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Why Sprayers Tip

This article is a short reminder for sprayer operators to respect the possibility of tipping a sprayer. Every spring I catch wind of someone tipping over. When I can ask the operator questions I start with “Is everyone alright?” and “Was the sprayer full?“. Hopefully the answers are “Yes” and “No”, but not always.
The following factors are always involved:
  • Driving too fast. Usually entering a field at road speed.
  • Entering the field on a downhill slope and/or catching a pothole or soft shoulder.
  • Turning in a tight radius, usually 180 degrees. This is made worse when the sprayer is towed.
  • Sprayer is not completely full and “slosh” changes the centre of gravity.
  • Narrow tires and a narrow base.
I’ve heard as many cases involving seasoned operators as new operators. The next few pictures are of a veteran operator’s sprayer carrying 28%/ATS. Just like the images above, a tight turn at high speed sloshed the load just as a deep pot hole caught the outside front wheel. This sent the sprayer into a lane of traffic before it tipped back and over into the field. No one was hurt.
Fortunately for the operator, the spill was contained in their field (not the road or ditches). The 90′ boom had to be cut off before the sprayer could be towed back to the yard to be sold off as parts. While the operator has looked at the bright side (an opportunity to upgrade) it has left them relying on a custom operator for spring spraying and making a hasty in-season equipment purchase.
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