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View Full Version : Best Perma Green ride-on? + weed kill


americanlawn
05-24-2007, 04:35 PM
I've heard the best are the Ultra's vs the new Magnums. I'm wondering why.

Personally, I don't think the PG units come out of the factory with proper spray coverage. I have test-driven both....,same o same o (spit coverage).

Since we installed a 3.0 gpm pump w/a motorcycle battery, our weed control problems were quickly solved. Now our mowing subcontractor wants one like ours (modified version of an Ultra).

Bottom, line: What is your favorite ride-on sprayer?

Nathan Robinson
05-24-2007, 05:18 PM
I think the ultra is easier to calibrate and has more potential for drift than the magnum. Once calibrated correctly it sprays well.

sclawndr
05-24-2007, 07:51 PM
It seems you either believe in the PG way or you don't. I've seen a lot of posts like yours that say there's no way you can get weed control without full coverage. But do you really think everyone is either modifying their machines or living with poor results for all these years that PG has been in business? I couldn't be bothered trying to re-engineer a piece of equipment and I wouldn't live with lousy results either. I think the devil is in the details - you can't use a PG for precision work, such as around mulch beds. It also helps a lot to try to hit weeds pretty square instead of at the outer edges of the spray pattern.

I've had all the PG models and it's a toss up between the Ultra and the Magnum. The Magnum is a bit easier to work on and there are no electrical problems. I just had to replace the engine at 250 hours though because it literally cracked in half, and that points to the reason a lot prefer the Ultra - they were built a little better.

I'll likely get a Zspray next as there are some products that I use that do need a higher spray volume and the Zs are excellent machines.

DUSTYCEDAR
05-24-2007, 07:54 PM
I LIKE MY MAGNUM it is a great machine and spraying takes some getting used to but once u get the hang of it boy is it fast

The Ranger
05-25-2007, 02:22 PM
z-spray puts any PG unit to shame.

teeca
05-25-2007, 02:52 PM
i like my ultra, stock accept for replacing the surflo with the flojet for ester based products.

tdkx
05-26-2007, 12:29 AM
The 2007 Magnum is a much better unit than the Ultra. The ultra has too many electrical components which includes an underpowered electric pump. Older magnums(2005) had a pump problem so don't buy used if you want to go this way. 2006 models are pretty much the same as the 2007's and are good units. It took a three models to get the design correct but the 2007 magnums are a great unit. A far cry from Centri's that are still floating around. You need a magnum if you are doing large commercial type properties or large residential.(one acre plus) Magnums are worthless in smaller commercial residential settings. The Magnum is great for some but it is hose and reel for others.

rcreech
05-26-2007, 09:43 PM
I use my Magnum on every property size ranging from my smallest 3K residential up to a 23 acre cemetary I maintain. I have about 200 customers and my average is about 25K. It works the same on both but you just have a little more turning on the smaller ones. I have been is business for three years and have NEVER pulled a hose yet, and don' plan to. I agree that the machine may not be used as effeciently on smaller lots, but it has still got to be better then pulling a hose around and pushing a spreader. Call me lazy or whatever you want but lawns look good, customers are happy and I am riding around and getting a lot done. Love my PG and looking at getting another. Looked at the LT Rich product and almost bought one but keep coming back to the PG.

CircleCLandscape
05-27-2007, 06:40 PM
PG is great. I don't complain because I'd rather ride than walk or pull hose; however, I have used the 05 - 07 and they all have problems. I do run it hard(large commercial properties) and use it everyday. Hopper problems, pump problems, frame broke in half, engine ate away, transmission....and I could go on! For weeds I try to hit them pretty square or I swing back around to get them. I also run a little higher rate of w/c and have had better luck. There is a Toro boom sprayer that we tried to get for large commercial properties we do, but couldnt spend the money. Do have to be careful with a little breeze when spraying w/c, can get a little drift. Never run ester out of it....too volital. Stick with 2,4D, Dicamba; stuff like that. Good luck with your PG! Does make a lawn look great when working right!

americanlawn
05-30-2007, 06:47 PM
A local competitor hates his Z-spray. Not sure why (I know he got stuck in the mud once). I guess there's no "silver bullet" when it comes to ride-ons?

Earlier this month, I saw a 2006 Magnum at a local repair shop (Tri-State Toro). It had just under 40 hours on it. The axle was broken in half due to extreme corrosion. Seems the owner never ever cleaned it. Yet I wonder why such a new machine would break apart so soon???

Our 2 Ultas are still running strong, yet we seldom wash them. I also checked PG's used listings.....odd thing: The Ultras are bringing almost as much as their updated counterparts (Magnums)???

