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PlantscapeSolutions
09-15-2011, 01:49 AM
I already own a 20' dump trailer and am pondering buying a top dresser. I wanted to hear what range of prices people are charging for top dressing. I tested the waters with my customers and it seems like $65 - $75 per 1000 sq ft should be an easy sell. My plan is to make this an off season application to create more work but keep my costs down.

Smallaxe
09-15-2011, 09:18 AM
Topdressing, by machine, seems to be a very slow process in my estimation... My biggest concern besides running the machine back and forth to the truck so much, would be the time it takes to do a yd. of post ...
wheel barrows move much quicker...

NattyLawn
09-15-2011, 11:02 AM
Actually, spreading by machine is very quick. Yes you may be able to move the 'barrow from Point A to point B faster, but you make the time up by not having to spread the compost. The major obstacle with the machine and spreading by hand is how quickly you can load the spreader as Axe mentioned. There was a thread a little bit ago where this was discussed. I thought some guys rigged up a conveyor loading system. You may want to do a search.

As far as what to charge goes, only you know if you can make money on it.

PlantscapeSolutions
09-15-2011, 12:44 PM
Actually, spreading by machine is very quick. Yes you may be able to move the 'barrow from Point A to point B faster, but you make the time up by not having to spread the compost. The major obstacle with the machine and spreading by hand is how quickly you can load the spreader as Axe mentioned. There was a thread a little bit ago where this was discussed. I thought some guys rigged up a conveyor loading system. You may want to do a search.

As far as what to charge goes, only you know if you can make money on it.

Agreed! I've done a few yards with a wheel barrow over the years and it's very back breaking work. Plus your consistency slinging a shovel can't come close to what a machine can do.

I may even be able to use my friends Toro Dingo to load the top dresser which will speed things up and really cut down on the manual labor. If I were big into top dressing I would buy a Dingo. With a Dingo you could do top dressing solo and really keep your expenses down.

Hopefully some folks who have one of the two top dressing machines on the market will chime in about what they are able to charge. I've tried to get Turf Tech in San Angelo to give me some feedback but he has not responded. I'm only a few hours from San Angelo so Turf Techs would likely have some knowledgeable feedback. Hopefully the drought hasn't run him off.

fl-landscapes
09-15-2011, 08:01 PM
Topdressing, by machine, seems to be a very slow process in my estimation... My biggest concern besides running the machine back and forth to the truck so much, would be the time it takes to do a yd. of post ...
wheel barrows move much quicker...

Do you not have to run your wheel barrow back and forth to your truck? I have a earth and turf sp and love how evenly it spreads and how quick it spreads. Problem is filling it but that would be the case with a wheel barrow as well. I am looking into auger type material movers to put in my dump truck to make unloading a snap, no more shovel.
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fl-landscapes
09-15-2011, 08:06 PM
I actually have a boxer mini 425 diesel but it's a lot of equipment to move around so that's why I am looking into the auger type unloaders. The conveyor system was pretty cool that guy from Canada built. Got his arm chewed up when he got it sucked into the gears though.
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DA Quality Lawn & YS
09-16-2011, 12:19 AM
I actually have a boxer mini 425 diesel but it's a lot of equipment to move around so that's why I am looking into the auger type unloaders. The conveyor system was pretty cool that guy from Canada built. Got his arm chewed up when he got it sucked into the gears though.
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You talking about Ecolawn? Really, didn't hear about this...did the guy make it?

PlantscapeSolutions
09-16-2011, 12:47 AM
I actually have a boxer mini 425 diesel but it's a lot of equipment to move around so that's why I am looking into the auger type unloaders. The conveyor system was pretty cool that guy from Canada built. Got his arm chewed up when he got it sucked into the gears though.
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My dump trailer is 8x20 so I have lots of space to play with. I had six yards of soil, two pallets of mulch, as well as plants and tools for a landscape job recently. The trailer was about 22,000 lbs. loaded.

The max weight rating is 25K. The dry weight is about 9K which gives me 16K to play with.

I should be able to handle 8-10 yard of top dressing with an Ecolawn top dresser and a mini loader. If I have to go to a hilly area the load will need to be dialed back by two yards.

