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View Full Version : Lesco HPS Spreader Questions


qball98
04-12-2007, 12:33 AM
Thinking about purchasing one of these units and I am wondering how well they hold up. From what I can see the ride on part in just painted but i figure it would be ok if it is kept clean.

I know they have had some cable problems in the past is this fixed now?

How hard are they to steer when full?

If you own one now and had it to do over again would you still buy it of choose something else?

I have never bought any equipment form Lesco will they negotiate on the price?

lawn king
04-12-2007, 07:47 PM
I have 2 hps units. A 2004 model & a 2005. Both have been good machines. One bad head gasket & one bad rear axle seal, both repaired under warranty. Corrosion has not been a big issue, i wash down with water after each use and coat all painted surfaces with liquid wrench. I have had no cable problems. The machine is not hard to steer when full. I weigh 175 lbs, a full tank of fuel last me 1.5 hours @ application speed. The hps can go into/onto terrain that a z spray or PG could never handle. I think they could improve the hand controls (cruise control) and the kawasaki does not like water. Overall im very pleased with the hps, its an easy machine to service and repair and is holding up well.

A.T.A.K
04-12-2007, 08:00 PM
I bought 2 HPS machines this year not sure how I managed without them. This the 1st season with them if I have to buy 2 a season I will do so from here on out. I will tell you to calabrate them at all speeds the slow speed will take you forever to treat. I spent a day to get my calabrations. So far the only product is Lesco 20-0-20. All is working great.

mnturfmaster
04-12-2007, 08:40 PM
i bought one in 2004 and it has been a pretty good machine. the only problem i have had is the idler pulley for the belt froze up. about $40 for the part and lesco's typical 2 weeks to get it. the one thing i really dont like is the throttle handle. hand gets really sore if using on my 15 acre property. really easy to turn with a full hopper. just bout a pg magnum and can't wait to use it to see how they compare.

Jerry Andersen
04-13-2007, 08:22 AM
i bought 1 this year & love it. It takes the work out of spreading fert

qball98
04-13-2007, 10:36 PM
Well I went and bought one today. It actually looks better in person than the pictures I saw. For half the price of a permagreen I decided it was the best choice. Time to put it to work next week and see how it does.

Thanks for the advice

sclawndr
04-14-2007, 08:53 AM
Well I went and bought one today. It actually looks better in person than the pictures I saw. For half the price of a permagreen I decided it was the best choice. Time to put it to work next week and see how it does.

Thanks for the advice

Don't want to burst your bubble but it's half the price because it only is half as useful. It doesn't spray weeds so it's limited to throwing fert or lime. Now if you have to walk the property all over again with a backpack or dragging a hose, exactly how much have you saved?

The mayor
04-14-2007, 04:12 PM
Don't want to burst your bubble but it's half the price because it only is half as useful. It doesn't spray weeds so it's limited to throwing fert or lime. Now if you have to walk the property all over again with a backpack or dragging a hose, exactly how much have you saved?

Very true, but using one of these http://www.gregsonclark.com/spreadermate.html
you still don't have to walk or pull a hose. Problem is you just can't do both at the same time as the perma green. But most of my lawns don't need a broadcast of herbicide just some spot spraying. I myself only do fert and squirt on lawns I mow and take on nothing more. So for me the HPS would be the better machine (I only go through 160 bags of fert per application) If I did more the perma green or z spray would be the way to go.

sclawndr
04-14-2007, 07:12 PM
Very true, but using one of these http://www.gregsonclark.com/spreadermate.html
you still don't have to walk or pull a hose. Problem is you just can't do both at the same time as the perma green. But most of my lawns don't need a broadcast of herbicide just some spot spraying. I myself only do fert and squirt on lawns I mow and take on nothing more. So for me the HPS would be the better machine (I only go through 160 bags of fert per application) If I did more the perma green or z spray would be the way to go.

True enough - if you're not a serious weed and feed guy, then you can get by with the HPS or similar. My only point was that if you do this full time, use full time equipment. And it doesn't matter if you spot spray or blanket spray a lawn, you still have to walk the whole lawn to do it.

