You and your sprayer have worked hard this season, and it is time for you both to have a well-deserved break. Proper winterization and storage of machinery is beneficial when it comes to the longevity of a machine’s lifetime. As the 2021 fall application season comes to an end, Heartland AG Systems wants to ensure that your machines are ready for winter storage. We are your specialized experts in application and have provided you with our top five steps in helping increase the lifetime and years of use for your units.
1. Flushing all chemicals and water from the machine
Thoroughly rinse all systems of your sprayer before storage, including the tank. “Carefully rinsing your unit will decrease your chances of cross contaminating chemicals in the future,” says Mike Plamann, Service Manager at Heartland AG Systems. “Triple checking that all nozzles are cleaned can also decrease the chances of a clogged nozzle come springtime.” Clogged nozzles can lead to changes in your flow rates as well as spray patters.
2. Running antifreeze throughout all systems
RV antifreeze is a relatively cheaper alternative than cracked or broken fittings, which can result in untreated systems. “We recommend that RV antifreeze is ran through all systems, specifically through the pumps and plumbing systems,” says Ryan Palmer, Hutchinson Location Manager at Heartland AG Systems. “Be sure that all water and condensation are eliminated from all systems before completing this task.” Having antifreeze ran through the systems before winter storage leaves a sense of ease to our service technicians when the spring application season arrives.
3. Remove nozzle tips and strainers
A crucial step when winterizing your machine is to remove all nozzle tips and strainers. Once all items are removed from the unit, rinse, dry, and store them in a safe area to avoid any corrosion during its downtime. Again, storing the nozzle tips in a safe and dry area will increase their lifetime and decrease the chances of them becoming clogged causing issues down the road. “An additional step we recommend is running windshield washer fluid through foam markers to prevent freezing and cracking,” says Plamann.
4. Clean the exterior from top to bottom
The outside of your machine should be cleaned as thoroughly as all other systems. Ensuring that all cracks, leaks, corrosion areas, etc. are taken care of before storage will help to minimize your downtime come spring application. “It is best to tend to the issues on your machines once they have been spotted to better prepare you for the next season,” says Plamann. “You will also want to make sure that all open areas are covered to prevent birds, insects, or other foreign material from entering the systems.”
Cleaning off the exterior of the machines from all chemicals and debris will help to prevent the formation of rust and corrosion throughout the body and protect the integrity of the machine’s structure.
5. Clean the cab
Dust, mud, and everyday wear and tear enters the cab daily. After each season and before storage, cleaning the cab can have more benefits than just “looking nice.” Cleaning air filters, windows, and surfaces can create a peace of mind when opening that door back up in the spring. It creates excitement as you climb into that clean cab to start a new application season. “Often overlooked, cleaning the cab before storage can bring awareness to any exposed wires and broken switches that need attention,” says Palmer.
As one of the first machines in the field and the last to be put into storage, we want to keep you running as long as possible with a machine just as strong. Following these five steps in winterizing your machines will help to maintain integrity of its structure and to bring success in your next spraying season.
Don't miss out on our Early Order Parts Program, running now through January 31st, 2021.