Smallaxe
09-16-2011, 07:26 AM
I never use a shovel to sling compost... never use a rake to distribute piles of compost, evenly across the lawn... The only reason it is backbreaking work, becuz it is being done the hard way...

I was just on a lawn, that I did last week and impressed myself with how great it looked, but no machine could get back there due to the hardscape and shifting sands on the ground...

The important question is though: How many wheelbarrow loads, can you fit into the Hopper of some of those machines??? :)

fl-landscapes
09-16-2011, 08:56 AM
My dump trailer is 8x20 so I have lots of space to play with. I had six yards of soil, two pallets of mulch, as well as plants and tools for a landscape job recently. The trailer was about 22,000 lbs. loaded.

The max weight rating is 25K. The dry weight is about 9K which gives me 16K to play with.

I should be able to handle 8-10 yard of top dressing with an Ecolawn top dresser and a mini loader. If I have to go to a hilly area the load will need to be dialed back by two yards.

Sound good. The truck in the avatar is the one I use. It's 33k gvw and 14k empty so we are close in hauling capacity. That's a roll off, I have a 500 gal hydroseeder set up in another container so I just roll one off and switch whenever need be. Small axe. The earth and turf sp is ten cubic foot capacity so depending on how big your wheel barrow is you can do the math. Phasthound built up the sides to be able to almost doublem his capacity. No shovel? How do you fill your wheel barrow. And I never said top dressing was back breaking work. I have an employee in the truck filling and me running the machine, which is absolutely effortless.
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PlantscapeSolutions
09-16-2011, 11:12 AM
How accurate is your top dresser? My plan was to do about 1/4" applications once a year for my customers. At a 1/4" depth application a yard should cover 1296 sq ft but to play it safe I would budget for it to cover only 1000.

With mulch the math shows a 2 cu bag will cover 19.2 sq ft (at 1.25") but in reality it never goes that far. We probably average closer to 12 sq ft per bag. I'm trying to be safe and factor in there will be a fudge factor with top dressing as well.

It's not like the top dresser is some scientific application machine with extreme accuracy. With fertilizer applications something as simple as high humidity can vastly effect how material is spread. It's going to be a given that the varying moisture content of the material being spread is going to effect the accuracy of the true application depth.

What prices are you able to charge for a typical application where the material being spread is going to cost you about $30 per 1K of coverage? I'm thinking you've got to be able to charge $35-$45 per 1K coverage for labor to make it worthwhile.

phasthound
09-16-2011, 12:56 PM
The Earth & Turf 100sp is easy to calibrate and operate.

fl-landscapes
09-16-2011, 02:44 PM
The Earth & Turf 100sp is easy to calibrate and operate.

Like hound says they are very easy to calibrate. Prices you will have to figure on your own as every business is different and every market is different.
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Smallaxe
09-16-2011, 07:01 PM
... Small axe. The earth and turf sp is ten cubic foot capacity so depending on how big your wheel barrow is you can do the math. Phasthound built up the sides to be able to almost doublem his capacity. No shovel? How do you fill your wheel barrow. And I never said top dressing was back breaking work. I have an employee in the truck filling and me running the machine, which is absolutely effortless.
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Almost doubling the size of a 10 cu.ft. hopper must be about a half of a yd, load... Now you're talking... :)

Never use a shovel to spread the 'post, nor a rake to even out piles, because there are none...

Barefoot James
09-16-2011, 08:30 PM
Topdressing, by machine, seems to be a very slow process in my estimation... My biggest concern besides running the machine back and forth to the truck so much, would be the time it takes to do a yd. of post ...
wheel barrows move much quicker...

Not true. I have an ecolawn and can avg about 4 yards of compost evenly spread over 20,000 sq ft in under 50 mins. I can do the first load out of my dump to fill it in 11 secs and 3 mins to spread. Since it is self propelled it is easy to get back to truck 10 loads do 4 yards 10-12 mins a load one man.

fl-landscapes
09-16-2011, 08:46 PM
Almost doubling the size of a 10 cu.ft. hopper must be about a half of a yd, load... Now you're talking... :)

Never use a shovel to spread the 'post, nor a rake to even out piles, because there are none...

