Rain Bird ESP-SMT Smart Controller

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by JimLewis, Jun 18, 2009.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    I don't know they were ever lowballing with the PGP. I think they were lowballing everything else though. That's how they got me to switch. My local Hunter rep. got me to switch over from RB to Hunter in 2005. We switched for about a year. I installed mostly Hunter stuff for about a year. And the BIG reason they got me to switch was the OVERALL cost of installing a Hunter system (valves, heads, controllers, etc.) was saving me about $100-$300 on every system I was installing. I remember the Hunter rep. typing me up a price comparison at one of my local distributors and showing me how much I'd save on each install and telling me, "You'll save enough each year to take a nice trip with the family in the winter." That was enticing, for sure. So we switched. And my project manager was PISSED. He hated almost all Hunter products except the PGJs and PGMs. So he was ticked that I was making him install stuff that he considered crap. But we switched anyway because of cost savings.

    Pretty quickly, we noticed a lot of problems with leaky seals on spray heads. Also valve problems. After a little less than a year, RB snagged us back over to their side and I've never looked back. But I vividly remember switching to the dark side for a while - all because of their talk about saving me money. So yah, they were lowballing. And I fell for it.

    Now to be fair, Hunter has fixed a lot of the problems I used to have with their products. But it's kinda too late for me. I am sold on RB now and not planning to switch any time soon.
  2. irritation

    irritation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,594

    I think you do with PGP's.
  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    I DO need the warranty, actually. Like I said above. I have one commercial property that has 5-10 Hunter PGP rotors fail every year. And I agree, that IS a problem. Do you have a solution for me?
  4. irritation

    irritation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,594

    Are most the failures with the gear drive or the wiper seal?
  5. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,752

    My Hunter experience deems to be borne out by returns at local distributors, which is less PGP returns in the first 2 years than 5004s. I don't see much in the way of PGP problems in the short term. What are the date codes on the 5 - 10 PGPs being pulled under warranty?

    I can't compare the valves since I am a Richdel guy.
  6. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,155

    One of the other reasons that Rain Bird was able to lower prices was because the cost of resins dropped dramtically. They were able to make the product for less and with the economy taking a dive they viewed it as an opportunity to take some wind out of Hunter's sails.

    I'm sure to most here is is very very obvious that I am quite loyal to Rain Bird. In my professional opinion they make the best products on the market. Have they had their share of failures? YES! BUT they have always made right on them and learned from them and come out the other end with a better product. Hunter on the other hand does not innovate like they want you to believe. They copy ideas and have a lot of them manufactured in China.... cheaply! Ever notice how cheap their controllers feel? Everything about them says cheap. Thats because they have a company in China that contract manufactures the product for them. For YEARS Hunter tried to convince contractors that they did not need nozzles like the Rain Curtain nozzles on Rain Bird's rotors. Hunters red PGP nozzle sucked ass! Then one day, out of nowhere they run an ad saying "our estensive market research tells us that contractors want this type of nozzle" thus the blue PGP nozzles were born. Extensive research?? LOL... No.... they saw that Rain Bird was taking market share so they immitated. I'm not a big fan of Hunter. Even Toro is more innovative than they are. For years Toro's products have been a joke but recently they have really stepped it up and come out with some new ideas. I dunno... I guess it's like the great Ford/Chevy debate.... everybody is loyal to somebody.

    Messages: 18,668

    Hunter VS RB makes my head hurt. I think I'll make a pizza.
  8. Tony Clifton

    Tony Clifton LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 865

    Great convo so far!

    I do think that they immitated RB with the Blue nozzles, but that is because they saw that customers liked the "visual appeal" of the rain curtain nozzles. They look pretty, but they DU sucks...too much water close to the head. Never will you hear anyone from Hunter say the red nozzles suck - they are near perfect.
  9. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,752

    To me, the Rain Curtain nozzles worthy of the name were the R-50 nozzles that could operate on a stand-alone basis with pressures at or less than 30 psi.

    Ed Hunter did good nozzle designs from the beginning. Blue nozzles are just another entry in the Beauty Contest.
  10. irritation

    irritation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,594

    Most homeowners don't care about "visual appeal". They shouldn't even see the system run.

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