Pushing a spreader and dragging a spray hose may soon be distant memories for lawn care operators. That’s because more LCOs are embracing ride-on spreader/sprayer machines as technology for the equipment advances. “It’s an extremely active area of the marketplace,” says George Kinkead, president of Turfco, which makes the T3100 spreader/sprayer in Blaine, Minn. “There’s been a giant jump in technology.” Three major market forces are causing the surge in tech. The first is the need to increase productivity. With ride-on machines, LCOs can spread and spray at the same time. “You’re able to get two applications done at once,” says Dan Shiplov, a new product consultant at PermaGreen. Applications get done faster and require only one employee instead of perhaps two or three. “They get more production done out of these applicators because the machines are getting more work done,” Shiplov says. As such, manufacturers are developing ride-ons that are quicker and more powerful. Z-Spray machines by L.T. Rich Products (acquired by Toro in 2018), for instance, run up to 8 miles per hour. High-capacity liquid tanks mean LCOs can cover more ground without refilling. Lebanon, Indiana-based St...