Renting a Topdress spreader and Compost ?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by DA Quality Lawn & YS, Aug 1, 2013.

  1. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,266

    Would take those pics, yes:) Nice post thanks.
  2. Rick13

    Rick13 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 408

    Here's My New Towing Set Up for Organic Compost Spreading. It's a Ford F450 which is a Huge improvement over the Ford F250 that I used to have.

    The F450 turns tighter, drives better (now that it's a dually), and has better brakes & frame. I wasn't sure if it was going to be worth the extra money....but it's a huge difference!!!

    Next DA Quality Lawns I will show you some pictures of the Ecolawn 200 and then some yards I did.

    For me, I wanted a vehicle to tow safely because the moisture level of compost can increase based on how much rain you have received. If it rains, I will usually wait two to three days before I head out to do a yard. If I go sooner, it becomes a mud mess, which I don't want and either would your customer.

    2013-08-21 07.34.58.jpg

    2013-08-21 07.33.58.jpg

    2013-08-21 07.34.28.jpg
  3. Rick13

    Rick13 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 408

    Here's a close up of the Ecolawn Carrier with the Ecolawn Spreader 200 on it. I am going to extend the ramps a bit, some times based on a driveway or street it can be too steep for the Ecolawn to drive up to the platform.

    Ecolawn Carrier.jpg
  4. Rick13

    Rick13 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 408

    Here's a few of the Ecolawn hopper. It's nice since it plastic and if you hit something, most likely you won't ruin whatever you might have clipped.

    And when you moisture content is high, you don't have to worry about metal sides rusting or paint peeling off. Plus it only a few cotter pins to take the hopper that's a nice feature.

    Ecolawn Dual Discharge Wheels.jpg

    Ecolawn Hopper.jpg
  5. Rick13

    Rick13 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 408

    These pictures of one of my customer's yard was this Spring. I can out on 5-14-2013 and spread their seed, then I covered it with 1/4" to 1/2" of organic compost. The organic compost I spread is made out of yard waste. It has no animal manure in it, so you don't have to worry about E.coli.

    This Spring in Northern Illinois, we received a lot of rain but hardly and sun. So with the lack of sun this Spring, it took the seed longer to germinate.

    So My After Pictures are about two months later 7-12-2013.

    5-14-2013 Before Pic.jpg

    7-12-2013 AFTER Pic.jpg

    2013-05-14 10.34.29 Before Pic.jpg

    2013-07-12 11.10.11 AFTER Pic.jpg

    2013-05-14 10.33.55 Before Pic.jpg

    2013-07-12 11.11.48 After Pic.jpg
  6. Rick13

    Rick13 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 408

    With the Organic Composting, you will want to tell your customer that they will get some weeds, but not to worry. You can either spot spray, pull, or burn them off. If you go the burning, then you will need to fit that area with some seed and compost, thus making your customer happier that they are not putting chemicals into the ground thus effecting the water table.

    So long story short, I really enjoy the Ecolawn Organic Compost Spreader. I am still fine tuning some of my ideas for organics....but it's a learning process and so far my customers have been happy. But fair's hard work moving the compost to your machine. So if you don't mind working a bit harder at one stop, you will end up making more money than doing a route of mowing.

    Also make sure you can get a good supply of organic compost. I'm lucky....I only have to travel 10 miles to load up my organic compost. That is what I think the key to getting your organic business going....a good supply of material (organic compost).

    Compost 11 small pic.jpg
  7. foreplease

    foreplease LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,062

    That's a good looking setup, Rick. Your before and after pictures on that job are excellent too.

    When you say organic compost from yard waste how 'pure' is it? Is somebody at the yard where it is made certifying that none of the yard waste came from yards treated with synthetics or turf chemicals? I am not trying to give you a hard time at all but I am interested in what the standards and rules are. I have 24 yards of well composted horse manure and leaf compost coming today but I have no idea if the horses had an organic diet, for instance.
  8. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I used to think that mattered as well,,, but how many lawn chemicals persist in there chemical state,,, especially through the composting situation... anything manufactured eventually degrades to more basic constituent parts...

    I heard there was a chemical that could persist for a year or so if it was to contaminate compost,,, but I can't remember what it was... :)
  9. Rick13

    Rick13 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 408

    Hi Foreplease,
    Rock River Valley Compost in Cherry Valley, IL gets their organic compost checked each year....just to make sure their material doesn't have high levels of metals or anything that might be toxic. I asked them to send me a current copy, since I've misplaced last year's copy somewhere on this computer.
  10. phasthound

    phasthound LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,121

    I never had a problem with the Earth & Turf spreading moist compost other than occasionally using my hand to move it in the bin. Once the compost is on the conveyer belt there is never a problem with clumping as it is mechanically brushed off the end and applied at a predetermined rate no matter what speed you are walking. This is a drop spreader so you can apply right up to the edge of sidewalks without having to blow them off.

    I also found it to be a very dependable machine with little down time due to repairs.

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