PDA

View Full Version : best ride-on sprayer/spreader?


americanlawn
04-05-2007, 11:24 PM
Z-spray units:
Positives = nice weed contol and product duribility. Good guys!
Problem: it's a zero-turn. Requires two hands to steer and not able to operate deflector shield or shut off spray, etc while keeping two hands on the controls.

Perma Green units:
Positives = easy to manuever. fun to drive.
Problems = poor small-leaf weed control, constant corroded wiring, many parts shelling out, deflector shield prevents putting product along curbs for crabgrass control.

Both companies have very fine people who answer the phone.

Problem I find is the "actual unit"....

There has to be a solution. I'm thinking I might use the PG unit & re-engineering it. Changing the battery set up, tweaking the deflkctor shield, etc.?

I have ideas such as a motorcycle battery + eliminate the 90 degree fittings .. 90 degree resricts flow--dumb idea in the first place.

Currently we have two PG Ultras. One sprays poorly and does not spread (worn out coupler).

The other does not spray or spread (broken coupler and ?).

Both are 4 years old. Seems to me, expensive lawn care equipment should last longer than a "throw-away vacuum cleaner".

Our PG units have been broke down about twelve times over the past 4 years, (cost us money and customers).

Right now, I don't know where to turn.

Please help. Thanks.

p.s. "
"senior members" who only respond with selfish critism of members are not appreciated by me.

Thanks to all. I totally respect ALL feedback. Those who criticioze the fact that the same subject has already been posted (no matter what subject) really DICUSTS me. Some of you are "senior" members??? Shame on you.

Pilgrims' Pride
04-05-2007, 11:51 PM
I have the z-max and a PG.
I take the z every where and use it on all (including my smallest) properties.
I also pull a tow behind aerator with it.
While the machine is a zero turn I have found that I can operate it with one hand.
BTW there is also a foot operated button to work the sprayers.

I keep the pg as a spare now.
The most it gets used now is when my son is at the shop with me.
He loves riding it.

sprayboy
04-06-2007, 08:47 AM
I agree pilgrim. I own a z-max and can operate it with one hand. It only takes a second to stop and raise/lower deflector, spray works with foot control and hopper needs shut off before you turn anyway. While never operating a perm green I truly love my new z-max, especially with the 50 gallon capacity spray system. I owned a z-jr before this year and never had any problems at all. If you have any questions at any time, Tom and Andy are more than willing to help--great guys.

Puttinggreens
04-06-2007, 09:21 AM
I too often operate with one hand when needed. Agree with previous two posts.

TLS
04-06-2007, 10:25 AM
americanlawn,

PG has changed dramatically since 4 years ago.


Others,

What are the cost differences?

sclawndr
04-06-2007, 11:31 AM
[QUOTE=americanlawn;1781924]Z-spray units:
Positives = nice weed contol and product duribility. Good guys!
Problem: it's a zero-turn. Requires two hands to steer and not able to operate deflector shield or shut off spray, etc while keeping two hands on the controls.

Perma Green units:
Positives = easy to manuever. fun to drive.
Problems = poor small-leaf weed control, constant corroded wiring, many parts shelling out, deflector shield prevents putting product along curbs for crabgrass control.


I disagree - The PGs aren't really expensive and you shouldn't plan on getting more than 3 years out of them. Over the 3 years, they'll cost about $14 a day, which is a tremendous bargain. They might last longer if you take care of them but I'm amazed at the number of posts that complain they don't last 5-10 years. You're fightig a losing battle with 4 year old machines. The design frankly wasn't that good and the new Magnums are much better. I've read a lot of posts about people screwing around trying to re-engineer the machines. Consider for a moment how much productive time you're wasting trying to get an extra year or two out of a bad design.
As for the Zspray - I'll probably get one but their deflector is a drawback - you can't reach it while riding, meaning you have to stop. I'm spoiled with the PG by being able to reach over while driving. It could be more inconvenient but I can't imagine how.

indyturf
04-06-2007, 12:00 PM
Put your old units on Ebay! you will probable get 3 grand for the pair. then either buy the Z-Spray or a new PG Magnum. I'm on the 3rd season with my Magnum and still going strong. I don't see any reason the magnum wont go 10 years with proper maintenance.

