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View Full Version : Spraying lawn pesticides, what kind of sprayer setup to use?


MowinginEureka
11-04-2010, 07:35 PM
I have been fertilizing my accounts using an earthway spreader for a few years now. I find its a good low cost and efficient method for my accounts, most of which being sub 2000 sq foot yards with narrow gates...being so small I sold my walker mower and found it faster to use my walkbehind hondas... Anyhow, I did pesticide applications for the first time using an earthway spritzer sprayer, went through by my estimates 240 gallons of pesticide mix, with my 5.5 gallon sprayer...thats refilling about 43 times...ugh. I charge about 4 cents per square foot to spray in my smaller accounts due to all of the time to turn my sprayer around for each lap every 10 seconds or so...but in my large accounts 6-12k sq foot, I charge closer to 2 cents per sq foot since its wide open and I dont have to turn around as much. Since I only apply Ortho weed b gone max once a year typically to the turf, to control lawn weeds. I'm having a hard time justifying spending my whole profit spraying all my applications on a three thousand dollar pesticide sprayer rig. Is there someway to assemble your own setup and run an electric motor off of a fuseable connection the my trucks motor? Maybe using a smaller 50 gallon setup. I have a dump bed setup on my other truck that's run that way. I don't see why you need a gas engine mounted to a sprayer tank unless you are running it for hours on end. Looking for some feedback on which direction to go here. Thanks.

MowinginEureka
11-04-2010, 08:30 PM
By the way, my math turns out to be about this. I charge about 90.00 for a 2250 sq foot yard, so that is 4 cents per sq ft. So if I maintain an average pace of 3 mph on average, that is 3 feet per second. So if I multiply my speed of walking 3 feet per second times my rate of charging 4 cents per foot, I charge 12 cents per second. I therefore charge 12 cents per second times 360 seconds per hour, that means I charge roughly 43.20 an hour including materials. My normal labor rate is about 37.50 for mowing and other services. The going rate for a licensed, insured, legal lawn care guy going solo here is 32-35 dollars an hour since he has no employees = no workers comp. On the other hand, I know the large 10 employee full scale landscape/gardener businesses here charge 40-50 dollars an hour. So, I price myself in the middle for lawn service. I therefore figure that's a fair price... Maybe I could charge a bit extra? I know a licensed sprayer here who charges 43.00 an hour...plus materials...But, I think I'm pretty close on rate...

JD2320
11-04-2010, 08:49 PM
Paying no workman's comp on your employee, and having no pesticide license = 10,000 dollar fine, or at 42,50 an hour that's 235.3 days in jail, or 5647 hours or 338,820 minutes and that equals 20,329,200 seconds.

CHARLES CUE
11-04-2010, 08:53 PM
I have been fertilizing my accounts using an earthway spreader for a few years now. I find its a good low cost and efficient method for my accounts, most of which being sub 2000 sq foot yards with narrow gates...being so small I sold my walker mower and found it faster to use my walkbehind hondas... Anyhow, I did pesticide applications for the first time using an earthway spritzer sprayer, went through by my estimates 240 gallons of pesticide mix, with my 5.5 gallon sprayer...thats refilling about 43 times...ugh. I charge about 4 cents per square foot to spray in my smaller accounts due to all of the time to turn my sprayer around for each lap every 10 seconds or so...but in my large accounts 6-12k sq foot, I charge closer to 2 cents per sq foot since its wide open and I dont have to turn around as much. Since I only apply Ortho weed b gone max once a year typically to the turf, to control lawn weeds. I'm having a hard time justifying spending my whole profit spraying all my applications on a three thousand dollar pesticide sprayer rig. Is there someway to assemble your own setup and run an electric motor off of a fuseable connection the my trucks motor? Maybe using a smaller 50 gallon setup. I have a dump bed setup on my other truck that's run that way. I don't see why you need a gas engine mounted to a sprayer tank unless you are running it for hours on end. Looking for some feedback on which direction to go here. Thanks.

You could build your own. But if you buy all new stuff it would cost almost as much as one all ready made. Now if you go with used stuff you could save some money. But it may take you awhile to find the stuff. Pumptec had a nice electric pump and reg at the GIE show that would be sweet. Down fall is it cost 600 or so dollars might not fall in to your budget. Go with a bigger tank you still have to fill 5 times at yor current useage rate with a 50 gal tank.The odds are your going to use more water per th with a skid sprayer. Good luck

Charles Cue

humble1
11-04-2010, 08:53 PM
Paying no workman's comp on your employee, and having no pesticide license = 10,000 dollar fine, or at 42,50 an hour that's 235.3 days in jail, or 5647 hours or 338,820 minutes and that equals 20,329,200 seconds.

