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Minimum requirements for ground-based locust and grasshopper sprayers


Locust and grasshopper sprayers should be safe, reliable and capable of working efficiently under practical field conditions. They should be robustly constructed from strong, durable materials, which will not obviously be prone to undue deterioration from corrosion, rust, distortion or premature wear during field use, thereby adversely affecting safety, efficiency and reliability.

To meet the FAO minimum requirements, a locust and grasshopper sprayer should comply as follows:


Module 1. General requirements

RA

MB

VP

VA

1.1

Total mass for RA and MB sprayers when filled to the manufacturer’s recommended maximum capacity should not exceed 25 kg.

For RA sprayers, the following are acceptable guidelines for the division of the total mass:

  • 20 kg maximum for a backpack (or shoulder-slung) tank and battery power source carried on a waist belt, or on a shoulder strap.

  • 7 kg for a lance / battery case, spray head, spray bottle and a hand-carried tank, where present.

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1.2

The sprayer unit should be securely attached to the vehicle system.



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1.3

The filling system for the spray tank(s) should permit safe, easy filling without overflowing or splashing (see later specific requirements for tank, strainer and lid).

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1.4

When filled to the manufacturers recommended maximum capacity, the backpack/shoulder-slung sprayer/tank should not leak either when upright or when tilted forward 90 degrees from the vertical (laid down on the straps).

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1.5

When filled to the manufacturers recommended maximum capacity, the backpack/shoulder-slung sprayer/tank should not leak either when upright or when tilted 45 degrees from the vertical in all directions.



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1.6

The sprayer should be easy to clean both inside and out. Rough surfaces and awkward recesses should be avoided.

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1.7

There should be easy access to service components such as engine oil, spark plug, pump, taps. Filters (air, fuel, pesticide) must be accessible and easily removable without tools.

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1.8

The outer surfaces of the sprayer should not trap or retain spray liquid.

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1.9

There should be no sharp edges, abrasive areas or unnecessary projections, which could injure the operator.

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1.10

The backpack/shoulder slung sprayer/tank should be stable and stand upright on slopes up to 15% (1 in 7), irrespective of the amount of liquid in the tank, or the direction of the slope.

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1.11

Servicing, maintenance, adjustment and cleaning of all sprayer components should be easily accomplished without needing special tools (i.e. tools specifically designed for the sprayer).

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1.12

To facilitate the accurate identification of replacement parts, the sprayer should be clearly and durably marked to indicate the manufacturer’s name and address and the sprayer name and model.

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1.13

There should be a practical system in place to assist in the provision of replacement parts for a minimum of five years after the date of manufacture. The manufacturer should provide written assurance of this in the sprayer instruction manual (see Section 1.18).

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1.14

All controls should be clearly marked and within easy reach of the operator from the normal driving/spraying position.

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1.15

A supply of commonly required spares should be supplied with a new sprayer.

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1.16

There should be a tool kit supplied as standard equipment by sprayer manufacturer with all necessary tools for installation, adjustment and operation.


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1.17

All sprayer components that come into constant direct contact with ULV pesticide should be resistant to deterioration from contact with ULV pesticide formulations The manufacturer should provide written assurance of this in the sprayer instruction manual (see Section 1.18).

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1.18

The manufacturer should supply with the sprayer, a clear, simple, illustrated, instruction manual in English, French and Arabic. (See Appendix 1 for detail on what the instruction manual should cover).

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Module 2. Tank, strainer and lid

RA

MB

VP

VA


Note: For RA in this module, the tank refers to any separate container that is hand-held, carried on straps on the operator’s back or slung on a strap over a shoulder, which is used to contain the spray liquid to be applied through a rotary atomizer. It does not refer to the smaller reservoir bottle attached to the spray head.





2.1

Operator reach distances to the tank opening should not exceed 1.0 m vertically from the sprayer platform and there should be no obstructions around the filling area.



