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McFarland_Lawn_Care
08-17-2011, 06:47 PM
Okay, I'm relatively new to the pesticide area of lawn care but working on setting up my program for next season and accepting a few clients now. I just purchased a PG Centri on Ebay and now have to have it shipped out to me. After paying for shipping and all it will end up costing me around $1,800 - it has just over 700 hrs. Never used one before and just printed off the manual online. I hope I got a good buy and that it will be a good investment. I'll post pics when it arrives - I'm just like a kid in a candy store! =D Hopefully it will help me get control of the TERRIBLE CG that everyone is having issues with right now.

RigglePLC
08-17-2011, 07:03 PM
I am excited for you, also! A for real Permagreen! Its a little late for crabgrass--isn't it--you may need two treatments; summer is just 6 weeks of bad skiing where you are--or did you actually get some heat this year? Let us know how it works out. Get pictures.

McFarland_Lawn_Care
08-17-2011, 08:12 PM
Thanks I will get pics. I just got my license this spring and been working on educating myself before I advertise for it. We got 1/2 inch of rain for all of July here this year, so the CG is bad for us. I ordered some Drive xlr8 and some good sticker to give it a shot - also getting some req to take out Poison Ivy. Been a weird season so far but getting a lot of rain now which will help. Riggle - I appreciate your input on this site - learning a lot from your posts, thanks!

jad004
08-17-2011, 11:49 PM
I have a Centri. Good machine. The lawns I treated with it have no CG. It did a great job on those. If you bought the machine and had it shipped all for $1800, then you got a great deal if the machine is in good condition. I have alot more than that in the one I bought this spring.

McFarland_Lawn_Care
08-30-2011, 06:33 PM
So it arrived today and I tried it out. Never even seen one before let alone tried to work with it. I downloaded the operators manual and read it over a few times. Had to adjust the throttle because the engine was idling too high and engaging the clutch all the time. Now there is some "floaties" in the tank and 2 of the nozzles are not working. I'm sure there is a screen or filter that I need to find and then replace or clean out, but overall I am very happy with the machine. Right now I'm in it $1,805 so I don't mind making a few repairs if I need to. Any suggestions or things to check, keep an eye on would be VERY appreciated. Have a small handfull of customers signed up for a fall application, just gotta get her calibrated and ready to go. :walking:

indyturf
08-30-2011, 07:12 PM
Looks clean and well maintained. The biggest thing on the PG to replace is the tranny, check it and make sure its not rotting out from fert setting on top of it. keep the throttle and hopper cable well lubed. I found that only washing the PG once a month was best. keep it dry as possible and blow off with a leaf blower after washing and between cleanings. In my opinion the Centri was the best PG they built. Pumps and nozzle screens are best to buy at tractor supply.
Good Luck with your PG I'm sure you will love it!

RigglePLC
08-31-2011, 06:35 PM
Indy is right. Centri is the best Permagreen. And fert trapped in the upper cooling fins of the tranny will rot out the aluminum. Fill the cavities with silicone or something if you want to prevent accumulation of fert particles.

Clean the filter screens behind each of the four nozzles. There is a filter which is screwed onto the end of the uptake hose inside the tank. Clean it. Scoop out floating debris in the tank with an aquarium net. Dry the tank and clean it out with a paper towel. Fluid Film or similar lubricant will help the open/close/adjustment mechanism underneath the spreader.

Find the 5 lube points and grease. Find the tranny oil fill opening and check it. I am not sure what the level should be. Lube the 2 ball joints on the shifter arm.

You can carry a squirt bottle in the bottle holder.

Try to adjust to get the spread pattern even. Time yourself to find your coverage per minute. Calibrate. Use a stop watch. Say if you cover 3000 sqft per minute. A bag that covers 12,000 sqft should be gone in 4 minutes. Adjust up or down. Find a scoop to remove fert if you need to empty the hopper.

Find the nozzle output per minute with water and calculate your gallons per 1000 sqft, using your speed per minute and spray swath width. Make a fill chart for filling your tank.

Find some chrome hubcaps for the wheels.

McFarland_Lawn_Care
08-31-2011, 08:53 PM
As always, love to read your posts, Riggle. I have learned a lot about it already. Think i'll replace one or all of the hoses, one has a couple deep cracks from dry rot and it could be drawing in extra air and messing up the nozzle pattern on that one. Thanks for ALL the tips, I will clean out all the screens and think i'll try a wet/dry vac to clean out the tank. The rpms aren't reading accurate and the governor surges when on high throttle, but I know a real good small engine guy who will look at that for me. I first thought it had a battery on board, but I guess the pump runs straight off the generator and not a battery. It was a little overwhelming at first but now that I am figuring things out I am totally in love - like a kid at Christmas! lol As soon as all the nozzles are spraying evenly I will set a morning aside to calibrate it all up. I will be happy then!

meets1
09-01-2011, 12:39 AM
Keep it clean. Wash off after every days treatments or at least once a week. I am on my 3rd Pg machine - the cleaning is a big issue.

RigglePLC
09-01-2011, 01:52 PM
PG is factory set at 10 psi--no need to use the braid reinforced hose, ordinary vinyl tubing is just fine. I cannot remember exactly, but I think you should get about 80 to 100 ounces per minute from each nozzle--(big nozzles). Naturally you will find it easier to check it by placing a measuring pitcher under the nozzle and recording spray for 15 seconds. Aim it down, just for the test.

indyturf
09-01-2011, 07:51 PM
I always took the top nozzles off. they were the lower volume that would spray 64k sq ft. I always felt they were too high off the ground and would drift. plus mixing that strong scared me! lol I just capped them off. you could put a spot spray hose on one of them too.