His Pesticide Q.A.L.#121767
but funny post

JD2320
11-04-2010, 09:04 PM
His Pesticide Q.A.L.#121767
but funny post

Well the way he kept on about "Legal" sprayers and guys that pay workman's comp and how he can do it cheaper than them made me think he had neither. I don't read sig lines.

ted putnam
11-04-2010, 10:41 PM
Well the way he kept on about "Legal" sprayers and guys that pay workman's comp and how he can do it cheaper than them made me think he had neither. I don't read sig lines.

I didn't either. By the way, That was hilarious!

Now, If you tried to charge me $90 for a 2250ft sq lawn, I would be chasing you off my property. Depending on the equipment, you can take all day or you can take five minutes. 2gpm output on a chemlawn gun from Lesco= 5 minute job. Using a "spritzer" = all day job. Watching you do it with a spritzer= priceless:laugh: TIME=MONEY=PROFIT All kidding aside, you have to decide how hard you want to work and your life to be and what it's worth to make it easier. A fifty gallon tank with a decent pump and hose reel with at least a wand and fan tip is going to be leaps and bounds better than a "spritzer". It will also create a much better image to your customers of your professional ability than wandering around a lawn with a spray bottle in your hand. Plan on spending $500-$1000 on a tank, electric pump with enough output to overcome the friction loss of 150 of hose. Not my choice but it would be "life altering" for you given what you just described. I bought my first sprayer 11 yrs ago. I just sprayed 3 acres with it today. I've changed the oil and the diaphrams more times than I can remember and that's all I've ever done to it. I could never have built my business without it and it's paid for itself at least 100 times over if not many more times than that. Your obviously a thinker from the numbers and figures you were spouting. Think long term instead of short term. Good Luck. By the way, My Mom lived in Eureka a few years while growing up. She's told me how beautiful it is in that area.

JD2320
11-04-2010, 11:08 PM
I didn't either. By the way, That was hilarious!



What I forgot to mention is how expensive it gets if you drop the soap in the shower.

:cool2:

fl-landscapes
11-05-2010, 09:02 AM
By the way, my math turns out to be about this. I charge about 90.00 for a 2250 sq foot yard, so that is 4 cents per sq ft. So if I maintain an average pace of 3 mph on average, that is 3 feet per second. So if I multiply my speed of walking 3 feet per second times my rate of charging 4 cents per foot, I charge 12 cents per second. I therefore charge 12 cents per second times 360 seconds per hour, that means I charge roughly 43.20 an hour including materials. My normal labor rate is about 37.50 for mowing and other services. The going rate for a licensed, insured, legal lawn care guy going solo here is 32-35 dollars an hour since he has no employees = no workers comp. On the other hand, I know the large 10 employee full scale landscape/gardener businesses here charge 40-50 dollars an hour. So, I price myself in the middle for lawn service. I therefore figure that's a fair price... Maybe I could charge a bit extra? I know a licensed sprayer here who charges 43.00 an hour...plus materials...But, I think I'm pretty close on rate...

News flash, theres 3600 seconds in an hour not 360 so .12 cents a second would be $432/hr I can see why ted would chase you off his property.

MowinginEureka
11-06-2010, 02:07 AM
Paying no workman's comp on your employee, and having no pesticide license = 10,000 dollar fine, or at 42,50 an hour that's 235.3 days in jail, or 5647 hours or 338,820 minutes and that equals 20,329,200 seconds.

I have 2 million in liability insurance through hanover, I pay workers comp through CNA insurance, and I have full insurance on my two work trucks that covers my trailer, I pay state and federal taxes, I have three business licenses (two for the cities I work in, and one for the county since I operate my business 5 miles outside city limits). I'm legal, I was talking about bigger companies here with higher overhead due to many employees and brand new f150s etc... Large companies here charge about 50$ an hour to mow grass, the small uninsured guys charge about 30.

Well, Im one of a few licensed guys here in my county. NO ONE here uses ride on sprayers. I'm actually the only one I know of or have ever seen that uses spray instead of weed and feed.

And to Ted. Its obvious you know nothing about Earthway products. I use an Earthway Spritzer Sprayer, it is a walkbehind unit with a 5 foot spray swath. Look at this link http://www.earthway.com/product/sprayer/.