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2.2

Spray tanks should be mechanically durable and fixed in such a way that rugged field operations will not puncture them.

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2.3

The tank should be clearly and durably marked with:

  • the manufacturer’s recommended maximum filling level, which should be equivalent to no more than 95% of the total volume of the tank;

  • appropriate intermediate filling levels.

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2.4

Further to Section 2.3, during spraying, the level of liquid in the tank should be clearly visible as it approaches empty.

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2.5

Further to Section 2.3, during filling, with the strainer fitted the level of liquid in the tank should be clearly visible as it approaches the nominal maximum filling level.

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2.6

The tank should include a strainer, located in the fill opening to filter the pesticide as it enters the tank.

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2.7

The strainer should be easy to remove and fit with gloved hands. For this and for other checks where gloves are recommended, the gloves should have a minimum thickness of 0.5 mm.

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2.8

The strainer should have a mesh aperture size no greater than the smallest restrictor orifice recommended by the manufacturer.

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2.9

The strainer mesh should be securely fitted to, or form part of, the strainer body.

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2.10

The tank strainer should be close fitting and permit safe, easy filling from a non-profiled container (i.e. one without a lip or spout) at a rate of 25 litres per minute without overflowing, splashing or lifting from its seat. Opening diameter should not be less than 100 mm across.

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2.11

For vehicle sprayers, the strainer should be close fitting and permit safe, easy filling from a non - profiled container (i.e. one without a lip or spout) without overflowing, splashing or lifting from its seat. Tank opening diameter should not be less than 200 mm.



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2.12

The tank fill opening should be sealed with a lid that can be opened and securely closed with gloved hands and without tools.

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2.13

When closed, the lid should not collect spray liquid.

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2.14

The tank lid should have a ventilation valve that allows air in but does not allow any spray liquid to come out.

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2.15

There should be a separate flushing tank for cleaning fluid which can be switched into the spray line by use of clearly marked valves so that hoses, pumps, strainers and atomizers can be cleaned safely and easily.



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2.16

Volume of the sprayer tank should be a minimum of 60 litres and a maximum of 110 litres. This allows prolonged spraying without being excessive, and is also a convenient size for filling from 25 and 50 litre drums.



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2.17

The spray tank should incorporate a safe and convenient system to enable unused spray liquid to be discharged and collected safely. Any drain pipe should be fitted at the lowest point on the pesticide tank.



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2.18

It should be possible to drain the tank to leave a total residual volume in the sprayer (including tank, pipes, etc) of less than 1% of total tank volume.

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Module 3. Spray head assembly

RA

MB

VP

VA

3.1

In all recommended working positions, the spray head should be a minimum of 500 mm from all parts of the operator’s body to ensure that there is no direct contamination of the operator from the spray droplets.

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3.2

The length of the air tube from the on/off lever to the air outlet should be no less than 400 mm.


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3.3

The sprayer should incorporate a robust “parking system” to secure the air tube when it is not in use.


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3.4

The airtube should be fitted with a handle.


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3.5

The liquid supply line to the nozzle should incorporate an on/off valve.


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3.6

If the atomizer is exposed, a shield or cover should be supplied with the sprayer to protect it from physical damage in transit and in storage.

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3.7

For VP and VA sprayers, there should be a device to protect the atomizer from damage by low hanging branches or other obstacle.



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3.8

When the spray liquid to the atomizer is supplied solely from the bottle on the spray head (i.e. not re-filled from a spray tank), it should be possible to fill the bottle via a funnel with an integral strainer, without spilling or splashing, at a rate of 5 litres per minute.

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Module 4. Pumps, pesticide hoses and inline strainers

RA

MB

VP

VA

4.1

Spray hoses, when bent through 180 degrees at temperatures up to 40° C, should not kink (flatten) permanently.

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4.2

Hose connections should be easily adjustable and removable with gloved hands and should not leak when reconnected.