Jerry Andersen
04-14-2007, 11:36 PM
The hps will make you more productive which means more $$$ with more $$$ better equip(zspray) that will leave hps as a back up

qball98
04-14-2007, 11:53 PM
Price was not the only factor in my decision it came down to what made better business sense. I realize the permagreen is a more versatile machine but service also becomes a problem. With the HPS it is easy to get to the motor and all the drive parts and the local shop where I get repair work done can easily work on the motor or transmission if needed. With the permagreen the closest shop that has even seen anything like it is 90 miles away and that would not be very helpful if I had to drive 180 miles to just have it worked on. Lesco is the only place to buy parts for either one and the HPS is the only one they even stock any parts at all for. As far as the spraying goes I am not completely sold on the low volume system the permagreen uses. To even use the three-way herbicide I spray you have to use a minimum of 40 gallons of water per acre to be legal. For me spraying is only done in the early spring and late fall when it is when the weather is cooler but fertilizing is done in when we have 90 - 100 degree days with high humidity. So all I realy needed was a piece of equipment to keep me from having a heat stroke pushing an 80 lbs spreader up hills. So price was a factor but not the only thing I considered. At some point it may make sense to buy one that is capable of spraying. If it does then I will buy it and keep this for a backup but in the meantime this will beat the heck out of pushing a spreader uphills.

Jerry Andersen
04-15-2007, 12:14 AM
hps & spacesaver is what i have they are both new to me this year but i'm happy with them so far. most of the lawns i cover are 10k & under. so i thought 6,000 put me in both pieces. or 6,000 for zspray

vegomatic40
04-15-2007, 08:59 AM
The stability on hills with the HPS tends to be much better vs. a PG. Getting over curbs with a PG can be problematic at best. Simply leaning back on the HPS and "gunning it", gets over the tallest curbs easily. Speed adjustment is easy as well by adjusting the cables for forward or backward. I saw a small tank/pump on a site (maybe Gregson Clarke?) that slips down in to the hopper and gives you 15 gal. of material. While you would have to put it back in after a fert. app. it looks like a viable option for spray if needed. Since 98% of my lawns get 2 blanket apps. of weed-control by hand on RD's 1& 2 , weeds are not a big issue during the summer apps when the HPS comes into play. My biggest issue so far is that the engine is mounted on rubber bushings and at idle it shakes considerably. With the vibration, I've replaced a carb. float-bowl and gasket that were lost. Since Lesco had a "falling out" with Honda and puts Kawasakis on all their small engine stuff I'm waiting on the engine to be kaput to replace it with a 8hp. vertical shaft Honda for a little more grunt and productivity but that may be years down the road. My only other gripe is some kind of cruise control (common complaint) since your right hand gets a little tired from holding it wide open on the straight-aways. I've tried bungees and other ways to lock it down but nothing works well enough or feels safe enough since sometimes you want to stop quickly but, keeping your foot close to the neutral-lever works OK for now.
On large properties I never felt comfortable with the PG for spreading seed precisely and it tended to put my hands in too close to wooden fences. It also puts the operator standing fairly tall on the sulky, couple that with practically non-functional brakes...I'll chose the HPS every time.

TLS
04-15-2007, 10:23 AM
How much does that Gregson-Clark drop in sprayer cost?

And is it able to be dropped in real quick while leaving the boom and what not on the spreader?

In other words, could you feasibly fert a couple acres, then pull back to the truck and drop in the sprayer real quick and then go spray?

A.T.A.K
04-15-2007, 06:59 PM
So far we have applied 20 tons of 20-0-20 made life a lot easeir on my guys. The HPS is a god send. I did not choose the PG because of the sprayer I will not allow my guys to spay using such a small tank with our turff there needs to be 5-10 gallons per thousand feet. Most techs will bet lazy with a PG and think it can be used on all accounts. So as a serious owner of any company in FL HPS is the way to go.

