Bowie Hydro-Mulcher®
compared to TurfMaker

TurfMaker® offers hydraulically driven or mechanically driven hydro-mulchers. There are advantages and disadvantages with either system. Hydraulics costs more but provide some operational advantages. Mechanically driven machines are easier to repair.


Similarities – TurfMaker® to Bowie Hydro-mulcher® – Mechanical Drive

The most important similarity is that both hydro-mulchers have very powerful agitation systems and can be loaded quickly.  Both machines will pump very thick slurries through long hoses with the standard gear pump. It is fact that 41 tank loads containing 4,920 lbs of Conwed 2000 wood fiber mulch with tackifier was applied in a 10 hour work day with a Bowie 370 gallon machine in 1974. This model of Bowie machine is no longer in production but similar larger Bowie machines are currently being built. The TurfMaker® 390 has the same or slightly more capability than that of the Bowie 370 and may do slightly better. The TurfMaker® 390 can be purchased for under $10,000.

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Differences – TurfMaker® to Bowie-Hydro-mulcher® – Mechanical Drive

The most significant difference is the ease or difficulty of cleaning the hydroseeder at the end of the work day. Spending an extra 15 or 20 minutes each work day cleaning a Bowie hydro-mulcher adds up to significant labor expense over time. TurfMaker® Hydroseeder tanks are designed in such a way that there is no gusseting inside the tank. Bowie Hydro-Mulchers machines have places inside the tank where mulch seems to get hung. It is sometimes necessary for a person to climb down inside the machine to get the roof of the tank clean. This can be dangerous.

A second difference is that TurfMaker® mechanically driven hydroseeders actually don’t have conventional clutches. The pump and the agitator are both engaged with a belt tensioning system. This system is common in the commercial lawnmower industry and has been shown over time to be durable and reliable. It is very simple.

A third difference is that there are no exposed chains on TurfMaker® mechanical machines. Exposed chains are subject to the elements and deteriorate. This is not a significant problem on a Bowie Hydromulcher if the operator will simply replace the chains annually. The cost of this maintenance is not significant and will add years of service to the sprockets.

Note that such maintenance is not necessary on a TurfMaker®.

There are other minor differences but those differences are inconsequential.


Hydraulically Driven TurfMaker® Hydroseeders

Hydraulically driven TurfMakers® operate almost identically to mechanically driven models. The most significant advantage of a hydraulically driven TurfMaker is the ability to reverse the pump.  Reversing the pump provides an almost magic solution to clogging. This function is very nice to have.

turfmaker tank

Inside a Deck and Railing Model TurfMaker

turfmaker tank jet agitation

Inside a Low Profile Model TurfMaker

finn tank rust

Inside a Tank - Competitor A

dirty bowie hydro-mulcher tank

Inside a Tank - Competitor B

clogged bowie hydro-mulcher tank

Inside a Tank - Competitor B

clogged bowie hydro-mulcher tank

Inside a Tank - Competitor B