Jason Rose
05-30-2007, 07:25 PM
A local competitor hates his Z-spray. Not sure why (I know he got stuck in the mud once). I guess there's no "silver bullet" when it comes to ride-ons?

Earlier this month, I saw a 2006 Magnum at a local repair shop (Tri-State Toro). It had just under 40 hours on it. The axle was broken in half due to extreme corrosion. Seems the owner never ever cleaned it. Yet I wonder why such a new machine would break apart so soon???

Our 2 Ultas are still running strong, yet we seldom wash them. I also checked PG's used listings.....odd thing: The Ultras are bringing almost as much as their updated counterparts (Magnums)???

I do believe that the Axle corrosion/failures were rather common on the first run of Magnum models. I have a 2007 that has the added grease zerks on the bottom side of the transaxle to get grease to the shaft (keep water out).

Iv'e logged a whopping 25 hours on mine so far this year. Actually I'm still not done with round 2 of fertilizer yet. stupid weather. Just did my first service on it last night. I went by the checklist to the letter. Plus mine gets cleaned at the end of every use. It's a PITA to clean it, but the time and energy it saves me is worth the effort.

As for weed control with mine... I was VERY skeptical at first. I tried several products in it. Not impressed with Lescos Momentum, but it does work. Tired 3-way (even though not labled for ULV spraying) and had good results. Finally bit the bullet and bought some Surge herbicide. I'm liking the results so far! My biggest problem is not hitting the trigger... When moving along at 5+ MPH weeds pass by before I even see them. I hate to blanket spray everything, but I think I need to be more aggressive on spraying. Not like it takes much more effort, other than having to mix/fill the tank.

rcreech
05-30-2007, 09:25 PM
I don't spot spray for several reasons:
1) There can be small weeds just emerging that you can barely see.
2) It only costs $10/ acre to blanket spray (will cost more in gas and time to go back so you might as well do it right the first time)
3) The customer is paying for it....give it to them.
4) I never want call backs. I bet I have only had 2 call backs it three seasons and customers appreciate it.

I have picked up several customers that said all they did was call back the big boys to respray all the time. They couldn't have been making anything, but I guarantee they spot sprayed everytime and missed small weeds. This boy won't be caught in that game. Is anyone else against spotting or am I crazy?

indyturf
05-30-2007, 09:38 PM
I blanket spray along all the hot spots for weeds, sidewalks and driveway's. and spot treat the rest of the lawn except for the early fall blanket application or if its a new customer. I saved close to $2k on weed control last year!

teeca
05-30-2007, 11:05 PM
i'm with you indy.. i always spray around drives/side walks/ or thin parts of turf. and i also lay a heavy coat of pre-m in those spots also..

rcreech
05-31-2007, 02:53 PM
Thanks for the info Indy guys. Do you have many call backs or misses? Are you walking or riding?

I also farm (which I know is slightly different then lawn care) and I have always seen where we spot spray it is clean and where we turned off the boom it gets to be a mess. We no longer spot spray as it is just better to spray the whole thing. Maybe the same doesn't apply (no pund intented) here. If I don't have call backs and complaints I would think about it. I WANT HAPPY CUSTOMERS even if it cost me a little.

Thanks for your input.

philk17088
05-31-2007, 03:55 PM
I don't spot spray for several reasons:
1) There can be small weeds just emerging that you can barely see.
2) It only costs $10/ acre to blanket spray (will cost more in gas and time to go back so you might as well do it right the first time)
3) The customer is paying for it....give it to them.
4) I never want call backs. I bet I have only had 2 call backs it three seasons and customers appreciate it.

I have picked up several customers that said all they did was call back the big boys to respray all the time. They couldn't have been making anything, but I guarantee they spot sprayed everytime and missed small weeds. This boy won't be caught in that game. Is anyone else against spotting or am I crazy?
I spot spray all the time. First to save money. Second, I feel blamket applications of weed control where there are no weeds is a mis-use of pesticide. Most weed control materials do not work effectively on the first set of leaves that emerge from the seed. Weed control works only on actively growing weeds.
You need to set expectations with your customers. I tell mine that yes indeedy they will have weeds even with my service, thats why they have the service. The weeds will be taken care of AS NEEDED. Remember customers aren't buying materials, they are buying a SERVICE.

indyturf
05-31-2007, 05:22 PM
Thanks for the info Indy guys. Do you have many call backs or misses? Are you walking or riding?

