Trade PG for Z-spray?

Discussion in 'Pesticide & Herbicide Application' started by turfsurfer, Jun 6, 2004.

  1. turfsurfer

    turfsurfer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 364

    Alright Z-spray owners, I need you to get this one right. Recently bought a PG Ultra (now have 25 hours on it). My first problems came at 12 hours when the butterfly stuck in "choke" and machine flooded and wouldn't restart for 15 minutes (happened several times before I gave up and used my skid sprayer to finish). The second property that I was left stranded I talked to Tom Rich and he gave me a quick demo on a z-spray jr. (no actual production since he was delivering that unit). He seemed to be a real standup guy and the machine looked and felt WAY more solid than the PG. I actually had him build me one with several upgrades (200 lb hopper, 50 ft hose reel, larger rear tires), and it is ready to be picked up ( trying to find time to do it in a couple days).
    Once I got the PG running, I have been using it and have gotten pretty used to it, however there are SEVERAL limitations to it in comparisons to the Z-spray. The smaller hopper size, the WAY underpowered engine, 34k versus 60 k per spray tank, and the drive system in general.
    My question, with all the above observations, will I regret trading the PG for the Z-spray? Once I trade in the first PG, I lose that option if deciding to go back to it, and I really don't want to be in the position again of deciding I don't like the Z-spray after using it for awhile ( not to mention having to return yet ANOTHER machine and generally having all the manufacturers p*#*#*# off.)
    With all the posts on the reliabilty problems of the PG, it really sounded an alarm when I had my first problem so early. I have no doubt the spray system on the Z-spray is better, but I have no experience with SPYKER and since I only do one blanket weed app and the rest are granular fert with spot sprays it is imperative that the spreader be top notch. Have any of you had problems with the Z-spray spread system? How do you handle trim passes since there is no 3rd hole shutoff for when the deflector is down to cut the rate back. How does the unit handle hills with a full hopper and spray tanks? ( I had the PG on some scary hills and it did alright, but the fert hopper was empty).
    Does it slow way down going up even little hills like the PG does? How about runaway going down hills (shouldn't since its a hydro.)? How easy is it to open/ close hopper while moving and turning? ANY serious down time with the unit (a BIGGIE)?
    Like I said, input is really appreciated since I will be making the switch this week and don't want to put myself OR Mr. Rich in another uncomfortable position since he has been pretty helpful.
    BTW properties I treat run from 2000 sq ft to 17 acres, with most in the 8-20K range and several 1+ acres.
  2. Tscape

    Tscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,370

    You are right about Tom. He is stand up. And "stand behind". He will help you big time. The Spyker is better than any I have ever used, as well.
  3. MrBarefoot

    MrBarefoot LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    TurfScape LLC:

    Do you operate in Oakland or Macomb counties?
  4. James Cormier

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

    Turfsufer, If you read my post you know my experince with PG's, You have some good questions, and I am looking forward to reply's

    The spyker spreader is the only thing thats holding me back from the zspray, My older centri ( pg ) has the spyker spreader and I was very dissapointed with it, coming from using lesco spreaders all my life.

    what opens the spreader on the zspray, cable or rod?
  5. TSM

    TSM LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 707

    We have had the same disapointments with the centri units by PG. the Spiker hoper and the cable system to open is a problem.

    We actually like the spread patern on the spiker( once we got used to it, like James we been using lesco spreaders for many years)

    I'd also be interested in knowing how the hopper opens/closes on the Z machine
    rod or cable?
  6. cemars

    cemars LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 387

    Do a search on the z-spray for some of my previous post on this subject. I get tired of saying it, but here it is again. The Z-Spray and the PG's are two diferrent catagories, toy vs. machine, headachs vs. happiness, un-informed vs. educated, 6-8 acre days vs. 12-15. Mark the day on your calander you trade in a PG for a Z-Spray. It will be one of the happiest days of your professional life.
  7. Tscape

    Tscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,370

    I am in Livingston and also serve Washtenaw County.
  8. Tscape

    Tscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,370

    The Z has a cable to open the Spyker hopper. It is right there on the dash (which is as nice as my Lincoln's). If it broke or malfunctioned, Tom would have the parts to you in 2 days and probably talk you through what needed to be done. I agree with cemars 100%.
  9. MrBarefoot

    MrBarefoot LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    We do not service the same areas, so we are not direct competitors.

    I would like to see the Z-spray in operation, if your agreeable with that I like to arrange something that makes it worth your while.

    You can email me directly if you like,
  10. greenerpastures

    greenerpastures LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160

    You will find quite a bit of info if you do a search for "z spray" restricted to this forum.

    But in summary, I bought a z last Nov. based on info received from Tom ---- having never seen one until it shipped to my shop. Its quality has honestly exceeded my expectation. All metal on the machine is stainless steel except for engine and chassis which is plastic-coated. The spray system is conventionally plumbed which allows me substitute different nozzles at will. On a good day I have applied almost two tons of fert and 250 gallons of spray solution.

    Nothing is perfect, but this machine is very good. The spyker hopper will not tolerate fertilizer with any moisture content. I have had two sets of spark plugs foul. The z has a low center of gravity which is more good than bad, but can cause problems traversing curbs or loose gravel. It will "wheelie" if the hopper is empty with tanks full while climbing if you are not careful. ---plenty of power.

    As mentioned above, it is in a different equipment class than the PG - as it pertains to weight, capacity, power, and of course price. I would definitely purchase another. While I have not operated a PG, I believe the z is a much better fit for an applicator whose accounts contain larger square footages.

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