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Sprayer Depot Blog

How to Attract and Keep Good Employees

Posted by Sprayer Depot on Fri, May 05, 2017

Landscaper's Corner: Insights and Updates for Landscape Professionals

Contributed by Guest Blogger: Martin McGuane, owner and operator of McGuanes Landscaping and Tree Service, Enfield CT

It Starts With The Money

As Rush Limbaugh once said, the way to attract and keep good employees is to pay them well. While pay is important, it's not everything. An underpaid McGuanes_Company_imgage_MartinM2.jpgemployee will never be happy, but good pay alone will not guarantee a happy and motivated employee. So let's take a look at some ways McGuanes Landscaping keeps employees happy and motivated.

Job Security

It starts with job security. Employees need stability and want to know that they have a dependable work environment. In the landscaping industry this can be done by providing work all year long, even during slow times. For example, tree work, winter maintenance, or snow removal jobs can be offered in the slower months. Business owners and managers shoiuld make a point to ensure employees have a productive and rewarding work load. 

Culture of Respect

Create a culture of respect. Value each employee for what they bring to the job. At McGuanes Landscaping, we have a lot of fun and joke around, at the same time we always treat each other with respect.

Training and Development

Some things that create job satisfaction in employees are training and development opportunities, and possibilities for advancement. In the landscaping industry there are countless seminars, certifications and workshops to help employees learn more about the industry. Participating in these can increase  employees' skills, helping them take on more responsibilities ,which may open up opportunities for promotion. At our company, we make it a priority to make these experiences available to employees. We sign-up the employees, pay for the training, and tell them when and where to show up.  We even make scheduling changes to make sure that their route is covered for that day. We keep it easy for employees to pursue development opportunities.

If budgeting does not allow for paid or outside training, there are plenty of free tools available online. For instance, Sprayer Depot offers helpful videos on their YouTube channel like Getting Started With a Standard Spot Sprayer and Repairing a JD9-C Spray Gun O-Ring. These videos teach valuable time-saving repairs and skills that can help landscapers deal with real life equipment issues.

Rewarding Work That Matches Skills & Abilities

Another important factor in developing happy employees is creating work that's rewarding, yet also matches skills and abilities. Not all employees at McGuanes Landscaping are able to be a foreman and run a job site, some simply make great general laborers. The point is, each employee needs to be matched with a job that fits their unique ability.

Give Employees Some Responsibility

At McGuanes Landscaping, we try to give each employee as much responsibility as possible. For example, If the lawn crew is out fertilizing, one person on the truck is responsible for blowing all sidewalks, roads and driveways. This person is also responsible for leaving all paperwork. This person may be an entry level employee, but he or she owns this responsibility.

Another example is how one of our entry level employees recently asked to be put in charge of redesigning our business cards. He worked with our local printer to create several proofs for the manager to approve. This helped free up some time for the owner and helped the employee develop some new skills while learning a new aspect of the business.

Final Thoughts 

Attracting and keeping good employees really does involve more than just paying them well; that's really just the first step. You need to create a company culture where:

 

  1. There is job security
  2. Employees treat each other with respect
  3. There are training & development opportunities
  4. There are opportunities for advancement
  5. Jobs are matched to skills and abilities
  6. As much responsibility as possible is given to each role

About the Author:

Martin McGuane is the owner and operator of McGuanes Landscaping and Tree Service Inc, www.mcguanes.com which has been servicing Central Connecticut and Western Massachusetts since 1987. Martin is a 1981 graduate of the University of Connecticut's School of Agriculture. He is a Connecticut licensed arborist and has a Custom Ground Supervisor license in both Connecticut and Massachusetts. He also holds a CT Irrigation License.

 

Visit Sprayer Depot's YouTube Channel

 

Topics: JD9-C Spray Gun, Instructional Video, Apps on the Sprayer Depot blog, Youtube, Landscaper's Corner, o ring, landscaping

5 Best Spray Industry Apps

Posted by Sprayer Depot on Wed, Aug 12, 2015

There is no doubt that technology has grown and transformed the way we do business.  The 5_Best_Industry_appsInternet has become an invaluable source of information where anything you need can be quickly found. However, keeping up with the latest technologies while trying to make the most out of all this extra information can be quite overwhelming.  Having so many options tends to put us in data overload and making one single decision can become an ordeal. We want to help you simplify your business and one great way to do it is by using apps.

