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View Full Version : Drop Spreader vs. Topdresser


jegoodri
02-20-2011, 06:17 PM
Hey All,

I'm starting a very small organic composting element of my business. I want to put compost down as a main element. The Lesco push drop spreader seems like it could do the job with a 36" spread but the Earth N Turf 24 D costs $300 more to spread at 22". Am I missing a problem that would come up using a drop spreader?

jegoodri
02-20-2011, 06:19 PM
Here are links to both:

Lesco Drop Spreader: www.rittenhouse.ca/asp/Product.asp?PG=553

Earth N Turf: www.earthandturf.com/tf24d.htm

starry night
02-22-2011, 10:35 AM
I have tried a Gandy push drop spreader that is made for applying Penn Mulch and I have tried spreading compost with it.
Compost may go through for a few feet but then a sliver of wood gets caught or the material bridges. (And my compost is quarter-inch screened.) So I doubt the Lesco would work.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
02-22-2011, 05:33 PM
I can already see that any type of drop spreader won't work.

I would love to topdress as well for $$, but the cost of these applicators is just unreal.
That, and material transport, either bagged or bulk, is a pain.

starry night
02-22-2011, 05:37 PM
I can already see that any type of drop spreader won't work.

I would love to topdress as well for $$, but the cost of these applicators is just unreal.
That, and material transport, either bagged or bulk, is a pain.

I'm just about ready to get "unreal" with an EcoLawn this Spring.

phasthound
02-22-2011, 08:53 PM
Another option is to use a good granular organic fertilizer at 10-20lbs per K.
Something like this has many of the benefits of compost and spreads easily with a regular spreader. If you apply after aeration, you will increase the benefits.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
02-22-2011, 09:15 PM
Knowing those Eco lawns run well north of $5K, you have to have a lot of booked biz to justify. I have seen those machines, and they warrant a price tag closer to $2,500 IMO. There just isn't much too them.

starry night
02-22-2011, 09:57 PM
Knowing those Eco lawns run well north of $5K, you have to have a lot of booked biz to justify. I have seen those machines, and they warrant a price tag closer to $2,500 IMO. There just isn't much too them.

Different approach here. I build my business WITH machines. My first Walker mower: wasn't justified when I bought it. (several since) Brown bed edger: never shoulda bought it. LS core aerator: crazy as a loon. Didn't have the business without them. Never would have had the business if I didn't have the machine first. I am FORCED to market and utilize them. Compost spreader, same way.

Barefoot James
02-22-2011, 11:03 PM
Different approach here. I build my business WITH machines. Never would have had the business if I didn't have the machine first. I am FORCED to market and utilize them. Compost spreader, same way.

GREAT points Dirt - folks you can't build your business on the cheap. There is nothing you can use as a top dresser that is cheap. If it cost's you under 5K it is not going to work and if it is used and under 5K it is going to break and it will still cost you 5K. Unless you can build it you got to spend the $$.

The cheapest way to do it is......
Wheel barrow and heavy duty backpack blower (Redmax 8001 or 8050). Even this option is gonna cost you aboout $600 for the blower and $100 for the wheel barrow - but that is the only option that will work and not cost you and arm and leg. but you are gonna get post in your face - EVERYTIME and folks look at you like you are nuts but it does work and you can build your business so you can eventually get that dump and top dresser.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
02-22-2011, 11:41 PM
I'm not saying that topdressing is not worth it. I have done some by hand, and love the results. All I am saying is some (not all) of those machines are grossly overpriced.
I will pay a fair price for a good value. Not too many good values in the topdresser line right now, though.

jegoodri
02-23-2011, 07:16 AM
Ended up going a totally different route.

Drop Spreader wouldn't work (thanks for the confirmation) and top dressers are too expensive (dropping $5,000 on one piece of equipment when my annual income is around the same amount is a ridiculous idea no matter how big I hope to grow in the future).

I purchased the Earthway 2130 spreader (www.rittenhouse.ca/asp/Product.asp?PG=2135). It was totally different than I was thinking, but looks like it will work perfectly for the right price. I'll find out!

Barefoot James
02-23-2011, 09:18 AM
Ended up going a totally different route.

Drop Spreader wouldn't work (thanks for the confirmation) and top dressers are too expensive (dropping $5,000 on one piece of equipment when my annual income is around the same amount is a ridiculous idea no matter how big I hope to grow in the future).

I purchased the Earthway 2130 spreader (www.rittenhouse.ca/asp/Product.asp?PG=2135). It was totally different than I was thinking, but looks like it will work perfectly for the right price. I'll find out!
Amazing - jegoodri - I promise you that will not work on 95% of all composts. compost pellets yes - regular compost NEVER. I have (from ritten house) a Bannerman Drop Spreader that yesterday with just a little too much moisture in the compost and the thing did not work. This has a steel drum at the bottom that turns from the wheels and is about two ft long and 8 inches wide and the compost bridged (due to wetness) and would not pass down - so you think it is gonna fall thru some holes at the bottom of a salt spreader - NEVER - Get a good back pack and spray out of a wheelbarrow. Good Luck

Compostwerks LLC
02-25-2011, 03:17 PM
Hey All,

I'm starting a very small organic composting element of my business. I want to put compost down as a main element. The Lesco push drop spreader seems like it could do the job with a 36" spread but the Earth N Turf 24 D costs $300 more to spread at 22". Am I missing a problem that would come up using a drop spreader?

