Setting up your spray truck can seem like a daunting task. Where do you start? What are the best ways to maximize your space?
Whether it’s an expensive new custom rig or the bed of a pickup truck, getting the layout right in a new truck is essential to saving time and money.
To find out the best practices for reel and tank setups, LM spoke to suppliers and companies that recently designed rigs — Grunder Landscaping Co. in Miamisburg, Ohio, and Milosi in Hendersonville, Tenn., — about the design process.
Make things easy
According to John Butler, maintenance division operations manager at Milosi, the most important thing to keep in mind when laying out your rig is the ease of use for the operator. Milosi offers 60 percent residential design/build, 20 percent commercial maintenance and 20 percent residential maintenance services.
“The biggest area of concern for us on this aspect of our rig was how to load water-soluble fertilizer into the tank. The original design had a top-load tank with a narrow access area,”he says.
To combat this, Milosi added a mechanism that allows the material to be added in at the ground level, so the applicator does not have to carry multiple 50-pound bags to the top of the tank.
Similarly, Grunder’s new truck has several tanks on board to limit the number of times it needs to be refilled. The truck, which Chemical Containers designed, also has room for tree and shrub care equipment, which the company plans to offer in the near future.
“We have a 300-gallon (tank) and a 250-gallon (tank), so we can make multiple applications with those, and then we can also carry 2,000 pounds of dry (material),” says Brian Davis, director of lawn care at Grunder, which also provides landscaping, hardscaping, and maintenance services for 60 percent residential and 40 percent commercial clientele.
Don’t overthink it
When designing and laying out a spray rig, the biggest pitfall contractors can run into is overcomplicating things. Experts say it’s important to stay within your means.
“You don’t need a gazillion tanks,” says Zack Smith, marketing manager at Gregson Clark. “Think about what is going to work for your business.”
Butler echoes that sentiment, hammering home the importance of not overstuffing a truck with equipment you don’t need.
“Spray rigs can be very simple. It all depends on what services you offer,” Butler says. “For companies only applying turf treatments, then you only really need one tank. Our program offers turf applications along with tree and shrub. We also treat some diseases and insect issues.”
If you need extra tanks, there are plenty of ways to maximize the available space in a truck, although the price may start to jump in that case. Smith says poly welded tanks — like the ones in the Milosi truck — can help maximize space. Even mounting a tank high is another solution to eliminate the floor space it can take up.
In addition to tanks, reels are a crucial part of any spray rig. Jennifer Wing, marketing manager, Hannay Reels, says making sure your reels are accessible for maintenance is one of the most important things to keep in mind for reel placement.
“It’s always good to think about logistically where you’re going to put it on the trailer or the truck and make sure you know you can check the swivel joints or lubricate them if and when they’re needed,” she says. “Check chains if it’s a power reel.”
To maximize space, Wing recommends reels with small footprints or stackable reels in some cases.