How big is your wheel barrow?

And is there anything you do that isn't in your eyes the absolute best and only way to do something?

Funny how your wheel barrow is more efficient than an advances fairly expensive specialized piece of equipment engineered obviously to make the process more efficient. And every one who owns one can attest to how easy it is compared to the old way. Do you own or have you used a self propelled top dresser?
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fl-landscapes
09-16-2011, 08:51 PM
Almost doubling the size of a 10 cu.ft. hopper must be about a half of a yd, load... Now you're talking... :)

Never use a shovel to spread the 'post, nor a rake to even out piles, because there are none...

And you never did answer the question about running your wheel barrow back to the truck. How the heck do you fill it? If you think walking behind a self propelled is harder than physically pushing a wheel barrow you must be smoking something.
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PlantscapeSolutions
09-17-2011, 12:14 AM
If I buy a top dresser the Ecolawn seems to be the way to go. It's almost like comparing a drop spreader to a rotary spreader. Nobody uses a drop spreader because it's more difficult to get a uniform application in areas that lack geometry. The drop spreader is going to require more effort to get the job done. Why do a 3' application width when you can do a 6' width.

The Ecolawn seems to designed with efficiency in mind for small area usage while the SP 100 is based on a shrunken pull behind applicator. At least one person has complained on here who bought an SP 100 because it was difficult to do applications along the edges of lawns that have bends and curves.

It's too bad top dressers are such novelty items that only two companies make decent ones. It'd be great if someone like Scag put their engineers to work building a V-Ride type top dresser. You could have a floating machine that lowers for stability but raises for ease of loading. Bullet proof hydro drives and a Kawi twin. The bad news is it would be a $10K machine

Smallaxe
09-17-2011, 09:27 AM
And you never did answer the question about running your wheel barrow back to the truck. How the heck do you fill it? If you think walking behind a self propelled is harder than physically pushing a wheel barrow you must be smoking something.
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I was challenging the speed of application, by a slow moving machine that carried little more that a 5 cu.ft. standard wheel barrow... Now I finally got my answer that they've engineered hoppers that hold about 1/2 yd. that's better I admit , I like that better than a wheel barrow, My way isn't better in this particular case...
James has a large volume business in compost and a sweet setup that runs efficiently, in which a wheelbarrow would certainly fall behind in speed and efficiency... He probably does more in one day than I'll do this season, and the same is true for most LCOs getting onto the compost bandwagon...
Paying thousands for a machine that returns hundreds at the beginning is bad business... Correct? Meanwhile there is a simple solution that doesn't require, flailing with a shovel or raking out piles that even a h.o. can deal with...

Just becuz you failed to understand the shovel reference I'm not going to tell you how I load the wheelbarrow... :laugh:

PlantscapeSolutions
09-17-2011, 10:35 AM
I think Smallaxe is really Charlie Sheen's screen name. His postings are too similar to Charlie's past lunatic antics for it to be just a coincidence. Get help my friend. :hammerhead:

Smallaxe
09-17-2011, 10:54 AM
I think Smallaxe is really Charlie Sheen's screen name. His postings are too similar to Charlie's past lunatic antics for it to be just a coincidence. Get help my friend. :hammerhead:

:laugh: I suppose if I talked "redneck cracker" more fluently, the LD readers with ADHD could follow along a little better... :laugh:

Tell me about your compost delivery system... Cost efficient is it???

!!! Whatever...

Barefoot James
09-17-2011, 06:39 PM
The Ecolawn seems to designed with efficiency in mind for small area usage while the SP 100 is based on a shrunken pull behind applicator. At least one person has complained on here who bought an SP 100 because it was difficult to do applications along the edges of lawns that have bends and curves.



