View Full Version : can i justify a $4500 plugr

grass disaster
09-11-2007, 06:04 PM
i am part time with about 35 accounts and a full time job.

i seem to be having little extra time on my hands lately. i've been busy with mowing. also getting married in nov.

i'm not sure i would even be able to do a lot of aerating jobs this fall. i'm just so busy. i feel there is a ton of potential with aerating work. i looked in 3 of the major papers around my area and there are ZERO adds for aerating.

i do have about 4 jobs lined up for aerating. in the past i used a pull behing $200 sears aerator with a 318 john deere. i've been looking at getting a plugr but not sure i can justify it.

should i wait to buy the plugr when i get more free time. is this machine going to be upgraded next year(i want the $4500 850 hydro model)?

should i buy this for tax purposes. it's been a couple years since i depreciated anything large.

09-11-2007, 06:07 PM
You could rent a machine for 70-80 bucks for a day.

09-11-2007, 06:11 PM
Well I tell you the walk-behind aerators do a much better job, I myself would never consider using a tow-behind except once we get over 2 acres, which I haven't ran into yet :laugh:

There are twice as many tines per square foot on a walk behind, they're heavier and the axle is what propels the machine versus being pulled, I find walk behinds pull not only twice as many, but also deeper, longer plugs. It's hard work, probably the hardest in the lawn care section, short of tree work this is as close as it gets to heavy agricultural labor, but the money's decent for that very reason.

That having been said, I bought mine used, paid $1,000 for a worn Classen TA-26, the maintenance on them is so minimal, the machine is stupid simple, I think I've spent $500 in 6 years above and beyond oil and spark plug changes. Once I had to tear it apart completely, we're talking a day of tearing it all down and putting it all back together, everything but the engine and transmission came off, basically the entire rear tined axle with the chain and sprockets and all. One time in 6 years it got to where I had to really get into it, other than that I think the belt's been replaced once or twice, and I did have to replace several tines (about 2 a year) that's it.

I know those split-drives are nice and so are the slit-seeders, but I tell you that used solid axle Classen is going to tear me up for many more years before I can see through spending 3 thousand more for the comfort factor.

09-11-2007, 07:53 PM
at this point just rent one or get a cheap one.

I have a turfco regular old aerator that is solid and paid for. I often consider getting a new one that I can get a sulky for or a hydro pluggr type, but I can't see spending 4000-5000$. It would take at least a year and a half just to make that back in aerations for me so I just suck it up for a few days and keep the money.

grass disaster
09-11-2007, 08:18 PM
i'm not sure i would like to rent one.

first of all the rental shop for me is 20min away.
the quality of aerator is not very good.

i just think that i should spend the $ and now instead of renting and throwing my $ away renting POS equipment.

i don't think a plugr will depreciate too much.

i guess it's kinda like in housing. should i rent or buy??????????????

Albery's Lawn & Tractor
09-11-2007, 08:50 PM
I thought about buying one but decided to just rent for the rest of the year. $75 per day that the customers pay anyways. Last time I used a "new" Turfco 26" I believe, and I couldn't stand it, worked my a$$ off. The yard was a decent size (3/4-1 acre) but was completely flat, yet that machine kept wanting to pull one way, and I had to fight it the whole time.
Now today I rented an old Ryan 20" aerator (looks the same as Bluebird) and I loved that thing. I did 2 jobs this morning about 1/2 acre each and 10 mins apart and it took less then 90 min and I had to spread seed at the last one.
So, I highly recommend renting if nothing else just to try out a few different brands.

09-11-2007, 09:02 PM
I picked one up on ebay, its an old ryan and the guy selling said for parts with an edger I paid $117.00 and took a ride from CT to PENN to get it. A new carb, tune up, oil change and two drive chains and it works like new, total cost AROUND $300.00 and it paid for itself the first time out.

09-11-2007, 09:39 PM
i'm not sure i would like to rent one.

first of all the rental shop for me is 20min away.
the quality of aerator is not very good.

i just think that i should spend the $ and now instead of renting and throwing my $ away renting POS equipment.

i don't think a plugr will depreciate too much.

i guess it's kinda like in housing. should i rent or buy??????????????