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4.3

Spray hoses should be of sufficient length to allow free movement and appropriate positioning of the spray head for spraying.

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4.4

It should be possible to remove the pump without draining the tank.



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4.5

When the sprayer has a pump which operates with valves, there should be a strainer on the suction side of the pump with a maximum mesh aperture size of 0.5 mm.



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4.6

Strainers should be readily accessible for cleaning and maintenance.


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4.7

Strainers should be easy to clean without needing to empty the sprayer tank(s).


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4.8

Hoses should be positioned so that, in the event of leakage or bursting, the risk of operator contamination is minimized. On vehicle-mounted sprayers, they should not pass through the vehicle cab.

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4.9

Hoses should be fitted to the sprayer so that they are not bent sharply (kinked), which could reduce the effective internal diameter of the hose.

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4.10

Hose connections should be easily adjustable and removable using gloved hands without needing special tools (i.e. tools specifically designed for the sprayer) and should not leak when reconnected.

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4.11

The sprayer should have a partially pressurised tank (3-5 psi) or be fitted with a pesticide pump resistant to ULV formulations to ensure reliable flow to the spray head even when it is being directed upwards.


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Module 5. Sprayer supporting systems

RA

MB

VP

VA


RA and MB straps and padding





5.1

Straps and fixings should be strong, durable and made of non-absorbent material.

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5.2

Straps and padding should resist undue deterioration from contact with ULV pesticide formulations. The manufacturer should provide written assurance of this in the sprayer instruction manual (see Section 1.18).

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5.3

The load-bearing part of shoulder straps should be a minimum of 50 mm wide, except in the case of those RA sprayers that have a pesticide tank with less than 10 litres capacity, in which case the straps should be a minimum of 30 mm wide.

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5.4

When adjustable shoulder pads are included, they should remain firmly in place in their adjusted positions when the sprayer is in use.

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5.5

Straps fitted to a backpack sprayer or tank should be easily adjustable without assistance when the sprayer is full and in the working position on the operator’s back.

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5.6

Straps should be equipped with quick release catches that function efficiently when the tank is full and in the working position on the operator’s back.

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5.7

Backpack tanks when in the working position should be designed to be comfortable for the operator, either through the shape of the tank or through the provision of a back-frame.

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VP and VA mountings and supports





5.8

The sprayer should have a transport position to ensure the atomizer head or its supporting structure is not damaged in transit.



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5.9

The sprayer should be able to direct




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the spray upwards and downwards by a minimum of 45 degrees in order to take advantage of light winds or to improve targeting in windier conditions.



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5.10

The sprayer should have at least four boltholes in the base of the frame so that it can be bolted to the bed of the vehicle.







Module 6. Power source

RA

MB

VP

VA

6.1

The engine should have a safe, robust starting mechanism.


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6.2

The exhaust should be:

  • directed away from the operator’s body;

  • positioned on the opposite side of the sprayer to the controls;

  • well-shielded to prevent burning the operator or a third party.


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6.3

The engine should be isolated from the carrying frame by anti-vibration mountings.


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6.4

The engine should be robustly protected against accidental physical damage.


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6.5

The fuel tank and the fuel on/off valve should be positioned to minimize the risk of fuel spilling onto the engine.


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6.6

The fuel on/off valve should be close to the fuel tank outlet and easily accessible to the operator when the sprayer is in the working position.


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6.7

An easily serviceable fuel filter should be located in the line between the fuel tank and the carburettor.


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6.8

An easily replaceable air filter should be located directly on the carburettor intake.


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6.9

Carburettor adjusting screws should be readily accessible without needing to remove parts or use special tools (i.e. tools specifically designed for the sprayer).


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6.10

The noise level at the ear of the operator should not exceed 85 dB.


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6.11

The fuel tank should have sufficient capacity for a minimum of one hour of continuous operation.


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6.12

When a two-stroke engine is present, the fuel tank should be durably marked with the required fuel/oil ratio.


