Farmer-built rig features big tanks, handy hose roll-up
With lots of acres to farm and good help hard to find, a well-organized nurse trailer is worth its weight in gold.
The 48'-long, 102"-wide trailer outfitted by Joel Armistead of Adairville, Ky., keeps sprayers and nitrogen fertilizer applicators rolling for him, father Raymond and son Zach. The trailer won in the chemical handling category of Farm Journal’s "I Built the Best" contest.
Key features include two large tanks, two chemical shuttles, a 100-gal. inductor and a hose reel that saves time and labor while reducing clutter.
Each of the two tanks, made by Den Hartog Industries, holds 3,250 gal. of water or liquid fertilizer. "I don’t fill them full because, with UAN [urea-ammonium nitrate] solution, I’d be overweight," Armistead says.
He chose black tanks because they get less algae growth on the inside. "These also are some of the thickest-walled tanks available," he says.
The tanks are baffled on the inside and are strapped to the trailer with metal hoops. The tanks came with a horizontal metal bar across the side to allow for product expansion.
Fast fills. The tanks fill from the top, via a ground-level connection. "Filling from the top is faster because you’re not pushing against volume," Armistead says. The plumbing system lets him draw water or fertilizer from either tank or both tanks at once, or transfer materials from one tank to the other.
A Tru-Kleen inductor features a 100-gal., cone-shaped tank. "A large mixing cone is a time-saver," he says.
A three-outlet port on the inductor supplies water to a nozzle for rinsing jugs. The port can also be used to add water to the inductor when mixing dry products or to supply a hose for cleanup.
The Banjo induction system includes a bypass line used for filling the sprayer with water. To add products through the inductor, Armistead closes the bypass, and the mate-rial is suctioned into the line.
The induction system operates from the pressure side of the pump. "That way, chemicals are never drawn through the pump," he says.
That’s important when using granular products because as the granular material leaves the
inductor it is highly concentrated and abrasive to the pump. "With our previous system that caused us to avoid using granular materials," he says.
A Super Reel hose reel saves time and labor. It is manually operated; adding an electric motor would make hose management a push-button process.
A valve in front of the hose reel lets Armistead slow or shut off the water if the sprayer tank fills faster than he can add chemicals through the inductor.
The inductor and hose reel were made by F/S Manufacturing. All the plumbing and valves are from Banjo Corporation. Ohio Valley Ag of Russellville, Ky., helped Armistead assemble the components on the trailer.
Centering the tanks in the middle of the trailer reduced the load on the landing gear jacks. It also left space at the rear for two chemical shuttles and for storage in front. Pumps for the shuttles are powered by a wire from the truck battery. Both storage areas are enclosed by removable metal railings.
Using linkage that came on the trailer, Armistead slid the tandem wheels forward for better weight distribution and a shorter turning radius.