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lost mountain
12-14-2001, 07:23 PM
I have gotten a lot of requests for sanding on Bermuda and Zoysia grass from my customers and some who are not my customers. Some of the companies around here who specialize in it charge a lot for it.
I can get a new Turfco machine for around 5k...I've seen a used one for 4K. The reel mower would probably be prudent rather than relying on a rotary in scalping for this purpose. It seems the equipment would be paid for in less than one season with advertising. Another thing to consider is that our lawns would look supreme and bring us more maintenance customers in general. Any opinions on making this leap into a specialized offering?

the only past thread on this forum I pulled up was here:

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=1365&highlight=Sanding+Top+Dressing

mdb landscaping
12-14-2001, 07:24 PM
i think you answered your own question. if the machine pays itself off, you have enough work, and you want to provide more service, it sounds like a win win situation.

65hoss
12-14-2001, 07:28 PM
One question, what does sand and clay make?

Some sand and organic matter would be better idea.

lost mountain
12-14-2001, 09:07 PM
How's this Hoss:

"...a washed Sand/Earth Food Compost mix and topsoil."

Sanding is just the generic term ;)

Do any of you offer this service? What are some pitfalls?

65hoss
12-15-2001, 12:29 AM
Originally posted by lost mountain
How's this Hoss:

"...a washed Sand/Earth Food Compost mix and topsoil."

Sanding is just the generic term ;)

Do any of you offer this service? What are some pitfalls?

Excellent, now I'm with you!:)

David Haggerty
12-15-2001, 06:05 AM
I've been looking into topdressing too. Here's some research sites I've accumulated.

Cushman topdresser
http://www.ttcsp.com/2/products4b.asp?Product_Id=47&search.x=6&search.y=8

http://www.sandmantopdressing.com/

http://www.sandsquad.com/

http://www.golfcourseequipment.com/Equipment/Spreaders.htm

http://www.toro.com/golf/cultivation/appequip/index.html

I hope this helps.

Do you have any websites I could look at?

Dave

jeffex
12-15-2001, 06:17 AM
I had a customer who tried everything to grow grass in his front yard. He spent $$$ on loads of top soil only to have it wash off the hard clay the builder scraped down to. I recomended aeration and sand and now his front yard looks great. I simply used a 125lb spreader to topdress the sand. I told him that this is something he should do every year and to add some peat moss to bring in organic matter. SOLD!!!!$$$$$$$

lost mountain
12-15-2001, 10:01 AM
jeffex ,

What type of spreader? How much sand mix did you apply? (this is the thing that makes it a little tough: is the cost of a top dresser)

Dave,

Sandman and Sandsquad are here in town and they are the one's I was referring to above. I see a picture of a Cushman topdresser on the Sandman site where as Sandsquad apparently uses the Turfco which has WB and one with a hitch:

http://www.turfco.com

jeffex
12-15-2001, 05:44 PM
I did about 1/4 acre with an Agri Fab spreader. I bought the sand in 50lb bags . Next year I will make a second pass with peat moss. You must be doing large areas to spend $4000 on a top dresser.

lost mountain
12-15-2001, 06:01 PM
And is why I'm leary about the leap. Which model AgriFab?

jeffex
12-16-2001, 06:02 AM
not sure model # I put it away for the winter It is 125lb capacity model it can be rigged t push or tow behind a tractor or atv

jeffex
12-16-2001, 06:09 AM
is sanding a big busines in Georgia because of "Georgia C lay"?
In the MD county I work in most lawns are heavy clay and Next year I will be pushing this service. I havent heard of anyone else doing it here but the results I got speak for themselves

lost mountain
12-16-2001, 10:32 AM
It's because of the clay and compaction (aeration is part of this offering) but I believe it's more to do with the fact that once any of these guys had the idea to apply the leveling techniques of golf course and athletic field maintenance to residential - homeowners started seeing the results, the demand started growing. I was surprised to hear 50% of my customers inquiring about it. This could be coincidence as I only have a small number of accounts having started this company in August. It's encouraging though.

Mark

jeffex
12-17-2001, 06:35 AM
uNLESS YOU HaVE DEEP POCKETS its better to build your business renting equipment. Just apply the rental fee to your price and try to line up multiple jobs to offset the cost. I still do this with aeration as I have run out of storage in my garage. Whe you are doing enough sanding to justify the expence then "GIT' YOURSELF ONE".!!

fshrdan
12-17-2001, 11:17 AM
Jeffex, I couldn't imagine using a 125 lb spreader for topdressing. Most guys around here lay it on so thick you can't see the grass. That's a whole lot of sand to buy in 50 lb bags!... and quite expensive.

LM, if you give sand squad a list of addresses, they'll go bid them for you, and offer pretty good discounts to the trade. I've only dealt with sandsquad. Sandmand and sandsquad are run by the Guzeman's, two brothers who are now competing. Also, Core Aerations, Inc. does topdressing.

I decided not to offer the service myself cause I didn't have a reel mower for scalping super-close like you need to before topdressing. You have to figure in scalping and hauling away clippings, dethatching-if you sell it, core aeration, and then topdressing. It's a very expensive service, for good reason. An average 8,000 sq. ft. lawn will be over $1000.00.

Also, be prepared for your customers to ask you to reel mow their yard after this.

lost mountain
12-17-2001, 02:04 PM
fsherdan, I know there's a lot to it. I've thought about subbing it out and discussed it with Sand Squad some years back. There's also a lot of other things to worry about investing into in my business like we discussed before.