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skidsprayer vs ride on sprayer

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by big valley, Jun 20, 2004.

  1. big valley

    big valley LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    I am also considering the pros and cons of skid sprayers in my pickup truck or a ride on sprayer. I m undecided which way to go. I think I can get into a skidsprayer a lot cheaper than the ride on. any input would be appreciated....
  2. jajwrigh

    jajwrigh LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Martinsville, IN
    Messages: 1,405

    I am actually debating the very same thing right now...
  3. Pilgrims' Pride

    Pilgrims' Pride LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA.
    Messages: 481

    I think you need to decide exactly what services you are/going to offer and go from there.
    I've used it all over the years and have finally decided to come out of the dark ages this year.

    I bought a Perma-green and a lesco ride-on this past spring and it was certainly money well spent.
    The perma-green when it is running properly makes life much easier.
    It allows me to spread granular fert much faster than this aging frame can and at the same time it also has the capacity to spot spray whatever broadleaf is out there as well.

    I have always believed that granular and spot spraying gave better customer perception as well.
    It doesnt matter if you spray straight water out of a hose, People always think it's some deadly chemical.
    I remember some neighborhoods I've worked in in the paast.
    Whenever I'd pull into the area moms would grab the kids and head inside and close all the windows!
    Not any more.

    I do still have my spray tanks.
    I use them for tree & shrub and other specialty applications.

    One thought though.
    Consider the total amount of square footage you are doing.
    Then think about where you want to head with this endeaver.
    If you are considering growing your fert division I'd suggest you guve serious consideration to the z-spray.
    While it is a bit more expensive, they seem to be much more user friendly and also they will apply a little fasrer as well.
    That's nice on the big open commercial propoerties.

    Good Luck
  4. vegomatic40

    vegomatic40 LawnSite Senior Member
    from 6
    Messages: 406

    Also consider the efficiency of each method. There will be times when one is much better than the other. A ride-on will certainly be more productive in a fertilizer only program and fatigue does become a big factor when you get "long in the tooth" like some of us. Are the properties treated relatively large, medium or small? Some other big considerations are ease of use, reliability and cost of maintenance/repairs. A skid spray is hands down the more economical solution. With simple maintenance, a good quality skid sprayer can last a dozen years if not more. Ride-ons are fairly new technology and can be very expensive to repair. Flexiblility of the needed product comes into question as well. Many herbicides, fungicides and insecticides have minimum volumes of a given carrier (water) to provide adequate coverage and control. Try spraying a fungicide that requires 2 gal/1000 rate and you will soon see the logistics nightmare this can create. In the end you may decide that you need both to do a good job.
  5. specialtylc

    specialtylc LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,656

    The skid sprayer should be tour FIRST purchase. The ride on types are for larger areas. You can do your average home lawn in 5 minutes with a hose and gun on a skid sprayer.
  6. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    I agree with the consensus here, buy the skid first, then when you decide you're too old / tired to be dragging that 3-400' hose around all the time, buy a ride on, and keep the skid as back-up.

    I bought a PG this year, mostly because I don't have to worry about walking in the spray all the time, even with "boots" on. Plus, I don't have to haul around 1000 gallons of water at a time either. I suppose I still could, but then I'd never have an excuse for break time. :)
  7. James Cormier

    James Cormier LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 1,217

    I disagree with specialtylc & LwnmwrMan22, Although I respect there knowledge in this business. Here's why I disagree

    I Really think the future of lawn care ( fert & squirt ) is in these ride on machines. The beauty of these things goes far beyond ease of doing the job. If you start out with the machine your better off
    Ipm is very easy with this machines, tanks.... well every
    lawn gets sprayed so they all get whatever you mixed that day. My weed control chemical costs are reduced ALOT since I dropped my spray systems. And along with that my chemical use, isn't that a good thing? Also I use to do a blanket of dursban or talstar come rd 2, cause I mixed it in my tank mix. Now I carry tip 'n' pours with talstar, so if I see a lawn that needs it I just mix up a batch and spray.

    Also the liability of driving around with a spray tank full of 100 or so gallons of juice is much higher than driving around with a Ride on. And 100 gallon tank is really too small for a full day of prodo.

    Now if you gonna spray fert , you need a fill station, time to fill the truck.

    My business has never been more profitable and better for our enviorment since I dropped the spray tank way of doing lawn care.

    Now I do agree you need a tank for several things, Fungicides, tree & shrub spraying are one. But for lawn care, I think your much better off starting with a ride on unit.

    now Which one....well thats for a whole new thread
  8. RasterBlaster

    RasterBlaster LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    I faced the same dilemma, and went with the Permagreen. I was picking up these 30,000 sf properties which were loaded with weeds. I dreaded walking and filling my backpack so I was looking at skid sprayers. After I looked at where I was with the business and what was important right then, I decided that the permagreen was going to have to be first. It was the best decision I made.
  9. ChicagoLawn

    ChicagoLawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 126

    I also went with the Perma Green, it has served me well!

    I must admit that I ONLY use the PG on a few large acreage properties.......... right now. Otherwise I push the ole' Lesco spreaders and pull the chem. hose to do the job.

    I guess I feel comfortable knowing that the PG has already paid for itself with the "very large" amount of work that we have aquired ........entirely due in part to the PG.

  10. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    I do agree with James and the others with their opinions as well, guess it comes down to if you're going to be in the business for the long haul, or if you're going to be just "wetting your feet" to see if you like it.

    If you're just testing the waters, the skid will be a cheaper investment. If you want cheaper costs, the PG will be more in the beginning, but you'll save after the first year in the costs of not having to run liquid fert in the tank.

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