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blowerman
05-09-2011, 03:23 PM
Thought I'd share a video we made using our Finn mulch blower.
http://youtu.be/vkZZvT3JBIM

Mark Oomkes
05-09-2011, 03:39 PM
<sarcasm on> I'd never spend that kind of money for a machine like that, I can do it way faster and better and cheaper with a wheelbarrow and shovel and....and........<sarcasm off>

Almost the only way to do it. My way is better though, let my sub spend money on the trucks to blow it in. lol

You've got an awesome operation b-man.

PrimoSR
05-09-2011, 04:12 PM
That's awesome, how much is a set up like that?

blowerman
05-09-2011, 04:25 PM
This year I stopped looking at mulch as "rain day" work. So far I've installed more mulch in 4 weeks than I did in 4 months last year. Oh, and the guys actually enjoy mulch jobs.
As far as cost, the purchase price of a machine is only part of it.
I'm loading with a Deere 344j, but the wheel loader was primarily for snow.
The hose with couplers will cost you just under $1000 for a 50 ft. section.

PrimoSR
05-09-2011, 06:21 PM
Would have been nice last week, I installed 27 yards by myself.

bobcat48
05-09-2011, 06:50 PM
Very nice,kool machine!

nobagger
05-09-2011, 07:13 PM
They're great when they work!

South Florida Lawns
05-09-2011, 07:25 PM
Put some High sides on that little dump and you can really haul some material. Those machines are nice for large commercials but for resi you would have to have some large properties and large amount to justify that thing. They are badass though and sure lay down material. Nice setup by the way!

blowerman
05-09-2011, 08:47 PM
They're great when they work!

Did you have one that didn't work?
As far as I'm concerned, all machines will break down, need maintenance and require regular repairs.
I'm very impressed with this machine.
The truck had no sides because we were loading off a stock pile with the wheel loader. Now the truck has high side and we carry 8 yards on average unless the jobs needs more then I'll use another truck or bigger one.

Mark Oomkes
05-10-2011, 09:31 AM
They're great when they work!

Interesting comment, what is your experience?

These units have been out for well over 10 years, so I would think the bugs would be out by now.

blowerman
05-10-2011, 05:31 PM
Through the gate, up the wall and into the beds.
We went from half day for 3 guys, now less than 30 minutes.

nobagger
05-10-2011, 09:41 PM
Interesting comment, what is your experience?

These units have been out for well over 10 years, so I would think the bugs would be out by now.

This is probably more of a dealer issue than FINN. We tried to use one a couple season's ago and we only got to put about 30 yards through it and it shut down. The drum that moves the much through stopped turning, it lost oil pressure and got clogged a few times more than I would expect it to. We were shoveling into the hopper (our was the smaller model) so its not like we were feeding it too much. I also didn't like the mess it left before it started to fill in almost like it had too much pressure blowing out and the more we tried to dial it in, the worse it was. I thought the 6" hose was too small to begin with but it almost was like it was a pressure washer for about 30 second's. I'm not saying it's not a great tool but we just had back luck with it.

jplawnmaint
05-10-2011, 10:01 PM
This is probably more of a dealer issue than FINN. We tried to use one a couple season's ago and we only got to put about 30 yards through it and it shut down. The drum that moves the much through stopped turning, it lost oil pressure and got clogged a few times more than I would expect it to. We were shoveling into the hopper (our was the smaller model) so its not like we were feeding it too much. I also didn't like the mess it left before it started to fill in almost like it had too much pressure blowing out and the more we tried to dial it in, the worse it was. I thought the 6" hose was too small to begin with but it almost was like it was a pressure washer for about 30 second's. I'm not saying it's not a great tool but we just had back luck with it.

I had the same experience with the same unit about 4 yrs ago. It was sum sort of relay or someting ine the control panel. It was a real pain in the ass as it was a rental. But they worked the bugs out and it blows like crazy. Did 100 yds in 2 days with it.
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Roachy
05-11-2011, 12:39 AM
Dont those things make a mess everywhere? I dont like getting mulch all over the grass when I install it. Im sure it would def save some time though.

blowerman
05-11-2011, 07:05 AM
Think about Hydro-Vacs, Trench Less under ground boring machines, etc, etc.
I'm sure when those machines came out guys thought, "who needs a $150K boring machine when I can dig it with my $50K backhoe."
I try to post pictures and videos for the better of this industry not my own ego.
Since some of the equipment I use most guys don't own or have any idea how they work (Think:snowblower posts on plowsite,bark blow, smaller wheel loaders) by sharing my experience with these machines, perhaps other companies will be able to get some kind of understanding as to how newer technology works.
The idea of going back to wheelbarrow and rake is nuts. The minimal mess my guys have with the bark blowing machine is cleaned up with a hand held blower. A trained operator will hardly have any mulch on the grass. We mainly need to blow off walks and drives and thats as easy as it gets.
BTW, the hose is 4" and as to why some guys have had so many problems? A well maintained machine with good operators will place 6-10 yards per hour easily.

