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clallen03
04-13-2007, 05:45 PM
OK, heres were Im at.

My lawn maint company is doing fairly well. My customers are pretty much satisfied with the work I have been doing on their lawn. Now most of them are treated my TG CL or Scotts and the others are subded out to a company just south of me. The only reason they are being done by others is because I have never sprayed chemicals, I dont own a large sprayer (only a backpack), and I get little to no results with the granular post em. My clients are asking me to do it but I have been recommending the big guys or I sub it out.

Now heres the problem. The company that Im subing work out to has a certain area that they cover. His most northern limits touch my most southern limits, so he will only spray those accounts. Most of my clients are outside of his limits so I have to turn down the work or recommend the big guys.

Im seriously considering buying a tank so I can start spraying myself. Before you'll ask, I am licensed and I know I need to get my insurance.
I just dont have much experience spraying and Im going to need some help with liquids so i can get the ball rolling. I know the basics that we learned in class to get my license, but now hands on.

Where do you'll think I can start? Working for someone to get experience is not an option. How steep is the learning curve? What size tank would you recommend for about 20 accounts? Which sprayer would you recommend?

I know Im going to make mistakes, Im just trying to make a little mistakes as possible. Anything you can come up with will be helpful.

Thanks a bunch

RAlmaroad
04-13-2007, 07:03 PM
clallen03: One of the most important skills is learning to spray evenly. Mark off a piece of pavement that is 1000 sf. Begin with a gallon of liquid in your backback and set you nozzle to a droplet--not a fog nor a stream and learn how quickly that gallon goes and check for evenness. If you run out add another gallon. What your after is to learn to manage your water because your pesticides are rated #oz/1000 Then add some blue or orange color marker to the water and spray a vacant lot that you've marked to 1K. More than likely you will be using somewhere between 1-2 gallon to spray evenly. You should practice, practice, practice and begin wiith some round-up to kill weeds quickly so you'll have a quick survey of what you've done because most of the chems that you'll be using are a little slower than roundup to see any results. And finally begin your first yard as your own and use less than recommended ratio. Maybe some of the other guys can help out some. Then go to your Z-Spray or large tank application. Check out what's available before committing to buy.

indyturf
04-13-2007, 10:21 PM
You could check and see if the guy you have subbed out to would let you go out with him for a couple days. ask him any question you can think of and take notes. I would also lean toward a PG or Z-SPRAY . your going to be spending $3-4K for a spray set-up, it would only be a couple more for a PG Magnum. then you wouldn't have to mix the fertilizer and the liquid weed control is pretty easy to figure out.

clallen03
04-13-2007, 10:25 PM
Thanks for that info.

Im not going to use the backpack at all because it takes to long to spray a 1/4 lot with a backpack. I can probably use it for practice using water on my lawn. I'll do this just get a feel for it, but I think I need to do what you recommended with the tank that I buy so I can really get a feel for what im going to be using.

If I use a lower application rate will that cut down the chances of me burning up someones lawn? Take Three Way for example. Normal application during cooler weather is 1oz to the gallon. If I went 3/4oz to the gallon does that lessen the chance of serious damage. I know in hot weather I have to go with a lower rate right?

clallen03
04-13-2007, 10:34 PM
I have heard alot about these PGs or Z-Sprayers. What do they normally cost and how are they more cost efficient. I know the tanks on these are not that big so how will that help if Im spraying large lots or several lots in one day?

I hope these questions are not stupid because I know very little about this type of equipment. I spent several hours at the Lesco dealer today soaking up lots of info from them and customers that came in to purchase products. Lesco reps opinions are bias so I thought I might ask you'll to get a second opinion on this stuff.

Thanks

indyturf
04-13-2007, 10:48 PM
New PG's are about $5500. They will save you time and effort. you will be able to do twice the volume and wont feel like you ran a marathon every day! the tank is 12 gal and will cover about 1 acre. I carry a 60 gallon nurse tank to refill and mix the herbicide as I go.

clallen03
04-13-2007, 11:15 PM
Most of my accounts are very small, 10k sqft of turf or less would you still recommend this unit or would a 200 gal tank and hose be a better idea for me?

These unit look like it would be very difficult to keep spray and/or granulars out of beds and off dirveways. Do you think the time saved by these unit will be sucked up by clean ups with blowers?

Just trying to get a better understanding of this piece of equipment.

Thanks

Shades of Green LService
04-13-2007, 11:16 PM
Challen03
I would go with indy's advice and go w/ the permagreen. It is a great machine IMO and an investment that is well worth it. You can still use a backpack to hit the hard to reach areas and all the hot spots. This is my first full season w/ my PG and can't imagine doing an app with out it. Also, once you get used to using the deflector gaurd and third hole shut off, bed and DW run off is minimal. Good luck in your venture.

