View Full Version : aerator wars which is best for...

01-26-2006, 11:11 PM
I am opening this year as a part timer and moving into full time by next year. I am going to do mainly residential lawns avg 5000 sq feet. I now think I need to buy an aerator rather than rent. Which machine is better between the bluebird 530, ryan 544908 or the 19 inch lesco unit. They all weigh in around $2400 or so. What other units are out there and maybe a little cheaper but still reliable.
thanks for your comments

01-26-2006, 11:19 PM
We use Ryan lawnaire IV. I do think the Bluebird is a pretty closly designed machine. :)

01-27-2006, 12:19 AM
If you call and talk to Jerry at Horizon he will give you a pretty good deal on a classen split drive, I think mine was only $1700. I absolutly love mine (although I have never used another brand for more than a couple minutes) and I can do 12-15/day without wearing myself out. If you want to try mine just give me a call and I'll let you try it out.

01-27-2006, 12:20 AM
I have a plugr 600 commercial! Awsome aerator i got the 5.5 Honda motor and it hardly uses any fuel! I got about 70 1/4 acre lots to plug this spring.
might start in feb. if the weather holds up. Go to plugr.com great piece of equipment! Mine was 2800 didnt take long to make the money back.Its the cam driven aerator very solid and easy to maintain.Let me know what u decide???

01-27-2006, 12:28 AM
How do you know you can get a lot of yards to aerate? I would rent this year to make sure you can get the number of yards to justify buying one.

LCO Rule - Always rent seldom used big ticket items until you can justify buying one. Don't let your emotions take over when your running a business. Make sound business decisions or you will have cash flow problems.

Duck Dodger
01-27-2006, 12:53 AM
I would try and line up the work for one week rent an aerator for that week and let rental shop worry about paying for it the other 51 weeks. It feels good to look in your shop and see your own equipment but it feels better to look at your bank account and think how you used your brain to put some of that green in there.

01-27-2006, 12:59 AM
If you call and talk to Jerry at Horizon he will give you a pretty good deal on a classen split drive, I think mine was only $1700. I absolutly love mine (although I have never used another brand for more than a couple minutes) and I can do 12-15/day without wearing myself out. If you want to try mine just give me a call and I'll let you try it out.

I agree, the split-drive walk-behind has to be the best, and I also like Classen thou mine is a solid axle and this wears me out... It takes everything I got to turn that machine, I can do 3-4 yards, maybe 5 and I am done.

For the reasons the walk-behind is superior to the pull-behinds... Yes, it's considerably harder to operate a walk-behind than a pull-behind: This is likely the reason those who use a pull-behind say the pull-behind is better, but I disagree:
- This is one situation where hard work pays off, the pull-behind is the lazy way out of doing it right.
- The walk-behind's weight is far heavier than the pull-behind: The 5hp Honda motor and a heavy, gear-driven transmission, chain and axle (nevermind the frame) far outweigh cement bricks: A classen ta-24 weighs around 200 pounds, a brick maybe 10 pounds: You can not fit enough bricks on top of a pull-behind to come even close to the weight of the walk-behind.
- The walk-behind's gear-driven splined axle power-crawls as the tines propel the machine they literally entrench themselves with the effort. With the pull-behind, it simply gets dragged along, the pull-behinds splined axle is a come along and even with the geared axle pull-behinds, the tines fail to truly dig themselves into the turf because there is no propulsion purpose for the tines on a pull-behind.

Time and again, the walk-behind pulls better plugs.
Get a split-drive axle to save your tail, the next one I buy will have it!

6'7 330
01-27-2006, 02:10 AM
The Ryan Lawnaire IV and V are tough machine's,they have the capability of being a productive machine for years and years.We have a couple LA IV'S that are 10 years old,still chugging and plugging along.You replace a chain or a belt,or Tyne's every so often.The downside of this machine is especially on small turf areas, operator fatigue for our workers after a 10 year day.

01-27-2006, 08:42 AM
i have a iv that i use on my golf course....just seems a litte slow..the unit actually could be a little older, im not sure. i have been looking at and am probably going to buy a new lawnaire 28...has anyone tried one?
i am a big fan of the straight up and down action of these units as i feel the drive the spike into the ground more so that the "wheel" motion provided by others....although i have only used this type once when i rented....
any comments and results on either would greatly be appreciated.
the lawnaire 28 i can get for 5k...i know thats a little high compared to the cost of the others but i know how reliable and durable they are.

Turfco Tim
01-27-2006, 12:14 PM
You are going in the right direction in your choice of aerators. If the lawns are on average under 7,000 sq./ft. you want a smaller aerator. They are much easier to manuever on smaller lawns.
Turfco builds two aerators in that class. The Aerator 20 is a traditional style aerator priced at $2,265.00 plus freight (about $140.00). For more production and less labor we offer the steerable TurnAer4. It allows you to turn the aerator with the tines in the ground. If you want to turn left you simply squeeze the left brake trigger and vice-versa for right. No lifting and lowering through turns! It is a little pricier than traditional aerators at $3,095 plus freight but you will quickly make up the difference with the productivity.
We also offer the "Chariot", a sulky unit that attaches to the TurnAer. This allows you to use the same aerator on larger properties without walking. The Chariot is $300 plus freight.
Turfco also offers marketing materials to help you sell your services. This will insure that you get those lawns to aerate after you make the commitment to purchase a unit.
We are a family owned manufacturer in Minnesota which thrives on great service. We have been building turf renovation equipment for over 50 years. We have a two year warranty and stand behind it.
You can contact us at 1-800-679-8201. Our website is turfco.com.
Try us out.
Tim Gray

01-27-2006, 02:49 PM
If I were you, I wouldn't consider getting a small aerator as a first purchase. My personal favorite is the 26" classen split-drive. The 19" is too small; it will take you twice as long, believe me, plus it doesn't pull the greatest plugs on dry soil. I used to work for a company that had both. The only reason we used the 19" was for town houses and small lots that a had a small fence gate. I've even taken the 26" before, taken the weight bar out and rolled it over on its side to fit it into narrow fence gates to save time (didn't want to use the 19"). If you have ever used a split-drive machine on lawns with lots of curves, you will never want to go back to a straight drive machine.

I haven't used a cam driven aerator before, but I'm considering getting one. I would think you should look into one of those if you are doing smaller lots.

01-27-2006, 03:07 PM
has any one though about the Turfco direct areaters? I hade a chance to demo tham at the GIE expo. looked like nice well built units....I am lookingto get rid of my ryan. Its getting old, and just beats the guys up pretty bad...

01-31-2006, 12:14 PM
DaPozer...If you are new to the biz and do not have a lot of accounts...Rent aerators for the first year to get a feel for the biz..Sell a bunch of aerations rent the machine and feel it out...

When you have a feel for it and are ready to buy look carefully...I have been in this biz for over 30 years and have used them all...Designs did not change for 30 years till the past 5 yrs. Finally aerators are starting to get easier to use. Split drive units are available now that were not around 30 yrs ago. Ryan, bluebird, classen straight drive units are OLD SCHOOL, they were designed over 30 years ago..When young people did aeration. I am now 58 yrs old and use a new Turfco TurnAer that I can drive and ride behind. It is easy to use does more per hour and does not hurt me. Cost a little more but is worth it. It is tough and dependable yet easy to adjust when I need to work on them.

See them at Turfco.com..

I can give you more hints on how to sell aeration, etc just ask.