Victor
04-06-2007, 12:42 PM
Doesn't that foot-shifter on the PG's drive you nuts? It looks like it would difficult to use, every time you needed to change directions. To keep from using the shifter any more than you have to, do you guys do circle patterns in your lawns, or do stripes, back and forth?

Since Z-Sprays have zero-turn capability, doing stripes, back and forth looks like it would be easy.

sclawndr
04-06-2007, 02:38 PM
Actually, the only problem with the foot shifter is that it doesn't stick out far enough. I usually only have to use reverse to get off the trailer. Go forward and loop around - it's no big deal. You'd also think the lousy brakes on the PG would be a problem but they're really not. The transmission will keep you at a steady speed on any reasonable grade. It's a good reminder to not take the unit where it shouldn't be to begin with. If you have to use the brake, you're in the wrong place.

indyturf
04-06-2007, 06:55 PM
The foot shifter isn't a problem. I do go in a circular pattern, it makes turning a lot easier, and I usually only go need to use reverse a couple times a day if that. I carry a small Scott's hand held spreader for any tight spots.

rcreech
04-06-2007, 08:31 PM
I am running a Magnum for the second season and don't have one bad thing to say about the unit. Knock on wood- no parts yet, and get excellent weed control!
Love the PG, but looking at adding a Z-Spray to my line up for the larger properties and so I can run higher gallons if needed, and run WP if needed. Is it a bad idea to run two different pieces of equipment (parts/inventory etc)? Is this a bad idea? I have heard such great things about the Z.

lawn king
04-06-2007, 09:01 PM
This is the best ride on spreader/sprayer. It will run you approximately $20000. That includes ac,cruse and stereo!

turfsolutions
04-07-2007, 02:21 PM
2 false reports about the z spray on this thread that need discussion:

1. Truth - You CAN drive the machine with one hand. That is the key to productivity. You cant do a zero turn with one hand but you can steer with one hand and operate the spreader and sprayer controls with the other. It takes some time, but an experienced operator can do it no problem.

2. Not sure about the rest of you that own one, but I can reach the deflector while operating the machine. It is a bit of a stretch but I can reach it. If I couldn't I would rig an extender on it. Maybe some models you can't, but on mine, I can.

sprayboy
04-08-2007, 01:21 PM
I too can reach deflector while standing on machine. It only takes a couple seconds to do this.

sprayboy
04-08-2007, 01:34 PM
I am running a Magnum for the second season and don't have one bad thing to say about the unit. Knock on wood- no parts yet, and get excellent weed control!
Love the PG, but looking at adding a Z-Spray to my line up for the larger properties and so I can run higher gallons if needed, and run WP if needed. Is it a bad idea to run two different pieces of equipment (parts/inventory etc)? Is this a bad idea? I have heard such great things about the Z.

I own a z-max. I can't see 2 different pieces being a problem. The only spare parts I have ever keep is nozzles (just to change if one plugs up, clean it later) nozzle bodies (in case I have a dumb ass attack and get it caught in something). If anything goes wrong some parts can be picked up at local stores or mower dealers( spark plugs , switches, ect.) Major parts can be gotten the next day by the guys at LT Rich. They get anything shipped out that day. I know that doesn't help when something breaks the first thing in the morning and your down all day but that can happen with any type machine, sprayer, mower, truck, trailer.

sclawndr
04-09-2007, 04:24 PM
I too can reach deflector while standing on machine. It only takes a couple seconds to do this.

I didn't say you couldn't reach the deflector - I said it was difficult to reach and more so if you're on the move. If you think the Zspray deflector is easy, you should try the PG - you don't even have to slow down. I was surprised at the poor engineering of that part given the overall quality of the machine, that's all.

Forever Green Lawn
04-09-2007, 08:28 PM
I made a cable and handle attachment for our z-sprays that controls the deflector. It works great and no more getting off the machine. I'll post some pics when I get a chance...
Scott

turfsolutions
04-09-2007, 11:55 PM
I agree that it should be easier. Would love to see the pics of your set up forever green.

