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Lesco spreader on Perma Green Ultra

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by turfsurfer, Apr 1, 2004.

  1. turfsurfer

    turfsurfer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 364

    I am within a week of possibly ordering a Perma Green (Sorry Z-spray guys but I think the PG is more suited for me right now). One of my last questions regards the Lesco spreader used for granular. There have been many remarks made about the Lesco push spreaders throwing heavy to one side and I must admit I am noticing some slight "banding" from the late fall app that I did with my new Lesco last season. My other spreader is a Bigfoot and spreads great. I am used to throwing back to my footprints. Any difference I should know about with the Lescos?
    Long story short, $5000 is alot to spend on a machine that might not spread evenly. Would appreciate some input from PG owners. Does the unit do any better at achieving an even pattern than their push spreaders. IMO the pattern adjustment should be a set and forget function like on my Bigfoot. Using clicks on the third hole shutoff (which you use all the time for trim passes with the deflector down) does not seem like a great way to keep an even pattern to me.
  2. James Cormier

    James Cormier LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 1,217

    I think lesco spreaders do have a heavy look to the right, after pushing a lesco for 14 years it was so hard for me to adjust to the spyker spreader ( my first P-G)

    the ultra should come ready to spread and you should nt have to keep adjusting the the machine,

    The problem I have with my ultra is the slide plate getting gummed up and not being able to close the gate. This is one of many problems I have with both my machines

    So Ive spent 10k with P-G in the last 4 years,

    MY next is a z-spray
  3. turfsurfer

    turfsurfer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 364

    Wonder why you're gumming up. I don't have that problem with push spreaders, is this just a PG problem? I know the Centri model had a set of nozzles up high and just looking at them it seemed like the spray might cause some problems with the spread. Is this a problem with the Ultra also or just the Centri?
    Also I have seen many posts from guys complaining of PG breakdowns but no specifics. What exactly are the problems you guys have had with this machine? Frankly, I am not encouraged since I asked this same question on the PG e-mail link on their website. I asked what are their most common maintenance issues and what are they doing to address them. Discouraging because I have gotten no response.
    Some things I like about the PG are compact size, nozzle setup, and the fact that the application speed is set and therefore constant for uniform applications. Those of you who are fans of the z-spray please feel free to compare these issues. How compact (are they really doable on 5000 sq ft yards?), how easy to calibrate? Howeasy to maintain constant speed (is it a set speed, I wouldn't think so with a hydro).
    Thanks for any input guys, I really want to take delivery before it's time to drag out the hose and spray tank this season so I need to choose pretty quick. BTW goin price on z-spray? Thinking around $6k, is that right?
  4. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    Actually, I called Z the other day (last Tuesday) and the bigger unit is @ $7500, jr. is @ $6800, I THINK, and they said they were 2-3 weeks out, as of last week.
  5. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    It's just the nature of Lesco's spreaders they all do that. What I do, both with a push spreader and the Ultra, is move around the property in a counterclockwise direction. After doing your border with the sheild down, move around in laps, and watch your throw, to make sure you're hitting in the center of the last tire tracks. A Lesco spreader throws at about an 11 o'clock - 2:30 (meaning betwen 2 and 3 o'clock) position. There is no adjustment for this. Anyway, you will get a much more even spread doing it this way. Many people (including big green) don't realize this.
  6. turfsurfer

    turfsurfer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 364

    Actually from the look of the product coming out, the Lesco LOOKS like it should spread more even than my Bigfoot. The Bigfoot looks like more product is being thrown out the left side. But when you do a pattern test with the pans it is pretty darn even. When I first started doing apps, I adjusted the Bigfoot so it visually appeared to throw an even pattern. Well it streaked everything pretty good throwing heavy to the right. The Lesco looks like it is throwing a beatiful pattern, but again appears to be throwing slightly heavy to the right (no comments about my aging eyesight please). The difference is the Bigfoot has a dedicated pattern adjustment plate seperate from the 3 rd hole shutoff that can be set and forget. I thought I have read that the PG Ultra has seperate pattern adjustments for both left and right side that are seperate from the 3rd hole shutoff, which is what I'm trying to confirm or deny. Luckily the normal spring greenup is taking care of any slight streaking ( I'm not thinking it's an overlap problem because the darker bands are uniform and of equal size as the lighter ones, and again, throwing back to your tracks has always been a pretty safe method. Also, these are not Home Depot homeowner spreaders, for the money we pay we should be able to expect good performance.
  7. James Cormier

    James Cormier LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 1,217

    Heres a short list of what I dont like about my ultra, Ill stick to the ultra cause I dont think you can buy the centri anymore.

    Tiny gas tank, always filling that stupid thing, and they put it where you cant look in to see how much fuel is left. So every time you fill you spill a little, real pain in the ass when you run out on a lawn. The centri has a much bigger tank, so there excuse of "no bigger tank available" is a cop out.

