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9HP LS Revitalizer – belts, review & comments

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by 1966vette, Sep 21, 2010.

  1. 1966vette

    1966vette LawnSite Member
    Messages: 209

    9HP LS Revitalizer – belts, review & comments
    I rented a 9 HP LS Revitalizer over the weekend to complete my 1.1 acre lawn renovation project that I started last week. Last week, I was forced to use a 6 HP Revitalizer which performed well when functional but was under powered & used 10” diameter wheels. However, any size Revitalizer is significantly better then Bluebird, Billy Goat or Ryan unit that I had previously used.

    Below are my finding, recommendation & review:

    1. The 9 HP Revitalizer, utilized a special ordered Honda engine, looked almost new and was told had ~ 20 hours of total use. The Honda engine had min & max throttle & choke setting making starting easier than the 6 HP Subaru which was unmarked & left you guessing.

    2. During the initial use the belt started to smoke, just like last week’s 6 HP unit. Thus, I raised the cutter depth w/o tools, this time, & was back on the job.

    3. The 9 HP Revitalizer had the following advances when compare to the 6 HP unit:

    a. 3 additional HP
    b. 1” larger diameter 11” wheels
    c. 2 forward speeds - 2 MPH & 3 MHP

    4. The 9 HP Revitalizer was more fun to use, more powerful & significantly faster when compared to the 6 HP Revitalizer.

    5. I spend 4 hours using the 9 HP unit before the “original” belt started smoking again & the unit refused to cut.

    6. I tried an unsuccessful belt tensioning adjustment & then visited AutoZone:

    a. Auto Zone 47” belt Cost 5.99.
    b. Removed the belt cover & swapped belts.
    c. I also noticed the belt path was not indicated on the back side of the cover. Why?

    7. With the new belt installed I was back in the fight & completed the job!

    8. What I Learned:

    a. Renovating a 1.1 Acre 48K sq ft is a huge job!
    b. Top soil was purchased was distributed but 70% was sent back because it was clay.
    c. 16 hr was spend using a LS Revitalizer both 6HP & 9HP
    d. The lawn was thatched & removed
    e. 350# of seed was slit seeded N-S & E-W
    f. Straw was applied to bare, sloped or difficult to grow area.
    g. 3 faucets, 8 sprinklers & 700’ of hose is being used to water the 1.1 acre lot.
    h. Watering 1.1 acre lot after work is a big task

    9. I recommend picking up a belt at AutoZone before you rent a Revitalizer. If you need a belt it is an easy swap & if you don’t save the receipt & bring it back.

    10. The smoking of the belts concerns me. Yes, I realize these are rental units but the Revitalizer should be designed for extra hard duty use. It appears to be the weak link of the system. Why wasn’t a larger belt specified or a 2 belt & pulley system utilized.

    11. The 9 HP Revitalizer is the best slit seeder I have used to date. Burying the seed in the ground has got to help w/ seed germination & higher yields. I plan to provide some picture when the seed germinates.

    12. Remember: Pick up an insurance belt when you rent a Revitalizer & let the slit seeding began.

  2. JoJo1990

    JoJo1990 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 244

    I agree that it is by far the highest quality and easiest machine to use for slit seeding. Remember to engage the slice blades with them OFF of the ground. Simply tilt the unit downward (like a mower changing directions) then engage the cutting discs. This will prevent the discs from getting hung up on the ground and causing the flywheels from slipping and burning the belt. I also agree to not mess around with the 6HP units and go right to a 9HP. Unless I hit some really unveven and tough ground, my 9 can also pull me around using a sulky, although just a touch slower forward pace.
  3. lush&green

    lush&green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 185

    We just rented one. Any idea on calibration setting for a 30/30/30 blue/fesue/rye mix? Is 6lb k good or too much? So two passes of 3lb..The chart on the machine does not help. Too vague.
  4. brawdyre

    brawdyre LawnSite Member
    from OKC
    Messages: 89

    Lush if you are mixing from 3 bags then just average the different rates on the package and divide by 2. If it is a premix blend just divide the rate by 2 to account for your 2 passes. Also a good idea to put your furtilizer down when you seed so the machine will till it in with the seed.
  5. lush&green

    lush&green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 185

    So what rate are most of you slit seeding at? I imagine for bare turf would be different than a patchy lawn. Our mix is actually 50% rye 25 blue and 25 fescue...
  6. EastCoast

    EastCoast LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 311

    The belt was smoking because you had the cutter blades set (lowered) but not engaged.... a big mistake. The blades should not be set (lowered) unless you engage the cutter blades. I understand it's a rental, but the owners manual clearly identifies that. Sounds to me your rental store should be at fault, since they did not provide proper operating instructions.
    Posted via Mobile Device
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2010
  7. brawdyre

    brawdyre LawnSite Member
    from OKC
    Messages: 89

    Lush 1st of all what does that bag say you should seed at? For me new would be 10lb/k and patchy 4-6lb/k.
  8. lush&green

    lush&green LawnSite Member
    Messages: 185

    Unfortunately the bag from UAP does not list a rate..
  9. PerfectEarth

    PerfectEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,734

    I just bought a 6 hp (wish I could have got a 9) used, rebuilt the whole cutter bar (bar, bearings, blades, etc) and I love it. The 6 hp is not terrible on power- it's been decent BUT the ground is very dry here. With some moisture, I figure it's gonna bog down a bit more with the friction....and as the blades wear.

    The hardest thing has been the seed flow calibration!!!! When I got it, the whole slide assembly was not even sliding to open up the seed flow. I had to clean it up good, spray some fluid film on it to get it moving, and adjust the cable screws.

    Quickly learned to pay NO attention to the seed rates on the machine and the adjustable dial and I pretty much eye-balled it for a couple hours on some open, flat turf around the shop with some cheaper fescue seed (used exactly 8 lbs in the hopper to see what area it covered).... also ran it on a concrete barn floor to see the pattern and how much was coming out.

    There is a world of difference in flow just from 4.5 to 6 on the machine. I'm using 4.5 to 5 to get close to 8-9 lbs per 1,000 for tall fescue....seeded two directions and extras.

    They really need a more exact seed flow system on the machine. Other than that, I've loved it. Easy to work on, and they make 'em here in Louisville so my parts experience straight from the LS manufacturer has been great.
  10. 1966vette

    1966vette LawnSite Member
    Messages: 209

    1st - make sure the seed control bar fully opens & closes - I sprayed 10W40 & adjusted to resolve

    a. set seed setting at 5,
    b. moved Revitalizer to concrete floor or drive
    c. open seed control bar & inspect amount of seed.
    d. adjust as required.
    e. when you obtain the correct amount of seed being distributed cut it in ½ & make two passes.

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