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I was introduced to the "sulky-style" ride-on lawn spreader sprayers as a
new employee of a tree and lawn care company. When my supervisor
showed me the new machine - a Permagreen Magnum - my initial thoughts
were, "you really want me to ride around on that silly contraption and
you paid how much?"
Well...I was used to large boom sprayers, three-point hitch style fertilizer spreaders, dragging a hose from a 1000 gallon tank and push spreading smaller sites. I made fun of the "lazy" lawn techs cruising around on self-propelled spreaders (like the Lesco HPS). No way did I wanted to be stuck using that piece of junk - how much can you spray with a 12 gallon tank anyway?
I skeptically took the spreader sprayer for a test ride around the shop. Taking a few minutes to get used to maneuvering the unit and operating the controls - I have to admit - it was fun and easy to use and now I wanted to see what it could do out in the field.
After a week of spraying weeds and fertilizing athletic fields, private school grounds, commercial properties and small residential lawns - I was impressed with the Permagreen's capabilities - large areas were quickly fertilized and sprayed with little effort. The flexibility of spreading fertilizer while spot spraying weeds was nice.
To answer my question - the 12 gallon tank on these units can be set up to cover 48,000 sq. ft. The weed control was as good as what you can get from a high volume sprayer. Best of all, I wasn't worn out at the end of a long day from dragging a hose or pushing a spreader. It didn't take me long to become a fan of stand-on lawn spreader sprayers.
The whole set-up was slick. We used a hitch mounted carrier to haul the unit instead of a trailer. Extra water was carried in a 100 gallon tank in the back of the pickup. A gravity fed hose was used to fill the sprayer tank and 100 gallons was usually enough for a days work. Loading, unloading and mixing was quick and easy.
These units are perfect for lawn care companies that do a high volume of fertilizing and weed control and want to increase efficiency. Employees will be happier because their back won't be hurting at the end of the day and they will get more done. Ride-on spreader sprayers are much more efficient than driving around with a 1,000 gallon tank and pulling a hose. They are also perceived by the public as being 'environmentally friendly' when compared to a truck with hoses and tanks filled with chemicals.
Solo operators wanting to grow their business will find spreader sprayers give them the ability to take on larger properties - without taking on extra trucks and trailers.
Creative Landscapes & Lawn Care in Chambersburg, PA specializes in lawn treatments. They apply fertilizer and weed control to several acres annually. Eldon Ocker (owner/operator) recently added a Ground Logic Pathfinder to his equipment inventory. I asked Eldon what he thought about his new lawn spreader sprayer after using it for a season:
Are you happy with your new sprayer?
"I really like it! I bought it last summer and only have 50 hours on it so far. I can cover a lot of ground with it and don't go home exhausted from all that walking. Overall, I'm very happy with it."
Why did you choose a Ground Logic?
"I was considering a Turfco sprayer, but just wasn't sure I wanted to spend another $2,500 so I went with the Path Finder from Ground Logic, it is all stainless so there are no worries about chemicals corroding the frame."
How well does the Pathfinder handle on different types of terrain?
"It is great on the flats and slight slopes, but struggles on slopes. I've really had to fight it on the slopes, it frequently spins out and I have had to push it up the slopes. But, like I said, you can really cover some ground on flats and slight slopes."
"I also have a golf cart I use when I have large lots to cover, it is rigged with a 25 gallon tank and 12 foot booms. I really like the golf cart setup, I've had it five seasons now, but some lawns you just can't do with either of them, you have to walk them (meaning hand-held or backpack sprayer and push spreader)."
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