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Old 04-11-2012, 09:09 PM
treemonkey treemonkey is offline
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Location: Michigan
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I'm a bit late to your calibration question, but let me add what I do. I work at a research institution, so I am a bit more anal about this.

Spreader calibration has a modest learning curve, but put a bit of time in up front and you will be set to do accurate applications with only modest input to recheck or do new materials. Some spreaders are crazy off on spread pattern and you read about guys here applying in clockwise circles to compensate.

I do the pan method on a large tarp to adjust the pattern AND to determine EFFECTIVE SWATH WIDTH. The problem with the CUB and Lesco vs. the Anderson is that everytime you change the (3rd) hole to even the pattern, you also change the flow rate (amount). The Anderson's cone system doesn't.

Ideally, you want even left/right patterns. I have nifty vials to compare the pan collections like this:

Learn to walk consistent speeds and hold the spreader near level (within reason)....this can change calibration.

Once I have the swath width and a uniform pattern, I do the calibration amounts like this:

Prizelawn has a calibration box to collect the material.

I.E., 10 ft. effective the spreader with box 100 ft. = 1000 sq. ft.. Adjust and remeasure until satisfied. Keep a general track of your spread per bag to make sure you are in the ballpark.

I DIDN'T BUY THE $250 PRIZELAWN BOX. I MADE ONE OUT OF CARDBOARD AND DUCT TAPE (Red Green style). Check out the Prizelawn manual with calibration instructions here: In effect, this lets you calibrate a rotary unit like you do a drop spreader.

Once made, this method is quick, simple, fast, and very accurate (within reason).

O.K., flame suit on, everyone go ahead and take a stab.
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Old 04-11-2012, 09:31 PM
treemonkey treemonkey is offline
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Skewed to the right:

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Old 04-12-2012, 06:58 AM
JACIRR JACIRR is offline
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Above is exactly how I wound up calibrating the spreader. It took some time, but found out the pattern was 12' spread.
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Old 04-12-2012, 05:56 PM
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jvanvliet jvanvliet is offline
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Nobody checks their speed along with distance? Faster = less & slower = more.

"Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it"
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Old 04-12-2012, 08:31 PM
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RigglePLC RigglePLC is offline
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You should check your speed on grass as it will tend to be slower than on pavement. Naturally it will be a bit slower on tall grass, uphill, or with a full hopper.
I travel at about 2.6 miles per hour (that is 229 feet per minute.)
Of course, my spreader has an electronic speedometer. I can watch it continuously if I want.
With a half-full hopper on grass, 2.5 mph is more likely, (220 feet per minute).

Retired now, but I used to spread at 10 feet measured center to center--which is 7 feet between the nearest wheel tracks.
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Old 04-16-2012, 03:01 PM
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DA Quality Lawn & YS DA Quality Lawn & YS is offline
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Here is what I do. I have a good idea of the setting range I need for my spreader for the common SGN ferts out there. For my Lesco 80 lb, it is between 11-14. Then I use my OWN lawn to calibrate since I have a measured square footage of my lawn and don't care if I come out a little heavy or light on my own lawn. Then I tweek open or closed based upon my results and bam you are ready to go.

Not scientific, BUT you don't waste all that fert spreading over pans and making a huge mess and accuracy is still pretty good.
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