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View Full Version : Going to GIE+EXPO to see the Compost Spreaders


Rick13
09-15-2012, 06:14 PM
Going to GIE+EXPO to see the Compost Spreaders, and after reading the message boards on which is the better spreader....I'm looking to see if anyone makes or has rigged up a vibrator for their compost spreader?

If so, can you explain how you did it?

I've read on the Snowplow site about a company called Karrier Company. They make a model called Twin Kit -Z80 (for plastic salt spreaders, which might work on a Ecolawn Spreader/plastic hopper). I will call the company and talk to a field rep. for more info.

I called Earth and Turf, and the owner (I think) said that they will be making a model to compete with the Ecolawn. It's going to have the same broadcast pattern and be priced to compete with Ecolawn...plus Earth and Turf will have their new machine at GIE show in October. It will give me a chance to try them out and I will ask the different reps. about the vibrator questions also.

But I'm looking to see if anyone knows anything on this subject or have their spreader already hooked up to a vibrator. Has it made a big difference in binding up wet material?

Thanks for your help!

jfoxtrot9
09-15-2012, 08:37 PM
Just subscribing to this post!

ReddensLawnCare
09-15-2012, 11:19 PM
The past two years they do not allow you to but material through the demos, at least not when I went. I tried two different times and they said it would make to much of a mess. Last year was also a rain out so that could have been part of it
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Rick13
09-16-2012, 10:29 AM
Hummm....the guy from Earth and Turf told me to come and try their machine out. And his booth is very close to Ecolawn.

Earth and Turf guy was really nice to talk to on the phone, almost couldn't get him off it...lol. Very knowable and if the are making a broadcaster like Ecolawn...it might be the way to go!?!

Earth and Turf looks like their machines are pretty heavy duty, so if they can make a faster moving machine for residential, then it might be the way to go.

I will be researching more to find what will work best for me.

And if it was to rain this year, I'm sure the Earth and Turf (rep. or owner) would be more than willing to run his machine even in the rain....at least that's what I got off of him when we talked on the phone for over 20 mins.

Can't wait for the showdown!!!

DA Quality Lawn & YS
09-16-2012, 11:01 PM
tell the mfg's to stop grossly overpricing their machines.
Maybe more lco's would get into the mulch topdress biz then.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
09-27-2012, 03:37 PM
I see Earth and Turf has come out with a smaller push model for small lawns.
Might be worth a look see as a low cost barrier machine to do a few lawns with and get started up.

Rick13
09-27-2012, 09:06 PM
Yeah, your're right DA Quality Lawns... Earth and Turf said there new push model would be around $1100.00. At least that's what I thought the guy from Earth and Turf said.

grassmasterswilson
09-28-2012, 06:56 AM
I'm curious about pricing? I've been looking at this as an option for my business. Maybe an add on to the weed/fert program or a good ad mailer. Would definently have to weigh the pros and cons as well as try to show the great benefits of a compost topdress.

Looks like the rate is 1/2 cubic yard per 1000 sqft for normal topdressing or up to 1 cubic yard per 1000 for renovations. I've seen pricing anywhere from 4-5 times the cost of materials+delivery? That sound about right?

Rick13
09-28-2012, 01:44 PM
Yes on the pricing.

up to 1 yard for 1000 sq ft. for normal yard.

up to 1.5 to 2 yards for 1000 sq ft. for renovations.

Benefits:
improve turf grass stand/overall health of turf grass
reaction to drought...keep more moisture in the ground
resistance to disease
increased root surface area
reduce need for chemical pesticide applications
healthy turf grass requires less maintenance
provides nutrients
help control thatch
compost people say one application of compost can replace your season fertilizing programs (4 to 5 apps)....you would still have to spray for normal weeds and crabgrass.

phasthound
09-28-2012, 01:54 PM
Both the Earth & Turf SP100 and the EcoLawn are worth their prices.
I prefer the E&T for several reasons; holds more material, no problem spreading moist compost, 4 wheels make it more stable, drop spread allows for accurate applications with less clean up, it is very well built.

