Ride-on sprayer/spreader tearing up turf

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by americanlawn, Oct 1, 2007.

  1. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,954

    Even when the turf is dry, our PG units tear up the turf when we make turns if the hopper is not full. We plan to buy one or two Z-Spray units at the end of this year cuz our PG's have seen their best days, but I'm wondering if the Z-Spray units have the same problems tearing up the turf??.

    Seems weight distribution is the key?

    We will "unhappily" be hauling a trailer just so we can transport the Z-Spray.

    PG units are front-wheel drive, while the Z-Spray units are rear-wheel drive (where the operator stands).

    I spread granular Sevin insecticide (lightweight) to several lawns recently, and everytime I turned the PG Ultra, it tore up turf. Seems the PG units are reliant upon weight in the hopper for proper taction?:dizzy:

    rscvp Thanks much for any feedback.
  2. heritage

    heritage LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,351

    Hi American,

    My experence with my PG Centri to avoid the wheel spin, is to carry a bit more speed at the beginning of the turnpoint, and only 50% or so throttle speed (zero wheel spin allowed) until turn is complete and all 4 wheels pointing straight......Then wide open throttle.

    If your on an incline, then I find getting off the machene before and through turn with slight push/slight throttle, makes for un torn turf.

    This is what works for me......Hope it helps you.

    Pete D.
  3. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    Well, the Magnums are totally opposite... The more weight in the hopper, or, godforbid you have a full 12 gallons of spray in the tank = no traction at all! If my hopper has around 100 pounds in it I have a very hard time turning the machine to the right. It will totally stop in place and just spin the tire if you let it. If there's more than half a tank of spray you almost can't get mine to turn to the right more than half way without burning out. Machine totally empty: It will climb up a brick wall.
  4. Leaf Jockey

    Leaf Jockey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 376

    When I read the title of this thread I thought a customer found me and was complaining! I run a ztr with an electric Spyker on the front. It rained the night before and things were a bit soft. Anytime I got into a situation facing downhill I had traction issues. I hate going on someones property to make improvements and then leaving a rut or skidmark. I think its time I built a dedicated spreader.

  5. sclawndr

    sclawndr LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 326

    The key to not tearing turf, PG or Zspray, is to avoid making sharp turns. A lot of that has to do with pattern. We use a spiraling pattern that has gentle wide turns until it gets down to the last turn or two. You'll never stripe a lawn and unless the turf is wet, you won't have any wheel spins either.
  6. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    American -

    Are you running something like a "striping" pattern across your properties?? Or running in a circle??

    I run circles, rather than if I were trying to stripe with a mower and don't seem to have the issues with the Magnum.

    However, trying to get up a hill, or if there's a slight damp area of grass, I've got the same issues as J. Rose.

    LIBERTYLANDSCAPING LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 1,283

    American, Just like a ztr mower, you have to watch your turns-but not from the no traction standpoint. Going straight down very steep hills is something to be avoided because majority of weight is off back tires. If you back down, the spread going up, you have way more weight over the drive tires-just like on a ztr mower. The trays over the rear wheels for 2 bags of fert. greatly increases traction/lowers center of gravity especially if you have full hopper & tank. I weigh 165 lbs, so if your guys are bigger/smaller, take that into consideration...

    Get those Z-Sprays already!!...........:laugh: Run them a few times, you'll love e'm!:clapping:
  8. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,664

    Did those lawns have a grub problem? LOL.

    I agree that the square spiral pattern works better because the turns are 90 degrees not 180. Not suitable for all lawns. Not a good idea if you can't see your previous tracks.

    You may have to shift your weight forward to keep traction on the front wheels. Try gaining a little weight. Maybe slow down a little in turns. Wet grass is a problem--steep slope a lot worse.

    We got first two calls for Dylox here today.
  9. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,954

    Thanks guys very much. Today was a rain day, so we concentrated mostly on checking our two PG Ultras, cuz our round five (winterizer fert) is coming up very soon. I have eight applicators, and all but one stayed all day long to help update the PG Ultras. We figured out that when 50% of tire tread was gone...it's time to order new tires (Carlisle 18x9.5-8 Turf Tamers). Going up hills and making turns with the Ultra often spins the tires unless you hop off, go very slow, etc..........but that interferes with applying the appropriate amounts of product. So I ordered new tires. I'm sure this will help.

    We changed oil, spark plugs, and air filters too. We also replaced all carburator/throttle springs. The air filters were so bad that I'm surprised they ran at all! (my fault) Now both units run like "raped apes" again, but their mufflers are somewhat loud. So we'll keep one of the two, sell one, and buy a Z-Spray this winter.
  10. Forever Green Lawn

    Forever Green Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 282

    American, you're really going to like the Z-sprays! Do practice with the applicators on YOUR lawn first :) , turning can leave tears until you get used to it. How much you think you want for one of the Ultras?

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