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TAZ
08-30-2007, 10:20 AM
I need a towable aerator for some large areas. It won’t be used very often (or so I think). I am in search of some opinions on two units.

1) Classen’s RT60 unit ($1700 @ Lesco) http://littlewonder.com/core-aerators.asp
2) TurfVent by Feldman 48” http://www.turfvent.com/seriestwo.htm

I have talked to a few people here and almost everyone agrees that the Classen works great but at $1000 more I am wondering if I can get away with the TurfVent. I realize that you get what you pay for but I hate to invest the extra coin if it’s not entirely necessary. I have used the cheapo’s (agrifab units) in the past from some rental places and they suck. The main differences other than the obvious heavier duty build on the Classen is the tines are 3/4 diameter on the Classen and only 5/8 diameter on the Feldman. I am not sure if they would plug up or pull good cores.

I am also planning on pulling it with a WheelHorse 520H and the Classen unit concerns me a bit there as far as pulling that unit.

Any comments from anyone experienced with these units would be appreciated.

-TAZ

MarcSmith
08-30-2007, 12:42 PM
but you are not comparing apple to apple. comparing a 60 unit to 48" unit. Ij ust purchases a 48" classen from Lesco and it was 1300. still a far cry from the cheap one, but I'll imagine I wont have any problems or issues with it for some time. I'll let you all know in a week or so when I start my aerating/fert/overseeding...

Also the nice thing about the classen. if you ever get a bigger tractor...3pt mount is built in....

Marcos
08-30-2007, 01:56 PM
The Lesco / Classen units I'm sure are great for flat ballfields like Georgetown. But in the rest of the world if you ever have to use weight on the trays while you're turning around trees, etc. BEWARE! You're going to loosen, and eventually break off tines. The 3 pt hitch down-pressure would make this a more certian possibility. It's a nice unit. You just have to learn its limitations in the turns.

TAZ
08-30-2007, 01:58 PM
but you are not comparing apple to apple. comparing a 60 unit to 48" unit. Ij ust purchases a 48" classen from Lesco and it was 1300. still a far cry from the cheap one, but I'll imagine I wont have any problems or issues with it for some time. I'll let you all know in a week or so when I start my aerating/fert/overseeding...

Also the nice thing about the classen. if you ever get a bigger tractor...3pt mount is built in....

I agree on the 3pt. deal for sure. I also agree that you probably wont have any issues with the Classen unit either. I have seen them in operation on some local golf courses and they pull nice cores.

The thing with the Lesco/Classen units is that the Classen 48" is only a 42" areation width while the RT60 is only a 52" aeration width. The TurfVent is listed 48" aeration pattern and I don't really want to go any smaller than 48" swath.

-TAZ

MarcSmith
08-31-2007, 06:24 AM
The Lesco / Classen units I'm sure are great for flat ballfields like Georgetown. But in the rest of the world if you ever have to use weight on the trays while you're turning around trees, etc. BEWARE! You're going to loosen, and eventually break off tines. The 3 pt hitch down-pressure would make this a more certian possibility. It's a nice unit. You just have to learn its limitations in the turns.

but I'm using it on the regular turf, not on the fields. we have artificial fields...

Marcos
08-31-2007, 10:33 AM
Ij ust purchases a 48" classen from Lesco

You just got this? In not saying that you made a bad choice. On the contrary. I'm saying that I'd watch your turning radius' until you learn your machine. I used to do what I called the 'overlapping 0' pattern as much as I could with the towable and w/b aerators. You followed the sides of the '0' and kept overlapping the bottoms and tops.

MarcSmith
08-31-2007, 11:00 AM
Yeah since the filed went art. I need something smaller than the 92" ryan tow behind on the other 14 acres of turf. It came in about 2 weeks ago.

if it was one big or several plots of turf I'f keep the 92" but it was a such a PITA moving it around campus. for the acre here, 1/2 acre there.

I'll have to tell the guys to make sure they raise the PTO on turns. to prevent turf tearing and tine bend/breaking.

now I just need to get rid of the ryan...

Marcos
08-31-2007, 01:18 PM
I'll have to tell the guys to make sure they raise the PTO on turns. to prevent turf tearing and tine bend/breaking.

Do you know what I mean by the 'overlapping O' pattern?
You do a large 'O'val that takes up the left 1/2 side of a given area, then you start to hug the 'inside' of the 'O' to the top, when you CROSS OVER your dropped plugs and move to the outside of the 'O'. Keep doing this all the way across the field until you hook up to where you began! (Think of it as a flattened out "slinky", if you can.) Yes, you will have alot more plugs at the 6 and 12 o'clock position all the way across, but I'm a believer that there's no such thing as too much aeration. What you won't have to do is raise your PTO much. And you'll have employees that will think you're a GD genius, Forrest!

tsh1773
08-31-2007, 01:27 PM
I have had the Turfvent 48" for a couple of years now. Pulls 2 to 2.5" cores with large cinder blocks. Have used fert bags for extra weight in hard clay. Built very well and solid. Not bad for $475.

MarcSmith
09-04-2007, 07:33 AM
And you'll have employees that will think you're a GD genius, Forrest!

THAT will never happen....

jeffinsgf
09-04-2007, 07:56 AM
The Lesco / Classen units I'm sure are great for flat ballfields like Georgetown. But in the rest of the world if you ever have to use weight on the trays while you're turning around trees, etc. BEWARE! You're going to loosen, and eventually break off tines. The 3 pt hitch down-pressure would make this a more certian possibility. It's a nice unit. You just have to learn its limitations in the turns.

That is very poor advice. 3 pt hitch does not have any down pressure whatsoever. Gravity holds it down, the hydraulics only hold it up at the selected height. It is far and away easier to raise a 3 pt aerator to go around obstacles and corners than a tow behind. Use a couple of fingers to press a hydraulic lever or stretch backwards and try to reach that mechanical lift arm -- let's see which would I choose? Working in tight areas, you can raise the aerator, back in, lower and go. Backing a tow behind is difficult, at best.

Bottom line, if you have 3 pt hitch capability, it is far and away the better choice over working with a tow behind.

My Turfco has independent pairs of tines, which allows fairly tight turns without tearing the turf, but I have found the best way is to work in straight lines as much as possible and do a 3 point turn at the end of each row with the aerator raised. That way the edges don't look like they've been plowed from being over-worked.

Marcos
09-04-2007, 02:30 PM
THAT will never happen....

Well, It's worth a try anyway! I've done aeration this way (in as many places as I could) for many years and it's saved a lot of stress on the equipment and on ME. It just takes a few times 'around' (pun intended) :laugh: to get used to it. Good luck!

Marcos
09-04-2007, 02:47 PM
[QUOTE=jeffinsgf;1951889]That is very poor advice. 3 pt hitch does not have any down pressure whatsoever.
My Turfco has independent pairs of tines, which allows fairly tight turns without tearing the turf,

Well, before you get too excited, Kingosabee, you have to understand 1st that the Claussen unit's tines DON'T work independently. They're only separated by one bearing in the center of the unit, whether it's a "48" or a "60". It's definately an Achille's heel, and that's why I sent him my tip on the 'overlapping 0' pattern so to help alleviate too many sharp turns, and the need to raise and lower the arms so much.
However, I'll take the Classen's overall build and strengh over a Turfco's anyday