It’s time for a head to head match up. The L.T. Rich Zspray Jr is the popular choice among lawn care pro’s lately. The challenger, in this match up, is the Permagreen Supreme Inc’s, Permagreen triumph. The Permagreen is the classic machine lawn care professionals rely on to get the job done. Today we put the two machines against each other in safety in operation.
Permagreen Supreme Triumph
We all know a lawn care professional that turned a Permagreen into a human catapult. The high-profile of the hopper resulted in not being able to ride a hill-side with a full hopper without worrying that you may take flight like some medieval projectile. This problem is becoming ubiquitous in our industry. It is most commonly a result of too much weight in the hopper and turning sharply on a hill.
Permagreen addressed this flipping problem with the release of the triumph. Notice the hopper is dramatically lower providing a low center of gravity. This design update makes the permagreen far safer than earlier models, but the stigma of a potential workman’s comp claim still plagues permagreen.
L.T. Rich Zspray
The z-spray has a wide broad frame making it incredibly stable going down a hill and i have never heard complaint of them rolling over.
There are two distinct problems with the L.T. rich machine. First, because it is rear wheel driven if you start to lose control, going down a hill, it you will be going for a ride straight to the bottom. It wont flip you over which is a relief but it is near impossible to steer the machine when sliding down a hill. It must be said, if you use the locking pedal for the front casters, the zspray can ride side to side on most hills without losing control. Also, trying to make turns facing up hill, keeping your hoppers weight above the rest of the machine.
The other, less reported but still unnerving, problem is the machine sometimes feels like it is going to flip backwards on a hill. When you have an empty or near empty hopper, bags in the saddle, and you attempt riding straight up a hill, even on a mild slope, the machine will lift up in the front. It is a scary feeling that will cause your heart to jump up into your throat. For if this machine were to flip backwards and land on a person it could be deadly. I have personally felt the machine stand up but never had it flip and i have never heard of another person back flipping a machine. Take this problem with a grain of salt, if you have a hundred pounds or more in the hopper the machine will not stand up and is well-balanced. With some time and experience you will develop a feel for how far you can push the machine without lifting the front casters up off the ground.
Which machine is safer?
So which machine proves safest for you and your employees. I hate to say it, but between the Permagreen Triumph and the L.T. Rich Zspray Jr, it is a draw. Both machines are a solid choice for safety. However in the permagreen line up this is only true for the triumph. All older models of Permagreens (and the even older Centris) are not safe on hill sides and will take even the best of us for a flight at some point.
With the safety of the newer machines not causing much differentiation between either brand, the L. T. Rich seems like a better buy if you are getting a new machine (the z-spray jr. and triumph are within a hundred dollars in price). If you are shopping the used market and find a great deal on a triumph don’t hesitate, it is also a valid buy that you can feel good about putting an employee on.