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TLS
04-03-2007, 06:58 PM
Well, earlier this spring I passed my Pesticide Applicators tests and am now able to legally treat lawns.

Right now, I will be 100% granular, with possible spot treatments by way of 5gal backpack sprayer.

I have ~500,000 sq/ft of turf to treat as of right now. Some lots are 3+ acres others are as small as 15K.

I would like to grow this end of the business, but I need to decide which way to go.

Get a Perma-Green or similar to allow less tiresome days on bigger turf areas, and to utilize liquid herbicides.

-or-

Go all out and get a 200gal spray tank for the truck.

Storage and handling of materials is a big concern. I use my truck for lots of other jobs, so keeping a spray tank in the bed for a month or so just isn't feasible. I don't have a forklift to remove it either. Not to mention what to do with any leftover liquid, and what to do if cold temps hit.


I looked at the Lesco HPS and the hydro powered spreader, but those still won't help me treat those hard to kill weeds that require liquid apps. Plus, price wise, it just doesn't add up.



I'm sure many of you out there have been in this situation. With whats out there today, what is your best suggestion regarding the above decision.

Thanks

indyturf
04-03-2007, 07:08 PM
I would go with the PG or Zspray if you are planning on growing the business. I have a PG Magnum and I love it, it just makes life easier after pulling a hose for over 20yrs. But you could start with a lesco push spreader and PG's new synergy sprayer that mounts on the spreader, it cost about $400 and would be much faster than using a backpack.

Ric
04-03-2007, 08:06 PM
TLS

IMHO a enclosed 12 ft trailer may be the best investment for you. Keep both your Z sprayer (My choice) and material in it. When ready to do apps just hook up and go. If you need more room go with a bigger trailer.

heritage
04-03-2007, 09:18 PM
TLS,

I would buy the Lesco HPS, and buy the Drop in tank for it from Rhett @ Gregson Clark.

When you get over a Million Sq. Ft. of turf, that would justify the purchase of a Z-Spray or Perma Green.

Many moons ago (20 years) I back packed 200K of turf, and I thought that Suck*d.

Liquid should be your only option for broadleaf control, unless you do Athletic Fields in the Early AM On heavy Dew with Granular. HPS and Gregson Clark setup is Sweet setup for the little guy IMO.


Pete D

RigglePLC
04-03-2007, 10:55 PM
TLS,
you only have 5 days worth of work every 5 weeks. A trailer would be nice.
However--you could buy a skid sprayer like the Gregson Clark (click above) or a used sprayer at around $1500. Put it into your pickup. When done slide it out onto a picnic table or purpose built stand made from 4X4 timbers. Use a come-along or boat winch to move it out and move it back. Be ready to accomodate different levels when your truck springs sag a little.
Or...buy a skid sprayer and find a chemical dealer or storage company with a Hilo. Pay them to remove it and store it for you.

TLS
04-04-2007, 09:41 AM
Thanks a lot for the idea's guys.

Already have a 15 y/o Lesco push spreader. This is what I will use this season.

My concern is with 1+ acre properties and these small sprayer attachments.

The Gregson Clark drop in model seems to take up the entire hopper with it's 9 gallons? Right? How do you spread granular fert with that then?

The PG Synergy takes up no room in the hopper, but only covers 16K with it's 2 gals.

I really feel a 200gal skid sprayer isn't for me yet, or maybe ever. I don't know. I don't really have the storage space for such a large heavy item. Add to that the other concerns I mentioned in my opening post.

With a ride on type unit, I can load it on the back of the mowing trailer, fill up the truck bed with required granular fert, and hit the road. Later that same day, I can be out cutting other properties, mulching, or whatever.

I don't want it to seem as if I made up my mind yet, so keep the suggestions coming.

As far as 1 million sq/ft.....I'm 1/2 way there already, and these are only a small handfull of my current customers that always showed intrest if I ever got licensed. If I quoted the rest of my customer base, I could easily surpass the million mark. Possibly as soon as this season.

I suppose I should really be looking at which unit is better for me. The PG or the Z-spray, as these seem to be the top two ride on type. If the HPS had a dedicated liquid capacity, it would also likely be in the running.


Thanks guys.

MaineFert
04-04-2007, 10:03 AM
We are also 100% granular and the Perma- Green has really worked out well as far as time and ease of application. It is tough to use in small yards, so it is good to have a push spreader in the truck. Unless you are doing a lot of spraying I would recommend going the a powered spreader. You can control most weeds with a backpack, and it is also better than broadcast spraying.