Well how about a topdresser (http://www.compostwerks.com/Eco-Lawn-Compost-Top-Dresser.html) that will spread 12 FEET at $5,500.00 and handle materials at different moisture levels. It will have a harder time handling compost that's more than 70% moisture, but it's the most versitile for the job at hand. Spreads pelletized and granular materials as well.

What topdresser specializes at handling wet, sodden, aenarobic and poorly handled compost? The answer is none. Buy compost with 50% moisture. You will be rewarded for your diligence. Buy in bulk and store it yourself if you cannot find a supplier who will handle the compost properly.

I paid for the first topdresser four years ago within 3 weeks. We still have the same unit after all these years. It's paid for itself many times over with occasional use.

starry night
02-25-2011, 03:44 PM
Peter, did you read the whole thread?

Compostwerks LLC
02-25-2011, 05:28 PM
Peter, did you read the whole thread?

"I am C3-PO, human cyborg relations. I am familiar with over 6 million forms of communication" :laugh: Yes, I have read and understood the thead, thanks a bunch!

My intent was to offer some insite through direct experience, that is all. We see folks buy the wrong equipment all the time.

As a matter of fact, we are launching a used equipment forum from our website (http://www.compostwerks.com/index.html) shortly. It will be a good place for people to unload equipment they no longer need.

starry night
02-25-2011, 06:37 PM
It will be a good place for people to unload equipment they no longer need.

Like wannabe spreaders? :laugh:

jegoodri
03-03-2011, 07:58 PM
So you all are enjoying the banter, but the spreader is passing the test so far. I'm spreading pure worm castings and compost mixes in test runs and I've actually had to limit the output so the compost layer isn't too thick. Yes, some shaking has been required, but the $250 version has passed preliminary testing. Maybe I'll spend $5000 when it makes sense, but so far so good with the inexpesive version.

twcw5804
03-05-2011, 07:25 PM
jegoodri sometime if you could post some pics of your work with this I would appreciate it.

jonthepain
03-06-2011, 03:52 PM
Peter, I'm looking forward to the used equipment forum.

jegoodri, i'd also like to see some photos

JFGauvreau
03-06-2011, 04:34 PM
Anyone used the method of pulling a big plank of wood? Like a 2X10, 8 ft long? You lay down piles of top soil then just plow the top soil with the plank?

Just like this guy: but he has a giant broom instead. I'm sure it can work.
http://www.google.ca/imgres?imgurl=http://media.pitchcare.com/L/9VTFNnFJjCZAtFO2LuAR.jpg&imgrefurl=http://www.pitchcare.com/magazine/autumn-renovation-of-bowling-greens.html&usg=__HAtp22_HIgz9n-MZmtm3PxI08_0=&h=563&w=750&sz=170&hl=en&start=62&sig2=ihelA6sLTcDOwlkfvMZ_qw&zoom=1&tbnid=Pe_6ifWCGdgqPM:&tbnh=144&tbnw=190&ei=bP1zTbyUNcWBlAeFq-1B&prev=/images%3Fq%3Dmanual%2Blawn%2Btop%2Bdressing%26um%3D1%26hl%3Den%26biw%3D1280%26bih%3D804%26tbs%3Disch :10%2C2394&um=1&itbs=1&iact=rc&dur=281&oei=Zv1zTZzVAdOhtwfa4oCWDw&page=4&ndsp=25&ved=1t:429,r:22,s:62&tx=102&ty=28&biw=1280&bih=804

jonthepain
03-06-2011, 04:41 PM
hmmmm...

we currently have one guy (me) load the wheelbarrows, and the other guy (my son) dump it and spread it with a rake.

takes a long time compared to a big dollar compost spreader - but i don't think pulling a board or broom would be much faster.

i do like the backpack blower idea, however. i wonder if it would be quicker than a rake?

JFGauvreau
03-06-2011, 05:34 PM
hmmmm...

we currently have one guy (me) load the wheelbarrows, and the other guy (my son) dump it and spread it with a rake.

takes a long time compared to a big dollar compost spreader - but i don't think pulling a board or broom would be much faster.

i do like the backpack blower idea, however. i wonder if it would be quicker than a rake?

I don't know, but i'm sure gonna try it this season, you go at walking speed and do a 8foot large strip at a time lol.

jonthepain
03-06-2011, 05:50 PM
well that sounds like the bomb to me. it's a wonder we hadn't thought of it.

CHARLES CUE
03-07-2011, 08:46 PM
Another option is to use a good granular organic fertilizer at 10-20lbs per K.
Something like this has many of the benefits of compost and spreads easily with a regular spreader. If you apply after aeration, you will increase the benefits.

So Berry what kind of coverage would you get at 20lbs per th. Does organic fert break down once it is wet to a compost like material ? Could you spread grass seed before hand like you do when top dressing ?

No one else asked about your post. I thought i would.

Charles Cue