The Accidental Smallholder Forum

Smallholding => Equipment => Topic started by: arobwk on May 04, 2019, 12:18:37 am

Title: Back-pack sprayers
Post by: arobwk on May 04, 2019, 12:18:37 am
I've been searching ont' web and reading loads of user reviews.  Leakiness and uncomfortable straps seem to be the main gripes about so many of the cheaper offerings.  Unfortunately, there are fewer reviews available for sprayers which might be considered to be semi-professional (and upwards). 

Any TAS users of back-pack sprayers and any recommends please for a reliable, well built and leak-free sprayer @ less than £100 (preferably a good deal less) ? 



Title: Re: Back-pack sprayers
Post by: pgkevet on May 04, 2019, 06:30:10 am
I can't remember the brand I own - it's somewhere in the barn, covered in dust and unused some years. I happily bought a nice big one...was fine the first time or two but then the sheer weight of the darned thing just put me off wanting to use it again.
Leakage wasn't an issue but a junction failure was.. being covered in toxic nasty is a one-time thing you never want to repeat.
Simple answer - don't touch one with a barge-pole unless you really have no other way of accessing the site you want to spray. Its better to make several trips with a small pressure bottle jobbie (or own several) or bite the bullet and go quad-bike sprayer.
Title: Re: Back-pack sprayers
Post by: macgro7 on May 04, 2019, 11:08:23 am
I used to use a big 20 litre thing at work but never filled more than 10kg - it's just too heavy. Horrible cancer causing chemicals. At home i don't use it at all.
Title: Re: Back-pack sprayers
Post by: Penninehillbilly on May 04, 2019, 11:23:10 am
Just be aware legally you need a training and certificate for using a backpack sprayer, rather expensive to get, if poss stick with a smaller pump sprayer.
Title: Re: Back-pack sprayers
Post by: RCTman on May 04, 2019, 05:37:27 pm
I use a Sherpa rechargeable 16 litre , saves a lot on the elbows .
Title: Re: Back-pack sprayers
Post by: arobwk on May 05, 2019, 08:41:17 pm
 Thanks all for all comments so far.  In reply:

I’m only planning to use for organic low-tox mixes:  main use will be for foliar feeds (“urea”/seaweed), but also for “pesticide” concoctions that are not registered “professional” products, e.g. K-based soap and veg oil (white oil) with or without neem and with or without sodium or potassium bicarb’.  BUT I still don’t want it leaking all over me after a few runs.
 
I already have an 8 ltr top-primed pressurised cylinder sprayer:  it sprays OK, but it’s a pain carting it around and stopping to re-pressurise.  Sprayers on wheels are not going to work for me.  I don’t think battery powered sprayers will work for me either (I checked out the Sherpa – thanks RCTman – but 30 mins battery power not going to be quite enough - I’m also fed up with having to think about re-charging batteries over non-use periods).
 
Really not sure which way I’m going to go.  I have come across this one though – a Kuhn Manopul D15:  it doesn’t match any other sprayer design I’ve seen and so I’m thinking it is not a simple Kuhn branding of a generic “chinese” design. I seem to think Kuhn has a reputation for good agri’ equip’ to protect so I'm thinking that even their lowly back-pack sprayer might be worth a punt.  Not sure, but might take a chance if can find at a reasonable price.
Title: Re: Back-pack sprayers
Post by: Rosemary on May 06, 2019, 04:20:33 pm
We have a Solo 425 that's pretty good.
Title: Re: Back-pack sprayers
Post by: arobwk on May 06, 2019, 05:37:33 pm
Thanks much for the input Rosemary - I'll go check out.

I've also just discovered that Stihl offer a manual-pump back-pack sprayer and I am dumb-founded at finding a Stihl product that is, for once, competively priced (assuming it does offer pro-level reliability)!!

So another couple of sprayers to look at. 

[Edit:  price for Stihl 12 ltr sprayer might be competitive, but I was just looking at accessories - as usual, silly prices, e.g. a telescopic spray lance would cost almost as much as the base sprayer unit.  So once again, Stihl = steal.]

