Taking Proper Care of Your Plant Health Care Equipment
As the season winds down and equipment starts to get put away, it’s time to set equipment away until next growing season. Your expensive equipment needs special care and attention to make sure it’s operating in top form come the busy spring. Any residual liquid or formulation left in equipment could freeze over the winter, or result in degraded materials.
So before you just leave your tree care devices in the garage or back of a truck all winter, make sure you follow these important steps first.
What Equipment Needs Maintenance?
Not sure about what needs to be taken care of? Well, probably all of it! Even if you’re in a part of the country with longer growing seasons or where plant health care equipment gets used all year round, it’s a good idea to pick one time of year to give your equipment some attention and a tune-up. Preventative maintenance can go a long way to ensuring greater reliability and longevity in your equipment.
For workers in regions with a dormant season, think about what equipment you won’t need again until spring. What kind of work tapers off at this time of year?
Consider the same for formulations and solutions. Most need to be stored at a certain temperature or humidity, so make sure they’re kept inside in a temperature-controlled environment, not just a garage or shed where they may be subjected to cold temperatures.
General Best Practices
First, any equipment parts that see a great deal of use should be inspected for either upkeep or replacement. That includes belts, tires and wheels, air filters, blades, joints, switches, lubrication, and oil. Clean these parts as best you can, replace any worn parts, and lubricate any moving parts that need to operate smoothly.
Care for Arborjet Equipment
Any Arborjet equipment that makes use of our formulations will need maintenance before the winter. This includes the tree injection equipment like the FSeries and tools in the QUIK-jet line, as well as the AccuFlo Soil Injector ISD. For these devices, follow the disassembly instructions, which can be referenced on this page. It’s a good idea to give yourself a flat, open workspace where you can keep track of all the parts and tools needed. In general, it’s a good practice to run CLEAN-jet or plain water through the injectable devices 3 times to ensure it’s free of any lingering solution, and make sure it’s fully dried before storing it for the season. For specific advice on how to clean and winterizing your AccuFlo, watch this video.
After cleaning and reassembling your device, you’ll now be more familiar with how it works and how to repair it! Now if there are performance issues throughout the year, you’ll have a better idea about what the issue is and how it can be fixed.
Looking Ahead to Spring
Take this opportunity to stock up on whatever you’ll need to get ready in spring. Lubricant such as Krytox, and backup parts like O-rings are essential for keeping the QUIK-jet AIR in good working condition. Make sure you have enough CLEAN-jet to rinse out your devices. If you’re planning on tree injections, check to see if you have enough Arborplugs to get through the season.
The slower winter season doesn’t need to mean you’re sitting on your thumbs. Take inventory of all the products you use throughout the year, see how much you used last season, and prepare to order ahead for next year. The growing season will be here sooner than you think, and a changing climate can mean things will start growing and emerging sooner than expected, so get prepared now.