The nice thing about having 12 cu ft of post on wheels is it is easy to just grab a bunch and sling it into corners or tight spots. The other thing is you can put heavy apps down in bad areas - just by hand. The eco lawn goes as fast as you are gonna walk. It is light so you can tip it or shake it if the post bridges - plus because you are behind it you can see how it is spreading. This helps make sure you have consistant spread rates. It also will do a pallett of humate - quick! We did 2700 pounds spread over 30,000 sq ft ball field in 30 mins. It is dusty but gets it done! So it is the perfect spreader for high poundage meal apps and probably would be a mean salt spreader in the winter.

fl-landscapes
09-17-2011, 08:04 PM
[QUOTE=Smallaxe;4162377]I was challenging the speed of application, by a slow moving machine that carried little more that a 5 cu.ft. standard wheel barrow... Now I finally got my answer that they've engineered hoppers that hold about 1/2 yd. that's better I admit , I like that better than a wheel barrow, My way isn't better in this particular case...
James has a large volume business in compost and a sweet setup that runs efficiently, in which a wheelbarrow would certainly fall behind in speed and efficiency... He probably does more in one day than I'll do this season, and the same is true for most LCOs getting onto the compost bandwagon...
Paying thousands for a machine that returns hundreds at the beginning is bad business... Correct? Meanwhile there is a simple solution that doesn't require, flailing with a shovel or raking out piles that even a h.o. can deal with...

I think the ecolawn has advantages and so does the earth and turf. Think the earth and turf is built more solid. It turns on a dime and can get into most tight spots and follows curves no problem. Although no doubt the rotary of the ecolawn would help even more in those cases. As far as uniformity a drop type spread will be more consistent than rotary unless you are doing exactly the proper overlap on the spread as the spread isn't even from the machine out. Both good machines. As far as you Charlie Sheehan I couldnt care less how you fill your wheel barrow, I have employees to shovel out of my twenty yard roll off to fill my earth and turf. As far as returning hundreds, before I bought my machine I had already sold a twice a year post to my largest commercial customer for 1600 per. This was three years ago. I also do all of Ric customers who need top dressing, trust me I don't need business advice or bad advice on how to efficiently run a top dressing service.
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fl-landscapes
09-17-2011, 08:08 PM
Smallaxe, you need to get up to speed on the top dressers we are talking about. Not only are they at least twice as big as you thought. They are anything but slow. I can not keep up with my machine in full speed without trotting. For big areas I think a cushman on a gator is the way to go.
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Smallaxe
09-18-2011, 12:53 AM
Smallaxe, you need to get up to speed on the top dressers we are talking about. Not only are they at least twice as big as you thought. They are anything but slow. I can not keep up with my machine in full speed without trotting. For big areas I think a cushman on a gator is the way to go.
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Cool, I'm always glad when Amerikan technology does something worthwhile... You act like beating a wheelbarrow is the greatest thing , since sliced bread... 5 years ago things were different... You think you've found the golden calyx... good for you...

When cost effectiveness meets my current market... I'm on board... not too confusing...

Many markets are not willing to pay for compost... It's a work in progress for many LCOs...

What is your great marketing Experience in the way of clients paying extra for compost???

Answer that question ... and we can dialogue from there... :)

ReddensLawnCare
12-17-2011, 09:28 AM
Bump for some more info. Plantscapes, did you end up getting one for yourself?

PlantscapeSolutions
12-17-2011, 04:26 PM
It looks like it will happen this month. I've already sold about 20 top dressing at $75 per 1000 sq ft. The material is going to cost about $27 per yard. For a lot of the yards I'm going to haul in the material myself and tacked on a $75 delivery fee. The base material is about 800 lbs a yard. I may offer some material with sand that will weight more and be $12-15 more per yard as an upgrade.

This is now the slow season so it's the perfect time to try out the top dressing and see how it goes. I may be able to use my friends Dingo loader to make the process go more quickly. Without the dingo I can still dump wheelbarrows out of the dump trailer into the hopper. Shoveling from ground level up into the hopper is what I want to avoid.

dKoester
12-17-2011, 06:19 PM
Our compost price is 135 per yard.

PlantscapeSolutions
12-17-2011, 06:43 PM
I was thinking I would need at least $100 per 1000 in season. Even if the yard is small I'm still getting the $75 delivery fee for hauling it myself. I'll be interested to see how things go.

ReddensLawnCare
12-17-2011, 09:11 PM
Our compost price is 135 per yard.

What kind of compost costs that much? That seems extremely high. Is that your COST or PRICE?

PlantscapeSolutions
12-17-2011, 10:32 PM
What kind of compost costs that much? That seems extremely high. Is that your COST or PRICE?

