Anyone use a Mighty Mac sprayer?

I have a northern tool tree sprayer that has been too much trouble for me. I am considering spending the money and buying a Mighty Mac sprayer from MacKissic.
Anyone else use one of these?

Has the northern tool sprayer ever worked well for you? Just curious because I have been doing a little research on sprayers and do not know what is good or what to stay away from. I am using a pump sprayer now.

The Northern Tool sprayer has worked. I have owned it for 3 years now. These are my problems

  1. Pump dies. I am on the 3rd pump. Northern tool has replaced it but it is a pain
  2. Gun dies. I am on the 2nd gun
  3. Electrical connect to the battery is a pain.
  4. Agitation doesn’t seem that good. I use wettable powders so I need good agitation (Imidan, rally, captan)
    This thing sprays really good when it works. I am tired of it though. I want a serious sprayer that will be more trouble free at least for a while.

I have a carbon copy of the mighty mac sprayer, the “Roto-Hoe” sprayer. It has the twin piston pump and 25 gallon tank. Bought it used, it is probably from the 1980’s. Surprisingly, the pump is still good. The twin piston pumps can be rebuilt for not much money, though it looks like it could be tedious and special tools are required. This unit will take more time to clean and maintain than the 12 volt sprayers due to its gasoline powered engine and other considerations but it puts out a much greater volume of spray which is great for dormant oil applications.

They are often listed for sale used on e-bay and will require a good deal of fiddling to get working properly.

It doesn’t look like a real strong unit with the engine I’d want. Rears makes a 25 gallon stainless steal tank, 4 hp honda engine estate sprayer (“Nifty”) that costs about twice as much- but if you have the money would probably be a better long term investment because it is made to professional standards. My first one lasted 15 years of pro use (low spray program involving many acres of fruit trees) and I replaced it with a new model just so I’d have a spare working sprayer should one fail during a critical point of the spray season. In all that time I’ve only had to replace a pump once- no other repairs required beyond normal maintenance. Knock on wood.

I bought a manual reel for it with 300 ft of hose and a handgun (the one that comes with the sprayer is not so hot) and the extra hose did not appreciably reduce spray power- I can easily reach the tops of 30’ trees (40’ when air is still) unless there is strong wind (when I can’t spray, anyway, unless it is oil). The unit is on bicycle wheels so I can roll it into my light 4WD truck with ramps without help, but OESCO would customize it for you into more of a tow type set-up. Not sure what that would cost.

It has the perfect level of power for a gunspray orchard sprayer, as I use much less material to cover trees than commercial sprayers with 8 gallon engines that operate at about 400 PSI. Mine operates at 200 PSI when spray gun is fully open. A much higher percentage of the spray stays on the tree at this power but everything gets covered.

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Thanks for the response Alan. I have one dumb quesitons and a few good ones. 1. I am used to sprayers with plastic tanks with measurement graduations on the sided. How do you measure say 10 gallons in the rears?

Also, what do you think a 25 gallon tow behind with a hose reel would cost?

I usually load 25 gallons or occassionally eyeball a half tank (within 2 gallon accuracy, I would guess- there is a plastic tube that shows relative fullness of tank). But at my own house I figure out how long it takes to fill up a 2.5 gallon container with full pressure of hose and count out the seconds. I don’t know how much it would cost- you should call your closest Rear’s distributor. There are also a lot of straight plastic tank and pump systems around that are built for commercial use in the landscape trade. Some are cheaper and probably as reliable. That stainless steel tank is a bit of a luxury.

Thanks Alan,
It turns out there is a rears dealer only 45 miles from here. I called them today. After the options that I was interested the price came out to just about 4 grand for the 25 gallon model. My wife told me to go ahead with it (she helped me spray a few times last year) I am still debating. I can afford it, but I am not sure it makes sense for a hobby orchard.
Thanks again very much for the advise.

Check other products that commercial suppliers for landscaper contractors and arborists carry. You can probably find something made to take punishment from the likes of Gempler’s or AM Leonard that is half that price but adequately covers your needs. Sometimes you can find a product and then buy it directly from the manufacturer on the internet.

I bought that sprayer 10 years ago for $1200 and then the company was bought out by a more ambitious one.

One other thing to consider is looking on Craigslist for a used sprayer. Around here, a lot of people start lawn and tree service businesses, buy the equipment, and then quit.

