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Bermudagrass, 3.75 acres, Arkansas
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Last year I sold my 50lb Lesco broadcast spreader. It was built like a tank and held a bag of anything I ever put in it, but much like a gun safe it's never a bad idea to buy one a size larger than you think you might need. In my case I had decided I really wanted a Gregson-Clark Spreader-Mate, and it requires the larger hopper. The 80lb Lesco is built nearly identical to the 50lb, just a little beefier in nearly every aspect. Also the frame is stainless steel versus painted.







I opted for the Spreader-Mate A model - mostly due to the size and shape of my lawn. It was a tough decision, but I ultimately decided I probably didn't need to spend an extra $260 to get the 80" effective spray width of the B (boom) model for my situation.

The A-model comes equipped with a single FloodJet-style sprayer tip in an articulating nozzle body, but I decided to retrofit it with some nice TeeJet components à la the dfw_wand. I ordered one of these check valve nozzle bodies and one of these clamps to hold it on the front frame tube of the Lesco. It now accepts any of my growing collection of TeeJet tips, strainers, etc.

I may end up adding a second nozzle this season, and I'll report back if I do, but I'm pretty pleased with this setup so far. It makes blanket apps like pre-emergent, growth regulator, and wetting agents a breeze.



 

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Bermudagrass, 3.75 acres, Arkansas
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I decided to add a second nozzle. I clamped a piece of 1" stainless steel tubing to the Lesco frame and added the necessary plumbing (tee, hose, clamps, and nozzle body). This setup should allow me to make my passes with about 20" between wheel marks.

See parts list here.

The best answer is probably the 4-nozzle boom setup direct from Gregson-Clark, but I still feel like that configuration might be overkill for my lawn - about 7,000 ft2 of push-sprayable grass with some narrow corridors.



 

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Tifgrand—7,500 sq/ft—Baroness LM56
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Great upgrade Ware!! I think you are really going to like that additional nozzle on there as it should cut your spraying time in half and keep your maneuverability where you like it. It's so much easier to spray when you don't have a ground driven pump like on the Earthway S15.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Mightyquinn said:
...It's so much easier to spray when you don't have a ground driven pump like on the Earthway S15.
Amen. The Earthway S15 served me well, but having a rig with an electric pump makes things so much easier. My biggest complaints with the S15 were:

1) The ground drive pump. It's a neat idea, an economical solution, and does exactly what it is designed to do - but with that comes some limitations. It requires traction. Any skip or pause in the drive wheel motion results in a skip or pause in the spray stream. I found this particularly annoying when I hit the inevitable bump or dip in the lawn. The ground drive pump also creates a fair amount of pushing resistance - it's not as easy as pushing a broadcast spreader.

2) The spray pattern. The Earthway uses FloodJet-style nozzles at an unknown operating pressure, so you essentially have no control over droplet size when spraying different products (i.e. contact vs. systemic).​

But again, the Earthway S15 pretty much does what they say it will do. For the average homeowner who doesn't want to mess with pumping a backpack sprayer, it's a viable solution. That said, if it's just the pumping you're trying to avoid, I would look closely at the 20V Chapin Backpack Sprayer. With it you would be able to address complaint #2 above by swapping nozzles.

When I bought my S15 it was roughly half the price of a Spreader-Mate A, so it's probably not fair to compare the two. I would say I got what I paid for in both instances. In hindsight though, it's another good example of 'buy once - cry once'.
 

