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Lawn Beast
07-26-2009, 01:05 PM
Is a backpack sprayer big enough to start out when spraying herbicide or do you have to have something bigger?

Hissing Cobra
07-26-2009, 01:39 PM
Backpack sprayers and handcans are only good for spot treatment of herbicides, insecticides or fungicides. If you want to "Blanket Spray" an entire lawn, you will need a gas powered sprayer, preferrably with at least 200 gallon capacity in the tank as that will allow you to Blanket spray 100,000 sq. ft. per day at 2 gallons per minute.

RigglePLC
07-26-2009, 03:25 PM
Lots of operators started out with a backpack. And plastic spreader. Around here we don't need the competition. But you can walk at 3 mph. Wave the wand to cover 7 feet wide. And keep the pressure low so you can apply a half gallon per thousand sqft. However, you look unprofessional--for serious business you need professional equipment--200 gal skid sprayer.

Lawn Beast
07-26-2009, 08:23 PM
thanks fellas.

LB1234
07-26-2009, 09:16 PM
Lots of operators started out with a backpack. And plastic spreader. However, you look unprofessional--for serious business you need professional equipment--200 gal skid sprayer.

Riggle...I have to disagree with you on this one. I don't see what is so unprofessional looking about placing a backpack sprayer on your back and going to spot treat. As long as your licensed, insured, following/applying within the regs, etc. what is the big deal?


I only have 12 or so accounts that I take care of with the applications side of the business. Been treating these lawns with backpacks up until this summer. Extremely inefficient, yes. Unprofessional, no.

hughmcjr
07-26-2009, 09:48 PM
Backpack sprayers and handcans are only good for spot treatment of herbicides, insecticides or fungicides. If you want to "Blanket Spray" an entire lawn, you will need a gas powered sprayer, preferrably with at least 200 gallon capacity in the tank as that will allow you to Blanket spray 100,000 sq. ft. per day at 2 gallons per minute.


For big lawns, yes, but for most of my lawns and beds, 1k-3k sq ft, backpack is the way to go beyond a reasonable doubt. If I have to spray a few of these lawns or places with beds for weed control, then there is no way I am using my 50gal power skid sprayer. Alone it is a nightmare having to drag hose, etc and you wouldn't want to fill a large power sprayer with Glypho and then drag a hose around through beds etc and back across plants, LAWNS!!

If I am spraying a good number of lawns and the sq ft totals are 20k or more then I will use my power skid sprayer. Again, Glypho never goes in it.

If I am spraying several lawns that are a few thousand to 20k sq ft, I can fill my power sprayer which holds 4 gal and cover 4k give or take. I would then have to refill it several times, but time wise the only place I am "losing time" is when I have to refill the sprayer, where as with the skid I wouldn't, but then I don't have to reel or unreel a hose so really time is a wash. It does no quicker than with my power skid sprayer as I use a fan spray and wand. I know some guys use those JD9 guns or what have you, but here is what I use:

http://www.sprayingequipmentsupply.com/teejet/GunJet-Spray-Guns.html

but actually I use a combo of the above and this in one wand:

http://www.sprayingequipmentsupply.com/teejet/twist-spray-guns.html



I don't see how one can use a JD 9 for say 2,4d/banvel on turf grass and not get a lot on you or get a lot of drift since it is close to the body and way off the ground considering more than 30-40psi with a little wind can cause drift. :confused: I get down to within a foot of the ground with my wand and even it is higher than I would like. 4-6 inches is perfect.

Big power sprayers for lawn weed control and pre em control in beds is far better and more efficient for large and multiple areas, but again it helps if you have a support person moving that hose with and for you.

hughmcjr
07-26-2009, 09:49 PM
I also agree with LB1234 and I have quite a few more places I spray than he does.

tlg
07-26-2009, 10:28 PM
The whole idea is to work smarter not harder. If your seriously considering getting into lawn applications why would you start out limiting your potential or your ability to get the work done in a timely professional way. Backpack sprayers really were never intended to replace a good spray rig. There sole propose is for spot spraying. If you put two applicators on two different lawns, the same size, and one had the backpack and the other a sprayer who do you think will finish first, have better coverage, and apply at a consistent rate? Any LCO that's running any decent size company with any sort of production goals surly is not using a backpack. They are also making money by saving time. If you can't invest a few grand into the proper equipment why even start. What will you do when that first new customer has a 1 acre lawn full of weeds? Believe me you will look and feel like a professional applicator and your customers will think so too.