Jim

turfsolutions
04-04-2007, 10:05 AM
Two words - Z spray. There is a z spray for sale in this forum if your looking for used.

TLS
04-04-2007, 10:20 AM
To those that have used both the PG and the Z-Spray.

Which one suits a new operator better?

Which one requires the least maintenance?

Which one is best on hills?

Which one is going to last the longest?

turfsolutions
04-04-2007, 10:52 AM
Two words - Z spray

TLS
04-09-2007, 12:28 PM
Any further comments guys?

I see activity has sparked up a bit the last few days.

Would like to hear from PG and Z-Spray guys, and at what point they moved to these units (sq/ft wise).

Thanks

(wi) Roots
04-10-2007, 12:41 AM
TLS

IMHO a enclosed 12 ft trailer may be the best investment for you. Keep both your Z sprayer (My choice) and material in it. When ready to do apps just hook up and go. If you need more room go with a bigger trailer.

glad to see a familiar friend

Formally:NBL

TLS
04-10-2007, 11:44 AM
Just got finished treating 250K sq/ft this morning. Second day of pushing. Flats are fine, but every little slope feels like a mountain! Add to that that traditionally, this time of year, I'm in the worst shape!

bntt68
04-11-2007, 09:49 AM
Please take the time to call Z-spray. They are great to work with. You wont regret it.

xpnd
04-11-2007, 10:33 AM
What will be the typical size yard you will be working on? Lots under 12K or lots over 12K. Are you in an area where the lots are reasonably level or do a most of them have inclines so steep that a ride on won't stick. If you haven't already done so, I would recommend that you define the market target you are going after. If you are going for the small lots 12K and under a tank sprayer may be more cost effective. If you are going after larger jobs, then a ride on is definitely more applicable.

I service close to 150 clients. Of those clients, there are probably six lawns that I could really effectively use a ride on. The other 144 clients are under 12K and the majority of those are under 8k total lot size. When you are looking at an 8K lot with 2K of concrete and landscape beds and privacy fences with multiple gates, a good applicator that can manage the hose can probably do a better job getting complete coverage with a hose end application and drive off sooner than you will.

Look at your market and decide what will best serve your needs. A ride on is really cool but here in Texas (DFW area), 90% of the time is would be useless or at least more awkard to use than a hose end.

Also, generally speaking the larger the job the smaller the profit margin especially when looking at commercials. It shouldn't be that way, but we have trained the customer to expect more work for less money. The 6 customers where I could use a ride-on pay the same rate as my small lot customers. That's why I only have 6 large lots and no ride-on. In the end though, more than likely you will have a combination of both if you purchase the ride-on first.

TLS
04-11-2007, 10:45 AM
What will be the typical size yard you will be working on? Lots under 12K or lots over 12K. Are you in an area where the lots are reasonably level or do a most of them have inclines so steep that a ride on won't stick.

My lots vary from 12K (two) to 120K (one).

For the most part I have/would target the 3/4 to 1+ acre lawns.

Most are level for the most part. I would simply walk away from any hilly prospects.

xpnd
04-11-2007, 11:07 AM
My lots vary from 12K (two) to 120K (one).

For the most part I have/would target the 3/4 to 1+ acre lawns.

Most are level for the most part. I would simply walk away from any hilly prospects.

You need to spend a week sparying with me to appreciate how nice you have it. Everyone thinks of Texas as the wide open state. We are second in the nation, (FL is first) for sales of 21" WB mowers. The subdivisions here are mainly small lots with privacy fences, multiple gates, sloped yards or even better yet terraced lawns with steps and no way of getting to the terraced areas except to drag the mower over a dozen or so steps.

bntt68
04-11-2007, 11:31 AM
The Z-spray will do circles around someone using a hose , even on small properties. It will also hold a very steep hill. The z-spray units frame is actually the most efficient stand on mower frame in the industry. If that tells you anything about its manueverability.

Ric
04-11-2007, 11:59 AM
You need to spend a week sparying with me to appreciate how nice you have it. Everyone thinks of Texas as the wide open state. We are second in the nation, (FL is first) for sales of 21" WB mowers. The subdivisions here are mainly small lots with privacy fences, multiple gates, sloped yards or even better yet terraced lawns with steps and no way of getting to the terraced areas except to drag the mower over a dozen or so steps.

Xpnd

I hope you recognize that Florida in first in everything and Texas is always behind Florida.