To make it even simpler, we have picked five of the best industry apps out there that will help you quickly get the info you need and get back to the field in no time!

SprayIT

Developer: Hypro

Compatibility: Apple and Android devices

Price: Free

This is one of our favorite apps designed to make spray tip selection a breeze! It is very user-friendly, so all you need to do is enter the appropriate information such as spacing, type of application, solution density etc., and the app will provide a customized list of tip recommendations suited for your project.

Mix Tank

Developer: Precision Laboratories

Compatibility: Apple and Android devices

Price: Free

Winner of AgProfessional magazine’s Readers Choice, this is one popular app that will assist you with the proper tank mixing sequence of crop protection products. It also captures product use rates and application information and maintains it with spray logs for convenient and easy record keeping.

Vector Spray

Developer: U.S Department of Agriculture

Compatibility: Apple and Android devices

Price: Free

This is a neat app for pest control, specifically when it comes to spraying for mosquitoes. It calculates the size of spray droplets generated from various spray nozzles at different pressures while using several spray solutions. Pesticide applicators can plug in application parameters for their pesticide applications and see what droplet size range will be produced in vector control applications.

Calibrate My Sprayer

Developer: Clemson University

Compatibility: Apple and Android devices

Price: Free

We’ve said it many times, calibrating your sprayer is crucial for performance. This app makes calibration extremely easy! Simply select the type of sprayer you want to calibrate (Broadcast or Banded), insert values in each input box, select what you want the app to calculate (Volume/Area or Catch/Nozzle), and tap 'Calculate'.

SpraySelect

Developer: Teejet

Compatibility: Apple and Android Devices

Price: Free

Another great app to help you select the right spray tip or nozzle for your application. Just enter speed, spacing and your target rate, select your drop size category and you have a list of tips that will work for your application. The right nozzle is just a few seconds away!

Do you have a favorite app that makes your job easier? Share it with us below!

Topics: Apps on the Sprayer Depot blog, Spray apps, apps for spraying agriculture, pest control app, Sprayer Calibration, industry apps, calibrating app

Guest Post: Hypro Boom Components

Posted by Sprayer Depot on Fri, May 08, 2015

Contributed by Guest Blogger: 
Mark Techler,  Factory Representative - Hypro & SHURflo Ag and Industrial Pumps and Accessories

Some of the top sprayer manufacturers, plus leading chemical manufacturers like BASF and Syngenta, are partnering with Hypro in developing spray boom components to meet the demands of today’s precision spraying. 

Nozzle Bodies
There is a certain amount of pressure lost when liquid flows through any spray component. This is "pressure drop". Hypro ProFlo nozzle bodies have the lowest pressure drop at any given flow in the industry, for instance 2.6 gpm with 5 psi pressure drop. This adds to system efficiency and supports faster field speeds. Other ProFlo features:

  • Single, 3, and 5 way nozzle bodies for wet and dry booms

  • Diaphragm check valves in EPDM or Viton

  • Reliable turret index provides positive shutoff between positions

  • Full line of nozzle body accessories (caps, barbs, adapters, clamps, etc.)

Express End Caps and Fittings
Air gets trapped in booms and causes the nozzle to actuate non-uniformly, resulting in under/over spraying of targets. Hypro’s unique Express End Caps and Fittings, designed for 1-inch stainless tubes, permit all the air to leave the boom, allowing uniform spraying. Clean-out ports eliminate “dead ends” on booms that accumulate unwanted chemicals. 

Spray Tips
Hypro has a full line of agricultural spray tips including fan, cone, flooding, plastic, ceramic, and a broad range of flow rates. Only Hypro offers:

  • Ultra Lo-Drift tips. The ULD, with an air induction fan spray, provides the best combination of drift control and coverage in the industry.
  • GuardianAir Twin. The GAT, with forward and rear air induction fans, is the best choice for high coverage targets and complex canopies.
  • The industry’s best spray tip selection tool. To use the SprayIT calculator, enter your spray parameters and Hypro will show you the available tip options.
  • The industry’s best mobile app for spray tips. From your mobile device enter your spray parameters and the chemical name and Hypro will show you the available tip options. Find it here on iTunes and here on Google PlayYou can also access the recommended spray quality for many popular ag chemicals andmatch the droplet size to Hypro spray tips.

Visit our website to shop our entire inventory of sprayer parts & equipment.

