View Full Version : Looking at getting into pest apps, need help

09-01-2009, 11:35 PM
Just got the study materials for my pesticide license that I'm going to try and get this fall/winter. I currently mow for a large retirement community, who has expressed interest in having me spray for weeds. Looking at a 40 acre site, with about 20 acres of turf. Mostly duplexes set up on a typical suburban type spacing, but ther are over 70 of these units, plus the nursing home and some wide open areas that are yet to be developed. They are currently spraying themselves, but not enough to keep the residents happy. Last round took them almost a week to complete, and I think they still missed some areas. They were using a 25gal pull behind sprayer with a 2-nozzle boom behind a gator type UTV.

My original thought was to get a Compact tractor to replace my X720, and use a 40-50 gal 3pt boom sprayer with a 120"+ swath, and do all my mixing on site. I'm not sure if this is the right directon or not. I'm concerned about being able to get close enough to the landscaping without killing off all the shrubs and flowers. I'd like to be able to cover the whole complex in about a day, maybe day and a half. What's my best bet for equipment here? Would a ride on sprayer be able to do something this big in a day?

I don't plan on making any purcahses until next spring after I have my license in hand. Just trying to think ahead. Any help would be appreciated.

09-02-2009, 04:54 PM
Are you licensed?

09-02-2009, 05:08 PM
Are you licensed?

Tremor, can't you read?

09-03-2009, 03:16 AM
I would look at getting a skid sprayer for doing a job that size. Any way you look at it, plan on laying out some cash for equipment. That is risky to do for just one job. What if you lose it?

You may want to consider subbing it out to a pro. That way, you know it will get done right.

09-03-2009, 07:11 AM
also you have to weigh the insurance cost and the xtras

09-03-2009, 07:20 AM
I use a tractor with 50 gallon 3-point sprayer with 8-nozzle 14' boom. In an open area, I could easily cover 20 acres in a day. It's hard to say without pictures or a better sense of what you have to deal with but my guess is you could get it done with what I have, but there would be a lot of hose and gun trim work. Lots. This spring I sprayed a school approximately the size you describe with many alcoves, traffic islands, trees etc. Between the amount of trim and having to do it during non-school hours (evenings and weekends) I had several partial days in it. I got great results, but if that was the main job I did a ride on would have been handy for the trim. For the several open acres though I would not have traded what I use for that. And I can’t have both at this point, which sounds like the same boat you are in.

Usually, I do only athletic fields. My set up is great for that. The 3-point sprayer is good for me because I am not spraying every day, or even every week, so I have and use the tractor for many other parts of my work. If you do get a large sprayer and boom, don't just buy one ready made. Find a welder or fabricating shop and get exactly what you want/need as far as additional features, it will make your day to day life much simpler.

Good luck with your test. The opportunity to expand into this your current job presents seems ideal to me.

09-03-2009, 10:06 AM
Here is a campus map... several of the units in the north end are not built yet. There is also a large field to the south that doesn't show up on the map. All of the front yards have at least one tree in them, and there are many behind or next to the houses also. A lot of the back yards are fairly open. IMO, the hardest part will be avoiding the flowers that everyone loves to plant around the trees and along thier houses.

A skid sprayer would sit in the back of my truck and require me to walk the whole thing, correct? Not really a good option, unless it's as a nurse tank to something I can ride, as there is just too much ground to cover in a day.

Thanks for the help so far.

09-03-2009, 01:45 PM
depending on weeds your dealing with. If you have annuals you may consider granular preemergents and cut your spraying to a fraction. You may not need extra equipment or fancy equipment I should say.

09-03-2009, 08:52 PM
Main things that seem to be a problem are the dandilions and clover, which are perenial, correct? I may be able to get things under control and then switch to an area by area spray as needed, but at least to start, I think it's going to have to be several blanket apps. It's too bad they have let it go so long and get this bad. Now it's going to cost them to get it back...

09-03-2009, 11:42 PM
It looks like most of the area is broken up into many small areas that would be difficult at best to do with a boom sprayer without damaging landscape plantings. You can use a skid sprayer to spray any area but a boom sprayer is only good for wide open areas.

09-03-2009, 11:54 PM
Wow. Looks very nice but extremely difficult to spray. A boom spray on a tractor isn't going to do you much good here. It probably makes more sense when you see it in person. I would probably divide it in 6-8 sections and treat them one at a time.

One thing you can do this fall yet is get some fertilizer down (granular). Not sure about IL but you do not need a license to do that here, just make sure you know what you are doing. Doing that will help you by growing in what you have this fall and put you in better shape next spring. Going over it once will give you a good idea what you will be up against next spring in terms of the mechanics of getting good coverage.

I am not a fan of granular broadleaf weed control but this place may have been made for that. You won't get nearly the kill you will by spraying though. Take "before" pictures, you will be glad you have them later.

ted putnam
09-04-2009, 12:40 AM
It looks like most of the area is broken up into many small areas that would be difficult at best to do with a boom sprayer without damaging landscape plantings. You can use a skid sprayer to spray any area but a boom sprayer is only good for wide open areas.

Agreed. I think he needs to buy a good ride on. A skid would require lots of moving the truck. One other thing. If that cut up jigsaw puzzle has 20 acres of turf in it, it's going to take you more than a day even with an efficient ride on. I'd plan on 4-5 days work for fert and squirt(A little less if you get a Z :laugh:). JMO

09-07-2009, 11:42 PM
There are very few areas where my 60" ztr won't fit, and even a 72" will fit in most of it. My gut feeling is that a 120"-140" boom sprayer will work in better than half the area... and something in the 60-80" range would get me over 90%. There are a few areas that will have to be done by hand no matter what.

What would your thoughts be on a pull behind boom sprayer with the adjustable width? My x720 is set up with a switched cigar plug, so I could control it easily (at least on and off). I liked the idea of something like a 3pt because then I could back into a corner and then spray my way out if needed. Maybe I could adapt a ATV or UTV sprayer to fit on the x720?

I don't have an issue spending the money to get the right equipment for the job, as time is very critical here. Old people have nothing better but to watch the grass (and weeds) grow, so every day that I spend spraying I'm not mowing... plus I have around 2000 bushes to trim at least a couple times a year also. It's hard for me to spend a lot on such a specific peice of equipment though. The idea of a tractor or even a Gator or ATV is much more appealing, as it can be used for a variety of other tasks too.

You tell me though... if it's going to take 4-5 days no matter what I do, then maybe it's not worth it, or I need to re-think things a little here.

09-08-2009, 12:13 AM
You are thinking it through well. Think about this: overlapping is going to be a problem. It is great that your large mowers fit in these corners but you lose nothing but time if you overlap and mow part of a pass twice in order to use the large mowers on small areas. Take a look at your travel in and out of these spots and think in terms of spray overlap next time you are mowing there and see what you think. It is not going to work out too well if your spray overlaps a lot or unevenly.