I also farm (which I know is slightly different then lawn care) and I have always seen where we spot spray it is clean and where we turned off the boom it gets to be a mess. We no longer spot spray as it is just better to spray the whole thing. Maybe the same doesn't apply (no pund intented) here. If I don't have call backs and complaints I would think about it. I WANT HAPPY CUSTOMERS even if it cost me a little.

Thanks for your input.

I use a PG Magnum, I have not had one call back this year out of about 500 customers. I think I had 1 or 2 last year.

lawnservice
05-31-2007, 06:46 PM
I spot spray all the time. First to save money. Second, I feel blamket applications of weed control where there are no weeds is a mis-use of pesticide. Most weed control materials do not work effectively on the first set of leaves that emerge from the seed. Weed control works only on actively growing weeds.
You need to set expectations with your customers. I tell mine that yes indeedy they will have weeds even with my service, thats why they have the service. The weeds will be taken care of AS NEEDED. Remember customers aren't buying materials, they are buying a SERVICE.

yeah, as I was reading the other post I was thinking "what ever happened to IPM?"

americanlawn
05-31-2007, 08:11 PM
Lots of great posts here already, and I agree with all. Tomorrow I plan to take a pic of our Ultas that now have complete coverage on concrete/weeds --motorcycle battery plus 3.0 gpm pump w/the red nozzles did the trick. Now I just have to figure out how to post the pics on this site. One thing I have done....I have my smartest, most athletic guy running our PermaGreen units. It might seem like less work, but in a sense, it's more work & responsibility than what the regular guys have to deal with. One really has to know what he's doing while operating ride-on machines for sure. So far what I gather from your replies is, the latest models of magnums are better, yet the ultras hold their own as well. I almost switched to Z-sprays, but I am apprehensive there too, cuz of local reports. I think the PG's are nimble & quick, so I'm leaning toward PG??? Sure - they break down (today we broke a throttle cable), but we've had our share of breakdowns with our LESCO Ztwo as well (in the repair shop again now).

Please keep your inputs coming on this post as it is valuable info for so many.

Thanks guys, americanlawn.

DUSTYCEDAR
06-02-2007, 03:06 PM
i think i am going to just get a crop duster and have at it no more traffic and what a view up there just swoop and go :)

gregory
06-02-2007, 03:17 PM
i think i am going to just get a crop duster and have at it no more traffic and what a view up there just swoop and go :)

lol thats good i might look into that myself hell a friend of mine is a pilot for the county i will get him to fly it for me

DUSTYCEDAR
06-02-2007, 03:21 PM
lol thats good i might look into that myself hell a friend of mine is a pilot for the county i will get him to fly it for me

u dont need a pilot just stay at a holiday inn and youll get all u need to know lol

PSUTURFGEEK
06-02-2007, 08:03 PM
I can tell you from experience with both units, the z sprayer on hills is horrible, as soon as it starts to go just bail out, and it will go. The ultras, centris and magnums are 80% better on hills.

RigglePLC
06-02-2007, 11:07 PM
Creech,
you are absolutely correct. I blanket spray in July and September. Spot spray other times. There are just too many weeds you can't see--too many that are too small--just starting out. We use a PG Ultra. Satisfied with weed control, but pressure is a little low--our swath is only about 7 or 8 feet at times. Spurge and, oxalis, violets and veronica are hard to kill with either sprayer. We use mostly Eliminate, from Lesco. We use a skid sprayer for smaller lawns.

PSUTURFGEEK
06-02-2007, 11:37 PM
That's a good combo, low volume is always better for tough to control weeds like oxalis and such due to the fact the leaf tissue has small hairs and large droplets will not penatrate, Eliminate LO which is new this year is excellent for Perma greens due to the label actually being designed for low volume units many other labels don't actually have the correct rates printed.

rcreech
06-03-2007, 04:37 PM
Riggle PLC,

Good to hear we are on the same page. I guess it is just how one wants to run a business. I have chosen to give my customers excellent weed control and I have picked up a ton of new customers this year due to referrals. Must be doing something right. Could we spot and save money? Probably, but I don't want my customers to have any weeds as they are paying for my services to get rid of them. I talked to my Lesco rep and he said there is nothing wrong and it is legal to spray two blanket applications per season. I add Quicksilver or Octane to my lawns with Wild Violet or Corn Speedwell and get excellent control and it also speeds up your kill.