My 2250 sq foot yards are not big rectangles. They are highly complex yards with many plants, most have many, many small twisty areas that you would NEVER get a large spray rig in. my 90$ spray jobs take me about half an hour. I forgot to put a decimal inbetween 12 cents. Should have been 1.2.
It takes 20 minutes to mow my typical 2250 sq ft yard, plus another 10 minutes of stringing and edging, with 5 minutes of loading/unloading equipment and blowing. I doubt you could spray a yard that takes 20 minutes just to mow at full speed in 5 minutes.

My 90$ charge for spraying includes my pesticide, time to load, unload, and mix pesticides. The particular property in my mind takes me half an hour to spray, not including time to mix, clean my tank at the end of the day, loading, unloading, driving to and from property, etc... Not to mention my cost for my licenses that are good for two years as a pest control business is about 800$, I spend another 150$ in classes maintaining my spray license, I have to drive 5 hours one way to the nearest location to take my continuing education classes, and I have to take time off to take these classes as well, 20 hours of classes is another 750$ of gross lost. So, if to spray your yard, I have 1650$ of overhead, I spend 150 in pesticides, and it takes approx 24 hours of labor to spray my yards...and I gross 3000$ approx. That leaves me with 1350 of profit...then I have to take out my additonal insurance costs, labor costs for my employees who applied said chemicals, and still make some profit. If I walked 2 ft per second, thats 120 feet per minute, my sprayer has a 5 foot swath. So in 1 minute, I can theoretically cover 600 sq feet. But show me a yard thats 5 ft wide by 120 foot long rectangle without obstacles, and I will laugh. Most yards involve turning around and whatnot. My typical yard has multiple areas of turf that are about 20 foot wide by 30 up to about 30 foot by 100 foot...thats a lot of turning and etc... Combine that with the fact 90% of my clients have very very small picket fence gates that are 24 inches wide...my walk behind mowers barely fit. Theres not much sprayer wise that will fit through these gates. Most of my yards that I spray, I don't charge by the hour, I bid them by the way. So, If a customer wants me to spray by the hour. I will charge them 50.00 an hour plus my pesticides.

Thanks to Charles Cue for being the only one actually providing an answer to my question... now does anyone have any recommendations for spray rig setups that are not ride on?

greendoctor
11-06-2010, 03:39 AM
You know, your yards sound a lot like 90% of the lawns I treat. Lots of turns and obstacles, gates, etc. Very seldom is a lawn of mine a rectangle that can be accessed by something driven off the truck. In some cases the front yard yes, now go do the back that is separated by a pathway that is less than 36" wide in most cases or is not drivable. That is why many of my lawns are treated with a hand held boom powered by an engine drive backpack sprayer. It is not that hard for me to do a 2000 sq ft lawn in about 10-15 minutes. If the yard is so weird that the 3 nozzle boom will not do it without hanging into the ornamental beds, I spray entire lawns with just a single fan nozzle on a wand. Still only takes about 15 minutes to cover 2000 sq ft. I also will not push a spreader. Did it a couple of times when I was much younger. Never again. The rare lawn that is over 20,000 sq ft and I can drive on it gets sprayed by a 10 ft boom mounted on the back bumper of my truck. That is powered by the standard D30 pump coupled to a 6 HP engine. I do not know how inaccessible your lawns are, but a hand held boom attached to 300 ft of 3/8" hose can do a lot of lawn pretty quick. I do not often run my hand held boom from the truck because it is rare for me to apply the exact same mix to every lawn. That is what happens when you have 5 different species of grass growing on at least that many different soil types.

cgaengineer
11-06-2010, 09:53 AM
Paying no workman's comp on your employee, and having no pesticide license = 10,000 dollar fine, or at 42,50 an hour that's 235.3 days in jail, or 5647 hours or 338,820 minutes and that equals 20,329,200 seconds.

This was so damn funny...I was laughing so hard I couldn't stop!! :)
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cgaengineer
11-06-2010, 10:18 AM
I use a 50 Gallon Lesco skid for my apps, I am working on a walking boom to use with it but I have not been able to pin my father down long enought to get part of it welded. The skid and a lawn gun is fine, but not for small tight spaces.
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ted putnam
11-06-2010, 12:27 PM
Sorry, I was imagining a small sprayer like the Stihl SG10 I have when you said "spritzer". My mistake. I'm seeing a picture of what you are describing in my mind as far as lawn layout. IMO you need to use a setup similar to greendoc's. A gas powered backpack sprayer with interchangeable nozzles/wands and a nurse tank that could double as a premix tank. I think this would be extremely versatile in your situation. Not the cheapest but very handy. Good Luck

MowinginEureka
11-06-2010, 10:36 PM
LOL @ Ted. Yeah, I actually own one of those SG-10's too, as well as Stihls backpack sprayer the SG-20. They work great for roundup applications in beds or in tight spots. Hrmm...a backpack sprayer with a secondary tank...interesting. I will have to look into that, but I have to say, my SG-20 loaded with 5 gallons of mix throws out my back after about an hour of straight spraying. I cant imagine adding a gas engine to a sprayer...HEAVY! But, I will give it some thought. I am still liking the idea of a long spray hose with a skid mounted spray tank. But they are so freaking expensive!