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6.13

All moving parts (including pumps driven by gears or pulleys) should be well shielded to prevent injury.


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6.14

The fan should be protected by a casing measuring no more than 45 cm in diameter.


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6.15

The inlet to the fan should be equipped with a guard with a mesh-aperture size of between 5 mm and 10 mm.


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6.16

The engine should still run after being exposed to heavy rain.


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6.17

The power consumption of the atomizer electric motor should not exceed 4 watts when loaded.

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Module 7. Flow rate

RA

MB

VP

VA

7.1

Flow rate should be controlled by a positive system of interchangeable but not adjustable restrictors. These should be clearly marked or colour coded and it should be possible to change them without special tools (i.e. without tools developed specifically for the sprayer).

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7.2

Where the flow rate is controlled by a positive system of interchangeable but not adjustable restrictors, these should be clearly marked or colour coded and it should be possible to change them without special tools (i.e. without tools developed specifically for the sprayer). Where there is an infinitely variable system of flow control such as a needle valve, this should be marked with graduations and there must be a system of locking it in place to prevent it being accidentally altered.



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7.3

Flow rate from restrictors with the same identity code and/or colour, i.e. which claim to have the same characteristics, should not differ by more than ± 5% from the nominal output.

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7.4

Flow rate range should be 0.03 - 0.13 l/min

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7.5

Flow rate range should be 0.05 - 0.4 l/min


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7.6

Flow rate range should be 0.07 - 1.0 l/min



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7.7

Flow rate range should be 0.1 - 1.6 l/min




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7.8

Variation in flow rate should be no more than 5% regardless of terrain, speed of movement, volume of pesticide in the tank or height of emission.

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7.9

It should be possible to collect pesticide directly during flow rate measurement (rather than using a “loss” technique involving assessing the volume missing from the tank after a given time).

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7.10

There should be minimal operator contact with pesticide when adjusting flow rate.

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7.11

There should be no dripping from the atomizer after a period of 10 seconds after switching off.

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Module 8. Control valves and switches

RA

MB

VP

VA

8.1

The engine throttle lever must remain firmly fixed in any pre-set position during operation.


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8.2

The engine should have an instant “cut out” mechanism that is readily accessible to the operator when the sprayer is in use.


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8.3

Controls should be on the air tube handle, not on the body of the sprayer.


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8.4

Vehicle mounted sprayer controls (pump and atomizer) should be located in the vehicle cab, not on the body of the sprayer.



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8.5

There should be a separate means of switching the pesticide flow and the atomizer rotation on and off.

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8.6

There should be well labelled controls with instructions to operator always to turn the atomizer on before the pump (except during flow rate calibration).



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8.7

It should be possible to isolate the controls so that atomizer and pump are not accidentally switched on in transit.



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8.8

Controls should have lights or other clear system to indicate when they are switched on.



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8.9

The sprayer should have a system to ensure that the positive and negative wires cannot be connected the wrong way round.



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Module 9. Atomizers (spray generating devices)

RA

MB

VP

VA

9.1

The atomizers should be capable of 50 hours of operation at maximum operating speed without loss of performance or needing maintenance. The manufacturer should provide written assurance of this in the sprayer instruction manual (see Section 1.18).

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9.2

The sprayer must be capable of producing a droplet spectrum with VMD between 60 and 80 um when spraying UL formulations or equivalent blank formulations, as determined by laser droplet analysis. The manufacturer should provide written assurance of this in the sprayer instruction manual (see Section 1.18).

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9.3

At least 50% of the spray volume must be in the size range 50 -100 um when spraying UL formulations or equivalent blank formulations, as determined by laser droplet analysis. The manufacturer should provide written assurance of this in the sprayer instruction manual (see Section 1.18).

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9.4

The sprayer should have a means of altering the VMD to cope with different weather conditions. No major dismantling should be required.

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