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new equipement selection help...

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by woodlawnservice, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,431

    Check the pm i sent you
    Posted via Mobile Device
  2. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

  3. biodale

    biodale LawnSite Member
    Posts: 177

    I am following this thread because, even though I do not presently have one, I can see myself getting one in the future. I am running into more times when I have a use for it. I am just saying I don't think it a necessary piece of equipment for someone just starting out. The few times I needed one I was able to borrow one from my irrigation parts supplier.
  4. Irrigation Contractor

    Irrigation Contractor LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 385

    I do not want to sound demeaning, but if you need to borrow a tool you need to OWN the tool especially if you want to call yourself a professional.

    We do not have time nor want to waste the time driving to rent tools. We have 5 full-time service crews and each truck has:

    RB, Hunter and TRC remotes
    Mid-West 835 Test Kit (All my techs are certified testers)
    Professional multi-meter and clamp meter
    521 or Armada 800 locators (we also have a ditch witch 910 and a Rigid SR-20)
    3 trucks have T3 Innovations Snap-Shots
    Toner and valve actuator

    I do not want to brag and I guess if anything I am proud of my service techs, the tools we have and the investments we have made. Once you get into real irrigation troubleshooting a locator is a MUST.

    If you are not using a locator a few times a week, then you have to be serving mostly residential or very small commercials.

    It sounds like you do allot of service work and this is not meant to put anyone down. Gear up, learn to use the tools and then you will watch your numbers soar.

    I do like you comment about wires in the ground:cool2:
  5. txirrigation

    txirrigation LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Posts: 977

    Locating is very important in repairs, and installs. On installs we trace gas lines to confirm the dig service, and to locate cable etc. I also believe the degree of usefulness is regional. In Texas I am not sure you can call yourself an irrigator without one. This is because we scatter valves all over the yard in the middle of each zone, and the grass quickly covers the valve boxes. In a lot of other parts of the country valves are installed in a manifold, which would reduce the importance since that generally means a short wire run and the valves in one spot.

    In Texas and some other states it is a must, some regions can probably get by without it.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    Exactly. We rarely use ours here in CO. I have two older 521 locators for three people. Last year we used them 3 times, maybe 4. Prior to that, we may use them 1-2 times every year or two. So it wasn't worth having one for each truck. I got one very cheap, and another came with the fully stocked van I bought. If it wasn't for that, I may not have bought one. If a locator is rarely used, I think there are better tools to spend money on until you are at the point financially to afford one. I should have bought a remote long before a locator. If my company did a lot of large commercial work, it might come in handy more often.

    Rarely needing one, also means we don't get continuous training on it, so we sometimes struggle with it.
  7. biodale

    biodale LawnSite Member
    Posts: 177

    Don't mean to hijack this thread.
    Dear Irrigation Contractor, You said you didnt mean to but you do sound demeaning.

    But never mind. I do $90,000 of sprinkler repair work a year, so I am not a hack, but it is only a small part of the business. It is residential work and I am familiar with most of the properties. I am finding I could use a wire tracer as we are getting properties that are new to me as we continue to grow. I suppose 3 or 4 times a year it would be helpful to have a wire tracer. Most of the valves are together in a manfold. But hispanic crews from Texas have mowed here and are placing valves all over the place making finding them more difficult.

    I agree it is time to get a tracer. I am looking at a 521A or a Pro800. Any advice on which one to buy. We won't use one much, so easy to use is of primary importance.
    Thanks in advance.
  8. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,974

    Didn't Richard Nixon say that when he bailed out ? :dizzy:
  9. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,431

    I didn't know Nixon did sprinklers? Musta been a side job :dizzy:
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,648

    only took him 18 minutes or so :p

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