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Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by LDH, Mar 23, 2013.
You guys with gas powered pumps.... why don't you use electric?
One word...flow. You just can't get the gpm needed to keep a large tank agitated with an electric pump unless it's a REALLY big pump that would require you leave the truck running. So instead of the giant motor that eats all your profits as fuel idling all day, you use a small one to drive your high flow pump.
Yes I do leave my truck idle all day to power my electric pumps, but that costs me probably and extra $10/day. Which for me isn't worth the hassle or NOISE of a gas powered pump. I'm spraying at 6am and the customers don't even hear me spraying their lawns. However I don't have a need to agitate my fertilizer or herbicide. The sloshing from driving between jobs is enough for me.
Gary, I understand your question. To be honest, I started with this same exact sprayer and had a Delavan FatBoy 7gpm/150psi pump on it. I paid $200 for the brand new Delavan and that was off ebay. It worked ok, but the above poster hit the nail on the head about agitation. I just couldn't get enough of it while spraying at the same time. Plus, the battery voltage issue.
I agree with you about the noise. There's no arguing that. 12 volt is quieter. Cost comparison... 6.5 Harbor Freight engine was $110. The roller pump was $116 or something like that. Pretty close to the cost of the Delavan I bought.
Fuel cost? It takes about $3 to fill my engine up. I can only run it at half throttle due to the pump's rpm restriction. At half idle it burns one tank of fuel in 3 hours. That equates to $1 per hour in fuel cost. I think when you compare the 2, noise is the only winning factor for 12 volt pumps.
If you compare it to high dollar gas/pump combos there is a lot of price difference. For what I do though, the roller pump works. I used my sprayer for the first time last weekend. I made $385 with it the first day out. So the engine and pump I have is already paid for. They don't last as long as higher end pumps but they last long enough to throw them in the trash when they go bad and replace them. Just my 2 cents.
Not arguing, just curious. I like to learn. Myself, I do 25 lawns a day. That is 8 hours of spraying. I have it almost exactly to $1/lawn based on all driving per day so I'm paying $25 in gas $10 is probably to first lawn and back so say $15 for 25 lawns so 60 cents per lawn. What is your fuel cost per stop? I have a fert and a herb pump and they last about 3 to 4 years at under $200 a pump each. 25 lawns x $50= $1250/day. Gas is 1.2% of billing so I'm not going to use gas cost as a factor. But what do you need to keep in suspension that settles without agitation? I suppose I need to factor in wear and tear but we use our trucks for 15 years so we drive them until they are not worth anything anyway.
Prodiamine (Resolute 65WG) is what gums up in the bottom of the tank without agitation. As far as my general business cost vs your general business cost, that's a whole nother can of worms. I thought your initial question was "why don't us gas engine guys use electric pumps?" I was only comparing gas engine style pumping vs 12 volt style pumping. The cost of my engine and roller pump is basically the same cost as my Delavan 12 volt pump. Since the cost is the same (almost), why not go with a gas engine? It maintains a constant pressure when spraying. It gives me more options when it comes to pumps. It doesn't affect the voltage on my pickup. I don't have to put unnecessary hours on my 12 thousand dollar diesel engine by idling in order to power a 12 volt pump. I can spray for 5 hours straight at whatever pressure I want without draining batteries down to the point where it jeapordizes the Fuel Injector Control Module in my pickup. If that $1,000 on-board computer doesn't receive enough juice from the batteries, my truck will not start. If you try to force it to start, you will toast that computer (don't ask how I know ).
I'm not arguing. I'm like you. I enjoy these kind of discussions. If I can pick up a few pointers from you and you can from me, then this forum has served it's purpose.
Little side note: You will see me with a 12 volt pump in the near future. It will be on a 25 gallon tank that mounts on my Hustler X-One with a nice boom attached to it. I believe an application is more accurate with a boom than it is with a hand gun. I also believe 12 volt pumps are great. I just don't think they're as capable as my gas engine setup when it comes to 300' of 1/2" hose at 1.5-2gpm and also maintaining agitation in a 50 gallon tank. This is my opinion though. You probably have twice the knowledge I do if you're spraying 25 lawns a day, because my spraying business is no where near that big nor has it ever been.
Interesting. I use plane jane V6 Rangers with the heavy duty suspension. And let them get old. (Just sold a 1988 Ranger this month that I had sitting for 6 years - clutch went or I would still be still be part of the fleet. Added some water to battery and charged it and it fired right up when the fellow came by to buy it. $450. The exterior looked brand new no dents no rust. Trucks get washed every day. Waxed every couple of months and never driven in the winter.) LOL
But what is the earliest you can be on a lawn re:noise? You have to put your ear up to my pumps to hear them. I have them on pressure switches so they only run when the trigger is pulled so on a 5000 ft sq lawn at 3 minutes of actual trigger pulled is not a lot of stress on a charging system. 3 minutes x 25 lawns is an hour and 15 minutes of actual electrical usage. I probably don't even need to leave the engine running but I've done it for 25 years so creature of habit. There is a psychological thing too. If engine is running, my windows can be down, doors unlocked the back hatch of my truck up an no one is going to screw around with my vehicle theft etc when I am in the back yard. (I rarely lock up maybe 2-3 times a year in a really bad neighborhood.) But I've never had a theft problem. We don't us WPs only Fert & Herb so I guess thats why we get away with it.
A flow jet pump on 300' of 1/2" hose is what I use and its dual with 1/4" bonded to it. I use 1.25GPM/100ftsq and have absolutely no problems getting output. I do have a competitor that uses the same system I do and they agitate whatever their fertilizer is with a third electric pump. Have no idea why they need to agitate the fertilizer. I suspect it is because they are much bigger than me and are doing several houses on a block so they don't get the agitation I do from driving between lawns. My average houses are probably 5 blocks apart. Wasn't always that busy. We put a website up 3 years ago and business has doubled the last 2 years and will double again this year by all indications. I'm going to try to pick up a couple of those used TruGreen NPRs this winter. 2006 or newer.
Question on the boom system. I see everyone loving their PG rideons with booms. Average lawn size is probably 3000 square feet here now and lawns are getting smaller and smaller as new areas are developed. Do you somehow boom these areas or are we talking acreages?