20 acre job

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by ThreeWide, Dec 9, 2005.

  1. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,116

    Recently bid on a job that was nearly 20 acres of Bermuda. Basically just a collection of athetic fields.

    If the job was awarded, this would be doing something in a huge order of magnitude larger than I have now. Suffice to say that a skid sprayer, chemlawn gun, and push spreader isn't going to cut it.

    This will be nearly all granular applications with minimal spraying, so this would be a good time to invest in a PG. But some things I read here suggest that the PG would be too small for that type of job.

    Whether or not the job is awarded, these exercises are good because they force you to think bigger than the everyday routine.

    For those of you in the sports field market, what type of equipment do you have?
  2. turfmann

    turfmann LawnSite Platinum Member
    from PRM
    Posts: 4,536

    I had the same thing happen to me about 7 or 8 years ago. I had just landed a job treating athletic fields in the town where my office was located. I had one turf tracker at the time and about 3.5 million feet to fertilize, then lime. It was to be done on the three days after thanksgiving. The contract stated specifically when the applications were to be done, and had a performance bond attached to it. In other words, no excuses - get it done. Then the forecast came in for a huge winter storm. Panic set in. There was no way I was going to get 7 million feet covered with a turf tracker in a snow storm. I called a buddy and borrowed his tractor, called the local ag dealer and bought a vicon spreader. I got the 7 million feet done in a day and a half during a driving snowstorm. I bought a 30 horse Kubota that winter and mounted the spreader to it. The set up is great - I can cover about 300M an hour with it, depending on how wide open it is, etc. I bought a larger set up this summer, a 40 horse Kubota and a 1750# Vicon. This one is even better - tilt steering and cruise control (no kidding). We can cover about a golf course in about 5 hours with the two spreaders. Not fast enough, though...

    If the finances don't look favorable for a tractor & vicon, then just bite the bullet and do it with a lesco spreader (on second thought, an andersons spreader) and a small sprayer. I did it that way before I had the money for equipment. I was a lot thinner then. At about an acre an hour, the twenty acres will take two or three days to do. Not fun, but better than watching your competitor do it instead. You'll appreciate the big equipment a lot more too if you have to start with the small stuff.
  3. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,116

    At this point anything that involves a tractor is entirely out of budget.

    Spending capital on new equipment is possible as long as it can at least break even on the new job. That is why a PG might be a good fit, and of course it can be used on existing accounts.

    Something involving a tractor would be of no use on most of my existing accounts.
  4. turfmann

    turfmann LawnSite Platinum Member
    from PRM
    Posts: 4,536

    Absolutely. And it will be a lot faster than doing it by hand. Anything to get the job done. The first year I had my tractor I didn't put a lot of hours on it either. As people figured out that I was pretty good at ball fields the hours steadily increased. Hardly a day goes by that at least one of the tractors isn't out.
  5. Dallas Turf

    Dallas Turf LawnSite Member
    Posts: 246


    You could come up with a decent compact ag tractor 20-25 horse for around 5k, use it for a few months and get what you paid for it back out of it and buy a bigger tractor and all the goodies once the money starts coming in. A new spreader can be had for 500-1,000 and a 50 gallon sprayer for about the same.

    Just a thought.

    Also from what I have read I would look into the z-spray rather than the Perma Green
  6. ArizPestWeed

    ArizPestWeed LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,457

    They may wanta see proof of your ability to be fianancially able to do the job
  7. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,850

    our town has a fleet of Kubota L35/48's that they use for field maintenance, they have 3pt/PTO mounted spreaders on the back and cover a great amount of fields in short time. Their units are 4x4, but I don't see a need for a 4x4 on a turf field, you don't want to be out there if you need 4x4!
  8. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,116

    Are you referring to one of those traditional cone-type spreaders? I've used them before, but the spread patterns are tough to nail down.
  9. BSDeality

    BSDeality LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,850

    yep, they have two kinds, a traditional rotary spreader and a wig-wag'er. Next time i run into one of the guys I'll ask which one they like better, from what my professor told me last year the coverage is a lot more uniform with the wig-wag, but has a steeper learning curve.
  10. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,956


    I guy in my town specializes in Golf course and travels the state doing Spread and Spray on smaller courses. He uses a Isuzu NPR cab over with turf tires and a boom sprayer. He also can spread granules with it with a electric Truckster set up.

    A small pick up that you might already have and some Turf Tires might be worth thinking about.

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