Hydroseed Question

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by NewHorizon's Land, May 21, 2007.

  1. Harley-D

    Harley-D LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 508

    Agree 100%. Appreciate the professionalism of your response. I haven't seen anyone locally use a nurse tank but i'll suggest with your info.
  2. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,649

    I dont maybe u dont understand the concept. I have a 550 turf-maker and a 500 gal. nurse tank sitting on a trailer that starts every time. Im actually 1000 gal. then. I apply first load then with the turf-maker i pump the water with the seeder pump from the nurse tank mix second load and apply. Why this setup: 550 turfmaker, 550 gal.tank , 250' hose and nozzles, honda port. pump, all fittings, Hurst 18' 12k gvw trailer, all of this new cost 15k. Thats what it cost me to get in to hydro seeding business. A finn 500 gal was 26k. Sorry finn is great but i think floating on name and over priced. I have pumped a thick slurry up hill 250' with my machine that is saying something. Finns pump will out last mine but i can rebuild mine 4-5 times before replacement than a new pump is only 1,100.00. For the price difference due the math. The tanks im sure all the same , heavy steel. The agitater very heavy , honda motor. I just coudnt see the price difference. In the last 2 years doing this im paid for and making money.
  3. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,219

    under a half acre its 9 cents
    over a half acre its 8 cents
    doesnt seem like much im doing no work but measuring and making a call but kicked the idea of maby doing our own work to my brother and its something maybe to think about for next year
  4. TandM

    TandM LawnSite Senior Member
    from south
    Messages: 772

    we have a 500 gallon finn I like it
  5. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    Tom, I can't add much to what I said before about the advantages of owning and doing it yourself but my guess is you could pay for a machine fairly quickly if you go that route but again I don't know how many new lawns you do.

    Finn and Turfmaker are both great units. Like I said before, all the units on the market are excellent right now. Finn has a nice feature with the hydraulic drive and the paddles being reversible which does help if anything ever gets jammed. Any units using a gear pump will pump thicker slurries through more hose than a centrifugal but you will spend a little more time on service pulling out gaskets and rebuilding. A centrifugal pump is very low maintenance. A centrifugal pump is usually better for tower work and a gear pump for hose work but both set ups are great. You both can take pride in your machines.
  6. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,649

    I wasent try to sell my brand of machine either as far as that go the turbo-turf and kincaid machines are top quality. I had to make a move i install a lot of new lawns and allergic to straw. That means my emplyee has to do all the mulching and is time consuming. We tried renting the blower but the time you clean the straw off of the porch, driveway, rainspouts, roof, etc. i had to make a move. My comp. 2 years ago raised his price to 10 cents a foot which was tough to re compensate my self. Our local rental has 1 but most of the time a coal company had it rented out for weeks at a time and they wanted 275.00 a day to rent. I dont see how any one using top quality material and proper application can make money at 5 cents '. I use per 500 gal.tank which covers around 5k sq' 1 50 lb. bag of turf fescue, 1 50 lb starter fertlizer, 200 lbs 70-30 blend mulch, 3 lb growth stimulant, tac, co-polmer. I get 8 cents and can make money. With my set up i explained earlier another item overlooked is carring all of your material. My trailer with combination if pick up bed can i can carry 30 + bales of mulch, enough seed, fert, etc, to do 7 tanks. This is important only running 1 truck. Finn and a couple companies sell there unit on a trailer where only the seeder is attached leaving no room for material.
  7. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    I think one of the mistakes a lot of people make is selling themselves short. A lot of guys try to keep their prices low to get enough business to stay busy. I think more business is had by calling people back promply when they call about a job and followiing up with a visit and a quote. I have lots of guys tell me they called 6 guys and I was the only one who returned a call.

    I think it is good to keep your prices up and I think in most areas 8 cents or more is not much of a problem.

    The other thing too is costs are more than just the mulch and seed. You need to remember deprectiation, travel time etc and all that.

    Ok, so you have $ 75.00 in seed in a load, 4 50 pound bales of mulch, maybe $ 50.00 in mulch. Another $ 40.00 or so for fert and other additives and so maybe $ 165.00 in a tankload. You have a little over 3 cents a square foot in materials. Yes, I think you need to be close to that 8 cent range. Maybe you can look at some ways to cut your costs and still get the same results. Quite seriously I have half what you do in materals. I am running to be fair 1.7 cents a square foot if I compare things fairly. Actually it is less because I buy a little better. A few suggestions is look into who handles plant marvel fertilizer in your area. You should find quicker and better results with 5 -7 pounds and much less cost. Maybe think about the growth stimulant try some tests without. If you can get 8 cents which should not be hard, you are growing good lawns, you are making good money and happy there really is not much need to worry about changing anything.

    You could think about looking into organic hydroseeding, not as a way to cut costs because it is as expensive as all get out, but as a way to have a premium high profit side to your business. We have a lot of information about it on the IAHP (hydroseeding association) site but the site is going to be messed up for a day or two a bit. hydroseeding.org is the site. (I do the website and hope to have it squared away in the next day or two but the organic info is there.

    FIREMAN Q LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 260

    I purchased a Finn unit. I have not had a chance to use it yet. I am still working on my pricing. What is the minimum sq' you would go and shoot. I am in a situation where the majority of the work I will be getting is in the 1500-2500 sq' range. What would you charge for that. I did some research and found some companies (not in my state) charging .18 cents for that size shoot. does that sound about right.

    thanks in advance:drinkup:
  9. drmiller100

    drmiller100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 562

    i charge 10 cents a foot, and i'm kicking behinds.
    when folks call for hydroseed/sod quotes, i call back promptly. i tell them hydro starts at 10 cents a foot, sod at a buck a foot. then i tell them they need a sprinkler system.
    then I go visit them that day or the next if possible.
    When done, the price difference between .06 and .10 cents a foot is a fart in a windstorm for the whole project. I don't budge much off the 10 cents, and when I do I really regret it because they are the PITA customers. Got two now, both at .06 a foot, and I'm mad.
    The biggest difference????? I tell the customers to call me in a month when the little sprouts are yeller, and I'll come fertilize for free.

    the other guy might be 2 cents a foot cheaper, but I'll fertilize for free, and my stuff looks a lot better after 2 months.

  10. drmiller100

    drmiller100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 562

    i quit seeding for 2 years cuz i was subbing to a competitor, complete with the fertilzier.
    this year i started back up, and realized i hadn't emptied my tank back in 2005 when i quit.
    so i half filled the tank with water, let it sit for a day, and fired the pump.

    Good grief it SMELLED BAD, but no clog.

    doug jetpump turboturf miller

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