I'm assuming he's considering a yard to cover 1000 sq ft so he's basically quoting his 1000 sq ft price.

dKoester
12-18-2011, 12:20 AM
What kind of compost costs that much? That seems extremely high. Is that your COST or PRICE?

Its our price. We get it. Some companies on here don't know what their cost are in doing business. They are here today gone tommorrow. They hear everyone elses price and think that it is theirs as well. People pay for quality. Lots of companies are scared to charge the correct amount. My time is valuable to me. Every employee of mine has a man our rate I charge the customer to get the job done. Never be scared to walk away from a potential job either.

PlantscapeSolutions
12-18-2011, 01:23 AM
Its our price. We get it. Some companies on here don't know what their cost are in doing business. They are here today gone tommorrow. They hear everyone elses price and think that it is theirs as well. People pay for quality. Lots of companies are scared to charge the correct amount. My time is valuable to me. Every employee of mine has a man our rate I charge the customer to get the job done. Never be scared to walk away from a potential job either.

So, are you saying you charge $130 for each yard you spread with the machine plus a man hour rate on top of that? I'm just trying to clarify the original info that was posted. The norm tends to be pricing per 1000 sq ft so I think your throwing us a monkey wrench that needs a little clarification.

dKoester
12-18-2011, 01:52 PM
The hourly rate is included in that price. Sorry for the lack of clarity. 1 yard per 1000 s.f..
So if you were doing 10000 s.f. it would be $1350.

ReddensLawnCare
12-18-2011, 04:31 PM
Do you use a spreader or do you do it by hand. I get good compost for right around 20 per yard so I feel with my delivery of materials and costs, 90 per thousand would work with no delivery fee if customer gets more than five yards. I haven't done the math but it sounds like 1cy will cover around 1000sf. Is that correct?
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PlantscapeSolutions
12-18-2011, 04:36 PM
Composting by hand is a beech and your coverage is not going to be uniform. I never pushed composting in the past because I didn't have a machine and the cost to the customer was going to have to be pretty high for me to make decent money.

dKoester
12-18-2011, 05:53 PM
If you don't have a machine. Make small piles in a grid like pattern. Use a backpack blower to spread it out. This works very well.

ReddensLawnCare
12-20-2011, 01:35 PM
I havent thought of that. The few I have done so far have been pretty small so I just dump in piles and spread out with a large landscape rake.

DaveyBlue32
01-04-2012, 12:49 AM
I use a redmax backpack with a regular y pipe plumbing connector duct taped to the end of the hose...it sucks up and shoots just about anything you can put in a wheelbarrow where ever you want it... and it's a load of fun. Nothing better then painting a lawn with dung on a sunny summer day. ...:)

nc-jrock
01-08-2012, 01:44 PM
I use a redmax backpack with a regular y pipe plumbing connector duct taped to the end of the hose...it sucks up and shoots just about anything you can put in a wheelbarrow where ever you want it... and it's a load of fun. Nothing better then painting a lawn with dung on a sunny summer day. ...:)

Hello DaveyBlue, that sounds good but how does it work, I'm having a little trouble envisioning this. I would like to try it some time. Thanks

PlantscapeSolutions
01-15-2012, 02:37 PM
Ecolawns owners please check out my new Ecolawn thread I'm trying to get some feedback

PlantscapeSolutions
01-27-2012, 01:12 AM
Things are going great with my Ecolawn and it's working out much better then expected. I've been using about 1/2 yard per 1000 instead of the 3/4 or more I thought I would need. I've been hauling 12 yards at a time at a cost of $26 per yard. I'm spending about $450 a day on labor, material, and fuel and have been doing about $2000 - 2400 in sales.