McFarland_Lawn_Care
09-01-2011, 10:44 PM
oh, now THAT's a great idea about a spot spray hose, Indy!!!! Maybe a good little winter project for me. I wish i was a little more clever building things, I'd put a small reel on the side for spot spraying.

RigglePLC
09-02-2011, 12:05 PM
Good idea, Indy.
Also Mac, you could block one of the upper nozzles and re aim the remaining one to spray the exact width of the machine--its like an edger nozzle. Helpful for those tight spots.

McFarland_Lawn_Care
09-02-2011, 07:36 PM
Yes, good plan!! I'd just have to switch it out so that the ONE upper nozzle has the same rate as the lower ones to keep the lawn rate uniform or else go at a slower speed when using the upper nozzle. I'll run some tests and calibrate it. Right now the engine is getting some attention at the small engine mechanic....may need a new carb but we'll see.

DGM
09-10-2011, 08:11 AM
Looks like you got a nice deal! I just purchased a Centri also, and I had the intention of upgrade the spray pump,nozzles to get a better spray pattern, but is this needed?

In high hear, I have the grey (v3-flood jet) w/air injected on the bottom and as described before getting a drop in maybe 1". I've done the calibration and know how much chem to use but it just seem that the spacing of the dropplets are alot.

Did you have to just slow down, and use more GPA and mix accordingly or use different nozzles? Or upgrade the spraying system?

DGM
09-10-2011, 08:13 AM
Also it is right on with what the manual says as far as the speed and oz per min for calibrating. Mark out 143' = 20 in speed and 42oz from 1 nozzles in 60sec

McFarland_Lawn_Care
09-15-2011, 02:00 PM
Okay, my PG needs some help. I measured the output at each nozzle and got 22 and 20 oz out of the top ones in 1 minute and 16 and 8 oz out of the bottom ones in one minute. Obviously somethings up, so I pulled off all the nozzles and measured straight out of the hose assembly and got a pretty uniform average of 64 oz per minute out of all of them. So I'm guessing I should just replace the whole nozzle unit. I've cleaned out the nozzle screens and doesn't make a difference. The black caps and top nozzle bodies look like they have a lot of "gunk" in them. Where is the best place to replace these. Also, the manual keeps talking about "gray" nozzles and mine are either brown/purple or red/green. At this point I would be willing to pay someone on here for some one-on-one permagreen counselling! =D

RigglePLC
09-15-2011, 05:25 PM
Mac,
Sounds like a low pressure problem. Maybe the pump is weak or voltage is weak. If you hold your thumb over the output hose can you stop the flow? Can you put on a pressure guage? (temporarily if need be.) Hook up a voltmeter. Are you getting about 14 volts? Ask your small engine mechanic to check the voltage output. Test it by touching the electrodes to screws at the handle switch. Corrosion of the wires is a common problem. Pull hard at all the connections. Wiggle the pump wires back and forth--anything weak should break--which is good--because--you have found the problem. Or maybe, one of the problems. If new top-quality wiring does not correct it--you may need a new pump. All wiring connections should by soldered and then covered with a thick layer of silicone; must be air tight and water tight to avoid corrosive effects of fertilizer on copper wire. Route all wires as high and far back as possible, to keep them dry and as far away from the fertilizer as possible.

Not likely a nozzle problem.

In theory, the pump is a 1.8 gal per minute pump, that is 230 ounces. That black thing on top of the tank bypasses excess pressure back to the tank. Is there any sign that it failed and is spilling too much fluid back to the tank? Clean it; replace diaphragm. You can do this, Mac. Just takes some tender loving care--you will get your reward.

McFarland_Lawn_Care
09-15-2011, 05:42 PM
haha, Okay, thank you so much. Spent all day messing around with it and didn't seem to make much headway. Guess I'll have to make it a fall project. I got the engine all tuned up and its hitting 3550 rpm with the throttle lever all the way up, so I know THAT is right. Good point about the pump, must be not getting enough power or something. I cleaned out the uptake screen in the tank too, nothing seems to help. I'll check the voltage and run a hose straight off the pump tomorrow and see what I get. Thanks so much - it's rather fun to work on, but beginning to puzzle me =D

McFarland_Lawn_Care
09-15-2011, 06:26 PM
alright, I couldn't wait. I ran out to the garage, pulled the hose straight off the pump and ran a test. I got 63 oz of water in 1 minute. HA!! Almost exactly HALF what it should be! Well, found part of the problem ;-) So it's either the pump, the generator, or the wiring between them. =D Feel I'm making some headway.

McFarland_Lawn_Care
09-22-2011, 01:35 PM
Okay, I tested the current coming off the generator and got 10.5V depending on how I am holding the probes. I feel that is pretty decent, so thinking the pump is worn out a little. I ordered a new pump, if it still doesn't perform up to par then I'll scrap the generator and run the pump straight off a battery!! lol

RigglePLC
09-22-2011, 04:43 PM
Does anybody know just how much the generator should put out? 10.5 volts does not sound like much for a 12 volt pump. Maybe a new generator is in your future, Mac.

Too late I know, but can you remove the pump and test it with your truck battery, (which should read about 13 volts). Does it sound better--does it pump more?