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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I do general pest control and some weed control and fertilization. Most of my lawns are around 5k sq ft, some in the 10-16 sq ft range, and one that's 3/4 acre (legit 3/4 ac of grass, not 3/4 ac lot with a huge drive and 5000 sq ft house). I've decided to get a ride on spreader/sprayer to increase productivity. I'm pretty sure a rackable one is the way to go for me rather than pulling a trailer. I've narrowed it down to the Z-Spray LTS or the Turfco T3100. What do y'all think?
 

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It’s really all gonna be preference and what you like. I’d demo both. How is servicing for turfco? Got a good exmark dealer close by.
 
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the Zspray is probably the better machine in terms of easy adjustments, and being the most maneuverable in theory. if My average lawn was 15-18,000 sq feet or larger - the Z would be the way to go.

the first reason, is the zspray is heavy when it is full of product. It is not balanced like a lawn mower, and is way easier to spin the tires or cause turf ruts. Yes a good operator can do their best to operate it cleanly… but the point is that you have to try and concentrate on not leaving ruts on a wet day. Just because you can operate a ZTR mower, does not mean that the Zspray behavior is the same. We demoed the turfco for 10 days, we even tried to leave ruts or spin the tires… it simply will not do it. I would be clear, I do blame our operator for the ruts, but it is more prone then a mower, it’s heavier and more likely to sink, and the turfco does not, even if you try

the z spray has a lot of “controls” going on. While it’s really not more than any other, the placement of the spreader/sprayer controls in combination of the steering control levers that require 2 hands is adaptable, but it’s still a lot of hand movement which shows it’s difficulty in small areas where starting, stopping, and turning all happens often and quickly. On the turfco, your feet and single handed steering allow for one hand to be totally free.

3rd reason is transportation, the turfco can be put on a carrier, the zspray can not. Additionally, the zspray takes up more room on the trailer. We tried to load the zspray along with 2 stinger aerators (walk and ride on) on a 12 foot trailer and they don’t fit.

4th. I don’t know how well the turfco will hold up, but I can say the zspray certainly has a lot of components to get beat up and go bad. Again this is my operator not being careful, but non the less there is a lot going on with the zspray. The boom hangs off the front and is easy to bash into something. The pump is bolted to the top of the tank and east for a tree branch to hit. The parking brake is a constant adjustment. Again, I’m blaming my operator, I’m not saying the zspray is bad….. but I am also not impressed either. This is enough for me to consider trying a different unit to see if it would hold up better.

Last is a combination of all of the above, and that is hiring any new employee, the training period is probably half that of the zspray. It will not require a Superman type operator. It will provide our customers with a more consistent result even if the operator isn’t the best.

My only other comment.

many guys have proven that lawns under 7,000 sq feet should be walked. Your not saving any time, you might even cost yourself more time. I too thought I could save time by switching to a stand on sprayer. I learned that there is a reason that the big boys in chemical have their lawns walked. If you only have a handful of lawns over 10,000 Sq feet, then it does not make financial sense to by a ride on machine of any type.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Feed back

the Zspray is probably the better machine in terms of easy adjustments, and being the most maneuverable in theory. if My average lawn was 15-18,000 sq feet or larger - the Z would be the way to go.

the first reason, is the zspray is heavy when it is full of product. It is not balanced like a lawn mower, and is way easier to spin the tires or cause turf ruts. Yes a good operator can do their best to operate it cleanly… but the point is that you have to try and concentrate on not leaving ruts on a wet day. Just because you can operate a ZTR mower, does not mean that the Zspray behavior is the same. We demoed the turfco for 10 days, we even tried to leave ruts or spin the tires… it simply will not do it. I would be clear, I do blame our operator for the ruts, but it is more prone then a mower, it’s heavier and more likely to sink, and the turfco does not, even if you try

the z spray has a lot of “controls” going on. While it’s really not more than any other, the placement of the spreader/sprayer controls in combination of the steering control levers that require 2 hands is adaptable, but it’s still a lot of hand movement which shows it’s difficulty in small areas where starting, stopping, and turning all happens often and quickly. On the turfco, your feet and single handed steering allow for one hand to be totally free.

3rd reason is transportation, the turfco can be put on a carrier, the zspray can not. Additionally, the zspray takes up more room on the trailer. We tried to load the zspray along with 2 stinger aerators (walk and ride on) on a 12 foot trailer and they don’t fit.

4th. I don’t know how well the turfco will hold up, but I can say the zspray certainly has a lot of components to get beat up and go bad. Again this is my operator not being careful, but non the less there is a lot going on with the zspray. The boom hangs off the front and is easy to bash into something. The pump is bolted to the top of the tank and east for a tree branch to hit. The parking brake is a constant adjustment. Again, I’m blaming my operator, I’m not saying the zspray is bad….. but I am also not impressed either. This is enough for me to consider trying a different unit to see if it would hold up better.

Last is a combination of all of the above, and that is hiring any new employee, the training period is probably half that of the zspray. It will not require a Superman type operator. It will provide our customers with a more consistent result even if the operator isn’t the best.

My only other comment.

many guys have proven that lawns under 7,000 sq feet should be walked. Your not saving any time, you might even cost yourself more time. I too thought I could save time by switching to a stand on sprayer. I learned that there is a reason that the big boys in chemical have their lawns walked. If you only have a handful of lawns over 10,000 Sq feet, then it does not make financial sense to by a ride on machine of any type.
Thanks Grass Man. I appreciate the great information. Your last statement is helpful. That's been the sticking point for me over the past two years, does it make sense financially. I was at the point of getting out of lawns all together or not renewing lawns over 5K after the first of the year. The big lawns slow me down so much, they are exhausting, and the margins are thinner. I think all my large lawns are well suited for a ride on sprayer -- not a lot of turns and obstructions. Lawns with wide open squares and rectangles instead of meandering beds, trees and other obstruction in the way, is that the problem? The machine can go faster than walking as long as the lawn is wide open.
I figure loading and unloading the machine takes about the same amount of time as dragging and rolling up a hose. Mixing the tank once vs refilling -- refilling is much more time consuming. Applying fertilizer and spraying at the same time is a time saver vs pushing a spreader, then blanket spraying, but that's once or twice a year. Is that about the extent of it?
 

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Thanks Grass Man. I appreciate the great information. Your last statement is helpful. That's been the sticking point for me over the past two years, does it make sense financially. I was at the point of getting out of lawns all together or not renewing lawns over 5K after the first of the year. The big lawns slow me down so much, they are exhausting, and the margins are thinner. I think all my large lawns are well suited for a ride on sprayer -- not a lot of turns and obstructions. Lawns with wide open squares and rectangles instead of meandering beds, trees and other obstruction in the way, is that the problem? The machine can go faster than walking as long as the lawn is wide open.
I figure loading and unloading the machine takes about the same amount of time as dragging and rolling up a hose. Mixing the tank once vs refilling -- refilling is much more time consuming. Applying fertilizer and spraying at the same time is a time saver vs pushing a spreader, then blanket spraying, but that's once or twice a year. Is that about the extent of it?
I would have to ask my tech, But trying to spread and spray at the same time, out of any machine is probably more difficult than it sounds. To do a quality job anyways.

your turns will be slower on a machine than walking. That’s why the smaller properties are better done by hand.

pulling a hose and putting fert and weed in the tank is the way to go.
 
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