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eslawns
07-23-2002, 11:19 PM
After a 2 year fight with the Commonwealth of Virginia, I am now, finally, a licensed Commercial Applicator. I have some ??? though.

I have the following equipment:

30 gal, 12V tow sprayer with an 8' boom and wand.

125 lb tow behind spreader.

(2) 50 lb push spreader. I tried the big ones, and I just don't want to push around 100# of fertilizer.

4 gal BP sprayer for glyphosate.

(2) 2 gal HH sprayers for selectives.


What I want to know is this:

What else should I plan to buy soon?
Are sprayers (generally) more efficient than spreaders? (cost and time)
How many treatments can I reasonably expect to add to an existing 4 day schedule?
At what point in the future should I expect to be looking for a spray rig?
What should I add to maintenance agreements for lawn treatments?
When is the best time to advertise for this part of the job?
What's the best way to store chemicals on the truck if they aren't going to be used right away?


Thanks in advance for any help some of you veterans can give me and maybe keep me from repeating your mistakes.

LAWNGODFATHER
07-24-2002, 02:17 AM
You are at the slowest efficientcy you can do.

Look into a sprayer/spreader.

Apply a herb and fert at the same time.

They start at about $4500 and go up to $15k

Then you can stick your 30gal tank in your truck and use it as a nurse tank.

With one you could apply a reasonable 600,000 sq/ft a day with ease, and still be home for dinner.

Store chem at shop not in truck, If so store them unmixed, in the original container.

Your on your own for the agreements, but I think Lawncaresuccsess@aol.com may have something for you.

tremor
07-25-2002, 08:41 AM
Buy good insurance first.

Then sell the work.

Efficiency comes with routing. So sell the work first! Then you can procure specialized application equipment. Properly selected, based on the scope of the work you'll have to do.

I have a customer that takes multi-man crews with PermanGreens & pushers, 1 week to do their biggest site (largest cooperative housing complex in the tri-state area). It's a series of small, cut-up, condo turf mixxed up with some larger open areas.

I also have clients that treat 20-40 small residentials, by themselves, in a 6 hour day.

My own lawn care routes (when I was still out there) have run from as few as 1 stop per day (20 acres, 2 guys, push spreaders, on crazy hills) on up to 40-50 stops per day with 1 helper (lawns of <20,000 sq ft, with push spreaders, spraying weeds as needed).

My own personal best (with a helper) was 15 stops per hour. We were spreading Dylox in the rain with 2 spreaders in a van, lot's of bags & only minutes between stops. We did 67 postage stamp lawns on a "Grub Control" run in just under 5 hours with travel time. We ran out of houses to treat & came back early, empty, & wet! At $40.00 each, we had a good day. But that was 15 years ago. A lot has changed since then, equipment-wise anyway.

One person with a tractor mounted Vicon can treat a lot of acreage if the "bag-humper" can keep up feeding the bags. One of our local "big turf specalists" finds that his only limiting factor is the amount of fertilizer his guys can carry. The Tractor/Vicon takes up 1/2 of the trailer, so he fills in with fertilizer up to 60 bags. The truck can carry 4 pallets. So they carry 220 bags. At 17,000 sq ft per bag, they can do about 85 acres on a near perfect day. 65 is probably more like average. At some point, a Class A CDL becomes a requirement. In this case,the analysis of their fertilizer becomes one of the most limiting factors.

Efficiency all depends on travel times & lawn sizes.

What's the average sized lawn in your service area & how much travel time between stops?

Steve