hughmcjr
07-26-2009, 11:00 PM
The whole idea is to work smarter not harder. If your seriously considering getting into lawn applications why would you start out limiting your potential or your ability to get the work done in a timely professional way. Backpack sprayers really were never intended to replace a good spray rig. There sole propose is for spot spraying. If you put two applicators on two different lawns, the same size, and one had the backpack and the other a sprayer who do you think will finish first, have better coverage, and apply at a consistent rate? Any LCO that's running any decent size company with any sort of production goals surly is not using a backpack. They are also making money by saving time. If you can't invest a few grand into the proper equipment why even start. What will you do when that first new customer has a 1 acre lawn full of weeds? Believe me you will look and feel like a professional applicator and your customers will think so too.

While I agree in general with your reply concerning larger companies and larger areas, I disagree with the part I put in bold and italicized. I am also assuming you must be talking about self propelled spray rigs. :confused:

While backpack sprayers were never intended to replace a spray rig, that doesn't mean they can't be used for larger areas other than spot spraying. I want to see literature or even some common sense person say backpacks are intended for only spot spraying. Of course I am not talking about acres where engine propelled equipment is the only way to go. (Although here in Oregon, the grass seed farmers have the migrants walk ACRES of fields to spot spray out undesirable turf grasses with glypho, spot spraying, but acres upon acres).

What do you mean by a sprayer? If it is a skid sprayer and the psi is the same as the backpack within reason, the same volume is coming out, so how can the one with the hose sprayer get done faster? If within reason they fan the same/similar pattern/pressure how is one more efficient, provide better coverage and applied at a more consistent rate and faster? Then again, I am the only one who sprays for my business and I am fussy and know that the the way I use them the difference overall in terms of impact on me physically and performance wise for my accounts is minimal at best.

When I spray 20k of turf (combined total of a series of duplexes or homes adjacent to each other, not an open field) with with my power skid sprayer it takes several hours which is the same exact time it takes me with my backpack sprayer. Time and energy expended become a wash with fighting over a hose and wear and tear on ones arm/wrist as opposed to having 40lbs on your back.

This is my opinion and experience, and without getting into self propelled spray rigs, I am more than open to someone enlightening me how a power skid sprayer with hose is better for me in terms of time and energy and results for the examples I provided above.

greendoctor
07-27-2009, 01:43 AM
While I agree in general with your reply concerning larger companies and larger areas, I disagree with the part I put in bold and italicized. I am also assuming you must be talking about self propelled spray rigs. :confused:

While backpack sprayers were never intended to replace a spray rig, that doesn't mean they can't be used for larger areas other than spot spraying. I want to see literature or even some common sense person say backpacks are intended for only spot spraying. Of course I am not talking about acres where engine propelled equipment is the only way to go. (Although here in Oregon, the grass seed farmers have the migrants walk ACRES of fields to spot spray out undesirable turf grasses with glypho, spot spraying, but acres upon acres).

What do you mean by a sprayer? If it is a skid sprayer and the psi is the same as the backpack within reason, the same volume is coming out, so how can the one with the hose sprayer get done faster? If within reason they fan the same/similar pattern/pressure how is one more efficient, provide better coverage and applied at a more consistent rate and faster? Then again, I am the only one who sprays for my business and I am fussy and know that the the way I use them the difference overall in terms of impact on me physically and performance wise for my accounts is minimal at best.

When I spray 20k of turf (combined total of a series of duplexes or homes adjacent to each other, not an open field) with with my power skid sprayer it takes several hours which is the same exact time it takes me with my backpack sprayer. Time and energy expended become a wash with fighting over a hose and wear and tear on ones arm/wrist as opposed to having 40lbs on your back.

This is my opinion and experience, and without getting into self propelled spray rigs, I am more than open to someone enlightening me how a power skid sprayer with hose is better for me in terms of time and energy and results for the examples I provided above.