Lawnservice,
I have a BS in agriculture/turf and am fully aware of IPM and the enrvironment but I make decisions based on my customers needs and not my income. If I have a lawn with weeds and I choose to blanket vs. spot, that has nothing to do with IPM. I have lawns that I have had for three years and even with blanketing them in the fall they still have broadleaves and winter annuals throughout them in them come May when I am spraying again. I don't see how you all spot and do a good job. I only offer two broadleaf applications in my program and don't believe I can get by with spotting. If I was offering 6 or 8 treatments in a program I could see spotting but as I stated previously I have picked up a lot of customers this year that said all they did was cal Chem Lawn back due to poor weed control (which they were probably spotting).

teeca
06-03-2007, 05:16 PM
Lawnservice,
I have a BS in agriculture/turf and am fully aware of IPM and the enrvironment but I make decisions based on my customers needs and not my income. If I have a lawn with weeds and I choose to blanket vs. spot, that has nothing to do with IPM. I have lawns that I have had for three years and even with blanketing them in the fall they still have broadleaves and winter annuals throughout them in them come May when I am spraying again. I don't see how you all spot and do a good job. I only offer two broadleaf applications in my program and don't believe I can get by with spotting. If I was offering 6 or 8 treatments in a program I could see spotting but as I stated previously I have picked up a lot of customers this year that said all they did was cal Chem Lawn back due to poor weed control (which they were probably spotting).

lawnservice is correct in that you need to be responsable in your applications of chemicals and make sound choices in the IPM program, depending on where you live and the conditions of the turf on how you apply. but i will say this, i do talk to customers like lawnservice and tell them what to expect, are you going to get weeds? aaaa yah, and i will take care of them. the best time to spray is the fall, and the second is spring. so why would i blanket spray a lawn, at half lable rate in the summer, knowing that the summer weeds wont die, because i can only spray at half rate or the turf/ornamentals will die. i'd much rather have customers with a green lawn, that is activily growing with a few weeds hear and their, then a brown lawn with no weeds and if you sell your customers on that, then their happy. last but not least... you run you company, not your customers... they will only run you into the ground. is the customer always right? NO! only at wal-mart and burger king, it's not your way right away when the envroment and your license is at stake.

rcreech
06-03-2007, 07:21 PM
Tecca,

The customer doesn't run my business but they do pay my bills. Trust me that I am making good money and keeping the customer happy. If there are a bunch of weeds in my customers lawn after I have applied then I have failed. I get excellent control and that makes customers happy plain and simple. I always tell customers that I may not get 100% control due to possible environemental condions. But it won't be because I missed them trying to spot spray.

#1) I don't spray in the summer. I only spray for broadleaves in the fall and spring and I get excellent control. I use either use 1.5 oz of a Three way or 1.1 oz of Three Way tank mixed with Quck Silver. Lawns are just as green as anybody elses!

#2) How is my license at and the environment at stake? What I am doing is totally illegal. In Ohio you can make two blanket applications/year. That is what I do. How is the environment at stake? We are spraying millions of gallons of the same active ingrendients (Dicamba and 2-4,D) on millions of acres for crop production so I don't think the difference in you spot spraying a 10K lawn is going to save the world! Trust me I am not going to make a bad decision when using chemicals. If I am in a lawn and there are NO weeds I am not going to spray. However if I am in a lawn and see weeds here and there I am on the trigger. I don't even know why I am having to defend myself on this one.

lawnservice
06-03-2007, 07:54 PM
[QUOTE=rcreech;1851022]Riggle PLC,

I talked to my Lesco rep and he said there is nothing wrong and it is legal to spray two blanket applications per season. I add Quicksilver or Octane to my lawns with Wild Violet or Corn Speedwell and get excellent control and it also speeds up your kill.

Lawnservice,
I have a BS in agriculture/turf and am fully aware of IPM and the enrvironment but I make decisions based on my customers needs and not my income. QUOTE]
******************************
sorry, but I cant resist this one.

oh, A BS in agriculture/turf? yet you need to ask your lesco rep who was probably selling notions at the deptment store last month?

sorry, but your BS sounds like bs

rcreech
06-03-2007, 08:11 PM
LawnService,

My point was I am educated and fully aware of what I am doing. But that doesn't mean I know everything or have all the answers.
What is wrong with asking my Lesco rep, who has been in the lawn care business for over 20 years a question?
Are you too good to ask other professionals a question. I totally respect my Lesco rep and trust his opinion and what he says. He hasn't led me astray yet!

I specifically called to ask him about spot spraying and he said some do it and some don't. THIS IS OVER in my book. You have your opinion and I have mine.


I am not wasting my time on this anymore, thank your for you input!

americanlawn
06-04-2007, 06:14 PM
I took a digital picture of our PG Ultra with the motorcycle battery & 3 GPM pump (complete coverage in high gear), but I do not know how to post a pic on this forum. If anybody's interested in seeing it, please advise me on how to post a picture. Thanks much.