From time to time there are some pretty decent commercial sprayers. Probably not quite as good as the REARS sprayer Alan mentioned (in terms of applying sprays the most efficiently) but still some pretty heavy duty units like Lesco, with little use. I’ve seen some very nice units with fancy features like auto hose reel, etc. for a couple grand.

The disadvantage is that I don’t see pull behind rigs very often. Most of them are designed to fit in the back of a pickup. But one could probably buy a small cart to pull behind a lawn mower or atv for not very much money and mount the sprayer in the cart.


I was just goooogling sprayers and pumps and came across references that I am curious about.

1 - What does it mean when a sprayer is said to be " Round-up Ready". (opposed to user ready)

  1. What is the difference/ benefits between diaphragm pumps and roller pumps for use in higher pressure sprayers?



“Roundup Ready” when it comes to sprayers, is a bunch of baloney, imo. It’s just a trademark by Monsanto, which doesn’t mean a darn thing (again in regard to sprayers). The term itself has some “intangible value” in terms of row crops with some segment of their “clientele” (i.e. mostly farmers) but it’s ridiculous the term has any value with sprayers. Nevertheless the term is picked up by the public and has some intangible value of the brand (but no real value at all in terms of quality). Sorry to rant Mike, but with regard to sprayers, Roundup Ready is a complete pull the wool over the eyes deceit. It means absolutely nothing.

Diaphragm vs. roller pumps is a real debate. It really depends on what the materials are made out of. Whether it’s diaphragm, roller, or piston pump, you want materials which will stand up to oils. A lot of the materials won’t, which is bad. That to me is the most important consideration.

I use a 60 gal Fimco tank and electric pump for my backyard orchard. I have to rebuild this pump every couple years because it can’t take any oily substances. It breaks down the rubber check valves. I deal with it, but would prefer an electric pump which would handle oily sustances without deforming the rubber surfaces in the pump.

My airblast takes any kind of oil. In fact the owner’s manual recommends running used motor oil through the pump the last spray of the season (not spraying any crop of course) to lubricate the pump for the winter.

Cast iron type roller pumps are much cheaper than diaphragm pumps and don’t last as long. Often cheap cast iron roller pumps are trashed when they fail.

A good diaphragm pump is a better choice for a sprayer that gets a lot of use especially at high volume and high pressure. Entry level roller pumps cost around $150, but entry level diaphragm cost over $500 . I believe a new pump for my airblast sprayer cost over $1500.

I think I found what I’m looking for. I am planning to purchase a 25 gallon sprayer from Iva Manufacturing in Pennsylvania. I have spoken with the owner a few times and price seems OK. This seems a little more robust than the MacKissic unit. Iva comes with a Honda engine and a nice hose reel on the back.

These go for about 2 grand.

Interesting. It would be nice if you could speak to a commercial guy who has owned one for a few years. Maybe find a commercial landscapers forum, if such a thing exists. I hope the sprayer you choose is the last one you need.

I’m in the same boat of trying to figure out a strategy for spray equipment, in my case for an acre of apple trees 6-10yr old on standard rootstock (so they’ll get big) plus maybe a quarter-acre of trees scattered around the property elsewhere, a quarter acre of newground, and a lot more varieties I’d like to try;)

I hate small engines (esp. ones that don’t run for long periods) so I would prefer either to do 12V or three-pt hitch and PTO. My sense is that the 12v versions are going to seem underpowered and maybe burn up quickly; I see lots of comments both here and on the Northern site complaining of dead pumps.

Following Alan’s advice above I poked around AMLeo; they have a Kings 35gal 12V diaphragm pump skid unit for about $700; same brand elsewhere with a 50gal tank and PTO-driven roller pump for about $2k. These have welded aluminum squaretube frames and generally look a lot stouter than the Northern/Tractor Supply jobs; not a lot of reviews on those sites compared to the cheaper folded steel models.

Has anybody bought a Kings sprayer and have good or bad things to say about it?

I have done a lot of research on this. I think it is unlikely that you will find a PTO driven sprayer in the size you are looking for. I am wondering what you have against small engines? Good small engines can last forever. I personally believe in Honda. I have a 20 year old Honda generator and a 20 year old lawnmower with a Honda engine. They both run like a top.
I have used all many of 12v sprayer and I am done at this point.

Hi Alan,
Thanks for all your advice. I went ahead and bought the IVA sprayer. I should have it in about 3 weeks.
I will post pictures when it comes in.