Rick13
09-28-2012, 06:52 PM
I think Earth and Turf has a great machine that's built like a little tank! And they will have a new front broadcasting disk unit coming to GIE this October....just like Ecolawn.

For me, I think Ecolawn is faster because it can broadcast larger areas...and they now have an attachment/guard that spreads the compost to the right side...so you can run the Ecolawn around the boarder of the yard, remove the guard, and then open up the machine to spread 6' to 12' based on moisture of product.

Earth and Turf is 3' drop pattern, very neat, clean, with less clean up. But I would use my Echo Blower and clean the over sprayed areas and get done quicker with the Ecolawn.

But both machines are very good!!!

Up North, we don't use sand very much....and I will be using compost....so for me Ecolawn is the best for my uses. And after Monday, demoing the Ecolawn 200....might be the best of all. Larger hopper, two front broadcasting disks, and should be able to handle more moisture than the Ecolawn 100.

I'm getting 7 yards of compost Monday morning in my dump trailer, and I'll see what the new Ecolawn 200 can do!?!?

grassmasterswilson
09-28-2012, 07:26 PM
What prices are you seeing? I got some info in the mail today on the ecolawn
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Rick13
09-28-2012, 11:50 PM
Ecolawn $5,500 for model 100
Ecolawn around $6,000 + for new model 200

Earth and Turf.....I thought it was over $6,300.00 for 100 SP model

JCResources
09-29-2012, 03:00 PM
I run an Earth and Turf Multispread 220 tow behind spreader. Moves a bunch of material in a hurry if you can keep it loaded. A little unwieldy on small properties, looking at a walk behind model for these.

On the pricing I've been charging 2.75 times material and seem to have no problem selling it. According to this thread I'm way too low.

Informative thread, keep the replies coming.

Rick13
09-29-2012, 04:48 PM
One way I explain to customers is this way....

If you order 5 yards of mulch....here in Northern IL....they charge you $35.00 a yard (times 5 = $175.00) The company also charges a fee for delivery anywhere from $35.00 to $60.00....just to drop the mulch in the driveway.

The price for 5 yards of mulch is now $210.00 to $235.00. Now you have to get your wheel barrel out, shovel, push it to your flower beds, dump it, rake out the mulch, and then go back for another load of mulch. And you will do this until the mulch pile is gone. Which equals a few hours or a weekend of hard work.

Or, you can have me bring you 5 yards of compost (heavier than mulch), put it in my compost spreader, spread it through out your whole yard, maybe run a drag mat to level the yard out some (can always up charge for this service also) and all the customer has to do, is write a check or pay cash....and their done.

I can get 5 yards of compost for $75.00...charge them 4 times the material for $300.00...maybe tack a delivery fee if you want a little more money...otherwise....you explain it in terms on what they are getting, what a great deal it is, and best of all....they don't have to move anything....saving their backs and sore feet.

So for an extra $90.00 to $65.00....compared to mulch....you will spread the compost through their yard. Once they start thinking.....its a no brainer. They feel like their getting a deal on the material...and you are making just a little money on labor....at least that's how they figure when you explain it to them in these terms.

You can always change the numbers....but when you explain that they will not have to do the work, moving any materials, and waste their whole weekend working hard in their yard....they say, "When can you do it".

All you are comparing is 5 yards of mulch to 5 yards of compost and everyone makes out on this deal!!!

And they might think their smart and ask you to spread their mulch for the same labor price of spreading compost....and you can explain to them that spreading mulch you have to be careful around their plants....and that's why labor for spreading mulch cost more. And spreading compost....nothing is in your way....unlike mulch, because of all their plants... the price has to go up.

Rick13
10-01-2012, 12:10 AM
Just an Update: Keith from Ecolawn sent me a picture this a.m.... of their Ecolawn 100 (on the left) compared to their new model Ecolawn 200 (on the right).

The Ecolawn 200 has two broadcasting wheels. One turning left and the other turning right. Keith said this way you get better coverage when spreading your materials.

I am still seeing him tomorrow (Monday, October 1) at 10 am. Hope to get some more pictures and maybe a few videos of the Ecolawn 200...so I can show my customers on my new website (work in progress)...coming soon.