    Most controls are on the right side of the handle bars, Unlike the centri where you could open and shut the spreader with either hand, there just too much going on with your right hand. Centri is better here

    Reduced spray system, only covers 34k ( centri was 64) so i guess that helps with the smaller gas tank, gotta go back to the truck more to refill, so you might as well top off the gas tank. Hopper is smaller too (then centri) so you gotta put fert in it more often...More productive??? Centri is more productive

    Dont like the spray nozzles being right in front of the wheels, on wet lawns there is a lot of spray that covers the rider, Little fenders on the wheels would help, p-g suggests you dont spray when the lawn is wet....huh...or spray in low gear....I know, I know I remember back in the day of spray at 3gallons per k we use to get covered in it, but in this day an age, when all you need is fenders to solve the problem it doesn't make sense.

    Tiny underpowered motor, cant pull you up a hill,gotta hop off and run behind the thing, Ive owned wright standers that could mow up a 20* slope with no problem, and they weight 2xs what a P-G weights.

    The link between motor and spinner are these little plastic collar's that have failed several times, seems like a very cheap way of spinner.

    The brakes....OMG.....they use advertise "motorcycle type brake system" well I got almost a million miles on motorcycle's and if I ever had a bike that braked like that machine I wouldnt be here today. Useless

    Electric starter didnt work from day 1, Pat told me, " its not our fault, we didnt make the starters, you should feel lucky we are replacing them at no cost"

    If it rained while I was spreading the machine would stall, called pat, His first response was " what are you doing working in a down pour?" Took a little while but i got a letter saying they where replacing the boot around the spark plug, "because too many people where not following the correct way to clean the machine and using too much water" You know what that solved the problem with the machine stalling during rain storms.

    When you call with a complaint there favorite response is " its better than pushing a spreader right" Yes it is, and I would never go back to pushing or pulling a hose. but P-G seems to use us as their R & D department

    Theres a local LCO to me that has 5-7 different model of the machine, and they all have different problems. Not a very good track record to me.

    Now you all might me wondering if there are anythings I like about the machine...right? Yes there are alot of things I like about it. I still use it every day( both centri & ultra ) I plan on adding a z-spray buy the end of this season, Mostly for next year, so I will keep you all informed on which machine I think is better.

    Sorry for the long post, but I'm still laid up with a bad back, and I finally got my laptop home so I can surf from the comforts of my couch....Snow on Monday so I got time to heal..thank goodness
  8. James Cormier

    James Cormier LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 1,217

    this is for you G.D. I lost your email but this sums it up
  9. NJemerald

    NJemerald LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 121

    wow... Looks like James got a real lemon.
    Hit alot of points I will agree with...
    Never had problems with the starter or the wet weather thing though.

    I've had both the Centri & now the Ultra...
    Sold the Centri for the Ultra... BIG mistake!

    I HATE the Lesco Spreader on the unit!!! I can live with the other problems but the Fertilizer Pattern... :mad:
    Fertilizer pattern cuts out when you make a left hand turn at the end of your pass leaving a teardrop-shaped area unfertilized. Also with the poor left side throw on Lesco units already, It makes it VERY difficult to edge out the lawn and still expect to throw Fertilizer into those tight corners. (being the unit is "designed" to edge out on the left side. :D )
    To solve this in some manner, I had to start edging out in the before mentioned "Counterclockwise direction"

    I called PG SEVERAL times and received very POOR response regarding this complaint with NO RETURN CALLS from them.
    I WAS told the the owner was not changing from the Lesco hopper anytime soon. (that was BEFORE Lesco came out with their own version of the machine... :D

    On the "too much for the Right hand" thing... I'm currently experimenting with a additional "Foot Pedal" throttle to relieve some of the work off the right hand... (will let you know how it works out)

    I DO like how the machine maneuvers on lawns though. I've been using PG's for several years now so I'm comfortable with it on any size lawn... I have no problem putting it on a
    4,000m lawn to service.
    I DO see the Z-Spray being more difficult to use on smaller accounts that have more obstacles that require you to duck or maneuver around in tight areas. THis is only an observation as I have not had the pleasure to demo a Z-Spray YET. ;)
    (Have my eye on the Z-Aerator purchase first)
  10. James Cormier

    James Cormier LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 1,217

    NJ, I have some experince with the wright stander lawn mowers ( zspray desgin after that machine ) and you would be very surprised how easy that chassis maneuvers around a lawn, IMO it would be easier than the P-G machine

    Of course it would take time, when I got my centri and used it for the first time...I thought OMG... Theres no way i will be able to use this machine on all my lawns....well one month later I'm using it everywhere, So I think no matter what machine you get, once your use to it you will not have any problems

    If anyone has experince with ztr mowers they may have a easier time getting use to the zspray

    When I spread I go around the edges first 2x's then I go back and forth like I use to with push lesco spreaders, I know some guys go like lawn doc does with their turf tamers, start with outside and work there way in to the middle. Ive tried this but I just cant get it right.

    As far as leomon goes I dont agree, ( except starter and spark plug ) I thing most of the problems are desgiined right into the machine,

    I had far more mechinal problems with the centri ( too many to list here ) but customer service seem to be better back then.

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