Dually dumps or medium duty trucks with high beds that allow for rapid reloading with two wheel barrows seem like the only way to go. I can reload in about 20 seconds.

phasthound
01-27-2012, 08:40 AM
Glad to hear you are doing so well. Just wait until your clients start talking about how happy they are once the see the results of compost topdressing!

adam.neusbaum
02-13-2012, 12:41 AM
I'm in a real bind & need some sound advice from those that know. Spring is almost here & the topdressing jobs will be calling to schedule shortly. I generally have to cram in 3-5 jobs per day since i work full-time otherwise. Most homes require 5-7 cubic yards each. I was running my small dumptruck back & forth to reload 25 miles each way before purchasing a second & larger dumptruck. So we're not killing ourselves throughout our long hot & humid Florida Summer I'm looking at some options on filling the Turfco Mete-R-Matics: 1. Insert Feeder Wagon into the dump-body. Used these are bargain priced Mulch-Mules.
2. Grapple Truck which holds 30 cubic yards & has a clamshell to fill Turfco's.
3. Live floor or conveyor bottom.
If I were satisfied with the existing suggestions then I wouldn't be posting this. Please don't re-hash the basic handtools like cement placers(come-alongs) & scoop-shovels, 'cause I have plenty of experience with them all.
There's got to be a Thomas Edison type on this forum that can see a better way.
Thanks for your consideration.-
Adam

PlantscapeSolutions
02-13-2012, 01:57 AM
I'm in a real bind & need some sound advice from those that know. Spring is almost here & the topdressing jobs will be calling to schedule shortly. I generally have to cram in 3-5 jobs per day since i work full-time otherwise. Most homes require 5-7 cubic yards each. I was running my small dumptruck back & forth to reload 25 miles each way before purchasing a second & larger dumptruck. So we're not killing ourselves throughout our long hot & humid Florida Summer I'm looking at some options on filling the Turfco Mete-R-Matics: 1. Insert Feeder Wagon into the dump-body. Used these are bargain priced Mulch-Mules.
2. Grapple Truck which holds 30 cubic yards & has a clamshell to fill Turfco's.
3. Live floor or conveyor bottom.
If I were satisfied with the existing suggestions then I wouldn't be posting this. Please don't re-hash the basic handtools like cement placers(come-alongs) & scoop-shovels, 'cause I have plenty of experience with them all.
There's got to be a Thomas Edison type on this forum that can see a better way.
Thanks for your consideration.-
Adam

I don't think there is a faster way to load then to have a helper load two wheel barrows while you run the machine. You come back to your truck or trailer and your loaded up in about 30 seconds with two quick dumps.

I haul 12 yards at a time in my trailer. We spread 12 yards in less then 4 hours the other day at three properties. The other thing I realized is a must have is a 30X50 tarp to cover your compost pile so it doesn't get rained on at the place you buy your material.

adam.neusbaum
02-13-2012, 01:52 PM
Seeing your method makes my system seem easy. Utilizing our dumptrucks with barndoors & a piece of 6" angle iron attached to the back as a lip extension we park a machine under the overhang and pull the back 3 feet off and into the 38" high Turfcos with cement placers. Then instead of reaching far into the bed we close the doors & dump bringing the compost to the back and then lower flat to re-open the doors and start over. About 3-4 tilts and were empty. Now I only use the scoopshovel for what falls out after opening the doors each time. How do I attach a pic?
Thanks-Adam
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PlantscapeSolutions
02-13-2012, 02:14 PM
Seeing your method makes my system seem easy. Utilizing our dumptrucks with barndoors & a piece of 6" angle iron attached to the back as a lip extension we park a machine under the overhang and pull the back 3 feet off and into the 38" high Turfcos with cement placers. Then instead of reaching far into the bed we close the doors & dump bringing the compost to the back and then lower flat to re-open the doors and start over. About 3-4 tilts and were empty. Now I only use the scoopshovel for what falls out after opening the doors each time. How do I attach a pic?
Thanks-Adam
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just click the "quote" button on the post to open up the window that has all the smiles to the right. Then click on the paper clip logo that will open the attachment window. Just navigate to the spot on your computer where the picture is located. If the picture is larger then about 2 megs it may not work and you will need to resize the picture and try again.

adam.neusbaum
02-13-2012, 02:28 PM
I saw the "quote" button last night on the laptop but not here on the mobile version. Seems strange. Any thoughts?
Thank you- Adam
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PlantscapeSolutions
02-13-2012, 02:43 PM
I saw the "quote" button last night on the laptop but not here on the mobile version. Seems strange. Any thoughts?
Thank you- Adam
Posted via Mobile Device

You can also just click the quick reply button and then you will get the option to "go advanced" and it will take you to the same screen where you will see the paper clip icon for uploading pictures.

djagusch
02-13-2012, 04:41 PM
Coming to the thread late but have entertained the idea of doing this.

