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Drop spreaders, who uses them?

Discussion in 'Ice Management' started by chris08087, Dec 13, 2003.

  1. chris08087

    chris08087 Junior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 27

    I was considering using drop spreaders for sidewalks. I have a big development where I need to clear and calcium the sidewalks, and I waste alot using broadcast spreaders. Who here uses drop spreaders, and what type do you use? How much did it cost, where did you buy it, and are you happy with it?

    thanks
    chris
     
  2. capital

    capital Senior Member
    Messages: 127

    We use buys Spreaders bought at a local tru value for $99............................we throw them away at the end of the season they will hold one bag only. For large lots we use lesco spreaders that hold two bags and they usually last about 2-3 years and then have to toss them. Also do keep in mind once u put calcium or salt through a fert spreader u can no longer use if for that purpose. IE the salt will ruin your fertilizer when you go to do a yard.
     
  3. chris08087

    chris08087 Junior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 27

    I can see how salt might effect the lawn you are trying to fertilize, but it is my understanding that a small amount of calcium will not harm plants. and I dont see why you could not thoroughly wash a spreader you used for salt and use it for fert. please let me know if i'm wrong, I dont want to damage any of my contracts.
     
  4. capital

    capital Senior Member
    Messages: 127

    the small amount of salt / calcium reacts to your fertilizer and causes it to not work properly..................and to be honest did not believe it til this spring when a fertilizer crew did use a salt spreader since their fertilizer spreaders had mysteriously broken on the first job of the day and decided not to tell me. They went back to shop and ran their route with ice spreaders, all of the lawns treated took on a yellow appearance within 10 days and had to be re treated at my cost and had to turn on their irrigation systems to flush the yards down .
     
  5. chris08087

    chris08087 Junior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 27

    could they have over fertilized and put down too much nitrogen? this does sound weird to me.
     
  6. alwaysgreen

    alwaysgreen Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    Chris,
    I have used my old broadcast spreaders for cal and fert, I just wash them down real good before the first fert job of the year.I also wash them several times during the winter, sounds like capitals guys never washed it out. But if your worried buy a cheap one at home depot and throw it away the scotts piece of junk is only $25.00 I've got 2 of them as back-ups (crew went to hydroseed job without spreader and had to buy them to keep working) and they must be several years old have been used in several snow storms and several seed/fert jobs without problem.
    I also have a big 48" wide drop spreader that I pull with the walker mower it's great for large jobs. Do you have to do the sidewalks in any of the wrinkle ranches (Adult communities) ? that would be great for there, I don't remember who makes but I think I've seen them in the Northern Catalog. any questions just call me I'm 5th the yellow pages under Landscape Contractors.
     
  7. capital

    capital Senior Member
    Messages: 127

    Dear Alwaysgreen,

    The spreaders in question were washed out and in storage.................the yellowing of a yard is not from over fertilizing in the spring but a lack their of usually. The problem of the salt and fertilizer spreaders not mixing was brought to our attention by Iowa State University after we had the soil checked.
     
  8. alwaysgreen

    alwaysgreen Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    Capital,
    I didn't say it was a lack of fert. chris did.
    But I've used my spreaders for both alot of times without a problem, I also suggested that chris buy cheap spreaders for salt but not to be afraid to use them as backup fert spreaders,then again what you use for cal and or fert could be different than what we use here and the chemical reaction could just be different, let alone the soil type here, we have a very acidic soil so the lime we run through the spreaders first my kill any chemical reaction that you have experienced.
     
  9. capital

    capital Senior Member
    Messages: 127

    Do u use a formular to determine how much lime to put down per square footage ?
     
  10. alwaysgreen

    alwaysgreen Junior Member
    Messages: 16

    yea 40lbs per thousand sq. ft, told you the soil has very low ph
     
  11. chris08087

    chris08087 Junior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 27

    Capital, I dont want to have a debate, just offer another possible explanation: If the soil test you received indicated that the salt levels in the soil was the main thing effecting the turf, do you think the salt could have possibly come from some source other than your contaminated spreaders? I am thinking that whoever spread de-icer on the road/sidewalks during the winter may have unintentionally spread salt onto the grass. Then, when the ground thawed in the spring, the salt made its way into the soil and de-hydrated the plants. If there were any trace amounts of deicer left in the spreaders, I personally find it hard to beleive that little bit could cause a great deal of damage, and your post: "all of the lawns treated took on a yellow appearance within 10 days " makes it sound as if a lot of damage was done. Do you have other evidence that makes you belive that the spreaders caused the damage?
     
  12. capital

    capital Senior Member
    Messages: 127

    The test results were from 3 properties.................one of which we plowed and used de icing material and the other two were houses that we did not do snow removal at so think it was our spreaders becoming mixed upl Here in Des Moines we use alot of calcium mixed with Mag due to lower temps after it snows. We do use alot of Brine before it snows but this is applied directly to the street areas of complexes and drive lanes.
     
  13. hardscaper

    hardscaper Member
    from usa
    Messages: 44