I started my business with a 7 gallon engine drive backpack sprayer. Nothing hack or unprofessional about it. If anything, not even the "landscapers" who are supposed to be in the business of lawn maintenance have machines like mine. I see them sending out immigrant labourers with hand pumped sprayers to spray lawns or shrubs. Takes a lot of time and in some cases, does a poor application. I once sprayed an acre of lawn from this machine with a 3 nozzle walking boom. At 1 gallon per 1000, that was 6 fillings. It actually took longer to fill up than it did to cover the 7000 sq ft. I even sprayed 10,000 sq ft worth of nursery stock in greenhouses with an engine drive backpack. After doing those two jobs and becoming known as the person who will correctly spray acreage, I had enough money saved to put together a 100 gallon skid sprayer with both a hose reel and a computer controlled boom that gets mounted to the truck bumper. Not to mention more jobs lined up to use this type of equipment. Everyone has to start somewhere. But I do not think I would have gotten where I am today as quickly if I did not spend the money on my two engine drive backpacks. I still use them every day, because I do not always do big lawns, most of them are under 5,000 sq ft and every lawn has a different type of grass that requires separate herbicides, fertilizers, etc. Or I only have 500-1000 sq ft of trees and shrubs to spray.

If I have situations where a 200 ft hose and a truck become more of a liability, than labor saver, the engine drive backpacks are used. It would probably take me less than 4 hours to cover 20,000 sq ft in a condominium type property or small lawns right next to each other as in the front lawns of an HOA. Parking can be a PITA in my area. It is a blessing to be able to park the truck in one place and walk to the lawn without having to worry about hose. I have 200 ft of hose on a reel. 99.9% of the time, if I cannot get it with that, it is usually small areas that are better covered with the 7 gallon sprayer. It is a time loser for me to be dealing with hose, unless it is open lawns or trees that are within 100 ft of the truck.

daveypadot
07-27-2009, 08:43 AM
What kind of sprayer do you have?

tlg
07-28-2009, 10:22 PM
While I agree in general with your reply concerning larger companies and larger areas, I disagree with the part I put in bold and italicized. I am also assuming you must be talking about self propelled spray rigs. :confused:

While backpack sprayers were never intended to replace a spray rig, that doesn't mean they can't be used for larger areas other than spot spraying. I want to see literature or even some common sense person say backpacks are intended for only spot spraying. Of course I am not talking about acres where engine propelled equipment is the only way to go. (Although here in Oregon, the grass seed farmers have the migrants walk ACRES of fields to spot spray out undesirable turf grasses with glypho, spot spraying, but acres upon acres).

What do you mean by a sprayer? If it is a skid sprayer and the psi is the same as the backpack within reason, the same volume is coming out, so how can the one with the hose sprayer get done faster? If within reason they fan the same/similar pattern/pressure how is one more efficient, provide better coverage and applied at a more consistent rate and faster? Then again, I am the only one who sprays for my business and I am fussy and know that the the way I use them the difference overall in terms of impact on me physically and performance wise for my accounts is minimal at best.

When I spray 20k of turf (combined total of a series of duplexes or homes adjacent to each other, not an open field) with with my power skid sprayer it takes several hours which is the same exact time it takes me with my backpack sprayer. Time and energy expended become a wash with fighting over a hose and wear and tear on ones arm/wrist as opposed to having 40lbs on your back.

This is my opinion and experience, and without getting into self propelled spray rigs, I am more than open to someone enlightening me how a power skid sprayer with hose is better for me in terms of time and energy and results for the examples I provided above.

If it takes you several hours to spray 20k with your skid sprayer something just don't seem right. On average most applicators with a skid sprayer should be able to spray at least 1k per min. Meaning about 20 minutes to spray 20k. Also, a skid with a large 200 gal or more tank won't require refilling as often as that backpack. When you say self propelled spray rig I assume your talking about a ride-on. I'm not suggesting that at all. I'am talking about a truck mounted spray rig or skid sprayer if you like. It all boils down to production. Anybody can go spray a few jobs with a backpack. Can it be done? Absolutely. Is it the best way? In my opinion, my 30 years in this business, my personally doing millions of acres of lawns, well over 100k applications (myself), I would say no. I don't know how many accounts you service each year and that may be a factor in your opinion. I can tell you that just one of my trucks will produce on average 35 stops a day and gross sales of anywhere from $800 to $2000 a day ( depending on what we are spraying for). I counted 7 backpacks in our shop today. All have never sprayed an entire lawn because they are " spot sprayers ". When somebody designs a 200 gal backpack they maybe I'll change my mind. If your up to a challenge and you are ever in Michigan, bring your backpack. I'll pick 5 lawns of equal square footage for both of us to spray and we'll see who's faster. I even keep one hand behind my back!

