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Old 02-17-2015, 09:26 PM
NH Septic NH Septic is offline
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Hydroseeder build questions

Hello all,

I am thinking about building a jet agitated hydroseeder and I have a few questions. My intentions for the machine is for seeding small areas after septic system installation and repairs.

A normal job for my business disturbs under 2000 square feet. I have been hand spreading seed/mulch/fertilizer and I have had good results. But, I have found that more than half of my customers are interested in and sometimes expect the pretty green hydroseed.

Most of the local hydroseeders have minimums and it usually costs me around $300 to have them spray these small areas. It usually costs me under $50 by hand and the growth is pretty much the same. But, if the green dye/mulch makes the customers happier, I think I should give it a try.

I have a 6.5 horsepower 3" Honda trash pump that I never use. My thoughts are to use that with a 200 gallon round or elliptical poly tank. I think a skid type that will fit in my pickup bed or strap onto a trailer is what will work best for me.

I have been researching a few of the manufactured machines and they seem fairly simple to build. I think I am handy enough to be able to make adjustments and changes as problems present themselves. One of the local guys that I have hired in the past has a locally built unit (Henderson) that I have looked over as well.
Any suggestions about what type of components that I should use and the best places to buy them are appreciated. Any tips on what to avoid are appreciated as well.
Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-17-2015, 10:00 PM
Turboguy Turboguy is online now
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You should be able to make a workable unit with those components. The advantage of an elliptical tank is that since it is flatter on the top they can often put a larger lid on the tank which makes it easier to add your materials. Otherwise either a round or elliptical tank will work fine. I would suggest you go one with a skid or build a skid rather than trying to use a leg tank. I am not a fan of leg tanks for hydro seeders because of the dead area where the legs are that can build up with material. Good luck with your project. I do agree with you that customers love hydroseeding.
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Old 02-18-2015, 12:53 PM
NH Septic NH Septic is offline
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I am trying to decide the best way to plumb the mixing jets. My first thought was to have a 3" intake on the bottom of the tank and then build a manifold with a 2" return mixing jet on the top. A 1 1/4" line for the spray gun would branch off of that manifold. Every line would have its own valve and quick couplers.

Would a single 2" mixing jet work well? Or should I go with multiple smaller jets? I have seen it done both ways on manufactured machines and I'm not sure of the best approach.
Any thoughts are appreciated.
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Old 02-18-2015, 01:16 PM
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alldayrj alldayrj is online now
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Seems like a lot of effort for not a lot of gain. If they want hydroseed charge them $500 and sub it out. That 300 minimum is super cheap. Hydroseed makes money on large applications. Also, you're septic guy and not a hydroseeder. Do what you do well, and do a lot of it
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Old 02-18-2015, 01:43 PM
NH Septic NH Septic is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alldayrj View Post
Seems like a lot of effort for not a lot of gain. If they want hydroseed charge them $500 and sub it out. That 300 minimum is super cheap. Hydroseed makes money on large applications. Also, you're septic guy and not a hydroseeder. Do what you do well, and do a lot of it
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Spoken like a true hydroseed guy.
Every job that I do requires loam and seeding. I have been growing grass successfully on all of my projects for a decade.
I have no intentions of making money doing hydroseeding. My intentions are to SAVE money, present a more professional looking product and to keep my customers happy.
I am fairly confident that with about $1500 and some elbow grease, I can build a small unit that will cover 2000 square feet or more. This should save me money in the long run and save me the scheduling headache that comes from hydroseed contractors disinterest in small "patch jobs".
If the unit doesn't pan out, I can always hand seed like I have always done and then spray the green dye in top to make it look like hydroseed.
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Old 02-18-2015, 01:50 PM
Turboguy Turboguy is online now
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First off the 3" suction line going to the pump is, as you said, the way to go. I would not suggest putting the mixing jet on the top as you mentioned. Put it on the bottom or there won't be a lot of mixing action once the level of the material gets below the jet. With a 3" pump you could use one 2 inch jet or you could actually do two 2" jets (or 1 1/2") as long as you have the valve you talked about so you could close it part way when you start spraying.

My thoughts are different from Aldayrj's. I think it would be worthwhile for you. If you are charging $ 300 for 2000 square feet your material cost will be about $ 50.00 so you would have $ 250 in profit for 30 minutes work. That is about in line with my minimum charge. I am from $ 295 to $ 350 minimum depending on distance. I did about 55 hydroseeding jobs last year and quite a few were similar to what you are talking about. Some of course were much bigger.
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Old 02-18-2015, 02:52 PM
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alldayrj alldayrj is online now
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Not really. I don't do hydro.... Why not just sod it?
Why stop there, start pulling a mowing trailer with the pump truck and cut grass while you're there.

Do you make more money per hour seeding lawns or pumping?
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Old 02-18-2015, 03:35 PM
NH Septic NH Septic is offline
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Originally Posted by alldayrj View Post
Not really. I don't do hydro.... Why not just sod it?
Why stop there, start pulling a mowing trailer with the pump truck and cut grass while you're there.

Do you make more money per hour seeding lawns or pumping?
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You are missing the point.
Since you needed to go there, I will break it down.
I do 25 systems per year on average.
$300 x 25 = $7500 to hydroseed contractor.
If I do it myself, $1500 (cost of the machine)
25 X $50(cost of supplies) = $1250
Total cost = $2750
I guess I would be making money. But I am more concerned with doing a quality job and having the resources available when my schedule calls for it.
There are companies that make money cutting pavement and concrete. Should I throw away my saw and blades and hire them because I won't be making any money when I have to cut a driveway?
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:00 PM
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alldayrj alldayrj is online now
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I'm not trying to tell you how to run your business. Guys on here have a tendency to not run the numbers, you have, good.
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Old 02-18-2015, 04:19 PM
BRIARPATCH BRIARPATCH is offline
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My Hydro seeder has three mixing jets--one on top--one in the middle and one on the bottom. Really get a good mix that way. Unit has ONE suction hose (3 Inch) to the pump from the bottom of the tank. Be sure you have a way to flush the tank--extra valve--hose etc. Be sure to really clean the seeder after each use. You'd be surprised how fast seed will germinate and grow inside the tank and hoses if left unattended. Let a friend use mine--NEVER AGAIN--took me all day to clean the jets and hoses when I got it back!!!! Good luck with you're project
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