Mark Oomkes
05-11-2011, 07:49 AM
Think about Hydro-Vacs, Trench Less under ground boring machines, etc, etc.
I'm sure when those machines came out guys thought, "who needs a $150K boring machine when I can dig it with my $50K backhoe."
I try to post pictures and videos for the better of this industry not my own ego.
Since some of the equipment I use most guys don't own or have any idea how they work (Think:snowblower posts on plowsite,bark blow, smaller wheel loaders) by sharing my experience with these machines, perhaps other companies will be able to get some kind of understanding as to how newer technology works.
The idea of going back to wheelbarrow and rake is nuts. The minimal mess my guys have with the bark blowing machine is cleaned up with a hand held blower. A trained operator will hardly have any mulch on the grass. We mainly need to blow off walks and drives and thats as easy as it gets.
BTW, the hose is 4" and as to why some guys have had so many problems? A well maintained machine with good operators will place 6-10 yards per hour easily.

Probably wasting your time, but I enjoy them.

Are you using double ground mulch?

Cutter1
05-11-2011, 08:34 AM
I have a 302 also. Did 200 yards in 4 days with three guys last week and that was moving the hose a lot. Mine was about $45k three or 4 years ago. Now they are just under $50k I believe. Thats with the remote. This isn't a machine you just grab and master in a hour or two. Takes practice and teamwork. Once you get the prpoer deck and engine speed you can move pretty good. I have had some problems with mine, but like blowerman said its a machine its going to break. We are pretty picky about maintaining it, but it breaks on occassion. More little stupid stuff, drag chain, door switches, remote control, etc. We have done a 12 yard job on a hill with TWO guys start to finish in 30 minutes. The obvious savings is in labor, but also in material saved. Yes it goes on thinner, but its more consistent. Hillsides that most guys don't want, I want. Charge more and get done quicker on a hillside. Don't know what I would do without mine!! I even rent it out to friends on occasion.

blowerman
05-11-2011, 10:33 AM
Like Cutter said, you'll save big on time and product as well.
I'm already thinking of a bigger one.
Debating taking the dump box off my Kenworth T800 and putting a EB40 or bigger express blower.

bigstumpyd
05-11-2011, 05:52 PM
I move 110 yrds in 12hrs! 2 guys raking 1 guy on loader and 2 guys driving the truck back and forth to the supply yard!!

Cutter1
05-11-2011, 05:58 PM
I should of got the bigger one, my only regret!

blowerman
05-11-2011, 09:17 PM
I should of got the bigger one, my only regret!

Which one were you thinking?

93Chevy
05-11-2011, 09:25 PM
They sure are nice. Company I work for has a 20 yard blower truck...most of our big HOAs don't have any HUGE beds, but lots of tiny beds around the units. We can usually only go through about 40 yards a day, but there's a lot of driving around and hose dragging that takes up the time.

Cutter1
05-12-2011, 09:09 AM
I probably would have got the 605 if I had to do it over. Has more options and things I like. Can blow it further and stronger. Power rewind on the hose. You can adjust the deck speed from the remote and of course can hold more mulch.

blowerman
05-19-2011, 08:41 PM
Am I really the only one that's excited about mulch blowing?

threeleafllc
05-19-2011, 08:57 PM
ill get some videos and pictures of our 302 working next week when im with that crew..
Blowing mulch is actually lots of fun..

93Chevy
05-19-2011, 10:35 PM
Company I work for just picked up a slightly used Freightliner tandem axle express blower. Truck looks sweet; I hope I get to use it some time.

blowerman
05-20-2011, 12:32 AM
Good to see some east coast guys blowing mulch. Post and help advise those that don't..

Northeast Mower
05-20-2011, 08:58 AM
I should snap some pics of our mulching setup...