BTW I understand stand Via the Grapevine that your company name is quite unique. Is it true you call your company "THE LAWN NAZI"


bntt68

Z sprayer are nice machines but like many things have a special place where they are better. A spray hose on postage stamp properties will out product a Z sprayer.

turfsolutions
04-11-2007, 07:59 PM
Line up 20 lawns in a row, 5000 square foot each, apply a pre emergant with fertilizer, one guys can drag a hose around, I'll take my zspray. We'll see who gets done first, does a better job, and isn't breathing heavy. :usflag:

Ric
04-11-2007, 08:16 PM
Line up 20 lawns in a row, 5000 square foot each, apply a pre emergant with fertilizer, one guys can drag a hose around, I'll take my zspray. We'll see who gets done first, does a better job, and isn't breathing heavy. :usflag:

TP

Postage Stamp yards are a little smaller than 5,000 Sq Ft and are generally cut up into narrow strips. While you are throwing Pre_emerge into the shrub beds the Spray guy will carefully be spraying only the turf. While you are trying to crank your blower the spray will be down the Street.

Don't Get me wrong, Spread and Spray machines certainly are great pieces of equipment. My first post to this thread recommends them.

turfsolutions
04-11-2007, 08:26 PM
Yes I agree on the postage stamp lawns being smaller than 5k, some guys think that anything under 10k should never be done with a stand on though. As for getting granules in the beds, an experienced operator should be able to contain the granules to just the bed edges, which is actually good for keeping the weeds at bay along the bed edges. Hard surfaces are a bit more difficult because the granules tend to bounce. The blowing off is the only extra time, but a back pack blower makes quick time of the cleanup.

xpnd
04-11-2007, 08:47 PM
Hard surfaces are a bit more difficult because the granules tend to bounce. The blowing off is the only extra time, but a back pack blower makes quick time of the cleanup.

I also run a mowing service for nearly all my weed control/fert customers. Whenever it is time for a granular application, my truck is loaded and ready to go in the morning. When that truck leaves I am right behind it. I bypass the first job and go immediately to the second and do my app and then so on down the route sheet. As the crew cleans up from mowing the granular app is taken care of also. I only have one job to work a blower on. I hate blowers.

xpnd
04-11-2007, 08:51 PM
Line up 20 lawns in a row, 5000 square foot each, apply a pre emergant with fertilizer, one guys can drag a hose around, I'll take my zspray. We'll see who gets done first, does a better job, and isn't breathing heavy. :usflag:

Oh Lord, I would give anything to have 20 side by sides on my route. My dream schedule

bntt68
04-11-2007, 11:10 PM
Ric, How long have you had your z-spray? I run the walk behind unit that is designed for small properties. I gave up dragging the hose for this unit and will never go back to the hose. I did not believe it could be faster either until I purchased the z-spray.

Ric
04-11-2007, 11:28 PM
Ric, How long have you had your z-spray? I run the walk behind unit that is designed for small properties. I gave up dragging the hose for this unit and will never go back to the hose. I did not believe it could be faster either until I purchased the z-spray.

bntt68

I don't own a Z Sprayer. I use a Ric-A-Green.

A Ric-A-Green is 1993 Walker 20 Hp mower with the deck removed and both a 25 gallon boom sprayer and Electric broad cast wheel, Spreader.

(wi) Roots
04-11-2007, 11:36 PM
Go all out and get a 200gal spray tank for the truck.


Not sure about your flow rate but:
Go and get yourself a 300 gallon you will be able to average more acers per day.
Go granular if you do!

TLS
04-12-2007, 08:45 AM
Go all out and get a 200gal spray tank for the truck.


Not sure about your flow rate but:
Go and get yourself a 300 gallon you will be able to average more acers per day.
Go granular if you do!

I don't understand your post?

Ric
04-12-2007, 10:16 AM
I don't understand your post?

TLS

IMHO If you don't under stand Roots post, You aren't ready to buy a sprayer and need to go back to school. However Roots could have used the term Application Rate to make it clearer.

TLS
04-12-2007, 10:21 AM
Ric.

I didn't understand WHO he was talking to. He messed up his quote (PHP?).

I am trying NOT to go the skid sprayer route. But from what I think he means, if I DO decide to go that route, to go with a 300gal vs a 200 gal.

I was having a hard time understanding his method of replying.


Looking at it now,....I'll overlook your comment about the school.

bntt68
04-12-2007, 08:04 PM
Dont sweat it TLS, I knew what you were asking. You just have to ignore most his posts. Good luck with what ever you decide on!

garydale
04-13-2007, 10:50 AM
One word=Permagreen