What I was wondering was putting my own together, like this.
Tank - http://www.gemplers.com/product/167662/Fimco-Sprayer-Tank-Elliptical-60-gallon
$ 112.50

One of these Pumps - http://www.sprayingequipmentsupply.com/pumps/diaphragm-pump.html
Most expensive one is
$ 158.95.

A Coxreels 1125-4-325 electric model hose reel from here
http://www.sprayingequipmentsupply.com/spraying-equipment/cox-hose-reels.html
$ 480.00

I mean what would be left to weld up a few pieces of square channel metal for the skid mount, some hoses, electrical connections, and fittings, and a good spray wand? What another 300$?
That's about 1051.45...sure I have to put it together, but that's sure cheaper than the 2-4k dollar rigs I see, and that's an electric reel too. Would that not work?

ted putnam
11-06-2010, 11:13 PM
Would/could work. However, you need some pro's advice on the pumps GPM that you need to be able to overcome 150 ft of hose or whatever length it is you plan to use.Electric pumps are great for short distances but usually at some point, primarily because of friction loss, it becomes necessary to use a gasoline engine and some other form of pump. Z-spray uses a 4.0 gpm pump on their units that is electric. I use 100ft of 1/4 in hose with a wand on my Z and there is pressure to spare. The pump is produced by Delavan, not shurflo. You might look into that. It draws some amps and might be necessary to rig somehow to your truck battery where it is being recharged continually but this could be just what you are looking for and still be in your price range

MowinginEureka
11-07-2010, 12:54 AM
Hrmm, point taken. I was thinking of using a 300 ft Hose. I think I know of someone local that has a used sprayer for sale, but I need to see what kind of condition it is in. Too bad I cant use a lawnmower engine to power it without a TON of fab work. I have 2 honda engines mounted on some toros sitting around, the trannies are shot...and I have a 1 year old Honda GXV160 engine with a bent crank sitting around too...when I checked around online for the crank, it was almost 300 bucks...without all the other parts too. Such a shame. I will try and see what I can come up with, maybe I will just buy a used sprayer.

MowinginEureka
11-07-2010, 01:34 AM
How about this? 425$
Model SKD 200H 4H, Honda 4hp engine, CoxReel w/hose/gun, 200 gallon tank, Hypro 1538 pump.
http://redding.craigslist.org/grd/1990656709.html

JD2320
11-07-2010, 01:41 AM
How about this? 425$
Model SKD 200H 4H, Honda 4hp engine, CoxReel w/hose/gun, 200 gallon tank, Hypro 1538 pump.
http://redding.craigslist.org/grd/1990656709.html

That's worth it for the tank and frame alone.

Go buy it tomorrow.

ted putnam
11-07-2010, 10:11 AM
That's worth it for the tank and frame alone.

Go buy it tomorrow.

I agree. Looks like a PBM sprayer. That was who made my first sprayer. Go get it!

JD2320
11-07-2010, 10:14 AM
I agree. Looks like a PBM sprayer. That was who made my first sprayer. Go get it!

For some reason that looks bigger than a 200 gallon tank to me.

MowinginEureka
11-07-2010, 03:35 PM
I cant find approximate dimensions of these kind of things anywhere. Are they all meant to fit in a normal full size truck bed? I have a f150 with a 5.5 ft bed, I am hoping it will fit. Also....going to have to add overload springs or put it on my trailer. I just figured that if a gallon of water weighs 8.35 lbs, then 200 gallons of water is 1670 lbs! Not to mention I'm sure the sprayer itself weighs a few hundred lbs...Going to have to check the weight specs on my f150, my f250 has an aluminum dump bed in it and I really don't want to try to secure this in there Ugh, my trailers only got a 2500lbs axle, and it weighs like 1400....Maybe some overload springs then...

cgaengineer
11-07-2010, 03:43 PM
A 200 gallon tank in an F150 would work, its not ideal but it will work. You will likely have to install add a leafs to the rear to level the truck. You also have to options of only filling it with 100 gallons of water if that all you need.
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