It is no secret that an individual can enter the lawncare or lawn application business with a very low initial investment. The potential to get started with a retail spreader and a backpack sprayer or two is there. The problem becomes repeating and scaling that business.
The obvious next step is adding professional spreaders to the fleet. These spreaders will be able to handle the weight better, while making it easier to push across rougher terrain. Professional spreaders also will deliver products more accurately for better applications. This is a good start.
The issue here comes as operator fatigue. Most applicators will not be able to push a spreader at the same speed for the entire day. Additionally, slopes and embankments will affect ground speed, which also will alter spread pattern and increase the probability for over/under application, skips, excessive overlaps and just plain poor spread patterns.
Though professional spreaders are very important tools in the trade, to provide a professional service, it is time to consider a different option.
Ride-on or motorized spreader-sprayers have become the industry go-to for optimizing efficiency and making short work of long fertilizer routes.
Have you ever push-spread a 1-acre property? First consider that many products are applied at the 4 pounds per 1000 square foot rate which means roughly 200 pounds per acre. That’s a lot of extra walking back and forth to fill the hopper.
Secondly, based on a walking speed with the spreader is about 242 feet per minute. This figure doesn’t take into account for slopes, rougher terrain and tree roots, and there are always tree roots. Using the figure above and incorporating 6-foot pass width, the average person can spread 1 acre in approximately 29 minutes. That is nearly a half-hour of just pushing the spreader.
How many of these properties can the average tech be expected to treat in a day? Using the same data, it would take just under 7 minutes to spread 10,000 square feet. This does not even account for liquid sprayable applications yet.
Spray applications are another animal in and of themselves. The average applicator spraying a lawn walks at 176 feet per minute, also treating a 6-foot swath. Again, using these figures, it would take an operator 41 minutes to spray 1 acre and just under 10 minutes to spray 10,000 square feet. This is using a tank sprayer with a hose and gun, and of course provided there are no obstructions and previously mentioned … trees.
Now for the answer. According to Permagreen, its TriumphÒ ride-on spreader-sprayer can crank out much more production in a fraction of the time without breaking a sweat. In one trip, a technician can spread or spray 10,000 square feet in 3.2 minutes or 1 acre in 14 minutes.
Just the improved actual application speed is tough to argue, not to mention the fill and refill time. The hopper holds 150 pounds of granular material, reducing stop and refill times, and each tank will cover up to 48,000 square feet. Because it has low-volume spraying capabilities, less water is used, squeezing refill times greatly as the tank carries only 12 gallons.
Additional Benefits of Ride-On Equipment
With this type of production and efficiency, it is easy to imagine being able to grow a lawn application business exponentially in a short amount of time. There are other benefits of having one piece of equipment that will perform two application processes as well.
These machines can spray herbicides, preemergents, insecticides and fungicides with ease, allowing for greater business expansion. They also can ease the labor issue that many face on a daily basis. Ride-on spreader-sprayers reduce the physical wear and tear of pushing a spreader all day long for better worker retention.
Lean on Ewing for Business and Turf-Care Solutions
For a limited time, Ewing can help you get started—we are currently offering the inclusion of select products to new Permagreen purchases in select markets. These are not mix and match, the buyer must select one.
- 8 quarts Q4 Plus
- 2 gallons Q4 Plus
- 2 gallons Speedzone Southern EW
- 2 gallons Speedzone
Contact your Ewing representative to discuss how we can help build your business.
As always, feel free to contact myself or Pat Gross, Ewing’s Tech Team with your turf-care questions. Email me at email@example.com or call/text 480-669-8791. Email Pat at firstname.lastname@example.org or call/text 714-321-6101.