 
Title: Re: Back-pack sprayers
Post by: Justin on May 07, 2019, 06:43:59 am
I have a solo sprayer that I inherited when we bought our place. It's not used very often but handy when you do need it. The nice thing about the solo is that the parts are all available from our local Mole Valley place so you can replace seals and service It yourself if it starts leaking etc.
Title: Re: Back-pack sprayers
Post by: arobwk on May 08, 2019, 02:16:08 pm
Solo sprayer spares are, indeed, readily available from numerous sources so Solo it is then. 
Several reviews suggest the 425 model can be leaky and it's also above my budget.  However, there is a Nova 424 which I've found @ £85:  it's a piston type which will be OK for my intended usage. 
It wasn't listed on Solo's UK web site (!), but distributor has confirmed to me it's a new model (presumably very new and hopefully better designed wrt to non-leakiness) and that spares will also be readily available.  Two useful Nova 424 maintenance videos on Solo's Australian web site:  looks simple enough and virtually tool-free so no excuse for avoiding maintenance which will hopefully keep it leak-free.  Couldn't find any reviews so it's a bit of a punt, but I'm going for it. 

The response I received came from Handy Ltd - would seem they are Solo's UK distrubutors and they supply Solo spares direct if necessary.  They sent me this email link spares@handydistribution.co.uk.

[P.S. A couple of user reviews of the Stihl sprayer mentioned that their pump lever broke !]
Title: Re: Back-pack sprayers
Post by: arobwk on May 10, 2019, 05:52:24 pm
Sprayer arrived today:  during set up, one of the clamps on the shoulder straps broke while tightening up the straps!!  Looking at them afterwards, they are IMO "cheap and nasty" items.  However, they are sewn into the upper padded straps so not possible to replace with something more robust. 

This is really disappointing - pathetic/breakable shoulder-strap clamps obviously defeat the object of a back-pack sprayer!  Not happy about Solo's penny-pinching here.  Have sent off request for urgent replacement of straps to supplier and have offered customer feedback for Solo consideration on improvements. 

[Not having used sprayer "in anger" yet, I can't offer any in-the-field review-type comments.  However, I can report that the pump lever is solid metal and I can't imagine anyone managing to break it ever!] 
Title: Re: Back-pack sprayers
Post by: arobwk on May 17, 2019, 07:01:31 pm
Update on the Solo 424, for what it's worth to anyone:   

Replacement straps arrived today:  not instantaneous, but decent service (given that fault report has probably gone thro' 3 support departments). 
Despite defective strap clamp, I have used in anger and I'm quite content.  Pretty much need to pump constantly to keep pressure up, but I haven't actually found that to be onerous.  No leaks so far. 
I'm up to filling sprayer to 10 ltrs without strain/stress: reckon I can push that to a few more ltrs (even to max), but sprayer has to be lifted onto something at height in order to be able to mount/strap it onto your back without fuss/issue.  I was expected that and the 424's molded handle helps loft it up to whatever ledge/platform one can find at about waist level.
So far so good (in operation).
Title: Re: Back-pack sprayers
Post by: bj_cardiff on May 17, 2019, 07:21:38 pm
I just have a cheap one and its done me well, think it was around £20 from Amazon, I've just searched and you can get them on ebay for under £20. You'll only use it a few times a year in any case. Echo the others, any more water than 10litres is a lot and the straps will cut into you.


Title: Re: Back-pack sprayers
Post by: arobwk on May 17, 2019, 08:26:25 pm
I just have a cheap one and its done me well, think it was around £20 from Amazon, I've just searched and you can get them on ebay for under £20. You'll only use it a few times a year in any case. Echo the others, any more water than 10litres is a lot and the straps will cut into you.

I suspect bj_c that a £20 jobbie like yours will do most low-use folk well and, quite possibly, would have done me well too.  I might have just spent £60 odd more than I needed to, but I will be using it at least monthly and variously over a couple of acres of plantings (more in future) so I went for something that, hopefully, will be more likely to "last the distance" and that I can reliably obtain spares for for some time to come.  We'll see!! 

What make/model do you have? 
Title: Re: Back-pack sprayers
Post by: cloddopper on May 28, 2019, 10:14:51 am
Berthoud Vermorel 2000 Knapsack Sprayer 16L
RRP £164.40
£132.95

Well worth the money .. mine was 8 yrs old when I sold it to a pal for £50
Title: Re: Back-pack sprayers
Post by: Maysie on May 28, 2019, 11:22:43 am
Berthoud Vermorel 2000 Knapsack Sprayer 16L
RRP £164.40
£132.95

Well worth the money .. mine was 8 yrs old when I sold it to a pal for £50
^^^ Mine arrives today.  Probably a bit OTT for what I need really, but I have never yet regretted spending a few more £'s on a tool than I needed to, but have often regretted not spending enough!
Title: Re: Back-pack sprayers
Post by: arobwk on May 31, 2019, 03:02:31 pm
@Maysie - they do look the business!  The BV 2000 harness "way better" than my comparatively cheap Solo 424's straps!
While cloddopper was obviously happy with his old one, a user report on the current BV offering would undoubtedly be of interest to some idc.