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View Full Version : Trade PG for Z-spray?


turfsurfer
06-06-2004, 04:38 PM
Alright Z-spray owners, I need you to get this one right. Recently bought a PG Ultra (now have 25 hours on it). My first problems came at 12 hours when the butterfly stuck in "choke" and machine flooded and wouldn't restart for 15 minutes (happened several times before I gave up and used my skid sprayer to finish). The second property that I was left stranded I talked to Tom Rich and he gave me a quick demo on a z-spray jr. (no actual production since he was delivering that unit). He seemed to be a real standup guy and the machine looked and felt WAY more solid than the PG. I actually had him build me one with several upgrades (200 lb hopper, 50 ft hose reel, larger rear tires), and it is ready to be picked up ( trying to find time to do it in a couple days).
Once I got the PG running, I have been using it and have gotten pretty used to it, however there are SEVERAL limitations to it in comparisons to the Z-spray. The smaller hopper size, the WAY underpowered engine, 34k versus 60 k per spray tank, and the drive system in general.
My question, with all the above observations, will I regret trading the PG for the Z-spray? Once I trade in the first PG, I lose that option if deciding to go back to it, and I really don't want to be in the position again of deciding I don't like the Z-spray after using it for awhile ( not to mention having to return yet ANOTHER machine and generally having all the manufacturers p*#*#*# off.)
With all the posts on the reliabilty problems of the PG, it really sounded an alarm when I had my first problem so early. I have no doubt the spray system on the Z-spray is better, but I have no experience with SPYKER and since I only do one blanket weed app and the rest are granular fert with spot sprays it is imperative that the spreader be top notch. Have any of you had problems with the Z-spray spread system? How do you handle trim passes since there is no 3rd hole shutoff for when the deflector is down to cut the rate back. How does the unit handle hills with a full hopper and spray tanks? ( I had the PG on some scary hills and it did alright, but the fert hopper was empty).
Does it slow way down going up even little hills like the PG does? How about runaway going down hills (shouldn't since its a hydro.)? How easy is it to open/ close hopper while moving and turning? ANY serious down time with the unit (a BIGGIE)?
Like I said, input is really appreciated since I will be making the switch this week and don't want to put myself OR Mr. Rich in another uncomfortable position since he has been pretty helpful.
BTW properties I treat run from 2000 sq ft to 17 acres, with most in the 8-20K range and several 1+ acres.

Tscape
06-06-2004, 07:09 PM
You are right about Tom. He is stand up. And "stand behind". He will help you big time. The Spyker is better than any I have ever used, as well.

MrBarefoot
06-07-2004, 07:22 AM
TurfScape LLC:

Do you operate in Oakland or Macomb counties?

James Cormier
06-07-2004, 08:41 AM
Turfsufer, If you read my post you know my experince with PG's, You have some good questions, and I am looking forward to reply's

The spyker spreader is the only thing thats holding me back from the zspray, My older centri ( pg ) has the spyker spreader and I was very dissapointed with it, coming from using lesco spreaders all my life.

what opens the spreader on the zspray, cable or rod?

TSM
06-07-2004, 03:36 PM
Originally posted by James Cormier

what opens the spreader on the zspray, cable or rod?

We have had the same disapointments with the centri units by PG. the Spiker hoper and the cable system to open is a problem.

We actually like the spread patern on the spiker( once we got used to it, like James we been using lesco spreaders for many years)

I'd also be interested in knowing how the hopper opens/closes on the Z machine
rod or cable?

cemars
06-07-2004, 06:55 PM
Do a search on the z-spray for some of my previous post on this subject. I get tired of saying it, but here it is again. The Z-Spray and the PG's are two diferrent catagories, toy vs. machine, headachs vs. happiness, un-informed vs. educated, 6-8 acre days vs. 12-15. Mark the day on your calander you trade in a PG for a Z-Spray. It will be one of the happiest days of your professional life.

Tscape
06-07-2004, 08:45 PM
Originally posted by MrBarefoot
TurfScape LLC:

Do you operate in Oakland or Macomb counties?

I am in Livingston and also serve Washtenaw County.

Tscape
06-07-2004, 08:48 PM
The Z has a cable to open the Spyker hopper. It is right there on the dash (which is as nice as my Lincoln's). If it broke or malfunctioned, Tom would have the parts to you in 2 days and probably talk you through what needed to be done. I agree with cemars 100%.

MrBarefoot
06-07-2004, 10:35 PM
Originally posted by Turfscape LLC
I am in Livingston and also serve Washtenaw County.

We do not service the same areas, so we are not direct competitors.

I would like to see the Z-spray in operation, if your agreeable with that I like to arrange something that makes it worth your while.

You can email me directly if you like, Dan@properlawn.com.

greenerpastures
06-08-2004, 10:57 AM
You will find quite a bit of info if you do a search for "z spray" restricted to this forum.

