«Previous    Next»
Old Bus Makes Great Field Sprayer
When Dan Beer, Syracuse, Indiana, decided to build a self-propelled sprayer, he went looking for a combine he could convert.
  "There just weren't any available - at least not at a reasonable price," he says.
  He talked to a member of his local school board, though, who told him about a virtual gold mine of retired school buses.
  "He encouraged me to try to use one of those old buses," Beer recalls. "So I bought one that seemed to be in good condition for $900."
  He sold the original duals for $300 and fitted the bus with longer 38-in. tractor tires. He had to make centers for the wheel to fit the bus's 10-bolt hubs. He made them out of a 1/2-in. steel plate.
  Beer cut the bus body off behind the first row of passenger seats, leaving one window behind the driver's seat. Then he cut off the rearmost section of the body and welded it on the back of the front section he saved.
  "I was using a little sprayer with a John Blue ground-driven pump. We put that up on the frame of the bus, complete with its 700-gal. fiberglass tank. We located the ground drive wheel for the pump so one of the bus tires would run it," Beer says.
  Even with the sprayer and tank mounted on the back of the bus frame, there was still quite a bit of room left. "We mounted a 300-gal. water tank on the frame and still were able to cut off about 3 ft. of the frame at the back.
  "With these big tires on the back, people often ask how we get along with tire ratio and the transmission. The bus transmission has a ęgranny' low gear, so we get along fine as long as we're going forward. I have to tell you, though, that in reverse it's a little fast and I have to ride the clutch a little in order to control it when I'm backing up," Beer says.
  He uses a 60-ft. boom that hangs on the bus frame between the cab and the spray tank.
  The boom is made of 2-in. sq. steel tubing, with a 1-in.sq. tube behind it, to give him a place to mount the nozzles without having to change the way they mounted. Each boom section mounts to the frame with a hinge that is made so he can position the boom sections at three different heights.
  To hold the boom horizontal when it's unfolded, Beer attached lengths of chain to the boom about 8 ft. from the end of the boom. They run to an upright brace on the bus.
  The boom hinge swivels so when the boom is folded back, the front section of the chain tightens first and pulls the boom up, so it rides above the back tires.
  To spray under the bus, he mounted nozzles on the back bumper.
  While the pump is ground-driven, he has an electric solenoid switch that can shut off the nozzles and still allow him to keep the lines pressurized. That way he can build pressure and maintain it. "If I need to build up a little pressure, I can just speed up," he says.
  A big advantage of using a bus is the ride. "It's sprung for a smooth ride, so I can operate at 20 mph across the field if I want, and the boom stays fairly level," he says.
  Contact: FARM SHOW Followup, Dan Beer, 3468E 1300 N., Syracuse, Ind. 46567 (ph 219 457-4633).

  Click here to download page story appeared in.

  Click here to read entire issue

To read the rest of this story, download this issue below or click here to register with your account number.
Order the Issue Containing This Story
2000 - Volume #24, Issue #4