Selecting the right spreader for a fertilizer or seed application isn’t that complicated. But avoiding some common misperceptions can help ensure you get the right machine for the job.
How big of a hopper do you need? This is one of the most common misunderstandings when buying a lawn spreader. 50-pound hopper for a 50-pound bag of fertilizer, right? Wrong! 50-pound spreaders have a high risk of spill since a full bag of product goes right to the top. They are light-duty units definitely not fit for the landscaper who uses them on a regular basis. 100-pound spreaders on the other hand, are difficult to push when full at a consistent pace necessary to achieve uniform results. A 70-pound spreader is the ideal size when using 50-pound bags. Not only do you avoid spillage, but you can refill product before it gets all the way to the bottom.
Most commercial lawn spreaders come in either stainless steel or epoxy powder coated plastic. The biggest concern for landscape professionals regarding spreaders is rust on the frame, caused by failures to wash off abrasive materials and store inside away from the elements. And while more expensive, the stainless steel spreader will withstand rust better than other material, which means it will last longer and give you a better return on investment. Durable pneumatic tires are also important; lower quality tires can create a choppy ride and ultimately an uneven application.
Having a quality spreader with multiple attachments will can help you better manage how much product goes out on each application, lowering your cost of goods and improving profitability. Side-deflectors deliver a targeted, accurate spread and prevent material from landing on sidewalks, driveways and streets. This eliminates product waste and ultimately saves you money. Another helpful attachment is a hopper cover, which protects material from rain or snow during application and reduces the risk of a spill.
Don’t Forget to Calibrate!
Calibrating your spreader for every application is the only way to ensure you are applying fertilizer and pesticides at the correct rate, also reducing your overall cost of goods. If you do not calibrate you risk applying too much or too little product, risking serious injury to your turf or disappointing results. Calibrating your spreader is easy to do and normally takes about 5 minutes. To learn more on calibrating your fertilizer, watch our “how to” video here.
Want to learn more about the spreaders available at your local Horizon? Call your local Horizon store, or click for an overview on the new Prizelawn Spreader selection.