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Ware said:
Mightyquinn said:
...It's so much easier to spray when you don't have a ground driven pump like on the Earthway S15.
Amen. The Earthway S15 served me well, but having a rig with an electric pump makes things so much easier.
I would say I got what I paid for in both instances. In hindsight though, it's another good example of 'buy once - cry once'.
And I was just starting to think that the Earthway S15 or S25 would be good options for me. Ha. I currently have a Chapin 2gal pump which has worked well. My main goals for a sprayer would be ease of use(pump and capacity) and making sure I was getting even coverage. That is why I was possibly looking to upgrade. I am planning on using Primo for the first time this year so even coverage would be most important. I just got some tracker dye delivered today so we will see if that helps with the even coverage when I blanket spray Celsius or I'll be back asking more questions on the Earthways.
I don't want to high jack the thread so I may start a new one.
BTW, the Spreader-mate and Franken-sprayer look sweet!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
SGrabs33 said:
And I was just starting to think that the Earthway S15 or S25 would be good options for me. Ha. I currently have a Chapin 2gal pump which has worked well. My main goals for a sprayer would be ease of use(pump and capacity) and making sure I was getting even coverage. That is why I was possibly looking to upgrade. I am planning on using Primo for the first time this year so even coverage would be most important. I just got some tracker dye delivered today so we will see if that helps with the even coverage when I blanket spray Celsius or I'll be back asking more questions on the Earthways.
I don't want to high jack the thread so I may start a new one.
BTW, the Spreader-mate and Franken-sprayer look sweet!
I hate to sound like I'm trying to talk you out of an Earthway, but looking at the slope of your front yard in this post (step 4), I think it would be a challenge. Mine worked pretty well on level ground, but it was a frustrating experience on even a slight slope when the liquid weight in the tank shifted off of the wheel that contains the drive gears for the pump. No traction = no spray. :cry:

I mentioned that 20V Chapin backpack sprayer in my last post. If you don't mind carrying 4 gallons on your back, I think it may be the ticket. I know Redtenchu uses one on his lawn. Maybe he will come along and do a review of it. :D

And just so it doesn't sound like I'm picking on the Earthway, I don't think the Spreader-Mate would work well on that slope either. The large spreaders like my 80lb Lesco have a high center of gravity. For reference, my nozzle bodies are mounted about 20" off the ground - and most of the liquid weight is above that.
 

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Ware

What happened to your Franken sprayer earthway invention that I saw you created on that other site? I book marked that thread so I could create one myself. If your off it and found/created something better then I'm off it as well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
wardconnor said:
Ware

What happened to your Franken sprayer earthway invention that I saw you created on that other site? I book marked that thread so I could create one myself. If your off it and found/created something better then I'm off it as well.
I retired it when I stepped up to the Spreader-Mate. It worked, and improved some of the things I didn't like about the S15, but it still had some limitations. The battery operated pump was a huge improvement, but nozzle placement/selection was still a lingering issue. TeeJet nozzle performance is based on a nozzle height of 20 inches (for most of their nozzles). The S15 nozzle body is much lower than that, so they rely on a FloodJet style tip to produce an adequate pattern. It works, but it really limits your options for controlling droplet size when spraying different product types.

So if I was buying today and the budget allowed it, I would say it is hard to beat this Gregson-Clark Spreader-Mate. There is also the "roll your own" option like MQ did (see above). For a more budget-friendly option, I would look very closely at the Chapin 97900 24V Push Sprayer. It was just released, so it may be difficult to find one for a while, but it looks like it solves all the things I didn't like about the S15 - and it's cheaper! :thumbup:
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Mightyquinn said:
...Also thinking of trying to add a baffle of some sort to keep the liquid from sloshing around when it's almost empty.
The Spreader-Mate has a pretty nice sump molded into the tank:

 

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Tifgrand—7,500 sq/ft—Baroness LM56
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Ware said:
Mightyquinn said:
...Also thinking of trying to add a baffle of some sort to keep the liquid from sloshing around when it's almost empty.
The Spreader-Mate has a pretty nice sump molded into the tank:

That is a nice advantage to having that! Mine has a sump also in the middle of it but when I have it in the spreader it sits canted forward so the sump doesn't really help. Thinking of putting a "Tee fitting" on the end of the pick up hose to suck from both sides of the tank. We'll see how that works out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
This is what the sump looks like on the inside. One hose is pump suction. The other is the return from the pressure relief valve.

 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
The Spreader-Mate has a 3gpm pump. Just to give you an idea, red TeeJet nozzles are designed to flow 0.40gpm at 40psi - so 4 nozzles would flow 1.6gpm at 40psi. The other 1.4gpm from the 3gpm positive displacement pump is diverted back into the tank, and serves as an agitator for the tank mix. But like J-nick said, a 2gpm pump would theoretically work if you are running 4 red nozzles at 40psi. :thumbup:
 
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