We've got a Fin 302 hooked up to a Chevy 7500, it holds about 24-26 yards at a time. One guys on the hose and the other is in the truck with a pitchfork feeding the hopper. It's one of the most efficient setups i've seen so far, can definetley crank out some mulch. For some of the condo's we do we'll have mulch delivered on site also and we'll use the bobcat to fill the truck back up.

blowerman
05-20-2011, 12:45 PM
Northeast mower, that sounds like a great set up. For us, if we are on a big site, we'll load with a skiddy or the wheel loader. On smaller project, a one ton with 10 yards works great. The guy forking is moving quick to keep up, but at least he doesn't need to fork from truck to wheel barrow to bed.
Feel free to post or add picks.

blowerman
03-20-2012, 07:34 PM
After re-reading my own thread, I couldn't help but realize as others have done, I also changed the direction of my operation. Seems most guys in the mulch blowing business have either grown or quite.
Thought I'd post a pic of my new 40 yard Express Blower. Not the best picture since its parked against the wall. If weather holds, I'll post some action shots this week or next. They just delivered it today, so I'm having having it annualed and getting it lettered shortly.

LawnMan19
03-20-2012, 07:55 PM
Looks sweet! I bet it had a nice little price tag.

93Chevy
03-20-2012, 08:23 PM
Oh man...you'll love the Express Blower! Awesome truck...that'll really move some product.

blowerman
03-20-2012, 08:40 PM
After seeing what the Little Finn could do, I couldn't help but add a EB40 Blower.
The way I saw it, how can you afford not to spend money on speed and technology.
I never really felt like there was money made putting mulch in by hand.

A&Jlandscapingllc
03-20-2012, 08:41 PM
A blower is on my list lets see some more setups

Guzzo856
03-20-2012, 10:22 PM
i just bought one, the same one. you have to be carefull on buying one tho. if airlock is bad it $9,000 to fix

Grillo Services
03-21-2012, 11:04 AM
Finn makes nice machines. I was looking at them months back, debating getting one to offer as a service to our commercial customers. It's just a ton of $ for something that isn't guaranteed daily work.

http://grilloservices.com/

blowerman
03-21-2012, 12:45 PM
Finn makes nice machines. I was looking at them months back, debating getting one to offer as a service to our commercial customers. It's just a ton of $ for something that isn't guaranteed daily work.

http://grilloservices.com/

Nobody is ever guaranteed work. You need to go find it!
How many guys buy a skid loader and then look for work? Lots!

As I've said before, hand installing mulch doesn't really make money and I'm not in business to keep guys busy while wearing out trucks.

How long would it take to install 12 yards of mulch around 2 pool terraces? In this case it was 30 minutes total.
The goal is not to just blow material for ourselves, we will sub contract to many other companies.

93Chevy
03-21-2012, 05:38 PM
You can do so much with those Express Blowers, it's not even funny. So versatile.

ryde307
03-22-2012, 06:16 PM
Blowerman I have seen your stuff on plowsite and now here. Nice stuff.
That new truck is very nice. I am very interested in a mulch blower but we only do around 200 yards of mulch a season right now. We have a HOA that gets done every 3 years and its up again (60 yards) I have thought about subbing to someone that will let me try the blower out or trying to get a demo unit.
As for spending money on technology and newer time savings things its dumb not to.

jplawnmaint
03-24-2012, 04:39 PM
Blowerman I have seen your stuff on plowsite and now here. Nice stuff.
That new truck is very nice. I am very interested in a mulch blower but we only do around 200 yards of mulch a season right now. We have a HOA that gets done every 3 years and its up again (60 yards) I have thought about subbing to someone that will let me try the blower out or trying to get a demo unit.
As for spending money on technology and newer time savings things its dumb not to.

Call your local Finn dealer and find out if there is some one in your area that rents them. We do around 500 yards a yr and would love to buy a blower. But I find it cheaper to rent a blower. We will even rent one to do sub work if the price is right.
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Guzzo856
03-25-2012, 12:01 AM
spent today tunning up the new blower, everything needs to be tuned properly for machine to be efficient as possible

EA Quinn
03-25-2012, 11:52 AM
Best of luck with your new truck.Feel free to ask any questions as you get going. There is a lot to get to know on these trucks, but if you take care of them, they will take care of you. We have an EB 45 and it is a life saver. We also have a larger finn unit as well.

blowerman
03-25-2012, 07:31 PM
There are not that many around to rent. I found it cheaper to sub the work. Even though I owned a Finn and now the Express Blower, sometimes I also used a sub to help out. In that case he brought out his Peterson 60 yard truck.

blowerman
03-25-2012, 07:32 PM
EA quinn, how's the new Terrastar?

