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Self-Propelled Sprayer Built From Old Pickup
"It's not fancy, but it works. It barely even leaves a track on wet ground," says Gehrig Minick, Saluda, S.C., about the self-propelled "high flotation" sprayer he built out of an old Dodge pickup.
Minick started with a 1966 Dodge 4-WD pickup that he already had. He stripped it down to the frame, 318 cu. in. V-8 gas engine, 4-speed transmission, and steering wheel. He made a steel dash and hood to protect the engine and used a piece of heavy screen to make a grille. The seat is off an old Deere combine. He equipped it with 18.4 by 16 flotation tires by welding the centers from the pickup wheels into the flotation tire wheel rims, splitting the wheel rims in half and welding spacers into them in order to widen them out.
He used 3-in. channel iron to build a frame that supports a 300-gal. spray tank be-hind the seat. The 30-ft. boom is made from angle iron. To change boom height he simply adjusts the position of bolts in the boom carrier frame. A stand welded onto the back of the frame makes the job easy.
"It really works well on wet ground and lets me spray almost any time, any place," says Minick. "I use it mainly to spray fertilizer and herbicides on wheat in the spring when the ground is often very wet. A conventional tractor-pulled sprayer would leave ruts and could even get stuck whereas my sprayer floats on top of wet ground without leaving any tracks. I saved a lot of weight by stripping the pickup down as much as possible.
"I spent less than $2,000 to build it. The sprayer's positive displacement pump was the biggest expense. The pump is chain-driven off the pickup driveshaft so it always applies the same amount of chemical no matter how fast I'm going. I cut the driveshaft and had a machine shop weld a sprocket onto the front yoke to power the sprayer pump. It still has the pickup's original high and low range shift levers. Because of the flotation tires I generally go in low range in order to keep from going too fast. The pickup's springs give it a smooth ride and allow the booms to float over rough ground.
"I put the pump in or out of gear by using a lever connected to a clutch that I removed from the pump and mounted next to the seat."
Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Gehrig Minick, Rt. 4, Box 148, Saluda, S.C. 29138 (ph 864 445-3556).

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1997 - Volume #21, Issue #6