But in summary, I bought a z last Nov. based on info received from Tom ---- having never seen one until it shipped to my shop. Its quality has honestly exceeded my expectation. All metal on the machine is stainless steel except for engine and chassis which is plastic-coated. The spray system is conventionally plumbed which allows me substitute different nozzles at will. On a good day I have applied almost two tons of fert and 250 gallons of spray solution.

Nothing is perfect, but this machine is very good. The spyker hopper will not tolerate fertilizer with any moisture content. I have had two sets of spark plugs foul. The z has a low center of gravity which is more good than bad, but can cause problems traversing curbs or loose gravel. It will "wheelie" if the hopper is empty with tanks full while climbing if you are not careful. ---plenty of power.

As mentioned above, it is in a different equipment class than the PG - as it pertains to weight, capacity, power, and of course price. I would definitely purchase another. While I have not operated a PG, I believe the z is a much better fit for an applicator whose accounts contain larger square footages.

turfsurfer
06-09-2004, 11:52 AM
Well, I did decide to trade in the PG and picked up my Z-spray yesterday. Without actually doing any production yet with it, I can only tell you that the machine actually looks like it is worth every penny you paid for it. It also handles so much smoother than the PG. Without coming out and bashing the PG unit because I know that alot of people are perfectly happy with it, I will say that I really believe the Z-spray will be something that I won't outgrow anytime soon.
As far as my concern with the Spyker spreader, Mr. Rich and I put a couple bags of fert through it and it probably has the nicest spread pattern of any spreader I've seen. The left to right throw adjustment handle lets you really dial in the pattern so it is even. The hopper control is a cable but it is not the Spyker one that I've heard talked about. I asked Tom and he was aware of those cable problems and he designed this setup himself.
I do think there will a little bit more of a learning curve in driving and doing trimwork than the PG but once mastered I think it will be able to do more than the PG.
Thanks for the replies.

ant
06-09-2004, 11:01 PM
how do you guys transport that unit?
i am tired of my perm a greens breaking down but i like the compact design and how i trans port it around on there rack...

turfsurfer
06-09-2004, 11:31 PM
I will be trailering mine on a 5x12 open trailor this year. I plan on getting an enclosed trailer setup for next year which will house the z-spray, nurse tank, push spreader, and product in a weather tight environment. The Z-spray IS bigger than the PG so no way can you put it on some type of hitch rack.

James Cormier
06-10-2004, 03:19 PM
Originally posted by turfsurfer
I will be trailering mine on a 5x12 open trailor this year. I plan on getting an enclosed trailer setup for next year which will house the z-spray, nurse tank, push spreader, and product in a weather tight environment. The Z-spray IS bigger than the PG so no way can you put it on some type of hitch rack.


Here's my set up ( I got PG's ) I am sooo sick of pulling the trailier around I cant wait to find the perfect lawn treatment truck.

Right now Im leaning towards a cabover with vanscraper body, or the new dodge sprinter ( frieghtliner ) vans, there the new small FedEx trucks. But I not sure how much room those have.

TSM
06-10-2004, 04:20 PM
James, we looked at the freightliner sprinter vans. the ones with the taller roof. though they are nice looking vans, i found them to small. they are no wider than any panel van, a bit longer though.

I love our box trucks. theres a slide out ramp that tucks under the box when driving and slides out to load the PG, we did have to make a small modification on the ramp. We can ride the machine in and coast it out...nice!

we got room for a 300gal tank, a 100 gal tank, pallet of fert (or two but we dont like to work too hard :)), two push spreaders and the PG

My daughter just went to her junior prom...i told her instead of chipping in with her friends to rent a limo, i'd clean out a van, set up some disco lights and .......... then i remembered that this is MY DAUGHTER here, so i suggested they go with the limo and that i needed to talk to the driver to be sure he kept a close watch on what was happenin in that thing. :)

James Cormier
06-10-2004, 06:56 PM
Come to think of it TSM, that cube truck is probley the best set up, I remember the photos you sent me.

The ramp is not wide enough for the pg right? How did you solve that problem? I do plan to change to the zspray so Im not sure about how much wider that is then the PG

As far as the limo well, if you ever saw Jackass the movie you would know disco dancing and box trucks dont mix. As you also know I have 4 girls so this will be a problem I will have to deal with some day, but for now I still got one in diapers and the oldest is 12 so boys are just being discovered:angry:

TSM
06-10-2004, 07:10 PM
Originally posted by James Cormier

The ramp is not wide enough for the pg right? How did you solve that problem? I do plan to change to the zspray so Im not sure about how much wider that is then the PG



easy fix, all we did was bolt on a 2x4 on each side of the ramp. the extra 3'' is all we needed. there is still enough room to add another 4'' to the ramp without any major modification. I figure we could make those ramps about 4.5 feet wide with some minor cutting.



PS- cant seem to find the manual for the PG brake adjustment. But I know I have it (should have 2), they might be in the trucks, I'll take a look around tomorrow.