I let you know what I think once we get done with 7 yards of compost tomorrow.

grassmasterswilson
10-01-2012, 06:44 AM
Like the idea of 2 spinners....would def give you a more even coverage out of the hopper. It also looks like the 200 may have a bigger hopper.

Take some notes and let us know how it goes. I'd be interested in the time it takes(difference in 100 vs 200), number of loads you had, etc.

White Gardens
10-01-2012, 09:01 AM
I'm waiting to hear more on this spreader in this thread.

http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=384868

Though a pull behind unit, It seems like a great design.


......

Rick13
10-02-2012, 10:07 AM
So the machine worked great for Northern IL compost. Keith....said (some reason I like to call him Kevin???) anyways....Keith said that we have some of the best compost he's ever seen!!!

And based on how well your compost is, would have a huge effect on how well their or any machine would run.

I was pleased with the way it handled, spreading was easy, in fact....I've got a yard I need to do today....so this is why its so short....I will update more later.

But here's a few pictures of just getting the compost, and compost in the yard. No drag mat way ran through the yard.

Oh yeah....three hoppers = one cubic yard.

Snapper12
10-02-2012, 11:53 AM
That's some SUPER dry compost or it's very light in color for other reasons.

Rick13
10-02-2012, 03:46 PM
Here's a few action shots of the Ecolawn 200. I will post some other pictures later tonight.

Yeah....the compost is very dry here....we haven't had a rain in a few weeks. But the compost site is always turning their stock over to keep it fresh and easy to use.

And yes, I will be wearing a mask...its pretty dusty!!! But easy to work with and very good stuff!!!!

Snapper12
10-02-2012, 10:13 PM
Thought it was going to have a bigger hopper? That stuff is too dry, too much dust. Half your product is blowing down the street haha.

Rick13
10-02-2012, 11:06 PM
No rain....it's going to be dusty. Once you water it down...it looks great!!! Plus if it's blowing....it's just blowing a bit across the yard. Or it could be the wind coming off the Ecolawn 200, since it's moving pretty fast!!! :laugh:

A great machine and the new customer's are very happy with the job the machine does.

Rick13
10-02-2012, 11:13 PM
In two days I've already ran 6.55 tons of compost through the Ecolawn 200!!! I think I'm going to get out of mowing....and more more towards compost, seeding, and aeration.

The yards here in Northern IL and really dried up from the drought. So I can get them ready for the Fall....I will offer: broadcast seeding, compost spreading whole yard, core aeration, and then run a drag mat through their yards!!! A Grand Slam of Yard Renovation!!!! So this Spring their yards will be ready to recover from the drought of 2012.

White Gardens
10-03-2012, 07:01 AM
The yards here in Northern IL and really dried up from the drought. So I can get them ready for the Fall....

The only real good thing to come from this drought is that you can see where the poor soil is in lawns and where to focus a topdressing.


......

DA Quality Lawn & YS
10-03-2012, 09:56 AM
OP how do you sell topdressing anyway?

I can see offering it around here, only to have 9 out of 10 people say HUH? Whats that, sounds like I don't need it.

Rick13
10-03-2012, 07:23 PM
I'm working on adding back up Rigid led lights to the dump trailer.

Then I'm going to install two 5000 lbs step bumper receivers (from Harbor Freight Tools $19.99 each) to the rear of the dump trailer. Once I get those installed, I'm going to make a hitch out of tri-folding aluminum loading ramps (Harbor Freight Tools, again $99.99 each x 2).

I will have a steel frame (for strength), with aluminum ramps (reduce weights) so I can mount my Ecolawn on the rear of the dump trailer. I will place rubber on the steel and aluminum contact points ,so it doesn't have a chemical reaction.

Then I will install two led brake/turning lights (6" each, Harbor Freight) on the carrier, and with two hitches....I will have a very sturdy carrier. Overkill, yes....but if you are going to make some, make it right the first time!!!

Under the carrier, I will run some angle "L"... so I can store the other aluminum loading rumps under the carrier when driving.