DUSTYCEDAR
06-04-2007, 07:41 PM
when u post go to manage attachments down the page and browzs and upload there

The Ranger
06-05-2007, 08:55 AM
Save yourself a lot of problems and look away from the PG and look toward the Z-sprays.

americanlawn
06-05-2007, 07:36 PM
Enclosed is a pic of our Ultra that sprays complete coverage of weeds in high gear! It's awesome & the results are excellent!

americanlawn
06-05-2007, 07:50 PM
This is a 2003/2004 PG Ultra that sprays concrete (and weeds) with solid spray with no misses or "sprinkles"- not even a bee bee will get unsprayed -- total coverage in high gear. We run the red nozzles with the 3.0 gpm Shurflo & motorcycle battery. No more fertilizer to corrode the pump or battery either since they now sit "above". It took two of us about two hours to make the changeover, and it was worth every minute. No more callbacks and total confidence on every application. I know the Zsprays are good too, but I've heard problems with them also (hills, poor traction, getting stuck, etc). Magnums with less than 40 hours reporting broken axles too. I checked out PG's used site to find out that Ultras are bringing nearly as much as the newer Magnums??? Someday, somebody will design a really great sprayer/spreader, but for now, we love this unit (finally).

DUSTYCEDAR
06-05-2007, 07:51 PM
nice use of a elec junction box

teeca
06-05-2007, 08:02 PM
cool.. may the force be with you! lol

americanlawn
06-05-2007, 08:09 PM
Dusty & teeca -- thanks. We searched hard & wide for an appropriate housing for the battery. Dusty -- thanks for the comment....it reminds me of the movie "Tommy Boy" where he gets back from college and his friend says" Hey, way to go on that D plus!" LOL Thanks guys.

DUSTYCEDAR
06-05-2007, 08:12 PM
i would have pry used my dukes of hazard lunch box

RigglePLC
06-05-2007, 08:17 PM
Most excellent! Looks like mine only yours is cleaner.
But I had a complaint last week. At end of row, when i turned left--fert did not cover a tear-drop shaped area 5 feet wide until pg unit was aimed straight again. So I had yellow spots at each turn, across the back yard 10 feet apart. suggestions?

DUSTYCEDAR
06-05-2007, 08:26 PM
never turn when spreading its the only way to avoid it

americanlawn
06-05-2007, 08:28 PM
Jeeze I'm not sure. I don't operate our 2 PG's. I know Scotts spreads the sh$t out of lawns, and then they spend alot of time using a blower. I have a feeling that my guys seldom use the deflector shield in order to cut corners cuz they are just interested in their weekly "commissiion"?? ie: they get lazy. Plus, I've seen TruGreen guys "rounding the corners" all the time. I was trained "the ChemLawn way" back in the late 70's. They trained us to cover every square inch. That's the prob with ride-ons.

TLS
06-05-2007, 08:34 PM
Now that you figured out how to post pics americanlawn,.....lets see some more!

DUSTYCEDAR
06-05-2007, 08:35 PM
he did didnt he now we need some more

americanlawn
06-05-2007, 08:37 PM
Dusty -- we actually did consider a lunch box, but we decided on the electrical box from Menards. Then we utulized our existing rubber hoses (cut in half) to secure the 12 volt motorcycle battery. $60 for the 3.0 gpm pump + $30 for the battery (from a motorcycle dealership). Cheap cheap cheap -- no more T-bone steaks for employees this year -----burgers/brats/hot dogs from now on.... okay - the beers are free. (paid out of my own pocket cuz my bookkeeper wife is a ____) LOL

americanlawn
06-06-2007, 07:52 PM
Jeeze -- if you guys want more pics, please let me know, but keep in mind that it will take me hours to figure out the "picture posting" here. Basically, you're dealing with a dummy. Me. LOL

lawnservice
06-07-2007, 06:15 PM
American, did you mention how many sq ft you cover with the 8 gal tank with your set up?

americanlawn
06-07-2007, 06:24 PM
lawnservice -- We're covering about 25,000 sq ft with it. Red nozzles. We will be switching our other Ultra over too very soon (haven't used it yeat this year).

Hogjaw
06-11-2007, 12:20 AM
NATHAN,

YOU STILL HAVE THE LAWNJET SPRAY GUN?

Hog

Rayholio
06-11-2007, 09:43 AM
I use the prolawn sprayer attached to my grasshopper... It's fast, and 0 overspray... I can spray in 40mph gusts with 100% of the product on the target site.