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Turbo Turf Hydroseeders

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by scooper2201, May 2, 2007.

  1. scooper2201

    scooper2201 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Does anyone own a Turbo turf Hydroseeder? I was looking into buying one and I am not sure how well built they are. I live in northern Alabama, and hydroseeding has'nt really caught on hear. I was wanting to get into the business while there is very little competition.
     
  2. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,649

    I have a turf-maker it is a mechanical machine good quality for the money. www.turfmaker.com
    Mike
     
  3. Venturewest

    Venturewest LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 513

    I have a 500 gallon Turbo Turf. It is a well built machine, but it is limiting I feel. Mine is jet agitated with a 13 hp Honda engine. If I could do it over, I would buy a hybrid or a mechanically agitated machine. The mulch you can apply with the jet agitated machine is so thin you can not even see it in places. There are jobs I am turning down every day almost because I don't feel like I could offer a product that would meet the needs. Spend a little more and get the versatility of a machine that can apply heavier amounts of product.

    Turbo turf offers that now also in some machines.
     
  4. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    I started out with a jet machine and that machine paid for my Bowie and my Finn. After being in the hydroseeding business for a while, a few things became very obvious to me. One being that the type of machine you used isnt near as important as the materials you put in the machine and the way you apply those materials. Most of the advice I got from internet forums wasnt worth the time it took to read it. The reason being that what the people where telling saying to do, just didnt apply to my part of the country. There are as many ways to hydroseed as there are owners of hydroseeding equipment. Every area of the country has different needs of fertilizer types, seed types, and mulch rate. Only by educating yourself and some trial and error will you be able to succed with you hydroseeding business.

    A few things to consider. All materials applied with a hydroseeder are applied to the surface of the soil. All of those materials are mixed together in the hydroseeder before being applied to the soil. This includes all the seed as well as the fertilizer. Seed does not need any fertilizer to germinate, they already contain every thing they need. Fertilizer is a salt and actually slows down and prevents seed from germinating. Seeding without fertilizer in you slurry will actually produce a faster germinating lawn. Seedlings can greatly benefit from an early application of fertilizer after germination. For this reason, fertilizer is often added to the hydroseeding slurry, but when doing so, care should be taken to only add fertilizers in amounts and types that wont greatly effect the seed. Advoid fertilizers containing Urea forms of N as they can cause the greated damage to the seed, includeding seed kill before germination. Using coated fertilizers doesnt alyways work because the coatings can be damaged in the agitation of the hydroseeder and result in a quick release of the fertilizer instead of a slow release.

    Use soil testing to develope a suitiable blend of fertilizer for you specifc area. Remember that you are only applying that fertilizer on the top layer of soil and that the seed isnt going to have the benefit of the buffering effect of the soil to protect it from the ferts. For this reason you will need to adjust your fertilizer amounts downward from the soil test recommendation, start low and gradually work your way up until you find the right amounts needed based on your personal results. When possible, offer followup fertilization to your customers and leave the fertilizers out of you hydroseeder. The grass will benefit more and you will reduce the wear and tear on you hydroseeder.

    Consider using a two step application to applying the hydroseeding slurry instead of laying down a thick application in one pass. Seed needs soil contact for best germinations. Seed applied in a hydroseeding slurry will be under, in and on top of the mulch material. Seed will germinate and put down roots thur a very thick slurry, but the faster the roots get in the soil the better for the plants. This type of application works very well with jet agitation machines where you might not can mix as thick a slurry as you would like. Its also the type of application I prefer using my Finn and Bowie mechanical agitated machines and is something Venturewest might should consider with his jet agitated machine to help build his mulch layer.

    Geographical differences will play a big part in the mulch types you choose. It seems most of the people in the northn climates like to use the paper mulches. People in the deep south and desert west seem to prefer the 100% wood, and those of us in the transition zone like a mixture or blend of wood and paper. I have used all three and jetspay. In a side by side comparison, on one particular jobsite, I used all types and the jetspray did the best. I use 70/30 blends now because it seems to provide the most consistant results. You will have to play around with mulch materials until you settle on what works best for you. Jet agitated machines and wood mulches are not very user friendly. Wood can be sprayed in jet machines, but you might pull your hair out before you figure it out. Mecanical agitated machines would certianly be a better choice if you need to use the wood or wood blend mulch materials.

    I have seen the TurboTurf hybrid machines, but havent seen them in action. They look like they would make a very good starting machine, ( certainly better than what I started with), for someone just starting in the hydroseeding business. I like the ideal of the plastic tank and the hydraulic agitation, and they are available in both centrifical pumps as well as the Bowie gear pump.
     
  5. richard1103

    richard1103 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 120

    turbo turf is a laugh . buy a turf maker you will be happy been there done that i can put more mulch in 500 turf maker then in a 750 turbo turf :cool2:
     
  6. hotshot4819

    hotshot4819 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 646

    i agree with mudd. i also have both units, An L90 easy lawn and an 800 turfmaker. which do i like better, well they both have there pros and cons, my l90 does great work, i use that machine alot when there is construction jobs where quility and 70/30 or great isnt required. however that machine looks awsome and gets me alot of business just in how it looks. my turfmaker does thinker slurrys, and good work however doesnt look as professiona.
     
  7. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,649

    I own a turf maker also and very happy with it. But be careful on knocking turbo turf , someone soon will get offended. You live in a nice area stumbled in there a few years ago and enjoyed the maybery deal. Ate at the diner and got my pic taken at floyds barber shop.
    Mike
     
  8. scooper2201

    scooper2201 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 3

    Thanks to everyone who replied, I will look around some more defore I decide on which machine to buy. Thanks again for everyones input!
     
  9. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    Mike, I dont know who would get offended knocking on turboturfs machines. I have met Ray several times and he is smart enough to know that his jet machines are not for everybody. I have never ever seen a turboturf machine in action, but feel it would of been a better jet machine than the one i started with. Now I dont particularly like anybody knocking anybodies equipment without at least providing a few details. Sometimes the problems with the equipment is more the operators fault than the equipment manufacturer. I am not saying Richard was the problem instead of the machine, I have no way of knowing, and he didnt provide any details.
    But it is easy to blame someone else for our own shortcomings, and sometimes we dont even know that the problems are our own causeing. I used to blame my jet agitated machine for everything, until I bought my bowie and found out I was still having the same problems. It wasnt until doing hours of research that I finally started putting the peices together. If I knew then what I know now, I probably wouldnt have bought the jet machine, simply because of the type of seeding work I am doing now. But that jet machine paid for the Bowie and my Finn, and the truck the finn is setting on, as well as my tractor and the trailer I use to hual it on. Even after buying the mechanical agitated machines, I continued to use the jet machine while the bigger heavier mechanical machines where setting in the driveway. And if I hadnt of just plain worn the jet machines pumps and motor out, I would probably still be using it.
     
  10. richard1103

    richard1103 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 120

    i researched on the internet for a year .i going to pick one up in Texas i could not find but one person downing turfmaker . i found one on another board for sell i call the man to pick his brain he said price had dropped i ask what kind of shape it was in ? he said great you could have eat out of it . i sold the turbo to deer hunter dumb thing got 1 fourth full and put 100 lbs oats in it it was not running i worked 2 hours to unplug it .the one that was downing it all
    that was wrong with it was trailer wiring . james send him a new one and got on a plane to make sure there was no problems james worked for bowie i think then he built the baby bowie for bowie
     

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