Turbo Turfs Hybrid Hydroseeder

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Derek0334, Oct 17, 2006.

  1. Derek0334

    Derek0334 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    Just wondering if anyone has used this unit, and if so what are some of the pros and cons compared to your typical jet agitated machines, or mechanical agitated machines? I'm contemplating getting into the hyrdoseeding business and I'm trying to do all my homework before making such a big purchase and jumping into the business. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
     
  2. fortynorth

    fortynorth LawnSite Member
    Posts: 102

    I have not had any experience with the new hybrid hydroseeders from Turbo Turf, but I just sold one of there 300 gallon jet units and currently have a Finn T-90 mechanical hydroseeder. I can tell you that cost is the biggest difference. They fall right in the middle, not as expensive as a mechanical and not as cheap as a jet. I would recommend a jet to get started, say around 300-500 gallon, then work your way up to a different machine. I really believe that once you do enough work for a seeder that is 700-900 gallons or more there is no choice other than mechanical agitation. The learning curve is far easier on a jet machine, they are much easier to maintain, and they are easy to clean. I used the 300 gallon jet machine for two years before we decided we needed something larger and now after the first year with a 900 gallon machine we already have kicked the idea around of going to a 1700 gallon. Start small and cheap and work your way up slowly. Just my advice. I am sure the hybrid will provide the best of both worlds but if you are just getting started you will not likely need to be able to spray a "BFM" or will not need the large capacity. Save your money, buy a small jet machine, try it for a year or two then decide to move to the hybrid or larger mechanical.
     
  3. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    I have seen the machines but havent seen one work. I have the specs on the hydraulics on the machine and think they are overkill for what they need to do,( spec'ed way more than a new Finn of similar size) this is a good thing for someone buying the machines. Even tho I havent ever seen the machine mix a load of material, I am confident that the machine will work as well or better than a similar sized machine from another manufacture. My biggest concern with the machine would be how long will the plastic tank last. My guess is several years and you wont have to worry about rust and repainting every year. The Bowie gear pump the hybrid uses has been proven on Bowie, Turfmaker and Kincaid machines for years. Whats not to like?

    I started with a jet machine then bought a Bowie and then a Finn.( I still own both) Even after buying the mechanical machines I continued to use the jet machine until I just flat wore out the pump. I then converted the tank into a nurse tank for the Finn machine. That may or may not mean anything to you, but Fortynorth brought up a good point. Starting small has its advantages. My Jet machine paid for both the Bowie and The Finn machines. It paid for itself in about 5 weeks. Go with the Hybrid and you wont need to upgrade for years.
     
  4. Derek0334

    Derek0334 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    I am planning on buying a smaller sized machine because my that I am thinking about going into business with owns a water hauling company and can haul 2000 gallons at a time. I will have water at my disposal at anytime. We are combing the two companies and possibly will offer mowing as well. My question is why do the jet machines have a easier learning curve? I am not worried about maintance on the machines as I am certified BMW master tech. Small engines and what not are cake compared to cars. Thank you for your advice and input.




    As of now I am leaning towards a mechanical machine but still not sure which brand to go with? Finn, Turfmaker, Bowie? Could you help with advice one of these machines? I have some connections with a couple apartment complexs and have a good chance of getting contracts with them so I dont want to have improper equipment for such jobs. (not being able to spray 100% wood mulch, if needed). Thanks for your help.
     
  5. fortynorth

    fortynorth LawnSite Member
    Posts: 102

    My suggestion would be to go to the GIE show in Columbus Oh November 2-4. I think these dates are correct but you may want to double check them. I know several hydroseeder manufacturers will be there so it would be worth the effort to check them out. Budget is a big factor in your decision. Parts availablility and service are important to me. I went with Finn because they are built less than an hour away and all the parts are easily available. I also like the hydraulic agitation with reverse and variable speed on the Finn. Although Bowie has a design that allows you to buy most replacement parts at any auto parts store or supply house they look like they have a lot of chains, belts, and pulleys that run all over the place. I can't say that is bad, maybe its easier I don't know I have never run a Bowie. I do like the idea of a Bowie gear pump. Turfmaker uses smaller engines, more in line with a lawnmower style. Finn and Bowie use diesels once you get to a certain size, I know Finn changes to a Kubota diesel at the T-90 and anything smaller like the T-60 or T-75 use Kohler engines. I almost bought a T-75 but found a used T-90 for a third of the price. Expect to pay around $25-30K for a mid size Finn. Bowie will be a little cheaper but not much. Try looking for a used unit. With a mechanical machine you usually get the turrett gun, electric rewind hose reals, 200 feet or more of hose, trailer mounted from the factory, and the ability to shoot thick slurries a great distance without clogging the machine. If you use Plant Marvel water soluble fertilizer or similar they are not corrosive so you don't worry so much obout the rust factor. Touch up the paint every year and keep it greased and it should last a long time.
     
  6. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,342

    As i said earlier, i started with a jet machine. As long as you are doing lawns and small jobs, I think these type machines are perfect for most areas of the country. The limitations of the jet machine start becoming apparent when you start doing the erosion control work or start needing to use wood mulches. Altho this is quickly being addressed by several mulch companies that are manufactureing erosion control products specificly for the jet agitated machines.

    As far as which machine is better, a hundred different people will give a hundred different answers. I own a 600 gal Finn, hydraulic paddle agitation and I own a 1000 gal Bowie with the chain drive agitation. You cant beat the Bowie for brute power, but the reverseable agitation available with the Finns hydraulics comes in handy when you get a bale of mulch hung up in the agitator. I think all of the machines on the market can be improved a long ways, so I dont really have a favorite. I am building my own which will be completely hydraulic driven, pumps and agitator, and remote controlled. My machine will have two pumps, one centrifical and one gear which I can run at the same time or seperate as needed. The Turoturf hybrid comes close to what I have in mind, but not quite there yet.
     

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