Ground Logic to ZSpray transition

DA Quality Lawn & YS

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Rochester, MN
Thought this may be helpful for guys transitioning from a gear shift GL/PG type machine to a hydro ZSpray/SG machine. I never thought in a million I'd go away from my GL, but here I am using a Z Jr 36. Did a few 3/4 acre lawns with slopes today. My take:

1) Used to spray bar within the frame width on the GL. No folding out booms. Gotta remember that now on the Z (forgot briefly once, ha!). Also can't get too close to poles, trees, etc or booms break away. Ahhh, things to get used to.
2) Amazing how the functionality of one ride on gets ingrained in your mind. Kept reaching to the wrong spot for the hopper gate for ex.
3) Realized that you do need to have fert bags or at least full tanks for the rear of the machine, else she spins on a cow pie when turning.
4) Not used to having to adjust platter speed on the GL as with the Z. Noticed that I rub or bump the dial and it gets out of whack. Can you lock the dial in position somehow?
5) Popped a super wheelie going straight up a slope, ha! Won't do that again.
6) Noticed you need to set the speed bar a little over 5mph on concrete to achieve the same speed on turf. Simple...but just an obs.
7) Had to get used to the greater forward throw distance of the Z vs GL. Seemed to have less control of the throw hence more fert to blow off walks, etc. Guess I need to reign in the platter speed a bit more?
8) Caster lock transversing slopes does work well. Using the Z for slopes much less fatiguing than stiff arming the GL doing the same.
9) Biggest thing is just getting used to the electrics of the Z vs the motor driven GL.

I do think the more nimble GL has a place on the trailer yet...namely some small lawns with tricky areas or slopes. But will see...
 

MiModernLawn

LawnSite Member
Location
New Hudson
Put the speed bar all the way forward. When you get on hillsides even with the locking casters you will want the additional wheel speed for the wheel on the lower side. If the nose of the machine starts to turn downhill and the speed bar is set at 5mph, you won't have any more power to send to the lower wheel to get the nose of the machine up again. I tried the speed bar at 5mph for about a week 10 years ago but after talking with everyone running the z sprays most just run it all the way forward. It doesn't take long to get in the grove of doing 5mph without the speed bar. Just monitor your speed with the bar all the way forward and keep it at 5mph and you'll get into the groove real fast.

When going up hills, especially if the hopper is low on fert the front end can get light. I just hop off and walk up hill behind it. Seems to take enough weight off the back to keep the front end down.

You can't lock the impeller speed unfortunately. On really cold days you can see a noticeable difference in impeller speed due to fluctuating hydro fluid temps. Once the fluid is warmed up it stays pretty consistent unless you have long drives between stops and cold temps. When it's really cold, I usually have to turn the impeller speed up at least a 1/4 turn from where I left it at the end of the previous day. After 5-10 minutes on the first lawn of the day the fluid starts warming up and then you have to slowly back the speed off in increments as the fluid warms up to operating temp.

I had ran a permagreen for 5 years before switching to a Z-Spray and it was super awkward for a few days. I hopped on a permagreen a couple years ago at GIE and it was so awkward. I can't believe we used to run those things. Once you get past the learning phase of the Z-Spray/Steelgreen machines you'll wonder why you ever ran anything else. The only situation where they fall short is narrow gates and massive dangerous hills. I'm super comfortable on my steelgreen and if I don't feel comfortable on a hill with it I don't think there's any machine I would be comfortable doing the hill on. For these situations we have a guy that strictly does liquids out of a 300 gal skid so anything that isn't suited for a ride on gets sprayed out of a skid sprayer.
 
OP
DA Quality Lawn & YS

DA Quality Lawn & YS

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Rochester, MN
Put the speed bar all the way forward. When you get on hillsides even with the locking casters you will want the additional wheel speed for the wheel on the lower side. If the nose of the machine starts to turn downhill and the speed bar is set at 5mph, you won't have any more power to send to the lower wheel to get the nose of the machine up again. I tried the speed bar at 5mph for about a week 10 years ago but after talking with everyone running the z sprays most just run it all the way forward. It doesn't take long to get in the grove of doing 5mph without the speed bar. Just monitor your speed with the bar all the way forward and keep it at 5mph and you'll get into the groove real fast.

When going up hills, especially if the hopper is low on fert the front end can get light. I just hop off and walk up hill behind it. Seems to take enough weight off the back to keep the front end down.

You can't lock the impeller speed unfortunately. On really cold days you can see a noticeable difference in impeller speed due to fluctuating hydro fluid temps. Once the fluid is warmed up it stays pretty consistent unless you have long drives between stops and cold temps. When it's really cold, I usually have to turn the impeller speed up at least a 1/4 turn from where I left it at the end of the previous day. After 5-10 minutes on the first lawn of the day the fluid starts warming up and then you have to slowly back the speed off in increments as the fluid warms up to operating temp.

I had ran a permagreen for 5 years before switching to a Z-Spray and it was super awkward for a few days. I hopped on a permagreen a couple years ago at GIE and it was so awkward. I can't believe we used to run those things. Once you get past the learning phase of the Z-Spray/Steelgreen machines you'll wonder why you ever ran anything else. The only situation where they fall short is narrow gates and massive dangerous hills. I'm super comfortable on my steelgreen and if I don't feel comfortable on a hill with it I don't think there's any machine I would be comfortable doing the hill on. For these situations we have a guy that strictly does liquids out of a 300 gal skid so anything that isn't suited for a ride on gets sprayed out of a skid sprayer.

