1. Can’t make it to the GIE+EXPO 2017?
    LawnSite brings the trade show floor to your fingertips with our new GIE+EXPO 2017 Sneak Peek video series debuting now in the Lawn Mowing forum.

    Dismiss Notice

Rainbird Select Contractor Trip in January.

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by JimLewis, Dec 29, 2006.

  1. allinearth

    allinearth LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 614

    So tell me the difference between contractor 1804 and HD 1804 besides the goofy sticker on the side and the 15' nozzle. How bout the dv100 valve? besides the gray plastic instead of black. Tell me why rainbird can't come up with a decent remote for their esp controllers. How about a wireless rainsensor? They copied Hunter on there rotor. Claim raincurtain technology but I have yet to see any precipitation curves on their 5000s and I have asked. Copied MP rotator (unsuccessfully IMO). What are they doing on the ET front? And wasn't Hunter the first to come out modular? Seems like rainbird is resting on their haunches and relying on their name instead of doing anything groundbreaking. Then when they do copy something it fails a few times. By the way, take a wild guess what my "best product" is. Give me a reason to go the other way.
  2. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690

    I think RB has superior products in many categories. More than half. They dont make the best or most productive lines of some products, rotary nozzle, as of yet. Just my thoughts...

    ET wise, theyve had their ET manager add on for a couple years now. THeyve got the new ESP SMX, or whatever it is, coming out soonish, so weve been told here. Jim might confirm if thats what he had his hands on. You can add ET via IQ or Maxicom on many models. (my head is more in the comm line right now)

    I believe it was determined earlier that the HD stuff did not have the same grade of plastic and or wiper seals on heads, or innards on rotors, making them crappy compared to the commercial line. (grey plastic instead of black on the DV's accentuates this). Ever looked at one of their rotors at HD? Not a 5k, not even close. Pre-nozzled. Good luck with a HO getting that right in the yard.

    I think it is smart, business-wise, to sell a line of your product at Home Depot. Like Jim said, there will always be that group of people that will do it themselves. You might as well capture some of those sales, too.

    Valve-wise, from small resi to large commercial, absolutely no substitute for RB valves. Hunter doesn't even come close as far as reliability and quality.

    Did they copy the MP Rotator? Maybe, probably. Is it as good, yet? No. They are supposed to be working on that as well.

    All of the Disney properties cant be wrong, running Maxicom for 20 something years now. And that has gotten better with Maxicom2. Maxicom is not for everyone, or every property, but fits the bill for extra-grande sites.

    RB's ESP residential clocks are hand over fist better and easier to program and operate than a Hunter POS. Its not the name, I swear, but I cant stand Hunter clocks.

    Precip figures:

    Is that not what youre looking for?

    How about this for comparison to PGP (the original rotor).

    :::just noticed they left off a "0" on their model number. Ran out of characters, hopefully.:::

    This argument will go on forever, no doubt. Its mostly preference and loyalty and your own personal knowledge of your product.

  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    Well, you are asking a lot of questions here. And nobody except maybe a well informed RB rep. is going to be able to field all those questions with precise answers. But I'll answer what I know.

    First of all, on the RB sprays and Valves avail. at HD, I've been told they were a cheaper form of the originals. So I don't know. Maybe the springs are less resilient, maybe the plastic doesn't last as long in the sun before breaking down, maybe there are ways to make products with a little cheaper plastic or parts and for the homeowner varieties, they are chosing to use those cheaper materials just to keep the price point low and offer something to the public.

    On the other hand, maybe are the same models you and I use. Which, again, I really don't care too much about anymore. I used to be upset about that. But for the reasons I gave in my last post above, it really doesn't concern me much anymore. Do-it-yourselfers are always going to do it themselves. If they can't find a RB replacement, they'll just to use a Toro or whatever else HD sells.

    And why is everyone so pissed at RB for selling their stuff at HD anyway? It's not like only contractors can buy Hunter stuff. You can get Hunter products on Amazon.com for cryin' out loud - along with 15 DOZEN other sites on the internet. It's not like Hunter is protecting us contractors and RB isn't. If do-it-yourselfers want Hunter products, there are all SORTS of places they can get their hands on them.

    Why can't they come up with a decent remote for ESP? Because there isn't enough demand for it. Do you know that a few years back when they DID still have a remote for their controllers, I couldn't hardly sell a damn one of them? I tried to upsell it with every system we installed. It was like a $150.00 add-on. And out of the 40 or so systems we'd install each year, I'd usually get 0 or 1 taker each year. Homeowners didn't really care to have one. Most people laughed at me and would ask, "Why would I want a remote? If I want to change my times or turn it on, I'll just go to the garage." Yah, a remote is handy for contractors. But you don't make it rich selling to contractors. You're product has to be viable to homeowners or else it's not profitable. Now some companies may have decided to keep that product on, even though it's not profitable, just to please contractors, I don't know. But I do know RB had a remote and got rid of it because they were losing money on that product.

    A wireless rain sensor? Well most wireless rain sensors have a problem. The battery inside the sensor runs out within a year or two.

    And the Hunter wireless rain sensor isn't all that great anyway. I know FIMCO-MEISTER has said he doesn't like it at all. And look at some of the reviews the Hunter Rain-Clik gets online too;


    So noticing this was a problem and something customers were upset about, RainBird pulled their Wireless Rain Sensor 2 years ago and have been re-engineering it into one that will use the battery in a different way. Instead of sending a constant signal to the receiver, it will sent a quick pulse-signal once every 30 or 60 minutes. Thus, prolonging battery lifespan to WAY more than a few years. But product testing takes a while when you care about quality. So be patient. RB will have a superior wireless Rain sensor when it does finally come out (to be released in 2009 at this point).