Forever Green Lawn
04-10-2007, 12:03 AM
Here are some pics of what I did. It's simple and inexpensive...

sclawndr
04-10-2007, 05:51 PM
Thanks! Good idea to rout the cable over to use with the left hand.

drumbo
04-12-2007, 12:35 AM
Yeah...I just bought a Z-Spray. I am not so sure that it is suited for my area. I am in NE MO and we have lots of hills. (both steep and rolling)

Anyone have trouble with their Z on them? I know some of you guys have the Z-Max model. Do you find that it performs better on hills?

I have to drop my aerator to gain traction on a hill. And when I turn around or go sideways, the hydraulic oil spews out. And the tires/hydros seem to kind of jitter or shake in a turn in even a slight hill situation.

turfsolutions
04-12-2007, 12:02 PM
All in all the z sprays and z plugr are not for steep hills. If most of your customers are hills then a tank and hose is the way to go. That said, they will take moderate hills. As for the z plugr, mine also spews out hydro fluid. The problem was that it was dripping on the engine intake. They sent me a fix it kit at no extra charge, however it still drips fluid, just to the side not on my intake. I wrap a towel around the vent cap where it leaks to keep it off the lawn. They told me that they run too much fluid in the machine and that the leak should lessen as the fluid gets lower in the tank. Not sure if this is the case as my machine has 80 hours on it. Its only a drip so I am not too concerned now that it is not dripping on the intake.

As for the squealing of the hydros when you turn, it is normal for the z plugr to turn easier to the left, so you should work in a zamboni pattern counter clockwise turning to the left.

drumbo
04-12-2007, 01:23 PM
That's where I had the problems....turning to the left. Since the intake filler is on the right side, I'd turn left and the oil would start spewing out from the cap. I bought a plug for it (per LT Rich advice) but it leaks underneath. And then the popping of the hydros (not necessarily whining/squealing) seems to be odd, too.

This was all done when I aerated and then when I used the broadcast spreader. I haven't used the sprayer yet. Doing Lesco combo right now and will use it when the broadleaf round is up.

turfsolutions
04-12-2007, 04:52 PM
Do you have a z plugr with spreader and sprayer attachments?

drumbo
04-12-2007, 10:04 PM
Yup...yup. For sure. With around 95 hours.

turfsolutions
04-12-2007, 10:13 PM
Its like comparing apples to oranges when you compare the z plugr to the z spray. The plugr is a beast for sure and I can't see how it can be used on a regular basis for treating lawns. Great money saving concept, but not realistic with the way the plugr handles. Seperately they are great machines but they need to be used seperately.

Moonlight
04-12-2007, 11:39 PM
I have had my Permagreen Magnum for 2 years. The ONLY problem or issue I have had with it was belt problems. I go through about 4 drive belts a year. It only takes 5 minutes to install a new belt. Oh yeah, and I had to change the sparkplug...... Very dependable. The only problems I have had with the Magnum have been my own silly mistakes. I use the unit probably 150 days per year. On the other hand, my new z-plugr will be in on the 25th... The Magnum is a great unit.

grolawn
07-14-2007, 05:09 PM
I agree pilgrim. I own a z-max and can operate it with one hand. It only takes a second to stop and raise/lower deflector, spray works with foot control and hopper needs shut off before you turn anyway. While never operating a perm green I truly love my new z-max, especially with the 50 gallon capacity spray system. I owned a z-jr before this year and never had any problems at all. If you have any questions at any time, Tom and Andy are more than willing to help--great guys.

Was the z junior top heavy? What about hills?
AK

DUSTYCEDAR
07-15-2007, 10:56 AM
my z-plugr dont leak :) runs fine love that machine real money maker
i like to play with the tips on the magnum depending what i am spraying

americanlawn
08-13-2007, 08:10 PM
Last Friday, I watched one of my guys spray an entire lawn with a PG Ultra. He covered 18,000 sq ft with 5 gallons of herbicide. The spray looked like it was "overkill", as it was a steady spray leaving nothing uncovered.

Today (3 days later), I revisited the lawn. All weeds were dying - including spurge, knotweed, and purslane.

I wish I had taken pics, cuz the "spray" was firm & constant'. This would not have been possible if we used a "stock" PG. Our PG's now have 12-volt motorcycle batteries with 3.0 gpm pumps.