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Drip Pan on Sprayer Keeps You From Getting Splashed
As a full-time employee of his local co-op, one of Eric Siefker’s jobs is to fill the company’s self-propelled sprayers.
The Columbus Grove, Ohioan says, “I got tired of having chemical spray drip on my head from the nozzles when I’d load chemical through the inductor into the sprayer.”
That annoyance inspired Siefker to design a drip pan that catches any fluid dripping from the nozzles when the sprayer’s booms are folded in.
He drew up his idea in the shop of his employer, Legacy Farmers Cooperative in Pandora, Ohio. Then he double-checked his measurements, finalized the design, and took it to Sarka Brothers Machine, a metal fabricator in Kalida that was able to help.
“The tray is a piece of stainless steel that the folks over at Sarka formed up and put sides on to make it like a pan. I think they charged me around $140. It took them probably a half hour to make,” he recalls.
Siefker then welded angle iron to the pan before mounting it to the sprayer. It’s held on with two bolts in the catwalk on one end and two bolts on the other end in the lightbar positioned just above the sprayer’s back tire. The tray ends up sitting about 2½ inches below the spray nozzles when the booms are folded in.
built to fit individual sprayer models
That original drip tray was custom-built for a John Deere model 4940 sprayer. Siefker has had two more made since then, however.
The employees at the McComb branch of Legacy Farmers Cooperative wanted them on their sprayers, too. Those are John Deere 4930s. “It’s all the same concept, just a slightly different size and ways of mounting them,” Siefker explains.
The angle iron mounting is still bolted to each machine. On one, it’s bolted to the frame. On another, it’s bolted to the fender. “Each machine is different,” says Siefker.
All of the pans are about 6 inches wide and 1 inch deep; only their lengths vary.
Each tray is sloped to the rear and has a 1½-inch-diameter hole for the rain to run out. Siefker says he once experimented with putting a hose barb in the hole, but a rock became lodged in the hose, so he removed it.
He estimates the total weight of each installed tray is 30 pounds, which includes the angle iron.
a $2,500 winner
Siefker is the next recipient of a $2,500 Firestone in-store credit offer for having his idea chosen as the Idea of the Month. Enter your idea here.
More about Eric Siefker
Home Farm: When he’s able, Eric Siefker helps out at the farm owned by his dad, brother, two uncles, and a cousin. They grow corn, soybeans, wheat, and alfalfa, plus there are 140 head of cattle. The Columbus Grove, Ohio, farm was originally owned by Siefker’s grandfather.
Family: Wife Laurie teaches K-2. The couple has two daughters, Jade,10, and Rose, 7, and one son, Bo, 4. Siefker is assistant football coach for the high school football team and also is the head wrestling coach.
New Crop: “We planted Sudan grass with the corn this year, which makes good silage,” he says. “We’re also doing more grid sampling.”