Shop Now

 

Topics: Hypro, Boom Sprayer, Apps on the Sprayer Depot blog, spray tips, Spray Nozzles, spray tip selector, spray nozzle, spray tip guide, spray nozzle selection, boom

Top Sprayer Depot Posts of 2014

Posted by Sprayer Depot on Tue, Jan 27, 2015

TopPosts2014We have a lot of fun at Sprayer Depot creating this blog, uncovering resources or industry news. We're always seeking out information that matters to folks from each of the industry segments we speak to on a regular basis. From the latest smartphone application to tips and tricks to utilize your spray equipment better, we try to cover it all throughout the year right here in this blog.

In case you missed them, here are the five posts that got the most views in 2014.

1.  6 Popular Apps for Tree Care Professionals

In June we reviewed six popular apps for tree care professionals. Like professional landscapers and horticulturists, professional arborists spend a lot of time working “in the field”.  The use of smartphones and tablets have helped make the workday more productive for these professionals by making every day tasks such as invoicing, project management and even research, easy to complete in a non-office work environment.

2. Plumbing Your Sprayer the Right Way

Then, in July, we dove into the inner workings of plumbing your sprayer the right way. The primary goal when you’re plumbing a sprayer pump is to route liquid from the pump to the spray nozzle with as little restriction as possible. By minimizing restrictions you’ll achieve the pump’s maximum rated capacity.

3.  4 Features of the New Sprayer Calibration App

We featured another smartphone application in September with the debut of a new sprayer calibration calculator app designed to assist spray applicators with calibrating a pesticide sprayer. The app was developed by the University of Illinois Extension and is available free to those with Apple and Android phones.

4.  How To Build the Perfect Custom Sprayer

When we say we know sprayers, it’s true. Our team builds more than 500 custom sprayers each year for customers looking to modify or completely reconfigure the makeup of this important equipment. After all, you don’t have to settle for less than perfect in the sprayer world. Just turn to our Sprayer Depot knowledgeable customer service technicians with your ideas and < bam > the perfect custom sprayer is born. Also in September we shed light on some of the common modifications to a few of our best selling sprayer models from Kings Sprayers.

5.  Introducing The Kings QuickShip Sprayers

Back in May we featured the Kings Sprayers QuickshipTM Program. We've made it easier than ever to get the high-quality commercial sprayer you want - without the wait! So we chose some of our most popular Kings Sprayers models and made them available for same day shipping*.  Sprayers in this program that are ordered by 12:00 p.m. (EST) will ship same day.

 

We’re grateful that you’ve chosen to read what we write and hope you find this blog to be a useful resource. Thanks for your time in 2014. We hope to see you here more often this year!

Topics: Custom-build a sprayer, Sprayer Depot, custom built sprayers, custom build sprayer, plumbing sprayer, Kings Sprayers, Quickship Sprayers, Apps for Arborists, Tree Care Apps, Apps on the Sprayer Depot blog, Spray apps, apps for spraying agriculture, Sprayer Calibration, top posts

4 Features of the New Sprayer Calibration Calculator App

Posted by Sprayer Depot on Wed, Sep 17, 2014

Sprayer Calibration CalculatorRecently Corn and Soybean Digest reported on a newly released smartphone app called Sprayer Calibration Calculator that is designed to assist spray applicators with calibrating a pesticide sprayer. The app was developed by the University of Illinois Extension and is available free to those with Apple and Android phones. As we’ve shared in previous posts, the cost of wasted chemicals can be high when your best tool isn’t set up right.

We took a closer look at the app, developed by Scott Bretthauer, an Extension Specialist in the pesticide safety education program, which includes functions to determine nozzle flow rate, among other things.

The Sprayer Calibration Calculator app allows users to select from one of four main options, including:

1.) Calibration:

This setting allows users to calibrate four different sprayer types, including: aircraft, ground rig, turf boom and boomless. Within each of these sections, the app offers sprayer calibration scenarios that can then be saved for future reference.

We explored the ground rig option for sprayer calibration that starts by entering in a few variables, including: application speed, nozzle spacing and targeted GPA. The app then calculates the required nozzle flow rate in gallons per minute. It’s pretty simple. Note that the boomless option is identical to prompts in the ground rig option, but asks for swath width rather than nozzle spacing. All good so far.

2.) PSI for GPM:

The next section is the ever-important setting that allows users to calculate required pressure (in pounds per square inch, or PSI) in order to provide a specific flow rate (in gallons per minute, or GPM), or do the opposite. A good example of its use was identified in the U or I July/August 2014 issue of the Illinois Pesticide Review that mentions this would come in handy if the flow rate isn’t listed in the nozzle manufacturer’s flow rate table. Or for those “my dog ate it” scenarios.

