“Founded by a Farmer”
The technology behind Airtec Sprayers started over 150 years ago when Dale Schaal’s ancestors immigrated from Europe and began farming in Western New York. From one generation to the next, farming ingenuity and know how were passed down from generation to generation. From the time Dale and his brother Dean could walk they began to learn what it meant to be a farmer on the family farm from their father Warren.
In those days, farming was not as specialized as it is today, so they learned to farm the hard way by growing field crops and produce along with caring for various commercial animals including dairy cows, chickens, and pigs along with participating in numerous agricultural organizations throughout their childhood.
Dale learned to operate all types of tractors and field equipment along the way by using “Farmers Engineering” to get the job of the day completed by any means necessary. While still working on the farm, Dale attended Alfred State College in Alfred, New York obtaining an agriculture degree with a concentration in agricultural engineering classes.
In the years that followed, Dale started several farm equipment related businesses including a dairy equipment service and supply company, a general farm supply business, a grain bin distribution business, and finally as the sales manager for a Western New York John Deere dealership. This wide variety of farming knowledge provided Dale with the problem-solving skills and technical knowledge required to develop the Airtec Air Spraying system.
Dale moved with his family to Florida in the late 80’s to be close to both his and his wife Mary’s parents who had retired to Winter Haven, FL. Dale’s first experience with spraying equipment began with a small sprayer distribution company that he started called Central Florida Sprayer Supply.
As Dale began working with growers in the Southeastern United States, it became obvious to him that the lack of spray coverage was causing farmers to lose production allowing white fly and other insect issues to significantly damage crops. To improve spray coverage, using his farming and technical equipment knowledge, Dale developed his first version of the Air Boom Sprayer. The objective was to precisely target spray directly at each plant canopy allowing spray to get inside the plant not just on top of the plant surface. Historically, most produce growers used high pressure sprayers which create excess spray drift and runoff as they rely solely on water pressure to carry the spray particle to the plant canopy and do not penetrate the inside.
Dale built the first of several prototype models in his family’s garage as he tested the Air Sprayers for performance including coverage, air speeds, and nozzle configurations as he worked towards a final Air Boom sprayer. Based on this product development, Airtec Sprayers, Inc. was founded in 1992 and formally launched the Airtec Air Boom, the Airtec Air Cannon, and Air Tower sprayers using this newly engineered technology.
During the early years Airtec Sprayers utilized contract manufacturers to build their sprayers allowing Dale to focus on market development of the Air Spraying concept building from one customer to the next solely on word of mouth marketing and customer referrals. Airtec currently has customers throughout the continental US, Latin America, and Canada across several agricultural industries including all fruits, vegetables, and ornamental nurseries.
After several years of growth, it became necessary to open a dedicated manufacturing facility in 2015 to be able to control the manufacturing process from start to finish with a focus on engineering and design. This led to several design improvements on all sprayer models based on customer feedback on how the sprayers were being used in the field. This follows Dale’s “Farmer’s Engineering” mindset of constantly using real world farmer feedback to improve each model of sprayer. These new sprayer design features and improvements make each model of sprayer operate as efficiently, safely, and effectively as possible.
Today, Dale serves as President of Airtec Sprayers, Inc. while his two sons, Timothy Schaal (CEO) and Daniel Schaal (VP of Sales), manage the day to day operations of the business. Dale has passed down his expertise through the years to his sons as he built the company having them work in all aspects of the business including sprayer assembly, operations, sales, and customer service learning how the sprayers work and most importantly how they benefit Airtec’s customers.