EA Quinn
03-25-2012, 08:12 PM
So far so good. I did some work at my house this weekend, so I towed our toolcat over and loaded the truck up with a full load of topsoil. Towed excellent and had plenty of power. The turning radius is what is really great with these trucks. So far I like the truck alot. Its also pretty nice having an air ride drivers seat.

P.Services
03-25-2012, 08:22 PM
what exactly wears out on these air locks that needs to be replaced?
i need to go look at one up close to see exactly how they work.

P.Services
03-25-2012, 08:24 PM
what exactly wears out on these air locks that needs to be replaced?
i need to go look at one up close to see exactly how they work.

Guzzo856
03-25-2012, 09:14 PM
the air lock is a part its self that needs to be replaced, Your looking at $9,000 for replacing it. Some air locks go at 400 hrs some at 2000 hrs, you never know. These machines run of air so lots of attention is needed to the filters ect to keep these machines in shape.

93Chevy
03-25-2012, 09:28 PM
Lots of attention is an understatement.

P.Services
03-25-2012, 10:40 PM
the air lock is a part its self that needs to be replaced, Your looking at $9,000 for replacing it. Some air locks go at 400 hrs some at 2000 hrs, you never know. These machines run of air so lots of attention is needed to the filters ect to keep these machines in shape.

and you didnt tell me what wears out.......

P.Services
03-25-2012, 10:57 PM
The fins on the roller wear down allowing more air to escape between the fins and the inside barrel of the drum making it must less efficient and I assume eventually not forcing enough air through the hose to push the material.

thanks Picasso your the man!

Guzzo856
03-26-2012, 06:35 AM
Also there is a knife located below the roller, the knife needs to be sharp enough to cut a steak and it has to be spaced perfectly close to the roller so no air escapes, when there is damage to the knife such as it being dull or dents in it it needs to be replaced
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EA Quinn
03-26-2012, 07:09 AM
what exactly wears out on these air locks that needs to be replaced?
i need to go look at one up close to see exactly how they work.

We upgraded our finn bark blower (truck mounted 16 yard) with the newer style air lock about 3 years ago, and just had to replace it. We got almost 5,000 hours out of it. The retrofit was about $20,000.00 but now running the newer style, you get better/more air flow and the air locks don't wear as often. The replacement was $11,000.00. Usually the tolerances all break down over time in these air locks, and you slowly start losing air. It happens so slow, that if you run the machine everyday, you really don't notice until it gets real bad. Its pretty funny because when you install the new air lock, you forget how powerful they are new. You should plan on replacing at least every 2-3,000 hours as a rule of thumb, unless you are running the newer style. (I dont know how this goes for the trailer units, but this is what we have found on the truck units)

chips17
03-26-2012, 05:58 PM
Hey blowerman if you dont mind my asking how many yards do you put down per year with that thing? i read through i may have missed it

blowerman
03-26-2012, 08:19 PM
All moving parts wear out. With some preventative maintenance and grease, helps prolong the time between repairs. It never hurts to have a good welder/fabricator.

blowerman
03-26-2012, 08:22 PM
Hey blowerman if you dont mind my asking how many yards do you put down per year with that thing? i read through i may have missed it

With my old Finn, 1500 to 2000... The EB40 is new to me, so I don't have the answer yet.

chips17
03-26-2012, 10:54 PM
With my old Finn, 1500 to 2000... The EB40 is new to me, so I don't have the answer yet.

Are you strictly a mulch blower or are there other aspects to your company?

LawnMan19
03-26-2012, 11:07 PM
Are you strictly a mulch blower or are there other aspects to your company?

I was wondering that also I would guess, mulch blower by his name but not sure.

Jelinek61
03-27-2012, 02:18 PM
Those Express Blowers are amazing. The college i went to contracted out all of their mulch installs. The company that got the job brought in three or four 3 axle trucks like yours. They banged it out in about a week.

P.Services
03-27-2012, 08:41 PM
Those Express Blowers are amazing. The college i went to contracted out all of their mulch installs. The company that got the job brought in three or four 3 axle trucks like yours. They banged it out in about a week.

what college? more then likely it was Superior ground cover doing the blowing

LawnMan19
03-27-2012, 08:44 PM
Those Express Blowers are amazing. The college i went to contracted out all of their mulch installs. The company that got the job brought in three or four 3 axle trucks like yours. They banged it out in about a week.