By having the Ecolawn on the rear of the dump will enable me to carry more compost while keeping my machine safe. And when I get to a customer's house, I will unhook the two receivers and place the carrier under the dump...so it's out of my working way.

I will post some pictures when I get it done. Looks like it might take me a week to complete....plus or minus a day or two.

maelawncare
10-04-2012, 06:44 AM
I'm working on adding back up Rigid led lights to the dump trailer.

Then I'm going to install two 5000 lbs step bumper receivers (from Harbor Freight Tools $19.99 each) to the rear of the dump trailer. Once I get those installed, I'm going to make a hitch out of tri-folding aluminum loading ramps (Harbor Freight Tools, again $99.99 each x 2).

I will have a steel frame (for strength), with aluminum ramps (reduce weights) so I can mount my Ecolawn on the rear of the dump trailer. I will place rubber on the steel and aluminum contact points ,so it doesn't have a chemical reaction.

Then I will install two led brake/turning lights (6" each, Harbor Freight) on the carrier, and with two hitches....I will have a very sturdy carrier. Overkill, yes....but if you are going to make some, make it right the first time!!!

Under the carrier, I will run some angle "L"... so I can store the other aluminum loading rumps under the carrier when driving.

By having the Ecolawn on the rear of the dump will enable me to carry more compost while keeping my machine safe. And when I get to a customer's house, I will unhook the two receivers and place the carrier under the dump...so it's out of my working way.

I will post some pictures when I get it done. Looks like it might take me a week to complete....plus or minus a day or two.

Heres the trailer you need then,

http://i136.photobucket.com/albums/q176/maelawncare/IMG_0921.jpg

White Gardens
10-04-2012, 07:44 AM
The only pit-fall in your design Ric (at least in my eyes) is that when the dump trailer is empty, you'll have negative weight on the hitch of the dump trailer.

....

Rick13
10-04-2012, 08:14 AM
The machine is 300 pounds. The new carrier is maybe 75 pounds, or less?

So I would think the weight of the hitch (with battery, hydro, steel case) up front and the trailer being 18 ft long, should make my 36" carrier/with machine feel like almost nothing.

Plus with the two receivers....the hitch will be close and sturdy so if will almost seem like nothing is there.

But if there's a problem, I can always add weight to the front.

Thank you White Garden for you question, because that was something I didn't think of.

But like they say in the trailer business, "The hitch must still go on!!!" :laugh:

adam.neusbaum
03-30-2013, 04:01 PM
Rick- Have you come up with a great way to fill your Eco-lawn? My sister-in-law will be doing much of the new sand topdressing and I'd love to streamline things for her. Anyone ever think to trim the hopper height by 5-7 inches to allow it to fit under the edge of a standard truck tailgate? I have a load-handler where you simply crank the side handle to convey the material to the back. In the past I tried backing up onto Rhino ramps to increase the height so I could crank it right into the hopper but that wasn't so great having to crank it up-hill. She might just end up having to drive the Isuzu dumptruck job to job & fill it out of the back of that 'cause the Tundra can't hold much anyhow.
Concerning moisture- you are much better off dry 'cause that prevents excessive bridging in the unit. Here's a pic of my most recent screener to separate any tid-bits of rubbish that was misssed in the compost. Amazing how a $100 slap-together expanded metal sheet gives me a powdery material compared to my suppliers $250k unit.

Rick13
04-01-2013, 06:00 PM
Hi Adam,

Yeah, I'm lucky because My Organic Compost Center screens their material really well. But that's a nice set up you have there.

I was going to make a ramp in the rear of my dump trailer, but since it sits so high....I just scoop the organic compost into the Ecolawn Spreader. Here's a few pictures of My Set-up.

I shovel from the top of the trailer and it takes about 3 minutes for me to fill the Ecolawn Hopper....and about 35 seconds to empty it. But the top of the Ecolawn Spreader is almost parallel to the dump trailer (3.5 inches off) but its still good to me....so gravity doesn't work that much against me.....compared to shoveling it off the ground.