    They copied RB on their rotor? Ok. So that pisses you off? You guys sometimes get so worked up over semantics. I am not sure they copied Hunter's rotors but even if they did, is that a bad thing? Hunter became popular for only one reason - they had a far superior rotor. And now that RB has one that's just as good, the only bad thing you can say about it is they copied Hunter??? I guess I'd say the same thing about the Hunter Pro-Sprays. Tell me those aren't almost identical to the RB 1804! Come on, who cares who's copying who? Every industry has products that are similiar to their competitors. The point is, who has the product that is more reliable, more sought after, better customer service, better support, better diversity of products, etc.

    Hunter first to come out with modular? I think you mean Toro, right? Toro had modules in their controllers a long time ago. So does that mean Toro is the best brand because they came out with a modular controller first? Come on, what sense does that make? There's nothing wrong with a company saying, "A controller wiith modules. Wow. You know what? That's a good idea!!! Hey, engineers! Why don't you see if we can come up with a modular controller that's even BETTER. How can we improve on that idea, guys? Get to work!"

    I could bring up several products that RB came up with first, even without going back to the early 1900s when they came out with virtually everything first.

    They came out with U-Series nozzles first, a PRS rotor, MPR Nozzles, Central Control, landscape drip-line, Booster pumps, swing pipe, spray heads, variable arc nozzles, spray heads, controllers, valves, valve boxes. They came out with ALL those things before Hunter did. Only thing Hunter came into the industry with new was a gear-driven rotor. RB has lead the way with all sorts of products.

    Now they can't come up with every single innovation in the industry, any more than Sony can come up with every electronics innovation. But being the first to market on every single innovation is not what makes companies viable, is it?

    I think RB had proven over the years their commitment to innovation, even though they occasionally get surprised by something before they think of it.

    And I am not sure who you're currently using. I gotta assume Hunter. But I'll note that RB actually beat Hunter to market with a rotary nozzle too. RB had rotary nozzles way back in 2005. Hunter couldn't even invent their own. They had to BUY their rotary nozzle (from Walla Walla). So it's not like Hunter was the big innovator there. In fact, Hunter only showed interest in becoming a player in the rotary nozzle market only AFTER Walla Walla and Rain Bird had already proven it to be a viable product. Where was Hunter's big innovation there? Why couldn't Hunter invent their own?

    So let's get off the whole "who's more innovative" thing. You're not going to win that fight. Hunter's copied PLENTY of ideas from RB over the years too, and you know it.

    As for what RB is doing on the ET front, it's very good. I have "what they are doing on the ET front" at my house and several of my clients houses. But I can't disclose anything about that. I will say, you don't need a separate "module" on the wall. It's a REALLY simple retrofit for any existing ESP-M controller. Their method for measuring precipitation is much better than the rain gauge that Hunter ET System has, the rain gauge won't have to be "cleaned of dust and debris every 30 days" like the Hunter ET System's rain gauge does and RB's system includes more ET factors than the Hunter product does. And that's already probably more than I am allowed to say about that. So just wait and see.

    Listen, I know a lot of guys are sold on Hunter or even other brands. That's cool. If you're happy, fine. I used Hunter exclusively for a few years and I wasn't happy with some of the products, the support, and they were doing NOTHING for me in terms of rewards except for some points for a few hats and shirts and stuff. But RB has treated us like gold since I first really got noticed by them. I've installed hundreds of their systems and rarely have a call-back issue related to their parts. I like their support and I find that it's very easy to convince my customers they are buying the best because they know the brand. But your mileage may vary. I'm not here to talk anyone out of Hunter or other brands. If you're happy there, fine. But if you're looking for reasons to switch or consider RB stuff, I think I've given you a few things to think about.
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2009
  4. allinearth

    allinearth LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 614

    I should have said distribution curve not precipitation. I don't want to start a big rant. I do use a few rainbird parts and no it doesn't piss me off that they copied the rotor. Just something I've noticed. As far as Maxicom I could care less because I don't do large commercial. I am not interested in selling remotes to customers. I used to sell the rainbird ones to make it easier for us to service their system. I have never used Toro and don't plan to so I wouldn't know about their modular. You guys have a few good points but not all. Guess Hunter just works out better for me right now.
  5. allinearth

    allinearth LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 614

    By the way Jim, are you interviewing with rainbird soon?:laugh: That must have taken a while to type all that. Must type a lot quicker than me.
  6. Waterit

    Waterit LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,930

    Steel cage match tripleheader:

    On the undercard, we have Jim Lewis and Earthworker, followed by Trilawncare and Junior.

    For our featured match, Kiril and Boots.

    Alternates: Mike Leary and, um, anybody.
  7. ARGOS

    ARGOS LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,808

    Trilawn is a bully.
  8. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    I love sales. I love recruiting. I love giving presentations. Ever since college that's been what I was best at. So it's something I've thought a lot about. But I don't think their reps make as much as I do. But still, it's something I'd be interested in, if for some reason my business ended up folding or something. If the contractors in your area are doing well, you get to go to a LOT of nice places and experience a lot of the good life. I could handle that. :cool2:

    Yah, I type pretty fast these days. All those years on lawnsite, I guess.
  9. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690

    At any rate, RB works for me. I like 'em. Stick with Hunter, I need something to repair.
  10. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,185

    I've always been a Rainbird guy, except for a few years after the T-Bird fiasco. ESPs, DV-100s, 1804s, RB regular and U-series nozzles. I still feel the PGP has a better reliability factor, but I like everything else about the 5000.

    Jim - you mentioned RB started the undercut series nozzles. Is that correct? I'm pretty sure I've seen older brass nozzles with undercuts.

Share This Page