3.) Nozzle Speed:

The third offering in the app is pretty self-explanatory and should only be used with sprayers that have a flow control system. In short, it lists the minimum and maximum speeds for a specific nozzle.

4.) Convert Value:

Lastly, the convert value function assists users with some of the commonly associated pesticide application-related unit conversions that could be useful as a quick reference guide.

In a prepared statement that discussed how to use the smartphone application, Bretthauer explained that when using the smartphone application, “for most variables, touching the name of the variable brings up a definition of what the variable is and how it is measured.” It also looks like the developer has plans to add a function to assist with tank mix calculations, which could be fun, and more.

If you have the chance to check it out, let us know what you think in the comments below.

Topics: Sprayer Depot, sprayers, pest control, Apps on the Sprayer Depot blog, Pesticide Applicators, calibrating a sprayer, pesticides, Pesticide Application Technology, Pesticide Application, Pesticide spraying, Pesticide applicator, Spray apps, apps for spraying agriculture, pest control app, Sprayer Calibration, sprayer checklist, Sprayer Set Up, Calibrating a Boom Sprayer, Boom Sprayer Calibration, sprayer tips and tricks, University of Illinois, Scott Bretthauer

6 Popular Apps for Tree Care Professionals

Posted by Sprayer Depot on Fri, Jun 13, 2014

Less Time on Paperwork

Like professional landscapers and horticulturists, professional arborists spend a lot of time working “in the field”.  The use of smartphones and tablets have helped make the workday more productive for these professionals by making every day tasks such as invoicing, project management and even research, easy to complete in a non-office work environment.

If you’re a professional arborist, consider downloading these time-saving and useful applications to your mobile device:

Chipero. Too many woodchips, and no place to dispose them? Try downloading Chipero to find a place to empty your chip truck! Chipero connects you with nearby homeowners, farms, schools and other organizations that want your excess wood chips. This app is free initially, but also offers the option of signing up for their discounted Supporter Plan once the trial period expires. Click here to learn more about Chipero.

Arbor Quote.  Using your smartphone, send an estimate for tree care services such as tree spraying, from the job site directly to your customer. This app streamlines processes, serves customers, and helps you grow your business. Reduce paperwork and time in the office. This simple, easy to use estimator gathers and stores key data about the job right in your smartphone for future reference. Click here to learn more about Arbor Quote.

  Sprayer Depot App

 

Arborist Knots. This helpful index is the mobile version of the popular knot guide at www.arbtalk.co.uk. The galleries in this app contain all of the most important knots every arborist should know, plus several extras thrown in for good measure. Download this app, and you’ll never have to second-guess your knot work on the jobsite. Click here to learn more about Arborist Knots.

Talking2Trees.  Are you managing a large, urban tree canopy? Talking2Trees can help you maintain straightforward tree inventories and related data, which you can then use to generate useful reports - or even export to existing GIS databases. You can view your tree inventory as a list or a map, and sync it to your office computer as a backup measure. Click here to learn more about Talking2Trees.

Tree Fungi ID App. This application provides access to a fungi directory. This is an excellent tool for assisting in plant health diagnoses while out in the field. Each fungi in the app is organized into either parasitic, mycorrhizal, or saprophytic.  Fungi galleries come with a range of images, as well as descriptions and other important information.Get some peace of mind, and never second-guess your recommendation again! Click here to learn more about the Tree Fungi ID App.

2014 06 12 20 52 47 resized 600

 

Arbor Gold Mobile Estimator. Mobile Estimator gives salespeople the ability to view phone messages and appointments, view customers and job history information, as well as create new proposals...all from the field. New proposals entered are instantly available in ArborGold Desktop Software at your office or through the internet with ArborGold Cloud Software. With Mobile Estimator you can: 

-Search, view and create customers 
-View and create phone messages 
-View and create appointments 
-View customer job history 
-Create proposals 
-Print or email proposals 
-Integrated drawing tool 
-Print and manage invoices

Click here to learn more about Arbor Gold Mobile Estimator

Leave a Comment

Are you a tree care professional using these or other useful apps?  Share your experience - leave a comment!

 

 

Topics: Apps for Arborists, Tree Care Apps, Apps on the Sprayer Depot blog

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