Spraying is probably the last thing on grower’s minds at the moment, but the vineyard sprayer is arguably the most important piece of equipment on your property.
With harvest over and a few weeks before pruning starts, a wet day may be a good opportunity to back your vineyard sprayer into the workshop and give it a good overhaul and thorough clean, and check the frame for hairline fractures to be sure it is ready for operation come spring.
Where applicable, check:
- All hoses, water and hydraulic, for any rubs or splits
- PTO shafts and universal joints
- Nozzles and nozzle manifolds
- Gearbox oil, and change if necessary,
- Hydraulic motors for oil leaks around seals,
- Air ducts for splits where air can escape and reduce the amount directed to the canopy.
If you have a two or three row sprayer check:
- Riggers for loose bolts and structural integrity
- All mounts and bolts are tight and in good order
Wheel bearings, axles, tyres and suspension components should not be forgotten either.
Depending on how many hours your sprayer has done you may want to take your pump into a dealer and have it overhauled to make sure it is running as efficiently as it was when it was new.
Doing this now will give you time if you need to order any parts and peace of mind that you will be ready to go when next season starts.