How are you estimating the job by sqft, cubic yards? What is your retail price on it? I'm not in your area and topdressing is talk about but rarely done in my area.

DUSTYCEDAR
02-13-2012, 04:55 PM
using a mulch blower is the way to go

PlantscapeSolutions
02-13-2012, 09:50 PM
Coming to the thread late but have entertained the idea of doing this.

How are you estimating the job by sqft, cubic yards? What is your retail price on it? I'm not in your area and topdressing is talk about but rarely done in my area.

I'm finding $75 per 1000 sq ft fits in the budgets OK and gives you a good return on your investment. I use 1/2 yard per 1K. Efficiency is the hard part. You need a 16' or a 20' dump trailer or a medium duty truck like FL Landscapes if your going to be able to load your Ecolawn or SP100 very quickly and get back to work. You can not shovel from ground level into the hopper or you going to be very slow and the work will kill you.

adam.neusbaum
02-16-2012, 02:09 PM
I don't think there is a faster way to load then to have a helper load two wheel barrows while you run the machine. You come back to your truck or trailer and your loaded up in about 30 seconds with two quick dumps.

I haul 12 yards at a time in my trailer. We spread 12 yards in less then 4 hours the other day at three properties. The other thing I realized is a must have is a 30X50 tarp to cover your compost pile so it doesn't get rained on at the place you buy your material.

With Ecolawn dry material is a must. I've fought with moist & getting it to drop down to the belt, bridging is terrible sometimes. Shake, Bounce, Shake & repeat.
Ever use with a walking live-floor?
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PlantscapeSolutions
02-16-2012, 07:27 PM
With Ecolawn dry material is a must. I've fought with moist & getting it to drop down to the belt, bridging is terrible sometimes. Shake, Bounce, Shake & repeat.
Ever use with a walking live-floor?
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I'm using 30% sand and it made a big improvement. No sand is hell.

adam.neusbaum
02-16-2012, 07:30 PM
Is masonry sand ok or does it bring in sedge?
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adam.neusbaum
02-16-2012, 07:34 PM
Anyone have a truck for topdressing that has a walking floor to bring the material to the back? I need an easier way to load the buggies this year, I've had all winter to try & build something but haven't yet. Wish I could just buy something great for $2k and be on my way.
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adam.neusbaum
03-06-2012, 12:18 AM
Anyone have a truck for topdressing that has a walking floor to bring the material to the back? I need an easier way to load the buggies this year, I've had all winter to try & build something but haven't yet. Wish I could just buy something great for $2k and be on my way.
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Three weeks later & things are looking up. This feels more like a diary than a blog. I mean really,,,I'm now replying to my own post?
My father-n-law built a very strong skateboard ramp which slides into the back of the dumptruck. Load truck, keep doors shut & dump. Now the compost is cascading down and the plywood ramp forces the compost to be at the top of the doors to pull off & into the buggies.;) Now I just need two more inexpensive treadmills & I should have a triple conveyor unit that becomes horizontal when completely dumped. Hope you all can picture it on your own since I just can't get a pic to upload.

PlantscapeSolutions
03-06-2012, 01:33 AM
How many yards does your truck hold? You really need to be able to carry at least 12 yards to keep the running back and forth time to truck reload to a minimum. I've done 36 properties so far this spring. The average size has probably been about 10,000 square feet. My Ecolawn reload time is about 30 seconds with one guy working in the trailer as my helper.

As long as your not trying to upload a file size larger then about two megs you shouldn't have a problem. If your file is larger you just need to resize it. If you get the upload failed message it usually means your file is too large.

You could also shoot a video clip of your setup and put it on YouTube. I need to get a newer camera that will allow me to use a bigger flash card or I just need to use my digital movie camera. I have just a few very short clips posted on the Plantscape Solutions YouTube channel.

LupineLandscaping
03-07-2012, 12:01 PM
We have an Earth & Turf Topdresser for sale if interested. Check out the equipment listings.