hughmcjr
07-28-2009, 10:59 PM
If it takes you several hours to spray 20k with your skid sprayer something just don't seem right. On average most applicators with a skid sprayer should be able to spray at least 1k per min. Meaning about 20 minutes to spray 20k. Also, a skid with a large 200 gal or more tank won't require refilling as often as that backpack. When you say self propelled spray rig I assume your talking about a ride-on. I'm not suggesting that at all. I'am talking about a truck mounted spray rig or skid sprayer if you like. It all boils down to production. Anybody can go spray a few jobs with a backpack. Can it be done? Absolutely. Is it the best way? In my opinion, my 30 years in this business, my personally doing millions of acres of lawns, well over 100k applications (myself), I would say no. I don't know how many accounts you service each year and that may be a factor in your opinion. I can tell you that just one of my trucks will produce on average 35 stops a day and gross sales of anywhere from $800 to $2000 a day ( depending on what we are spraying for). I counted 7 backpacks in our shop today. All have never sprayed an entire lawn because they are " spot sprayers ". When somebody designs a 200 gal backpack they maybe I'll change my mind. If your up to a challenge and you are ever in Michigan, bring your backpack. I'll pick 5 lawns of equal square footage for both of us to spray and we'll see who's faster. I even keep one hand behind my back!

Not continious or connected all in one area 20k. I am talking 20 separate small tract homes with 1k lawns each, although they are in the same subdivision. Each one has a front and back. Just to take out the hose on each takes at least a minute, then about a minute to spray the front and another to spray the back. Sometimes we don't have to recoil the hose and this is WITH a second person helping to reel the hose out and in. Then move to the next house. 5 minutes per house x 20 houses is 100 minutes and that is being conservative. I would say it took us 3 hours that day start to finish from initial loading of the sprayer to finishing spraying. You are not going to get it done faster and this is why the backpack all things considered in this situation is as fast. Again, all one area of 20k sq ft you are right. Read what greendoctor says as he is basically agreeing with what I said and says the same.

And most important, I see how virtually everyone in this business works, here in Oregon, NY where I am originally from and many places I have visited all over the US. No one works any faster than I or other owners do. I don't care how people try to say they work fast etc, they don't or at least not any faster than I do. I can get done in a few hours what takes most employees an 8 hour day.

tlg
07-28-2009, 11:48 PM
Why does it take two people to spray 1k lawns? Perhaps you should invest in an electric hose reel. I guess that explains why you went to the backpack. You were not making any money.

hughmcjr
07-29-2009, 12:06 AM
Why does it take two people to spray 1k lawns? Perhaps you should invest in an electric hose reel. I guess that explains why you went to the backpack. You were not making any money.

I can do it myself and you know how it is with time, our time is our time. It makes a huge difference having him behind me negotiating the hose so I don't have to. I never "lose" money since my time is my time, but I am sure there are some who are more business savvy and would say I am losing money by not being more productive. True, but in the end, we all die penniless, including the most wealthy. :)

These are lawns that are part of my regular mowing schedule, and weed control/fertilizing is included. I am thinking of renegotiating all my contracts and separating my spray business from my landscape maintenance business, because without extra jobs, maintenance is virtually a losing proposition that after twenty years in business has me more in debt, worn out and frustrated. :dizzy:

Most chem app companies it seems charge 400.00 plus for just fert and weed control and I am including that in my maintenance for an all in one price. I think I would do better to separate it out. My customers get a deal and I get more broke. That is why you can be "too nice" as a business owner.

tlg
07-29-2009, 09:31 PM
Time is the most valuable thing you have. You have to make good use of it in both business and our everyday lives. Since the beginning of this thread I have suggested what I think is the best and most productive way to spray lawns. Time is money as they say. The best any of us can do is make money in less time and spend that time we saved with what's really important to each of us. I sure won't die penniless because I have made every effort to not waste the time I have and make money. Deciding what is best for you is all up to you. Ask yourself is my time really my time or is it given to somebody or something that dosen't deserve it?

americanlawn
07-29-2009, 10:22 PM
Unless you're running a ride-on, best bet for spraying weeds is to spray with a lawn gun. (we prefer TeeZet) Also keep in mind that there are several sizes of nozzles to use with a lawn gun (pulling out a hose). It's quick, effective, and treats lawns five times (or more) faster than backpacking.

We use Shurflo battery-powered backpacks with up to a 3 foot spray pattern, but even then it still takes a long time to cover lawns.

If you ain't bringing in two dollars or more per minute, you ain't makin' money.

We don't dick around when it comes to equipment, cuz that's what makes us money. We pay more for high quality stuff cuz it lasts longer, and we don't have to worry about downtime or cheezy results.

I have a split tank Tuflex tank that is 20 years old, and it still looks like new. Got a honda engine that is 20 years-old, but she still runs like new. Got two T3000's (2008 models) that run like new and don't break.