Sounds awesome!

blowerman
03-27-2012, 10:49 PM
The name "blowerman" relates to snow removal.. I use the sig. on plowsite.com
It's because of snow removal with snow blowers. One of the other parts of my business is excavation for specialty projects. And lets not forget, lawn care.
The main problem in lawn care, everyone does it, can do it (while not always good) or everyone wants to get into it.
The thing with large scale snowblower operations in the US for snow removal, they are not that common. Same thing could be said for the Express Blower. Once you decide to do something everyone else isn't doing, the jobs are easier to get because it's unique.
Don't confuse that with better margins or profit. As others on plowsite have shared, sometimes what specialty machines give you is a efficiency others don't have. Same could be said for mulch blowing. Most of use involved in the blower service industry are cheaper than most others, can provide better service, and in the end, are faster.
Example is the person that complains here or Plowsite about low ballers: Oddly, I'm not a low baller. The difference, mulch can be installed for $35-45 per yard and driveways can be blown clear for the $10-15 range. Even with those figures I'll still make very good money with decent margins.

blowerman
03-27-2012, 10:54 PM
The name "blowerman" relates to snow removal.. I use the sig. on plowsite.com
It's because of snow removal with snow blowers. One of the other parts of my business is excavation for specialty projects. And lets not forget, lawn care.
The main problem in lawn care, everyone does it, can do it (while not always good) or everyone wants to get into it.
The thing with large scale snowblower operations in the US for snow removal, they are not that common. Same thing could be said for the Express Blower. Once you decide to do something everyone else isn't doing, the jobs are easier to get because it's unique.
Don't confuse that with better margins or profit. As others on plowsite have shared, sometimes what specialty machines give you is a efficiency others don't have. Same could be said for mulch blowing. Most of use involved in the blower service industry are cheaper than most others, can provide better service, and in the end, are faster.
Example is the person that complains here or Plowsite about low ballers: Oddly, I'm not a low baller. The difference, mulch can be installed for $35-45 per yard and driveways can be blown clear for the $10-15 range. Even with those figures I'll still make very good money with decent margins.

LawnMan19
03-27-2012, 11:26 PM
The name "blowerman" relates to snow removal.. I use the sig. on plowsite.com
It's because of snow removal with snow blowers. One of the other parts of my business is excavation for specialty projects. And lets not forget, lawn care.
The main problem in lawn care, everyone does it, can do it (while not always good) or everyone wants to get into it.
The thing with large scale snowblower operations in the US for snow removal, they are not that common. Same thing could be said for the Express Blower. Once you decide to do something everyone else isn't doing, the jobs are easier to get because it's unique.
Don't confuse that with better margins or profit. As others on plowsite have shared, sometimes what specialty machines give you is a efficiency others don't have. Same could be said for mulch blowing. Most of use involved in the blower service industry are cheaper than most others, can provide better service, and in the end, are faster.
Example is the person that complains here or Plowsite about low ballers: Oddly, I'm not a low baller. The difference, mulch can be installed for $35-45 per yard and driveways can be blown clear for the $10-15 range. Even with those figures I'll still make very good money with decent margins.

Thanks for the explanation of your name, and it all makes sense.

Jelinek61
03-29-2012, 12:27 PM
what college? more then likely it was Superior ground cover doing the blowing

Grand Valley's main Allendale campus, I dont remember the company name but that sounds familiar. I never had a chance to get any pictures of their trucks.

Jelinek61
03-29-2012, 12:29 PM
Also i forgot to add that they use those power rotary brooms mounted on the end of string trimmer shafts to do the bark around trees. They blow it into the tree ring then use the brooms to make a perfect circle. It looks like it works really slick.

blowerman
04-01-2012, 04:10 PM
Loading mulch Friday night for the weekend.
Second pic, parked for the afternoon after 30 yards for a small Saturday project.

LawnMan19
04-01-2012, 08:35 PM
Still looks so cool.

blowerman
04-19-2012, 07:53 PM
Recent 40 yard Hemlock install. Thought I'd shoot a short clip. We were only running at 40 percent feed in this video. Job took under 4 hours for two guys. At the end they had the machine feeding at 60 percent plus for some big open areas.
http://youtu.be/kC67T42SUPY

P.Services
04-19-2012, 09:30 PM
Nice!!!!!!!!!! more videos please!!

blowerman
05-01-2012, 09:14 PM
Just finishing up a 200 yard residential hardwood bark mulch install. Job took two total days with the EB40 mulch blower. All I used was a two person crew.
Here is a short clip around one of the ponds.
Feel free to share it, like us on Facebook. Always like the support, thanks guys!
http://youtu.be/J1IoqK1pIbo