How to use pull behind lawn sprayer

How to use pull behind lawn sprayer

A pull behind sprayer is the perfect method for spraying liquid fertilizers, weed killers, liquid insecticides, or simply water on large areas and makes large spraying jobs a breeze.
Many tow behind lawn sprayers, of course, can be conveniently installed on any lawn tractor, ATV, UTV, or other vehicle.

In this post, we’ll go over how to use your pull behind lawn sprayer effectively and safely – if not used correctly, pull behind attachments can be inefficient (and even dangerous).

How to use pull behind lawn sprayer

Let’s face it: Using a pull behind sprayer to spray insecticides, pesticides, and various water-soluble fertilizers around the yard can be extremely boring (to say the least) if you’re doing it for the first time.

Furthermore, proper operation guarantees long and satisfactory service.

Here’s how to spray your yard or garden for grub protection, crabgrass avoidance, annual weed management, and more with a pull behind lawn sprayer.

Step-by-step directions on how to use a pull behind lawn sprayer

preliminary considerations

Before you begin to assemble or operate it, make sure you read the owner’s manual thoroughly to understand the basic operating and safety requirements for your particular device.

If you haven’t done so already, follow the directions in the manual to put it together.

Precautions to take in general

• Chemical handling- If you’re spraying chemicals, pay attention to the directions and any notices about proper mixing and handling.

• Speed- When working in rugged terrain, on a hillside, or near ditches, always run the equipment at a lower speed to avoid losing power.

• Safe operation on steep slopes- Adding a tow behind sprayer will affect the braking and stability of your tractor (or other vehicle). As a result, steep slopes should be avoided because the attachment and/or towing vehicle can overturn.

Quick-Tip: Consider adding additional weights to the towing vehicle to maintain good stability while using pull style spraying machines (consult the towing vehicle manufacturer’s recommendations).

• Know your vehicle- Understand the controls on your towing vehicle and how to stop safely. For more information, check the owner’s manual for your towing vehicle.

Putting it to the test

We recommend that you test your sprayer with plain water before starting the job. Fill the tank with water and check for leaks (If a leak occurs, use thread tape to seal the fittings better).

This move has another advantage: it not only familiarizes you with the machine before you use it, but it also prevents costly chemicals from being wasted on the job.

How to calibrate a pull behind sprayer

One of the most critical aspects of spraying is proper calibration. Sprayers that are properly calibrated will save you both time and money.

Calibration of your pull behind, like all other spraying equipment, is critical. Calibration ensures that only the right amount of material is applied, ensuring optimum precision no matter the task.

Before you begin spraying, follow the steps below to calibrate your sprayer to ensure consistent product application speeds, ideal pressure, uniform spraying, and more.

How does a pull behind spreader work

adjusting the pace

By calculating a distance of 50 or 100 feet, you should be able to calibrate the speed of your towing vehicle by selecting a gear and throttle position that covers the distance in the time allotted, as shown below:

Time to fly (in minutes) Speed (in miles per hour) (seconds)

Chart 1

Speed (mph)Time  required to  travel (seconds)
 50 feet100 feet

Choosing the right volume of water and the right pace

Chemical labels now usually list application rates in gallons per acre or gallons per square foot.

As a result, you can use the method below to decide the optimal amount of water to use and the necessary speed.

First, determine the amount of water you’ll need based on the size of your yard:

What is the formula? Application Rate (check chemical label) x Size of target area = Volume of water to use

Example (assuming a yard size of 4 acres):

56.5 gallons per acre x 4 acres = 225.6 gallons per hour at 2 mph

37.5 gallons per acre multiplied by 4 acres equals 149.6 gallons at 3 mph

4 acres x 28.0 gal/acre = 112.0 gallons @ 4 mph

@ 5mph, 22.5 gal/acre x 4 acres = 90.00 gallons

Note: The example uses the application rates in Table 1 as a starting point.

Next, decide on the water flow rate and volume.

As an example:

3 mph is a good pace for a lawn tractor.

So, option = 149.6 at 3 mph (roughly 150 gal at 3 mph)

Then find out how many tanks you’ll need to finish the entire spraying job….

Here’s how to do it:

Tank Capacity/Amount of Water = Number of Tanks (from the above step).

In other words, if your sprayer has a tank capacity of 25 gallons, Volume of Water/Tank Capacity= 150 gallons/25= 6 tanks.

Now you need to figure out how much chemical you’ll need.

Here’s how to use the formula: The amount of herbicide required is equal to the rate (per the manufacturer’s label) multiplied by the size of the area to be sprayed.

We’ll make the assumption that the label says 20 ounces per acre (check yours).

As a result, we’ll need 20 oz. X 4 acres=80 oz. in our case.

Finally, calculate the volume of chemical that will be applied to each tank.

Simply multiply the Chemical Requirement by the number of tanks calculated previously.

As a result, we’ll get 13.3 oz. per tank (80 oz./6.0 tanks).

This collection of formulas is the most straightforward we’ve found for boom spraying.

The operation was successful.

Now mix the chemical and water in the correct proportions (to the tank).

After that, drive to the desired starting point and place the boom to spray.

Then, return the throttle to the location you selected previously.

Switch the motor/pump switch to “ON.” It has now started to spray.


For the best performance, you can need to do the following:

Adjusting the pump pressure switch

In some models, the pump has a pressure switch that measures the pump’s outlet pressure and switches off the unit’s pump when the pressure exceeds a preset high pressure point.

With low flow demand, the pump can reach the predetermined high pressure point, triggering the “cycling” turn (pump cycles off and on rapidly).

This should not be a cause for concern unless the pump is constantly cycling (rapid cycling within 1 second intervals for lengthy periods of time).

In some versions, however, you can need to change the pressure switch’s OFF setting value for optimal output.

To increase or decrease the OFF setting, simply turn the set-screw clockwise or counterclockwise (no more than one half turn in either direction).

It’s worth noting that, for the most part, the OFF and ON pressure settings are set correctly at the factory, so no changes are needed.

Adjusting the Operational Burden

To control the operating pressure, tow behind sprayers are normally fitted with a variety of valve types.

Some, for example, have a bypass valve that you can change as it’s running to get the pressure you want depending on the spray product you’re using.

This valve controls the operating pressure by directing surplus pump flow back to the tank after it has been balanced (by slightly closing or opening it).

If you’re uncertain, check your owner’s manual for instructions on how to set the proper pressure.

Best Pull Behind Plows for Lawn Mowers and ATV/UTV

final thoughts

Since they come with a huge sprayer tank and, of course, you’ll be pushing it around, towable sprayers will cover larger garden areas in less time (unlike walk behind sprayers and backpack sprayers).

More significantly, since the implement is towed behind your back, you are shielded from coming into contact with toxic chemicals.

Since you now know how to use a pull behind lawn sprayer correctly and efficiently, your next job should be a piece of cake and appear more professional.

Have fun spraying!


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