Looking at getting a sprayer to save money on chemicals. Pull or self propelled? Easiest to run?
Trying to find areas to save some money. Looking at spraying our own crops. Farm roughly 1300 acres. Considering a pull type or an older rogator to get started with. Any suggestions on what to look for and what to stay away from?
How far are you going to be from your fields? Have you thought of what you want as a tender truck or other loading station setup? What’s your average field size and what rate would you normally be spraying at? 10gpa, 15, 20? Have you looked into licensing requirements to make sure you can buy chemical in your state?
I’d stay away from 1254 Rogators. 854 were solid machines but it’s an 800gal tank. That might be enough for you. 4710s weren’t bad either. Cases became nice in the 3310? Maybe it was 3320, but that might be above your budget. An older Nitro like a 275 would give you some crop clearance for late season spraying if you want to do that.
Pull type they don’t seem to be a lot of variance in setup. We started with a Redball 680 but I’m sure Bestway, Schaben, Wiley are all fine.
Ply tanks (pull or self) might require a little longer cleaning phase va stainless steel. A pull type will allow you to have one less motor and drive train to keep in service but there will be times you’ll be hooked to planter or tillage piece and need to also be running the sprayer. Depending on your tractor, 8mph might be all the more you want to do with a pull type sprayer vs 8-14mph with a self propelled.
I’d personally look for a self propelled but not knowing your budget for the whole setup (sprayer, tender/mix station, autosteer) it might be more affordable going with a pull type. Heck I’d sell you a JD 4930 but I think you’d be fine with an 854 Rogator or 4710/20 size sprayer.
I would say all of our farms are in a 8 mile radius. Fields range from a 15 to 140 acres. Was looking at getting a poly 1000 gallon nurse tank. Probably be spraying a 15 or 20 gallon rate. I have to get license to spray yet but just have to study books and take like 4 test or so. I hav found some rogator 1074s from 30-45 k. Thought about trying something for a few years then if all goes well maybe looking into something I can spray fungicide on later. I was told to look booms over good and wheel motors. There seems to be a lot of Deere sprayers around us.
Dealer support is a good thing to have too. That 1074 is a nice size sprayer for what you’re wanting. Get a bulk water tank so you have at least 3 loads worth of water on hand.
Go self propelled you won't regret it. I started with a trailer type, but I have had a self propelled for 20 years now. Started with 664 Rogator, decent machine, 60ft boom, 600gal tank, pretty rugged machine. Currently running a CIH 3310 ( I paid $40k for this machine 6 years ago, 4k hours) it is a big improvement over the old 664 Rogator. It has 90 ft boom and 1000 gal tank. The CIH machines are much quieter than the Rogators because the engine is in the back. I feel like the used CIH machines tend to be a little cheaper than the Rogators. Be careful of the 1074s and 1274s they can have wheel motor problems, that is why they are cheaper than some of the other Rogators. I would recommend a good low hour 854 Rogator or CIH 3310 or 3320. John Deere sprayers are very nice, but repairs can be very expensive especially the final drives. What ever brand you decide on I believe a sprayer has the highest and most consistent ROI on my farm. The ability to spray what I want when I want and to shop around on chemicals (use generics) are the biggest benefits of owning your own sprayer. I save $30-$40k/ year over local retailers/custom sprayers. I farm 2200 acres and cover about 5000 acres total/year with my sprayer ( approx. 100 hours/ year on the machine). So a good machine we last you many years.