Hey great info thx. One other thing: how the heck do you keep a straight line applying down a slope that is not level-away from the machine. Seems the machine wants to just nose 'straight down' and you cant hold a line...end up just skidding wheels. Do you just apply 'up' those slopes and don't even try to apply down them? I'm talking about slopes where it DOES make more sense to apply with the slope instead of perpendicular to it i.e. long narrow slopes.

Prob my biggest gripe so far is having less control of the machine going down slopes than I ever had with my GL . If I wanted to slide down slopes, I'd go tubing:)
 

ArTurf

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Ark
When working hilly areas put some weight in fert hopper.
I don’t use speed bar to control speed, set it wide open. With experience you’ll have the speed programmed in your head
 

MiModernLawn

LawnSite Member
Location
New Hudson
Hey great info thx. One other thing: how the heck do you keep a straight line applying down a slope that is not level-away from the machine. Seems the machine wants to just nose 'straight down' and you cant hold a line...end up just skidding wheels. Do you just apply 'up' those slopes and don't even try to apply down them? I'm talking about slopes where it DOES make more sense to apply with the slope instead of perpendicular to it i.e. long narrow slopes.

Prob my biggest gripe so far is having less control of the machine going down slopes than I ever had with my GL . If I wanted to slide down slopes, I'd go tubing:)
The situation you are referencing is definitely one that is difficult for the z-spray/steelgreen style machines. The locking casters definitely help but at a certain point the machine just isn't capable of holding a hillside. For these situations I try to only keep a bag or a bag and a half in the hopper with the tanks full and fert bags in the trays. If this still isn't enough you may just have to go up the hill. Just remember to always keep the front of the machine uphill. Once the nose of the machine is angled down the hill at all its gonna go downhill, especially when the hopper is full. When we train employees we describe it as a shopping cart that has 10 cases of water at the very front of the cart and nothing else in it. Just imagine that's what you have whenever you tackle a hillside. I do see that you have a jr36. That has narrower tires and a more narrow wheelbase. We bought one about 10 years ago and it was definitely significantly worse on hills compared to the regular jr (42"0, Intermediate (46") and Max (52"). We have a few hills at our shop and tested it out when we got it and after running it around the lawn for about 45min ended up calling Z-Spray and returned it toward an intermediate. The wider tire and wider wheelbase on the larger models seriously makes a world of difference. The JR36 was terrible on hills. On your next machine consider a Z-spray intermediate or Steelgreen SG46. Steelgreen has a couple changes coming soon on the SG46 that are really going to set it apart from the competition. The additional width can prevent you from getting through narrow gates but we found that we had way fewer narrow gates than we thought. The handful of them that we had we just did the back with a push spreader and backpack since most fenced in areas are usually pretty small. It was a PITA but the benefits of the larger machines in terms of stability and capacity far outweighed having to push spread and backpack a few backyards with narrow gates. We thought the intermediate/SG46 machines were going to be too big to do small lawns but once we got used to them we could do just as good of a job as the small machines.
 

zlandman

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Ohio
I notice those using ground logic permagreen style sprayers tend to miss a lot of weeds in corners around trees etc. The z allows you to use one side nozzle and catch these areas near 100% if you're willing to take the care to do it.

I don't get the moaning about z on hills. I don't think it's too bad on hills. I don't side hill a 2:1 slope but I can run about anywhere I need to.
 
OP
DA Quality Lawn & YS

DA Quality Lawn & YS

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Rochester, MN
The situation you are referencing is definitely one that is difficult for the z-spray/steelgreen style machines. The locking casters definitely help but at a certain point the machine just isn't capable of holding a hillside. For these situations I try to only keep a bag or a bag and a half in the hopper with the tanks full and fert bags in the trays. If this still isn't enough you may just have to go up the hill. Just remember to always keep the front of the machine uphill. Once the nose of the machine is angled down the hill at all its gonna go downhill, especially when the hopper is full. When we train employees we describe it as a shopping cart that has 10 cases of water at the very front of the cart and nothing else in it. Just imagine that's what you have whenever you tackle a hillside. I do see that you have a jr36. That has narrower tires and a more narrow wheelbase. We bought one about 10 years ago and it was definitely significantly worse on hills compared to the regular jr (42"0, Intermediate (46") and Max (52"). We have a few hills at our shop and tested it out when we got it and after running it around the lawn for about 45min ended up calling Z-Spray and returned it toward an intermediate. The wider tire and wider wheelbase on the larger models seriously makes a world of difference. The JR36 was terrible on hills. On your next machine consider a Z-spray intermediate or Steelgreen SG46. Steelgreen has a couple changes coming soon on the SG46 that are really going to set it apart from the competition. The additional width can prevent you from getting through narrow gates but we found that we had way fewer narrow gates than we thought. The handful of them that we had we just did the back with a push spreader and backpack since most fenced in areas are usually pretty small. It was a PITA but the benefits of the larger machines in terms of stability and capacity far outweighed having to push spread and backpack a few backyards with narrow gates. We thought the intermediate/SG46 machines were going to be too big to do small lawns but once we got used to them we could do just as good of a job as the small machines.

Ya I hear ya regarding the Jr 36. BUT, I do have probably 12-15 lawns with 36" gates honestly. And some of them have big back lawns too yet. I think I will get used to it enough to make it work. I put on about 20 hours now, and def feel better about it today that I did yesterday. I agree about keeping the front of the machine uphill...you have total command if she's nose-up...but if she goes nose-down its all over in a big way:)
 

ArTurf

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Ark
One thing I use for very hilly areas and wet conditions it I use bar type tires such as the Carlisle AT101. I have them mounted on different wheels and use them as needed. As mentioned work uphill.
 

Top Forums



Top