Brand of Hydroseeder

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by GreenImageLandscapes, Nov 29, 2012.

  1. GreenImageLandscapes

    GreenImageLandscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    For those with hydro-seeding equipment; what brand do you prefer and why? What are the maintenance issues with your particular brand, etc.?
  2. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,131

    I have a Fynn, no complaints at all. The only thing we have to be careful of is when we run a wood blend, we have to be sure to flush the lines and pump with clean water after if we won't be using the machine for a while
  3. the irrigator

    the irrigator LawnSite Member
    Messages: 63

    I agree. We've had two Finn macines a 1500 gal and 1000 gal. They are expensive but built well. Look for a strong steel tank, mechanical agitation, strong pump and engine with sufficient hp and torque - all of which the Finn has. Some other machines are not built as well and are not that good for regular intense use. You can probably find some good used ones. If buying used just make sure to thorougly check the tank for any signs of rust. Any differences in the epoxy coating could indicate where rust or corrosion was fixed.
  4. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    I am not so sure that there is a best machine. Most all the hydroseeding equipment today is made by companies that have been around a long time and they are all pretty good.

    Finn is always a good choice. They make a quality piece of equipment but they are pricey. Bowie is actually heavier built but not quite as sophisticated. Some of the smaller mechanical units are not quite as heavily built but priced pretty good. Jet machines also work well and are really easy to use.

    I don't think looking for the best machine is always the answer. It is more like buying a pair of shoes and you need a machine that fits you and the jobs you do. If the work you are planning to do is fairly challenging such as erosion control work and revegitation then you need a unit that can handle products like FGM's and BFM's that are hard to use. If your doing residential lawns in areas that are not the hottest in the country most any machine will work for you. If you are in a very hot climate then you need to spray heavier applications so you will not get the coverage those of us in the North get.

    Basically hydro seeding systems have one of two types of pumps. Centrifugal and Gear. Finn and all jet agitated units use a centrifugal pump. Gear pumps are more powerful when working with a hose but not as good with a platform gun. Centrifugal pumps are lower maintenance. With a gear pump you need to grease it once or twice a day, and there is a stack of gaskets and as the pump loses power you take them out and probably have to rebuild it every couple of years but they are great pumps that will pump anything through more hose than any other pump will.

    The hydraulics on a Finn are nice and if you are working with difficult materials it helps that you can reverse the paddles. A few other machines can do that but most can't.

    Paddle machines will handle a little heavier slurry than jet machines and you can load full bales without breaking them up but jet machines are easier for one man to run, are low maintenance, work good and are very affordable.

    It's all finding what is right for you. You won't go wrong what ever you buy but look at the size of the jobs, the material you want to spray, how many people are available to operate it. Trying to do a 20 acre job with a small machine takes a lot of time. I have done 17 acres on one job with a 300 gallon jet unit and it wasn't quick (but it was profitable). I don't know that I would want to repair someones front lawn with a 1000 gallon machine either.

    Messages: 1,343

    We have aturbo turf 750 gallon, jet machine has treated us really well.
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  6. GreenImageLandscapes

    GreenImageLandscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    How poorly do the gear pumps perform at turret work? can they still shoot mulch across a R.O.W. ditch? Sounds like a velocity issue with the slurry through the larger turret orifice. Will the pump not handle a higher rpm or is it a seed damage issue? We have a mechanically agitated machine with a centrifugal pump now. When using a short hose for R.O.W. work or turret we can mix a very thick slurry, but when we stick on 150' of hose to get into a residential back yard we have to thin down quite a bit. We do mostly residential, but the growth potential in our area is all commercial and govt. work where the turret will be essential. i built the machine we use now 14 yrs. ago so I am not afraid to work on a gear pump but I am concerned that it might not be productive enough. For those of you running Finn equipment when shooting lawns through a hose, how much mulch are you actually mixing per 100 gal. of water?
  7. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    Gear pumps are not terrible on turret work, just not quite as good as centrifugal. I would say with most gear pumps you could get 80' - 100' from a turret. Gear pumps run a maximum of 400 RPM so perhaps that is part of it. When it comes to distance, flow can sometimes be as important or more important than pressure and centrifugal pumps have a lot more flow.

    I am a little surprised you have to thin down your slurry to pump 150'. May I ask what size of hose you are running? I can't help with the Finn part. I could make an educated guess and probably be right on but the guys using them don't have to guess so I will leave that part of your question to them.

    Gear pumps are easy to work on so it is not something that anyone with minimal mechanical ability needs to be afraid of.
  8. GreenImageLandscapes

    GreenImageLandscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    We are running 1.5" flexible hose, not collapsible. With 150' of hose we can only run (3) bales of paper in 400 gal. of water. Finn E-tack helps some with pressure drop through the hose. When running a short section of 2" hose off the turret connection to spray roadsides we can mix (5) bales of paper or (4) bales of 70-30. We are doing more of this and the 400 gallon machine is just not large enough to be productive.
  9. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    Thanks, I thought perhaps you were running 1 1/4" hose and had you been then I was going to suggest going to 1 1/2" but since you are already using the 1 1/2" that isn't going to help and any larger hose would be too heavy to handle. 1 1/2" can be a bear sometimes. I run 1 1/4" myself and can use up to 250' of hose without thinning anything down. I seed alone and the smaller hose is all I care to handle.

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