P.S I am also a full service company and do all the work myself. Thats the main reason i got one. I Get the equipment i need to grow my biz and still work solo.
-Jay

RAlmaroad
04-14-2007, 08:49 AM
Corrie: Probably sinking $5K+ is going to be a bit much for US Southern Guys. I like the PG and it is expensive. You may have the funds to get started right away. However, if you don't; Go to Tractors Supply or Northern Tools and check out their 25 Gallon tank sprayers. There under ATV Stuff. They have a 12V Pump, hose is way too short--you'll need to buy a 3/8" X 200' hose for them. If you're not overwhelmed with accounts--you'd be OK with these and less than $300 to get started. Your fertlizer could be done with a simple push spreader--again IF you only have about 25 accounts or so. In your 5-Shot accounts, Pre-EM--dry, fert-dry, weed herb--wet, fert,dry,weed/feed --dry/wet. See you need both--that's why the PG is good. Save your cash for a good machine in the future and not a cheapy. You probably have a GREAT MOWER to make working smarter--not harder. Good Luck

Shades of Green LService
04-14-2007, 09:52 AM
Forgot about JRCO, You could get their spreader that mounts to a ZTR and a 25 gal. sprayer like the previous post said and that will cost you around $1500 or so. Not a bad idea to help increase your work load.
-Jay

clallen03
04-14-2007, 02:15 PM
I think I'm going to need a little more then a 25 gal because I have about 20 account that I need to spray and I already have a lesco push spreader to do granular fert apps in the summer. I'm think about 100-200 gal space saver.

This is a very serious question that I need to know.

How do you'll store the left over liquids from the different rounds?

indyturf
04-14-2007, 02:57 PM
I never store leftovers from different rounds. try to mix about what you think you will need, but if you have left over mix it in with the next round and adjust the mix or find a lawn thats in a high traffic location with lots of weeds that you could spray for free if they let you put up a lawn sign for a few weeks. my lawn is 3 acres so I really didn't have to worry about finding someplace to empty and leftover.

RAlmaroad
04-14-2007, 05:51 PM
Corrie: You can always mix more...just don't start one yard then run out--Roughly I use about 1.25 gal/1000K--If a yard is 10-15K, which is average, then you're only looking at 15-25 gal/yard. If you can ease back on the water then you're fine for one yard. As far as left over chems, I don't think they would have much of a shelf life. Unmixed and and tightly sealed plus not left to be frozen then they are good for a year or more easily. I have a jug of Atrazine that is about 4 years old--only use such a small amount and could only get 2.5 gal jug. It's still good--however I do strain it before using.
BTW--what type of grass are you treating?

clallen03
04-14-2007, 11:24 PM
Im spraying mostly Bermuda and a little fescue. Most of these account are looking for green up and weed control. I have been selling yearly contracts and I need these lawns to look nice, its just so much to learn.

I think Im going to go with the 200 gals tank because Im planning to be in this thing for a while. I dont think it would be good to go with a small unit because i wouldnt be able to haul around these chemical while out spraying and I dont want to waste money on a smaller unit.

I dont want to lock myself in to only Lesco Products. Can you'll tell me of another similar company that sell these products?

Thanks

Shades of Green LService
04-14-2007, 11:43 PM
Im spraying mostly Bermuda and a little fescue. Most of these account are looking for green up and weed control. I have been selling yearly contracts and I need these lawns to look nice, its just so much to learn.

I think Im going to go with the 200 gals tank because Im planning to be in this thing for a while. I dont think it would be good to go with a small unit because i wouldnt be able to haul around these chemical while out spraying and I dont want to waste money on a smaller unit.

I dont want to lock myself in to only Lesco Products. Can you'll tell me of another similar company that sell these products?

Thanks

I use Lesco and Jonathan Green (pro) Products.

Turf66
04-15-2007, 12:17 AM
I think its a great idea!! I will help you as much as I can. I would get the 200Gal. Since I am spraying a few of them it will be an easy transition form me to you. Paper work is the most important thing. I will call you!

RAlmaroad
04-15-2007, 06:26 AM
Corrie: Become a good friend to your County Extention Agent. Look into your local Farmer's Co-op--They carry a large variety of vendors like PBI Gordon, Southern AG. Monsanto, etc. And as posted, you are required to document everything from purchase date, mixing date, usage, entry time--everything. Carry on...Oh yes, big tank in back of your truck with good pump is a great way to go. But---you'll never get away from the "ole Packback"