Bottom line: when we make a purchasing decision, we buy stuff that makes us "money per hour". If we did not think this way, we'd be out of business pretty quickly.




Time is the most valuable thing you have. You have to make good use of it in both business and our everyday lives. Since the beginning of this thread I have suggested what I think is the best and most productive way to spray lawns. Time is money as they say. The best any of us can do is make money in less time and spend that time we saved with what's really important to each of us. I sure won't die penniless because I have made every effort to not waste the time I have and make money. Deciding what is best for you is all up to you. Ask yourself is my time really my time or is it given to somebody or something that dosen't deserve it?

DA Quality Lawn & YS
08-16-2009, 02:51 PM
Good conversation. I am using a Shurflo to treat my dozen or so customers this season. 1st season. I do feel it is rather inefficient using the backpack. That, and carry full backpack after full backpack around is taxing on the back. That said, I only treat lawns up to 7K sq ft or so (two fills) - I turn down larger jobs for now as it is just not feasible to treat such lawns. I can't risk doing a poor job on big lawns at this pt when trying to est business.

I am glad I started with the backpack this season. I am more focused on putting together a proper program and getting 'in tune' with turf and treatments rather than the actual spraying itself. Thats the easy part. But, in order to score those 20K sq ft jobs, I am going to have to move up to a small skid next season. Will I still use my backpack to treat some lawns, yes I believe so, esp the 2k sq ft ones with lots of nooks and crannies. But will also have the skid for wide open areas. I think this two prong approach will be ideal in the long run.

PestPro
08-17-2009, 05:45 PM
Heck...I use a 50 gallon power sprayer for doing just around the outside of a customer home for generall pest control..just like looking like a professional as you all do in Lawn care....and I aplaud you all for it.

david shumaker
08-18-2009, 09:39 PM
Good conversation. I am using a Shurflo to treat my dozen or so customers this season. 1st season. I do feel it is rather inefficient using the backpack. That, and carry full backpack after full backpack around is taxing on the back. That said, I only treat lawns up to 7K sq ft or so (two fills) - I turn down larger jobs for now as it is just not feasible to treat such lawns. I can't risk doing a poor job on big lawns at this pt when trying to est business.

I am glad I started with the backpack this season. I am more focused on putting together a proper program and getting 'in tune' with turf and treatments rather than the actual spraying itself. Thats the easy part. But, in order to score those 20K sq ft jobs, I am going to have to move up to a small skid next season. Will I still use my backpack to treat some lawns, yes I believe so, esp the 2k sq ft ones with lots of nooks and crannies. But will also have the skid for wide open areas. I think this two prong approach will be ideal in the long run.

I'm going to try a Shurflo also since I only have a few lawn customers that want applications. I just ordered one tonight from Bonbon-Pebbles on Ebay. $174.95 + $6.99 shipping and no tax.

I've been using a Spyker spreader and Stihl 5 Gal. backpack plus I keep a bunch of small pump sprayers for small spot spraying. The small pump sprayers come in handy when you only need to mix 1 Qt. to 2 gal. for spot spraying. Chapin Sprayers has some small sprayers cheap on their website.

BigSioux232
09-17-2009, 09:49 AM
I know this is an older thread, but I'd value some expert opinions on my own needs. I do organic lawn care on the side...it is not my primary income. I use the family suburban to haul my product and equipment. I have a combined program of organic granular (thanks Eric Danese @ Organic Approach) applied with a professional Earthway rotary and organic soil conditioners applied to the entire lawn. The organic liquids require only about 12 oz per 1000k, which can be mixed with water based on the gallons per 1000k to get the right coverage. I have only about 20 clients ranging from 4k to 20k and I do them only 4-5 times per year. So I don't have the capital to invest in a 50-200 gallon skid sprayer and I'm not reliant upon my business for income. It's more of a hobby that gives me some boat gas money. But, I'm embarassed to even tell you how I'm spraying today...all I know is that it is not working and I need to invest in an equipment upgrade. I'm considering a powered backpack. Okay, let the beating begin ;) What do the experts recommend?

LB1234
09-17-2009, 07:51 PM
What do the experts recommend?

claim your income and pay your taxes.

ted putnam
09-17-2009, 10:13 PM
You might look at a boom sprayer that the tank drops in your spreader hopper. Look on the Gregson Clark website. I don't think one of those would be much more than a powered backpack. It'd make those larger lawns much easier to do.