I need feed back on eco-lawn applicator

Discussion in 'Organic Lawn Care' started by marquis de sod, May 10, 2010.

  1. marquis de sod

    marquis de sod LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    I am considering the purchase of an eco-lawn and was interested in opinions of current users.
    How is the ease of use?
    How finely can you adjust your application rates?
    Is it a real time saver over the wheelbarrow and blower method?
    And lastly, is it a head turner? do you get inquiries from people that see you in action?
    I am in a very small market and am the only local offering organics and would like to "get the word out" in a hurry.
    thanks.
     
  2. adam.neusbaum

    adam.neusbaum LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 622

    Currently I have a Turfco Mete-r-matic and it's just so so. I mean, it certainly does a good job but it's so much heavier than the Ecolawn. I'd just love to work the versatile E spreader. I can put the compost on thicker and more evenly distributed with the T MM but I'd rather cross pattern spread if I had to just to enjoy the zippiness of the E. Spreader.
     
  3. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,568

    I still have the 100sp Earth & Turf topdresser for sale.
     
  4. marquis de sod

    marquis de sod LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    I ended up buying and eco-lawn last summer and just love it. Loading compost in my 1-ton dump truck I can use a concrete placer to drag the compost off into the spreader and can do @ 6-8 cubic yards an hour.
     
  5. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,602

    Thanks for the feedback, Jeff. I have talked to a couple guys here in Ohio who purchased the Eco-Lawn recently and they have good things to say. I'm just about ready to get one myself.
     
  6. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Posts: 4,202

    Been in the same boat, no one around here has one. If I got one could I sell enough to justify it? Could I rent it to other LCO's?

    How did the first summer go for you? The 6 to 8 yards in an hour how much is your market willing to pay for that? How many jobs did you get? Any before and after pics?

    I got one HOA I know that would add the service to the yearly contract but I don't know if others would follow or not.
     
  7. marquis de sod

    marquis de sod LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    djagusch,
    I'm on a five year business developpment plan right now and the first summer was spent talking a few clients into some fertilization and building a soccer field (volunteer work). I wanted to become familiar with the equipment, the time involved and the materials I could put on befrore I started really pushing the service. I didn't make any money to speak of with it this summer. I'm sending out bids for next year right now.
    I doubt I could find a rental market amongst other LCO's and I'd rather sell the compost as well. I'm in a small college town (pop.20,000) and the market will be limited although there are 3 fert and squirt guys in town that keep fairly busy.
    I guess you have to decide the amount of time you want to amortize a purchase like that. I happen to be post college age children and can play with my business plan a little longer. I did figure I could get quite a bit of my money back out of it if I hit any major snags.
    As for pictures, I've got one up with a thread in the sports field forum on soccer field drainage and I'd say the videos on their website are exactly what I was getting as well. It spreads good compost rather evenly and can be adjusted easily for different rates.
     
  8. adam.neusbaum

    adam.neusbaum LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 622

    Loading compost in my 1-ton dump truck I can use a concrete placer to drag the compost off into the spreader and can do @ 6-8 cubic yards an hour.[/QUOTE]

    If I've shoveled 5 yards into my Turfco I've shoveled 100. Please elaborate on your "concrete placer".
    Thanks-Adam
     
  9. adam.neusbaum

    adam.neusbaum LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 622

    Currently I'm charging $55 cubic yard. Our average yard takes all 5 yards for $275. It definitely feels like a lot of work with my Turfco but I couldn't do much else to make $190 over 3 hours time. I'm interested in this "cement placer" since my retrofitted LOADHANDLER didn't work as I'd hoped. With my International dumptruck I can only tilt it a little while the machine is parked under the rear-end & besides I don't want all 5 yards dumping out and around the machine. So I used two individual drag sheets and steel rod cranks but my design was flawed. Our last job I used our Skidsteer to fill the hopper after dumping the 10 yards right in the road, I was sure glad I didn't try shoveling all that dirt.
     
  10. marquis de sod

    marquis de sod LawnSite Member
    Posts: 91

    Adam,
    The "placer" is merely a straight handle with a solid flat blade on the end situated like a rake. for example: http://www.jimslimstools.com/Depart...nd-Tools/Komalongs--Asphalt-Lutes--Rakes.aspx
    I tip the bed up a little and drag the compost into the spreader. I adjust the tailgate and lift the bed as I need more compost. Definitely easier than scooping!
    Doesn't sound like you are charging very much for your compost at $55 a yard. Are you covering all your material and equipment costs?
     

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