on and off trailers is not only tiring, he figures, but wastes time and can even lead to accidents.

That's why Bishop set up his 45' nurse trailer so that every operation can be performed at the ground level. The trailer's design also emphasizes safety and reliability.

The trailer carries two 2,600-gal. tanks and one 1,600-gal. tank, all of which can be used for either water or fertilizer. There's room at the rear for four herbicide shuttles.

All pumps and valves are accessible from ground level. So is the 30-gal. inductor, which is sunk in the rear deck. Shuttle hoses plug directly into the inductor, so there's no chance of them falling out and causing a spill. A nozzle inside the inductor, mounted on a 90° elbow, rinses jugs as they drain into the inductor.

All the tanks are plumbed with 3" lines. An air line from the truck's air-brake system lets Bishop blow the line clear after filling is complete. "That prevents spills when I disconnect and makes the 3" line a lot lighter to handle,” he explains.

For travel, the line stores along the edge of the trailer. It is held securely in place by rotating brackets and a 3" coupler that Bishop welded onto the truck frame.

Besides the 3" pump that fills the sprayer or applicator, there's also a 2" pump that is plumbed to the middle 1,600-gal. tank.

"When I haul nitrogen solution, I sometimes fill the two big tanks with fertilizer and leave water in the middle tank,” Bishop explains. "I use the 2" pump and a firehose to wash nitrogen off the tractor and applicator. The 2" pump also serves as a backup in case the 3" pump fails.”

Shuttle pumps are powered by a deep-cycle battery, which is charged by the trailer's taillights. "Whenever the taillights are on, the battery is charged by the truck's alternator,” Bishop says. "I use a diode to prevent the taillights from draining the battery when the lights are shut off.”

Bishop also welded a steel plate across the base of the jack stand to prevent the legs from sinking into the ground when the trailer is parked in a field. For cleanup, there's a 12-gal. freshwater tank.


You can e-mail Darrell Smith at

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