Saturday, April 26, 2014
Water pump is made for transferring water for watering plants – an essential practice especially for newly planted grass/plants, or during draught seasons – thus, a life-giving equipment.
Yet, amidst recent labour draught, such a life-giving equipment was re-assigned as a killing machine – mechanized herbicide sprayer.
First order of the ‘re-assignment’ exercise is to connect the pump’s outlet pipe to a cannibalized knapsack nozzle. This is the most important step in the whole exercise. Failure to connect the knapsack nozzle means non-available of spray pattern and desirable water droplets, thus the operation deemed a no-go.
First, the knapsack nozzle is connected to a 15mm diameter high pressure hose, tightened by a rubber strip. Rubber strip seems primitive, yet its an effective and cheap way to secure pipe connections.
Then, the 15mm hose is connected to a 32mm polypipe, and then again connected to a 40mm high pressure hose. A rigid polypipe is used because when tightened with rubber strips, it won’t flattened and block the water flow. Both end of the 32mm polypipe is secure with open-cut rubber hose to allow better grip between 15mm pipe and 40mm pipes.
The herbicide is mixed in 200L drums on a lorry. A 3-man team is required when operating the sprayer : one monitoring the water and pump on the lorry, another to control the pipe on the ground, and the third one to handle the nozzle.
For spraying along road shoulders, the workers should be walking in front of the lorry, to allow better view of the lorry driver of the pace of spraying.
The pump should not be used for watering, for fear of herbicide contamination.
Amidst the pressing draught of labour, every task and worker are closely monitored to ensure maximum productivity.
A brush cutter is designed for trimming and cutting grass and brush. Yet, in Malaysia, we seldom see a brush cutter being used to trimming brush / bushes / shrubs / scrub / thicket.
Thus, brush cutters were used in trimming several shrubs, e.g. Hibiscus rosa-sinensis, Ixora javanica, Bougainvillea glabra etc. The result was fantastically fast. Time spent on trimming was cut half ! The task would be even faster when the workers familiarized themselves with the machine.
The ideal height of the shrubs should be around or less than 1 meter. Otherwise, an elevated platform is required, which is very inconvenience, dangerous and time-dragging.