Jerry Andersen
04-15-2007, 10:11 PM
i think the drop in sprayer is around $800.00

qball98
04-15-2007, 10:32 PM
Well I went and did some commercial accounts today to get a feel for how it works with nobody around watching me. So far I like it. There are a couple of things that could be improved like the hand controls because it is a little hard on the hands to hold for long periods of time. When I am done with this round I think I will see about putting a lighter spring on it. It would be nice if it had a little tighter turning radius but it is easily compensated for by making two trim passes around the border. Other than that I think it was the right choice for what I need to do. The first place I treated is about 1.5 acres and it took about 50 minutes including learning how to maneuver it easily, compared to an hour and a half with the push spreader so it will definitely pay for itself in time saved and wear and tear on my body.

The mayor
04-16-2007, 08:06 PM
How much does that Gregson-Clark drop in sprayer cost?

And is it able to be dropped in real quick while leaving the boom and what not on the spreader?

In other words, could you feasibly fert a couple acres, then pull back to the truck and drop in the sprayer real quick and then go spray?

I don't remember the price but it was around $800.00
You can leave on the boom and remove the tank. It is just one hose fitting and the on off switch.
It was feasable for me, but I don't do fert and squirt as a full time gig. I just do the customers I mow for. If weed control was my main bread and butter I would go look into a permagreen or something like that.

mnturfmaster
04-16-2007, 08:21 PM
The stability on hills with the HPS tends to be much better vs. a PG. Getting over curbs with a PG can be problematic at best. Simply leaning back on the HPS and "gunning it", gets over the tallest curbs easily. Speed adjustment is easy as well by adjusting the cables for forward or backward. I saw a small tank/pump on a site (maybe Gregson Clarke?) that slips down in to the hopper and gives you 15 gal. of material. While you would have to put it back in after a fert. app. it looks like a viable option for spray if needed. Since 98% of my lawns get 2 blanket apps. of weed-control by hand on RD's 1& 2 , weeds are not a big issue during the summer apps when the HPS comes into play. My biggest issue so far is that the engine is mounted on rubber bushings and at idle it shakes considerably. With the vibration, I've replaced a carb. float-bowl and gasket that were lost. Since Lesco had a "falling out" with Honda and puts Kawasakis on all their small engine stuff I'm waiting on the engine to be kaput to replace it with a 8hp. vertical shaft Honda for a little more grunt and productivity but that may be years down the road. My only other gripe is some kind of cruise control (common complaint) since your right hand gets a little tired from holding it wide open on the straight-aways. I've tried bungees and other ways to lock it down but nothing works well enough or feels safe enough since sometimes you want to stop quickly but, keeping your foot close to the neutral-lever works OK for now.
On large properties I never felt comfortable with the PG for spreading seed precisely and it tended to put my hands in too close to wooden fences. It also puts the operator standing fairly tall on the sulky, couple that with practically non-functional brakes...I'll chose the HPS every time.

i just put my new pg magnum up against my hps today and i would have to agree with you on everything you said about the hps. what i did about the sore throttle hand issue is put a cable tie on it and i can slide the cable tie on and off pretty easily. i only use the cable tie on my 15 acre property where i can run over 5 minutes in a straight line before i have to slide it back off the throttle lever

vegomatic40
04-17-2007, 07:18 AM
Yep..I tried the zip-tie/cable-tie idea as well on a humongous property last fall but never felt comfortable with it. A weaker spring as suggested by qball98 may be a option but not sure it wouldn't interfere with the tranny returning to neutral position. Should be a simple solution to this problem on a otherwise excellent machine.

TLS
04-17-2007, 08:16 AM
Do they hold up corrosion wise in the long run?

lawn king
04-17-2007, 07:32 PM
My original unit was 4 years old in march and i use my machines a lot, 3-4 days per week minimum. The only noticeable spots are at the tube openings at the very bottom of the handle bars.

americanlawn
04-17-2007, 07:39 PM
I test drove the LESCO unit, and I like it cuz it's hydrostatic compared to PG.

It doesn't have the short-turning radius that the Perma Green units have.

$500 buys you a spray unit for these LESCO's. Anybody have these installed?

TLS
04-17-2007, 07:40 PM
How is Lesco in regards to price you pay vs. list price. Is there any negotiating?

lawn king
04-17-2007, 07:48 PM
I was able to purchase my units for $2500. Symbiot members got huge discounts on lesco equipment and chemicals until 2006. The bottom line on hps units here in massachusetts is $2900.