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So now what to do?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by shovelracer, Aug 25, 2008.

  1. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,009

    So I know Ive been in need of a larger sprayer for a while now. Basically I only applicate about 10 acres 5 times a year. All granule has been pushed, and liquid post has been selective as needed, with W&F only going on real bad newer accounts. This has gotten me through several years with pretty good results. This year Ive been hammered with ground ivy and a lot of over watering. Im not about to blanket spray several acres with my 4 gallon backpack.

    Ive thought of subbing it out but this doesnt sit well with me. I know exactly what needs to be done, I just havent been able to justify the added expense. This might not be good with my customers either.

    I thought I wanted a skid, but Im not about to push and then drag a hose the same visit. I cant really increase my prices to charge for it. Customers will go elsewhere.

    So now Im not sure if I need to get a used rider sprayer.

    Ive ran some numbers and came to this conclusion. I think Im missing something somewhere. See if you can figure it out.

    Walking I spend less than $100 on equipment, but wound up in the situation Im in now. I can get rider prices and added profit without the expense, but I don have enough work to justify 7K for a machine. We are talking 5-6 days a year tops.

    Rider - I can spray and spread with the same machine. Even if it takes longer I wont be as exhausted cause I have quite a few hills. The cost of the machine would take a real long time to make up. I can use the same products so I know my cost.

    Skid - I could care less about dragging, but I would want to get the fert down at the same time. I ran the numbers on the slow release liquid and it would cost me almost 3 times more just for the product. I think I missed something somewhere.

    My prices are very competitive with other non corp. fert companies. No one around here plays with TGCL and we all know why. Is all liquid really that much more or what did I miss. My prices where based off the Lesco quote I have. Is buying a $1500 rider like buying a $3000 skid steer loader? At what point does a rider become not worth it? Assuming I have to do something in the next week or two, what would you do? Thanks
  2. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,215

    A gently used rider would fit your situation. Shop around with $2000 in your hand. Just be prepared for a little repair work from time to time.
  3. Real Green

    Real Green LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 389

    That was the advice I was going to give. Couldn't have said it better myself. :clapping:
  4. rcreech

    rcreech Sponsor
    Male, from OHIO
    Posts: 6,059

    If you can't find a good used ride on...you may want to look at either a synergy (spready with a sprayer), or you could look at a pull type sprayer and spreader if you have a tractor of some type!

    Ride on would by far be the best way to go if possible!
  5. gregory

    gregory LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,068

    if you got a ride on spreader/sprayer could you add some more accounts?
  6. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,009

    If I got a ride on I would add more accounts. One of the few local guys passed away this year leaving over 200 accounts open. I grabbed a few, not sure where the others went, but I did see an old pickup with an old rider driving in town today with bags flying out the back. 2K is fine with me, so are repairs, so long as in 4 years time I dont pay another 5K leaving me wishing i had bought new.

    Currently I just service my accounts and a few other refferals. From time to time I turn down jobs because I cant provide more liquid at a reasonable price. I also have lost a few simply because they feel I cant offer the same results without a rider or skid.

    Tow behind isnt going to work, because I dont feel I could get the control I require in tighter areas.

    Im able to repair all my equipment, but know little about riders. What can I expect for $2000. What to look for? I found a Perma Magnum and a Centri for sale.
  7. EJK2352

    EJK2352 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,150

    When I bought my PG Magnum, I sold my PG Centri for $2000. That Centri was in perfect working condition. Looking back now I wished I had kept it, but I needed the money at the time. Good used PG's are out there. I would look to buy from a small/solo operation rather than a large operator. You need to be sure to check the transmission for corrosion. That would be your biggest expense ($700+) as far as repairs go. There is no way you will ever sink $5K to keep it going for 4 years. Cub Cadet commercial offers a ride on called the XP that is a spread only machine.You could add a Gregson-Clark in hopper sprayer, or you could fab your own spray set-up for less money than a new PG or other ride-on.
  8. bug-guy

    bug-guy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 971

    i know of a guy who took an old exmark and took the deck off and mounted an electric spreader on the front, then mounted a thin flat tank where the deck was and fabed a boom with a side wand for spot spraying
  9. pinto n mwr

    pinto n mwr LawnSite Senior Member
    from gr8, mn
    Posts: 422

    10 acres? With a ride on spreader and hand spraying from a tank 10 acres for both should take you two maybe three days tops. Either invest in the equipment or sub it OUT!
  10. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,009

    I think you missed the part about the subbing. Thats not going to happen. You see I invested a lot of money years back to get my license. I have worked my butt off to get some very nice accounts. I am at the point where I can actually feel comfortable offering my services to people that I dont have other business with. Ive had very little help from others in the learning process, and no one to teach me the right way. So after 5 years I actually feel that I know what Im doing, and should I get a machine I will seek additional work since the profit margin is higher than the regular maintenance services. The last thing I will be doing is calling one of my competitiors to show up in their truck making it well known that I cant handle a certain situation.

    I aim to fix this situation the right way. I wont be fabbing anything up cause I just dont have the time. I wont be giving up 2-3 days to spray with what I have since the lost money could buy the used rider. Im looking for suggestions on buying my first real piece of application equipment, not suggestions for subbing or time estimating. I realize I have to invest that is why Im asking what to look for. Oh and no reason to YELL!

    Got any constructive comments?

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