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New to ride-ons - how do you mark your passes?

DA Quality Lawn & YS

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Rochester, MN
Guys,

Am going to nail down a used PG for use this coming season. Simple question (I AM a ride on rookie).......how do you keep track of your passes if you do not use a foamer marker OR dye? Are the tire tracks generally easy enough to see so that the proper overlap is obtained? Is there a recommended pattern to spray in to assist with this?

Just questions that pop into my mind as I have time this winter to ponder them........

DA
 

Runner

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Flint, Michigan
I use an Ultra SE and what I do is do the first lap (counterclockwise) with my deflector down and spraying if open enough area permits, otherwise a separate lap for trim spraying. Every lap after that, you throw until the prills hit to the center of the tracks of the previous lap. Each lap, you spiral towards the inside. You will get a perfect throw and perfectly distributed application every time. The only variable you will have is if you have either a cut-off point - due to obstacles, or a narrower row when you get to the center of the area. Sometimes, depending on the width of this last pass, you can cut it with the deflector, or run a full width. On cases where there may be more objects and such, do two passes. I do the counterclockwise circles to throw my fert, and then go the opposite way for my spray (when I'm blanketing). This way, you don't get the tracks confused with your last pass.
 

Grandview

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
WI
If you do not blow a .08 in the morning when you go to work you should be able to see your tracks just fine. That was just to easy, Larry but I could not resist. With fertilizing and spraying there is room for error. At times your track will be hard to see.
 

RigglePLC

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Grand Rapids MI
Runner has it right. Lean forward as you gun the motor and engage the clutch. Except that I think it is best to throw fertilizer pellets to the nearest tire track (giving about an eleven foot swath with an Ultra SE.) And some lawns you just have to go back and forth like with a hand spreader. Measure a few for the first few days. Put a flag or marker at exactly-measured 11 foot intervals before you start. It is Ok to spread and spray at the same time. More skill and experience is required. Practice with water. You may have to tighten the swath and go to 10 feet wide if the spray does not overlap enough. Test it by wetting the pavement with water. Click my name and look at my pictures.
 

Athletic field

LawnSite Member
Location
Homer City, PA
I use a foamer on my Z max when spraying. Glad I have it. When doing long runs on football/baseball fields it really helps. Sometimes looking into the sun makes it difficult to see your tracks. Also if you run the way it has been mowed, their tracks can be confused with yours. Smaller properties not that big on an issue.
 

pieperlc

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Midwest
With my ultra se I always go about 4' between tire tracks. It's real easy to gauge when you look at your tracks, the machine is about 3' wide so just gauge the distance a little larger than you last track. I usually spread a perimeter, and then go back and forth with no issue of streaking. You can see your tracks 90% of the time, and once your used to it, you don't need to see your tracks all the time. On long runs in can get tricky when you can't see tracks. Mowing lines can throw you off from time to time. If I think I am going to have a problem and the property allows it, I'll go 45 or 90 degree direction to the most recent mow lines. And yeah, you have to be below .04 to run a ride-on with any type of accuracy. :laugh:
 

grassman177

LawnSite Fanatic
a pg sounds like way to much bs to have to do to get it on the money. no thanks
 
OP
DA Quality Lawn & YS

DA Quality Lawn & YS

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Rochester, MN
a pg sounds like way to much bs to have to do to get it on the money. no thanks
I didn't ask this....I will be starting out with a used PG (likely Centri or Ultra) and move up from there as my client list grows.
 

FERT-TEK

LawnSite Bronze Member
DA being a former Ultra user I have had no problems with my patterns or had the need for a marker.The tires are so wide on the front of those machines that every pass leaves a visible tire track as it lays down the lawn. When you spread and spray it is recommended you throw your fert up to the tire track you just left on every turn. The spray system is designed to also reach that same distance.

I should say that on occasion when the sun is just right you may have to look harder for your tire track.
 
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