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What Would You Recommend?

clallen03

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Atlanta, GA
OK, heres were Im at.

My lawn maint company is doing fairly well. My customers are pretty much satisfied with the work I have been doing on their lawn. Now most of them are treated my TG CL or Scotts and the others are subded out to a company just south of me. The only reason they are being done by others is because I have never sprayed chemicals, I dont own a large sprayer (only a backpack), and I get little to no results with the granular post em. My clients are asking me to do it but I have been recommending the big guys or I sub it out.

Now heres the problem. The company that Im subing work out to has a certain area that they cover. His most northern limits touch my most southern limits, so he will only spray those accounts. Most of my clients are outside of his limits so I have to turn down the work or recommend the big guys.

Im seriously considering buying a tank so I can start spraying myself. Before you'll ask, I am licensed and I know I need to get my insurance.
I just dont have much experience spraying and Im going to need some help with liquids so i can get the ball rolling. I know the basics that we learned in class to get my license, but now hands on.

Where do you'll think I can start? Working for someone to get experience is not an option. How steep is the learning curve? What size tank would you recommend for about 20 accounts? Which sprayer would you recommend?

I know Im going to make mistakes, Im just trying to make a little mistakes as possible. Anything you can come up with will be helpful.

Thanks a bunch
 

RAlmaroad

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
SC
clallen03: One of the most important skills is learning to spray evenly. Mark off a piece of pavement that is 1000 sf. Begin with a gallon of liquid in your backback and set you nozzle to a droplet--not a fog nor a stream and learn how quickly that gallon goes and check for evenness. If you run out add another gallon. What your after is to learn to manage your water because your pesticides are rated #oz/1000 Then add some blue or orange color marker to the water and spray a vacant lot that you've marked to 1K. More than likely you will be using somewhere between 1-2 gallon to spray evenly. You should practice, practice, practice and begin wiith some round-up to kill weeds quickly so you'll have a quick survey of what you've done because most of the chems that you'll be using are a little slower than roundup to see any results. And finally begin your first yard as your own and use less than recommended ratio. Maybe some of the other guys can help out some. Then go to your Z-Spray or large tank application. Check out what's available before committing to buy.
 

indyturf

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Indy
You could check and see if the guy you have subbed out to would let you go out with him for a couple days. ask him any question you can think of and take notes. I would also lean toward a PG or Z-SPRAY . your going to be spending $3-4K for a spray set-up, it would only be a couple more for a PG Magnum. then you wouldn't have to mix the fertilizer and the liquid weed control is pretty easy to figure out.
 
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clallen03

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Atlanta, GA
Thanks for that info.

Im not going to use the backpack at all because it takes to long to spray a 1/4 lot with a backpack. I can probably use it for practice using water on my lawn. I'll do this just get a feel for it, but I think I need to do what you recommended with the tank that I buy so I can really get a feel for what im going to be using.

If I use a lower application rate will that cut down the chances of me burning up someones lawn? Take Three Way for example. Normal application during cooler weather is 1oz to the gallon. If I went 3/4oz to the gallon does that lessen the chance of serious damage. I know in hot weather I have to go with a lower rate right?
 
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clallen03

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Atlanta, GA
I have heard alot about these PGs or Z-Sprayers. What do they normally cost and how are they more cost efficient. I know the tanks on these are not that big so how will that help if Im spraying large lots or several lots in one day?

I hope these questions are not stupid because I know very little about this type of equipment. I spent several hours at the Lesco dealer today soaking up lots of info from them and customers that came in to purchase products. Lesco reps opinions are bias so I thought I might ask you'll to get a second opinion on this stuff.

Thanks
 

indyturf

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
Indy
New PG's are about $5500. They will save you time and effort. you will be able to do twice the volume and wont feel like you ran a marathon every day! the tank is 12 gal and will cover about 1 acre. I carry a 60 gallon nurse tank to refill and mix the herbicide as I go.
 
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clallen03

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Atlanta, GA
Most of my accounts are very small, 10k sqft of turf or less would you still recommend this unit or would a 200 gal tank and hose be a better idea for me?

These unit look like it would be very difficult to keep spray and/or granulars out of beds and off dirveways. Do you think the time saved by these unit will be sucked up by clean ups with blowers?

Just trying to get a better understanding of this piece of equipment.

Thanks
 

Shades of Green LService

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
New Jersey
Challen03
I would go with indy's advice and go w/ the permagreen. It is a great machine IMO and an investment that is well worth it. You can still use a backpack to hit the hard to reach areas and all the hot spots. This is my first full season w/ my PG and can't imagine doing an app with out it. Also, once you get used to using the deflector gaurd and third hole shut off, bed and DW run off is minimal. Good luck in your venture.

P.S I am also a full service company and do all the work myself. Thats the main reason i got one. I Get the equipment i need to grow my biz and still work solo.
-Jay
 

RAlmaroad

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
SC
Corrie: Probably sinking $5K+ is going to be a bit much for US Southern Guys. I like the PG and it is expensive. You may have the funds to get started right away. However, if you don't; Go to Tractors Supply or Northern Tools and check out their 25 Gallon tank sprayers. There under ATV Stuff. They have a 12V Pump, hose is way too short--you'll need to buy a 3/8" X 200' hose for them. If you're not overwhelmed with accounts--you'd be OK with these and less than $300 to get started. Your fertlizer could be done with a simple push spreader--again IF you only have about 25 accounts or so. In your 5-Shot accounts, Pre-EM--dry, fert-dry, weed herb--wet, fert,dry,weed/feed --dry/wet. See you need both--that's why the PG is good. Save your cash for a good machine in the future and not a cheapy. You probably have a GREAT MOWER to make working smarter--not harder. Good Luck
 

Shades of Green LService

LawnSite Bronze Member
Location
New Jersey
Forgot about JRCO, You could get their spreader that mounts to a ZTR and a 25 gal. sprayer like the previous post said and that will cost you around $1500 or so. Not a bad idea to help increase your work load.
-Jay
 
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