Which ride-on to purchase

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by MiModernLawn, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. MiModernLawn

    MiModernLawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    Hi all, first posting here on LawnSite. Were looking to get a couple new machines in the next couple of weeks here. We've been running Permagreen machines since 2003. Started out with 2 Centri's, then upgraded to 3 new magnums and last year bought 2 new triumphs. We now have 2 magnums and 2 triumphs. Our new Triumphs in my opinion are the biggest pile of crap money can buy. At least 1 day every week i had to do repairs in the field, if somebody less mechanically capable than I were using the machine, one day a week would have been wasted. Not to mention i called Permagreen on 3 occasions to discuss the issues the machine has and all 3 times i was told someone would call me and i never got a call. I was always satisfied with our Magnums other than the spray system, i got decent weed control but never had great confidence in the permagreen spray system. I do love that the Permagreens can be transported without a trailer and that saves a lot of money. I have been doing research and cant quite come to a decision on which machine is the best. I have been doing some research and have started to lean toward the LT Rich Z-Sprays, probably an intermediate and a junior, however i definitly have reservations about having to tow a trailer around everyday. I definitely enjoy the ease of driving and turning around without a trailer and also I don't know if we could fit all of our vehicles in our warehouse if we were towing trailers. I'm also concerned about fuel mileage and since we use Ford E-350's we are at 9900lb gvw so we are just under the requirement for needing all the D.O.T inspections, medical cards, etc. But if the Z-Sprays or any other ride-on is worth the extra hassle then i would have no problem getting a couple of them. I'm in Michigan and treat about 500 customers in my part of our routing each application. average lawn size about 20,000sq ft with some as small as 3000sq ft and some as large as 800,000 sq. ft. I am open to all suggestions. Z-Spray? Turfco? Turftracker? Turfex? Ground Logic? and please leave reasoning as to why one machine is better than the others. Thanks
     
  2. Cadzilla

    Cadzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 901

    I'm in Michigan too. I personally recommend the Z-Spray units. That many customers and that size lawns tells me you could use a Z-Max but I get the logistics issues of stowing a trailer or trailers.

    They have a new rackable unit that you can put on the carrier rack and haul with your pickups that they just came out with.

    Honestly though I wouldn't do the kind of lawns you do with anything but a Z-Max. I use mine on lawns from 4000 sq feet to 1.3 million sq feet.
     
  3. Raymond S.

    Raymond S. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 981

    The Zspray is irreplaceable. Only drawback is they're big, requiring a trailer. I run out of an enclosed trailer anyway and have thought about using a sprinter style van. Even then I don't know that it would be large enough. I'd like to be able to load a skid thru the side doors and then load the Zspray in the back. At the end of the day though using a trailer is a small inconvenience when you see how much more efficient the Zspray is. BTW, pretty sure MI is no longer 10k lb for DOT requirements. From what I've seen its now 26k lb. We are still DOT compliant but I was going to do more research because a lot of guys around here have pulled their DOT numbers off.
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  4. Raymond S.

    Raymond S. LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 981

    That new JR-36R would really intrigue me. The low center of gravity would be great. My current Z has a 20 gallon tank and 80lb hopper. I would LOVE to have a larger hopper though. My only concern would be the 9hp Subaru. Seems small. Currently our Z has a 15hp Kawasaki. Seems like a drastic decrease.
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  5. Cadzilla

    Cadzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 901

    Thats what they say. I'm still compliant too. Only thing that changes for me is no more medical exams, which in my opinion were the only real hassle. The rest was easy as far as carrying things and stickers and the fact that I never had my truck inspected.

    I think they got rid of it because of all the people calling them asking questions. I just complied and moved on. I don't have time to worry about that or write my congressman because of some stickers and a physical and I think most of the trucks I see need a good damned inspection...lol
     
  6. djagusch

    djagusch LawnSite Platinum Member
    from MN
    Posts: 4,239

    Z spray 36R have you heard of it? It is a rackable z spray.
     
  7. Service 1st Lawn Care

    Service 1st Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 643

    Yes it is rackable, best thing to do is call LT Rich and talk to Andy.
     
  8. MiModernLawn

    MiModernLawn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 27

    I talked to Andy at the OTF show in Columbus in December. He's tried for years to get my company to switch to Z-Sprays and i think this year he may get us to. One of my other concerns was just about the size of the Z-Sprays over the permagreens. Is it even feasible to do the small broken up lawns with the Z-Spray? We are planning on keeping our two Magnum's, one for our city route and one as a backup or possibly to use in my route on lawns too small for the Z. I absolutely love the idea of a hose reel on my machine to get weeds around flower bed edges and such, i could pretty much do away with my backpack sprayer. Other than downhill dives are there any drawbacks to the Z's? or are there any parts i should keep in the truck with me for common breakdowns? I've been in the industry for 10 years and my Dad has been in the industry for 33 years. We know that it isn't all about quantity and how much you can get done in a day, although it is a big part it is not everything. In your opinions, why is the Z-Spray better or worse? More even coverage with liquid? Better agitation liquid and dry? Maintenance intervals? Stability on hills? effort in operating? Ease of doing regular maintenance? Life of common wear items? Spinning or tear marks in lawn? Excessive noise? Does the deflector work better than the triumph? Damage to soft or wet ground? liquid system filtration? i know its a lot of questions but we are extremely thorough in everything we do and i just want to make sure were buying the best machines, not just the fastest or most productive. Thanks again guys.
     
  9. Cadzilla

    Cadzilla LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 901

    Doing a search on here will tell you all you need to know and I can tll you with certainty that once you move up to a Z-Spray or even a Turfco 3000 you will be selling those permagroins on craigslist.

    It's a proven machine with high productivity, low maintenance and customer service thats second to none from the guys at LTR.

    I can tell you with 100% fact that any part on your machine, is sitting on their shelf and or in a computer program and will be on your door next day if you're in Mi. if you need a part. Maybe two days if you order after 3 or whatever.
     
  10. fallingaway24

    fallingaway24 LawnSite Member
    from indiana
    Posts: 7

    I used a permagreen magnum for several years then went to a z-spray, been using it for 2 years now. Permagreens don't come close to the z's. they suck for turning, their spray system is crappy, the hopper always came open in trasport spilling fert everywhere and they have no where to store extra bags of fert like the z's do, and the hose reel is nice as hell. Locking front casters on the z'max makes riding hills simple and for those places you can't ride you can increase your throw distance and pull your hose off to spray so you don't end up in a pond, ya you need a trailer for it, but as fast as you can throw fert you need a trailer to store it because your going to be spending more time and fuel running back to wherever your material is stored because you keep running out. I can't believe noone has mentioned that the z's can and should be driven with one hand leaving a free hand to operate valves and the hopper lever. Its a no brainer in my opinion go with the z-spray, you won't regret it.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2013

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