I can empty My Dump Trailer (7' x 16') by myself in 3.5 hours. That includes broadcasting new grass seed in the yard, fill and empty the Ecolawn Spreader, and Spread a little over 10,000 pounds of Organic Compost.

Yes, its a workout....so I don't go to the gym during the Spring, Summer, Fall months!!! :laugh:

I also have an aluminum step stool that makes getting into the dump trailer easier.

Yeah, I would skip the Tundra Truck....they ride nice but you're right....can't hold much weight. I used to have a 2003 Toyota Tundra and when I would hook up My Red Load Trailer...it would drop in the rear pretty good. Great driving truck....but not good with heavy weights.

Have her take the dump truck. I should in a week or two have pictures of My carrier that carries My Ecolawn Spreader. It's your normal hitch 2" and it holds the spreader great! Comes with two little ramps and you might be able to fill up your drump truck with sand and then carry the Ecolawn Spreader off the hitch.?.? Just a thought.

So get My stuff out of storage in a week or two...then I will post the pictures. Good luck!!!

adam.neusbaum
04-06-2013, 03:06 PM
Gravity my friend, gravity. You've got an awesome trailer there & I hate to see you work so hard while that expensive well able piece of steel just sits there & lets you do all the lifting. Here's a pic of Thursdays Tee-Box 10 cubic yard topdressing. One advantage I had was to start at one end and spread the short distance as bent stripes then pull the truck forward 35' & refill the machine. After about one hour and 10 minutes I was finished. Which inclued a double pass. I didn't want to risk going too heavy & not having enough to cover the entire area so when I got to the end & had 4 hopper worths left I spread them lengthwise. All completed without one shovel scoop,,,,no not one. Didn't even have a shovel on the truck. The thing I have to be careful of is not depressing the brakes too sharply & creating a flow 'cause it totally wants to run downhill while raised like this.

You can see the orange Vibco Vibrator there so if it gets clumped up at times I'll give it a 4-6 second buzz to loosen things up & get some steady flow going.

By the looks of it I see you are not at least closing the back trailer doors after scooping off the rear 4 feet of material then raising the dump-box to bring the material to you. Lower the box flat again & re-open the doors & ya have another 4 feet to work with hanging right there off the edge.
I can't help but be thinking of ways to make work easier the whole time I'm working. It's so second nature like driving that you can utilize the time. I always ask new help if they see an easier or better way to do things. I'm not one of those "We've been doing it this way for 100 years" guys. Unless of course they suggest something I've already tried.

adam.neusbaum
04-06-2013, 03:18 PM
I hope nobody here suggest a funnel feature on this 'cause it doesn't work at all (trust me I have the steel wing inserts laying over at my brothers house to prove it. Besides you want this 7.5' width so you can be filling 2 machines at the same time without crowding up.

adam.neusbaum
04-06-2013, 03:36 PM
Has anyone already tried using these motorcycle tire spinners with their Eco-Lawn? As you know the tires have to be moving for the conveyor & spinner to work. There was just one time that I was using it as a power wheel-barrow to take dirt to a garden in the backyard & I'd have to go round & round to empty. With a pair of these you'd simply drive up on them & engage everything to start slinging the material into a 6' wide pile, pull backward when empty & go reload.

Rick13
04-09-2013, 02:03 AM
Hi Adam,
I do the dump lifting to get more organic compost to the rear gates. I just didn't the third time....I was almost done and it didn't take too long.

That's the plus of have a dump truck compared to a dump trailer...the weight missing in the rear of my dump trailer can make it a little unsafe...not being able to evenly spread out the weight of the organic compost.

With your dump truck....the frame keeps everything in line....not so much with an uneven loaded trailer.

But I like your idea!

I am going to add sides to the dump trailer hopefully tomorrow...if it doesn't rain too much. Take them to my buddy's shop and paint the wood black, then in a day or two attach them to the dump trailer.

Then I'll take a few pictures with the Ecolawn Spreader attached to the rear of the dump trailer.

The weather is finally breaking into the 50 & low 60's and we've had rain the last few days....everything is starting to get "GREEN" now!!!!