Richard Stow, Managing Director of Weedfree, has revealed why the market-leading company has relied on the spray adjuvant Speedway Total for so long.
“We have been using Speedway Total to enhance the uptake and activity of our total herbicide applications for many years and we are very happy with it,” said Richard. “It always gets us good results and we wouldn’t dream of not using it.”
Weedfree has been a market leader for railway, industrial and amenity weed control for over 50 years, providing weed control and vegetation clearance services to the rail industry, local authorities, industry, utilities and power generators.
“You name it – we spray it,” said Richard, and indeed they do. The company employs up to 150 members of staff during its busiest periods with operatives spraying everything from footpaths to rail tracks and everything in between.
It is for this reason that the company needs to have confidence in a product and that is where Speedway Total comes in. However, Richard admits that this was not always the case.
“We didn’t always use Speedway,” he said. “Initially we used a competitor product, but we had lots of problems with it. The chemistry, the active ingredients – it was causing problems with our operators, who were complaining about irritation on their skin and around their eyes. We also found that, in accordance with the label, we were putting a lot of product in the tank.
“It was at this point that we discussed the issue with Ed Carter (Sales & Development Manager for ICL), and he suggested using Speedway Total. We tried it, we liked it and we have stuck with it ever since. It was less product going in the tank, there was not any reduction in efficacy, and it was very cost effective.”
ICL’s Speedway Total is a spray adjuvant that contains a blend of surfactants and spreaders. It is designed to enhance the effect of glyphosate and other total and/ or non-selective herbicide treatments. Speedway Total assists herbicide penetration into the leaf cuticle by dissolving the waxy leaf coating.
The surfactants and spreaders also aid the treatment spreading properties, reduce the risk of wash-off and increase the herbicidal uptake. It can be used speed up the response from total herbicide treatments and also enhance the uptake and control for difficult to control weeds such as rhododendron, bracken, Japanese knotweed, brush wood weeds, nettles and docks, sow thistles and others.
With more and more local authorities re-examining their use of glyphosate herbicides Richard claims that the reduced volume needed with Speedway Total was a huge selling point.
“To be honest, I was dubious to start with because it less than half the amount of volume we were using with the previous product. I was thinking – how could this possibly work! But it does work – incredibly well.
“There is a real appetite to reduce the amount of herbicide that is applied, and with Speedway Total we can reduce it down to about three and a half litres per hectare which is quite a significant reduction. We still get the results that keeps both the local authorities and us happy.
“When we tender, we find that Speedway Total may well give us the competitive edge over someone who might use a different product at a higher rate. We can certainly demonstrate that over the course of a three-year contract we can significantly reduce glyphosate while still eliminating problematic weeds.
“Ultimately, I would say that Speedway Total has helped us to be more efficient and I would highly recommend the product.”