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Get More Days to Spray with a Set of Sprayer Floaters

keltgen wheel
June 1, 2022
min read

Driving up and down a field in a modern 1,200-plus-gallon sprayer in wet weather can be a real challenge. With a massive load of liquid suspended several feet off the ground—plus a small footprint thanks to narrow wheels—the average sprayer is a beast to handle. Not to mention a pain in the neck when it gets stuck. Or when it guzzles fuel because the skinny wheels sink deep into the soil and it has to expend energy just to plow through the ground. If you have a customer who's experiencing these issues with his sprayer, you may want to suggest investing in a set of sprayer floaters.

Sprayer Floaters Deliver More Hours to Spray with a Larger Footprint 

For pre-emergence sprayer passes in iffy spring weather, flotation is the top wheel and tire priority. Sure, it’s extra work to dismount a set of floaters and bolt on the row-crop skinnies for in-season spraying. But when spring fields turn soupy, the extra flotation from a larger machine footprint can mean the difference between finishing chemical applications or having to wait. And no one likes to wait when the to-do list is a mile long.

How much can a set of floaters improve a sprayer’s footprint? Here’s an example using the Firestone Radial 9000 tire:

  • 380/90R46 (159B) = 244 in2 per tire
  • 650/65R38 (166D) = 390 in2 per tire

Using this common sprayer floater tire size, you see that  a set of floaters adds 146 in2 per tire: a 60% increase in footprint.

Sprayer Floaters Help Prevent Soil Compaction and Yield Loss 

Any large machine on a farm can cause soil compaction by transferring too much weight to soil over too small an area. Eventually, compaction will decrease crop yields and bring a host of other problems, which include drainage issues, soil runoff, and decreased nutrient uptake. 

Read More: Learn how compaction affects plant growth and yields.

Any time you can take the pressure off the soil, you’ll help prevent compaction and its negative effects on a farm. And if you didn’t take time to read the article we’ve linked above, here’s another reason to avoid soil compaction: Tillage doesn’t necessarily fix the compaction that heavy wheel traffic creates. Compaction’s ugly effects, including yield loss, will rear their ugly heads over and over . . . possibly for a decade or longer.

Sprayer Floaters Save Fuel and Improve Machine Handling 

This one isn’t complicated: The more a machine sinks into the ground, the more fuel it's going to burn. Compare pushing a loaded wheelbarrow through a sandbox with pushing it across concrete and you’ll get the picture. It takes a lot more effort to move a sprayer forward when its tires are buried in the dirt. For the health of a farm's bank account and the sprayer’s drivetrain, it’s best to float over the ground instead of plow through it whenever possible. 

In addition, a set of sprayer floaters fixes the most common gripe about today’s heavy sprayers: poor handling. Flotation tires will improve a sprayer’s boat-like steering and make it easier for the operator to drive straight for precision application in the field. 

Sprayer Floaters Benefit Pull-Type Sprayers Too 

Floaters aren’t just for self-propelled sprayers. Adding floaters to a pull-type sprayer for early season passes will help protect the soil too. And the better a pull-behind sprayer floats, the less fuel the tractor will burn lugging it through the dirt.

Call Keltgen to Get Your Sprayer Floater Project Rolling

If you need wheels for a set of custom sprayer floaters, it pays to call Keltgen Wheel. We have years of experience designing and fabricating custom sprayer wheels; we know what will work for your sprayer project and what will cause steering problems or other issues. And we make a tougher wheel using our spun disc process, with work-hardened steel that isn’t mushroomed or stretched, but ready to go to work and continue working for your customers' farms for years to come. Because Keltgen wheels are Forged to Go Further.