By Bill Kleiman
For years I have been using a small 30 hp tractor to cruise around grassland habitats looking for weed occurrences. The foot crews will be working with backpacks in certain areas and I will be off solo patrolling and controlling. With the ever increasing need for efficient stewardship I have ramped up this tractor setup. Now I tow the little tractor to a field entrance, unload, perhaps load up with just the right amount of herbicide using the tender truck’s tank of clean water, and some herbicide concentrates I keep in the bed. I don’t have to drive all the way back to headquarters to reload. I am self sufficient.
This trailering method with the water tender allows me to get to sites faster, to load the amount of herbicide mix I need, to reload a mix as needed, to go into lunch quickly, and get back out after lunch. It is more pleasant.
This is an old 30 hp Kubota two wheel drive which turns tighter than a UTV. It sits me higher up in the air to see the weeds below. I might not spray much herbicide with this hand nozzle but I can scout a lot of ground which saves our boots on the ground crew many steps. There is a “boomless” tip on the back of the tank which I don’t use much. Mostly, I am trying to see a lot of ground.
Recently I added a heavy duty tool clamp to hold our weed spade. This let’s me pull some sweet clovers rather than spray them. We also bolted down a coffee can which holds a quart sprayer of basal bark herbicide. This lets me treat the lone autumn olive I find. Basal bark application has a much smaller herbicide foot print than if I were to foliar spray a large invasive shrub.
We use this tender in fire season too.