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advice on Sprayers

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by Lawn Beast, Jul 26, 2009.

  1. Lawn Beast

    Lawn Beast LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    Is a backpack sprayer big enough to start out when spraying herbicide or do you have to have something bigger?
  2. Hissing Cobra

    Hissing Cobra LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 705

    Backpack sprayers and handcans are only good for spot treatment of herbicides, insecticides or fungicides. If you want to "Blanket Spray" an entire lawn, you will need a gas powered sprayer, preferrably with at least 200 gallon capacity in the tank as that will allow you to Blanket spray 100,000 sq. ft. per day at 2 gallons per minute.
  3. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,559

    Lots of operators started out with a backpack. And plastic spreader. Around here we don't need the competition. But you can walk at 3 mph. Wave the wand to cover 7 feet wide. And keep the pressure low so you can apply a half gallon per thousand sqft. However, you look unprofessional--for serious business you need professional equipment--200 gal skid sprayer.
  4. Lawn Beast

    Lawn Beast LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    thanks fellas.
  5. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    Riggle...I have to disagree with you on this one. I don't see what is so unprofessional looking about placing a backpack sprayer on your back and going to spot treat. As long as your licensed, insured, following/applying within the regs, etc. what is the big deal?

    I only have 12 or so accounts that I take care of with the applications side of the business. Been treating these lawns with backpacks up until this summer. Extremely inefficient, yes. Unprofessional, no.
  6. hughmcjr

    hughmcjr LawnSite Member
    from Oregon
    Messages: 183

    For big lawns, yes, but for most of my lawns and beds, 1k-3k sq ft, backpack is the way to go beyond a reasonable doubt. If I have to spray a few of these lawns or places with beds for weed control, then there is no way I am using my 50gal power skid sprayer. Alone it is a nightmare having to drag hose, etc and you wouldn't want to fill a large power sprayer with Glypho and then drag a hose around through beds etc and back across plants, LAWNS!!

    If I am spraying a good number of lawns and the sq ft totals are 20k or more then I will use my power skid sprayer. Again, Glypho never goes in it.

    If I am spraying several lawns that are a few thousand to 20k sq ft, I can fill my power sprayer which holds 4 gal and cover 4k give or take. I would then have to refill it several times, but time wise the only place I am "losing time" is when I have to refill the sprayer, where as with the skid I wouldn't, but then I don't have to reel or unreel a hose so really time is a wash. It does no quicker than with my power skid sprayer as I use a fan spray and wand. I know some guys use those JD9 guns or what have you, but here is what I use:


    but actually I use a combo of the above and this in one wand:


    I don't see how one can use a JD 9 for say 2,4d/banvel on turf grass and not get a lot on you or get a lot of drift since it is close to the body and way off the ground considering more than 30-40psi with a little wind can cause drift. :confused: I get down to within a foot of the ground with my wand and even it is higher than I would like. 4-6 inches is perfect.

    Big power sprayers for lawn weed control and pre em control in beds is far better and more efficient for large and multiple areas, but again it helps if you have a support person moving that hose with and for you.
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2009
  7. hughmcjr

    hughmcjr LawnSite Member
    from Oregon
    Messages: 183

    I also agree with LB1234 and I have quite a few more places I spray than he does.
  8. tlg

    tlg LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 651

    The whole idea is to work smarter not harder. If your seriously considering getting into lawn applications why would you start out limiting your potential or your ability to get the work done in a timely professional way. Backpack sprayers really were never intended to replace a good spray rig. There sole propose is for spot spraying. If you put two applicators on two different lawns, the same size, and one had the backpack and the other a sprayer who do you think will finish first, have better coverage, and apply at a consistent rate? Any LCO that's running any decent size company with any sort of production goals surly is not using a backpack. They are also making money by saving time. If you can't invest a few grand into the proper equipment why even start. What will you do when that first new customer has a 1 acre lawn full of weeds? Believe me you will look and feel like a professional applicator and your customers will think so too.
  9. hughmcjr

    hughmcjr LawnSite Member
    from Oregon
    Messages: 183

    While I agree in general with your reply concerning larger companies and larger areas, I disagree with the part I put in bold and italicized. I am also assuming you must be talking about self propelled spray rigs. :confused:

    While backpack sprayers were never intended to replace a spray rig, that doesn't mean they can't be used for larger areas other than spot spraying. I want to see literature or even some common sense person say backpacks are intended for only spot spraying. Of course I am not talking about acres where engine propelled equipment is the only way to go. (Although here in Oregon, the grass seed farmers have the migrants walk ACRES of fields to spot spray out undesirable turf grasses with glypho, spot spraying, but acres upon acres).

    What do you mean by a sprayer? If it is a skid sprayer and the psi is the same as the backpack within reason, the same volume is coming out, so how can the one with the hose sprayer get done faster? If within reason they fan the same/similar pattern/pressure how is one more efficient, provide better coverage and applied at a more consistent rate and faster? Then again, I am the only one who sprays for my business and I am fussy and know that the the way I use them the difference overall in terms of impact on me physically and performance wise for my accounts is minimal at best.

    When I spray 20k of turf (combined total of a series of duplexes or homes adjacent to each other, not an open field) with with my power skid sprayer it takes several hours which is the same exact time it takes me with my backpack sprayer. Time and energy expended become a wash with fighting over a hose and wear and tear on ones arm/wrist as opposed to having 40lbs on your back.

    This is my opinion and experience, and without getting into self propelled spray rigs, I am more than open to someone enlightening me how a power skid sprayer with hose is better for me in terms of time and energy and results for the examples I provided above.
  10. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,765

    I started my business with a 7 gallon engine drive backpack sprayer. Nothing hack or unprofessional about it. If anything, not even the "landscapers" who are supposed to be in the business of lawn maintenance have machines like mine. I see them sending out immigrant labourers with hand pumped sprayers to spray lawns or shrubs. Takes a lot of time and in some cases, does a poor application. I once sprayed an acre of lawn from this machine with a 3 nozzle walking boom. At 1 gallon per 1000, that was 6 fillings. It actually took longer to fill up than it did to cover the 7000 sq ft. I even sprayed 10,000 sq ft worth of nursery stock in greenhouses with an engine drive backpack. After doing those two jobs and becoming known as the person who will correctly spray acreage, I had enough money saved to put together a 100 gallon skid sprayer with both a hose reel and a computer controlled boom that gets mounted to the truck bumper. Not to mention more jobs lined up to use this type of equipment. Everyone has to start somewhere. But I do not think I would have gotten where I am today as quickly if I did not spend the money on my two engine drive backpacks. I still use them every day, because I do not always do big lawns, most of them are under 5,000 sq ft and every lawn has a different type of grass that requires separate herbicides, fertilizers, etc. Or I only have 500-1000 sq ft of trees and shrubs to spray.

    If I have situations where a 200 ft hose and a truck become more of a liability, than labor saver, the engine drive backpacks are used. It would probably take me less than 4 hours to cover 20,000 sq ft in a condominium type property or small lawns right next to each other as in the front lawns of an HOA. Parking can be a PITA in my area. It is a blessing to be able to park the truck in one place and walk to the lawn without having to worry about hose. I have 200 ft of hose on a reel. 99.9% of the time, if I cannot get it with that, it is usually small areas that are better covered with the 7 gallon sprayer. It is a time loser for me to be dealing with hose, unless it is open lawns or trees that are within 100 ft of the truck.

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