Why are you concerned about depreciation? you plan on selling it or using it ?

09-11-2007, 11:17 PM
Just bought a new Plugr 850HD.
They are very proud of them but my guys always moan about aerating and getting worn out. Aeration makes big bucks. We have a Ryan Lawnaire V and a Classen TA25 split drive. Both are good machines and both will kick your butt.
I feel you need a good piece of equipment that is comfy to use. You buy a new one and take care of it the machine will last for many years and make you a lot of money.
Spend the bucks and save your back.
If the Plugr is loved as I think it will I may have to sell one of the others.

Turfco Tim
09-12-2007, 11:07 AM

Did you rent or buy the Turfco? The machine should not pull to one side. When properly adjusted, like from the factory, they pull very straight. In fact if you were using the Pro 26 they are difficult to turn without lifting them out of the ground that is why we build the TurnAer aerators for easy turning.

Sounds like a great reason to buy instead of rent.

09-12-2007, 11:22 AM
If you are concerned about investing all that money into a machine that doesn't get used that often - especially if you are doing it part time, then here is a logical remedy. I have wrote this a few times before on here over the years.

First, go out, and sell a bunch of aerations ahead of time. Then, when you have them ALL lined up, you will not only have a better idea of how long to rent the machine for, but you will have a whole bunch of 'em lined up to divide the rental into. Leave margin, because if you do this like on a Saturday (best day), you can pick up more and make fast money that was not expected at the time. People eat this stuff up, and when Mr. Johnson see Mr. Jones getting HIS done, Mr. Johnson will want his done as well. That is why Saturdays are great to do these add-ons.

09-12-2007, 01:18 PM
I rented for one year. The second year I bought a used Ryan. I agree the walk behind does so much nicer of a job. It's a job, and you'll know you ran it when you're done. But the customer is happy with the results. A great money maker too. I bought mine used and I don't regret buying it.

Albery's Lawn & Tractor
09-12-2007, 04:18 PM
I rented the Turfco form the local General Rental, they said they had just got it a few weeks back. It looked nice, and did a great job pulling good sized plugs but it wore me out on just one yard (being close to 110 w/ the heat index didn't help).It pulled worse to the left. It was quicker then others but if it won't go straight that doesn't matter.

grass disaster
09-12-2007, 04:36 PM
i was at the gas station with my car today.

i saw a lawn service with a bunch of aerators in the back.

they had a turn air- 26 plugr850 and a smaller Ryan.

some younger guy came out and i asked him about the aerators.

he said the turn air was really hard to f'n turn, the plugr was hard to f'n turn but it was no big deal cause you just lift the front. the ryan was a pile of f'n $hit and breaks down alot.... Then he laughed about it, as if he really didn't care.

he said they just got done doing a target for $1600 but he'll never see any of that.

09-13-2007, 12:52 AM
why wouldn't he ever see the $1600?

grass disaster
09-13-2007, 01:24 AM
why wouldn't he ever see the $1600?

cause he was a worker not the boss man.

09-13-2007, 11:00 PM
What kind of money do you guys get per 10k? What acreage do you move to a tow behind or 3point unit. I have many 1-3ac jobs as well as smaller ones. I don't want a walkbehind but if they are the only units that get the job done I will consider one. Thanks

Turfco Tim
09-14-2007, 03:31 PM
Grass Disaster,

Take what he said with a "grain of salt". Chances are he is trying to operate the TurnAer like the Ryan, by lifting at the end of each pass. I will speak "Minnesotan" to you. You aerate a lawn with a TurnAer like a Zamboni on ice. The goal is to not lift the machine to turn so you have to operate it differently.

Another example I use when I am training operators on the TurnAer is imagine if you were using a 36" walk behind mower and you disengage the drive on each turn. Then you turn by pushing down on the handlebars and spinning the mower on the rear tires. Not what it was designed to do and doing that will kill the operator. Just as the walk behind mower was designed to make mowing more productive over a 20" push mower the TurnAer, when operated correctly, will increase aeration productivity.