Push spreader modification

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by morturf, Mar 15, 2002.

  1. morturf

    morturf LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 476

    Hey guys,
    I doubt if anybody has logged more miles behind a push spreader than I have.

    I find that T-handles are grossly inadequate for real use, especially in hilly terrain. When you have to take a hand off the control you risk tipping the thing over if you are on any kind of a hill. And I just don't think they are comfortable or convenient. I am not the only one that felt this way. Every time I got a new spreader I would let guys push one to see how they liked them with T handles. Not one guy has liked them better than the ones I made.

    I started out pushing a Cyclone A100. This was a tank of a spreader. It weighed 80 lbs. Empty. I liked the design a great deal because it had wheelbarrow handles. They quit making them about 1978 and parts were non-existent after 1988. I had bushings machined for them. New axles made from scratch. Rebuilt the hoppers, which were metal (not stainless). Finally i just couldn't make them go anymore.

    All the while I had been trying to get a manufacturer to look at making something similar. I settled on buying a Spyker 76-22, which was a plain jane model. First one I got was in 1989. I gave it the benefit of the doubt and tried the T handle. After 2 yards I took it, cut off the handle, made my own out of pipe and welded them on. I made sure that the bracing was adequate. I moved the on/off cable to the left handle. This allows you to turn it on and off with your thumb and not take your hand off the handle. I now have 5 of these that I have modified. 4 of these are 76-22’s and a one Golfstaff 88. Spyker has a slewing control; I mounted that on the right.

    I have shown this spreader to the people at Spyker, they just aren’t interested. Here is one thing I found really interesting. The main design engineer has no experience pushing a spreader other than at his home. They have no one on staff that has ever really been an end user. I think this is a real problem in the manufacturing world today. Not enough real world experience implemented into a piece of equipment.

    Ok, off my soapbox now.

    Just thought you guys might appreciate a look at a spreader that is a whole lot easier to use.

  2. Ground Master

    Ground Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    Think I'll give that a try with my spiker........when are you adding a motor?
  3. tpirobert

    tpirobert LawnSite Member
    Messages: 207

    Wow, I love it. I was just about to trash a spreader with handles that suck. I'll have to try something like you've done. Thanks for sharing the idea and pic.
  4. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    I see the same problem but in a different way with that as compared to original. The wrists are flexed at a nasty angle. The wheel barrow handle approach puts increases the forces needed to propel it forward so the hand doesn't slip on the grip. They do spread the arms apart so that adds to comfort but you gotta bend a $5 at the wrists.

    I think an approach like the advanced keyboards that are humped and angled would take your idea a step further. Something along the lines of the handle bars of a cruiser bike. Sweep them down, back and out a bit to improve the wrist angle and get the load more perpendicular to the force.;)
  5. morturf

    morturf LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 476

    I know just what you mean. Sort of like the earthway thing. Tried that but then you are back to having to take your hand off the handle to cycle on/off. I have tried numerous ways but can't get a better one. Part of the problem is that I don't want to have to redesign the damn shutter too.

    Another thing it limits one thing i do a lot of. I like to run along concrete on one wheel with the spreader tipped down on that side. I find this make it put a little more along the edge and not as much on the paving. And this lets me pick up the high side.
    I have peen pushing these for 30+ years, never had a problem with my wrists, forearms or hands. I would think it would have shown itself by now. I believe that just myself, not the rest of the employees, have put down about 50 to 60 tons of fertilizer a year till last year when I got my Z-spray.
  6. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    Pushing for 30 years and pushing tonnage. Bless you my son. You are one tough hombre.
  7. morturf

    morturf LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 476

    I appreciate that. That is why I helped the guy that makes the Z-spray figure that machine out. I was tired of pushing....let the kids do it......right? Hope just to help anybody that is still doing it.

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