Today I am sharing my daily method for cleaning and maintaining my Z-Spray. My routine consists of a few quick steps that will help prevent wear over time and keep simple parts from breaking that cost you time and money. Keep in mind that these steps are for daily care and I am not mentioning the longer interval processes, for instance; oil changes or cleaning the air filter. I will perhaps write tutorials for these topics at a later date.
Step 1: Wash your machine
Washing off your machine must be a daily priority. If you used fertilizer then you have to wash it off. Fertilizer is incredibly corrosive and will eat through your machine in no time without proper care and consideration. I usually just use the garden hose with a pressure nozzle to give the machine a good soaking. On occasion I recommend pulling out a pressure washer and giving your machine a proper wash down but the hose will do for a quick daily wash.
I recommend you start with the inside of the hopper by opening up the slide and running water through it. Make sure you rinse the bottom of the impeller motor, inside the hopper, the seal on the bottom of the motor will last longer if you get the old fertilizer off of it.
After the inside of the hopper is done, clean off the front of the machine, making sure to hit all the fertilizer trapped under spray system hoses or in nooks around the caster wheels. Be sure to clean the point where the cables for the slide and accuway come out, located behind the impeller.
The rest of the machine can be washed off much faster, just make sure you get off any fertilizer and avoid getting water on your spark plugs, it will bog down your machine causing misfires and a horrific sound. I plan on writing a guide to this problem at a later date but for now just know that water on the engine is bad.
Step 2: Lubricate the machine using a penetrating oil
Once your machine is dry, which can be sped up with a blower or compressed air, you can start giving it a quick rub down with a penetrating oil. I like to use ZEP 45 or PB Blaster, both work well and leave a nice shine. The areas you want to hit are all of your cables on both ends, your choke and throttle linkage, your hydro motor controls, and other springs and pivot points. See the photos below
Step 3: Clean your spray system screens out
Lastly before docking the machine for the night I like to open my screen on top of my tank and clean out any debris. I use a soft wire brush and warm water for this job. Clean out the screens in line with the nozzles too. ( If they haven’t been removed already).