View Full Version : Aerators, and Renovators

10-18-2007, 12:04 AM
I am looking at purchasing an aerator for next year as well as possible some sort of slitseeder or the turf revitalizer, I havent demoed anything yet.

I am interested in what people think about all the varieties, I am leaning towards a ryan aerator, and the turf revitalizer. I am wondering if the revitalizer can be used as a dethatcher or power rake just without dropping seed, I am wondering how effective the blades are on the machine, or do I need a seperate machine for power raking (dethatching)?

10-20-2007, 08:33 PM
i can only comment on what i own/ use--so you can add it
your analysis.
i have the lesco renovator or better known as slice seeder

works pretty good and been fairly reliable, strongly recommend
core aerating b4 slice seeding- helps loosen the soil and also
helps hold the seed in case of slopes or wash outs.
the blades wear out so fast and are expensive and time consuming
to flip/change.--be aware that most slice seeders act as
a good dethatcher at the same time, so a lawn with alot
of thatch or grub damage - will require cleanup afterward.

lesco/classen 26 in walk behind aerator

pulls very nice plugs 2-3 inch, good on tough soils
been very reliable- except for a cracked frame year 2
welded up and been good since. a little slow ground speed
and its heavy difficult to manuver.

new ryan la5 26 in walk behind aerator

pulls average plugs 1-2 1/2", not good on tough soils,
still fairly new for this year--no problems, very fast
ground speed , easy to operate and easier to lift and turn
than the lesco unit

something to consider with the machines
sprinkler heads must be marked with a slice seeder, the lesco seeder
has sliced and diced and even extracted heads on me b4.

the walk behind drum style aerators generally will not harm sprinkler
heads- having been aerating for 11 years withour marking now- with
no incidents.

i have seen and heard of head damage from punch/plunge style
aerators and from large ride on/ tow behind units


10-20-2007, 11:18 PM
I purchased a Turfco Turn Aer 4 this spring and have been very happy with it and recommend it. The split drive allows for easy turning of unit around mulch beds and does not tear up the turf. Pulls approx 3 inch plug in moist turf. Works good in dry ground but does not pull as deep. It has power to the front tires when tines are out of ground for easy moving and easy loading. Came with Honda GX 4 HP engine that is great.

Premo Services
10-21-2007, 08:17 AM
I have had a lesco split drive aerator( same as classen split drive) for 4 years now and it does a real good job, even in dry conditions. The split drive makes it easy to turn at the end of a pass.

This year has been soo dry that in september I was waiting for rain so I could do my aerations and seedings.
I have a dealer close to me and he let me rent the turf revitilizer for a day and if I liked it, he would take the rental charge off the purchase price. Not a bad deal.
The revitilizer did an excellent job of seeding and working the soil and seed together. It is simple to operate. It also does a great job when used as a power rake. I have done so many slit seeding and power raking jobs because I have something I can depend on to do the job.I think I made a wise decision to buy it....

10-21-2007, 01:01 PM
does the slit seeder do a good job of aerating?

im asking because i did a couple aerations this year and for each customer i overseeded as well. if this does the job of aerating and seeding at the same time i think that would be a better choice than an aerator

10-21-2007, 04:31 PM
On sale is the heavy duty Turf-aire.com aerator pull behind. I should have gotten the electric-hydraulic lift. Awesome weight 0f 655#s over 6 tine wheels; 36 inch.

Great aeration in dry and wet ground.

Turfco Tim
10-21-2007, 11:25 PM
Clear Cut,
Aeration and slit seeding are two different practices. With aeration you are removing a core to reduce compaction and open up the turf for water, nutrients, air, etc. Slit seeders are used to cut a slit for seed to make seed to soil contact. You would not want to replace aeration with slit seeding.

10-22-2007, 06:23 PM
yea thats what i thought...but i figured that if the slit seeder made slits in the ground that it would give some aeration as well. thanks for clearing that up turfco

10-22-2007, 07:23 PM
There is no comparison between aerating and slitseeding. The slit does nothing to reduce compaction but depending on the machine it may help to remove some thatch. Aeration is the only way to go when working with clay or hard soils, if you are also dealing with thin turf then use a slit seeder to get additional grass into the turf canopy.

11-08-2007, 01:54 AM
On sale is the heavy duty Turf-aire.com aerator pull behind. I should have gotten the electric-hydraulic lift. Awesome weight 0f 655#s over 6 tine wheels; 36 inch.

Great aeration in dry and wet ground.

avnorm, what are you pulling the turf-aire with?

11-09-2007, 08:50 PM
21 hp Gravely 144xdc ZTR

11-10-2007, 11:18 AM
i saw some guys aerating with a ride on machine the other day.. it was tan in color with a "front deck" as the aerator. it was tan in color.... anyone know who makes this or one like it... it was probably 3' wide..

11-10-2007, 03:14 PM
possibly Grasshopper brand; they are tan. I hear they are good and heavy duty machines. I looked at 'em, but, personally, would have used the tan as a base for further painting using camoflauge greens:walking:

11-10-2007, 10:41 PM
i would never buy a walk behind aerator :
1. i rented a nice ryan machine, worked very well, rental cost was $95
2. the machine retails for over 2 grand
3. the machine is beast to turn and maneuver
4. you cant work the next day after using this machine, physically kills every muscle in your body
5. theres no way i would ever want to use this machine enough to buy one

rent one first then buy one, aerating is not an easy way to make money, i cant imagine anyone wanting to do this more than a couple times a year .....

11-11-2007, 09:58 PM
I believe thats why pull behind aerators are the bomb. You sit on your arse and drive....

I even did my buddies' 0.4 acre lot around his trees & landscape. On small lots you back into place and then drop the tines into the ground and go! No back pain, just went slower than regular mowing on my 21 hp ZTR (about half speed).

My 0.7 acre lot was easier. I even went through and over the mulched beds. Each pass at the driveway I did have to dismount in order to lift the tines and then reset. However, the spring assist on the Turf-aire.com aerator made lifting 655 lbs easy.

I did a total of 4 passes and could have done this every day, all day for a living, except my day job pays more....:cool2:

11-11-2007, 10:31 PM
avnorm I believe thats why pull behind aerators are the bomb. You sit on your arse and drive....

I agree a pull behind aerator is great. I can mow the lawn and aerate at the same time.:cool2:

11-12-2007, 01:07 AM
If you're still looking for opinions, I am of the strong feeling that the makers of the 'Revitalizer' need to do a bit of reworking of that unit. I don't have one, but I did have the opportunity to use a friend's Revitilizer twice this past season, in quite different conditions both times, and the unit just seemed to 'rinky dink' and lightweight for the job at hand. And NO, I wasn't trying to use it as a rototiller! I ran into bearing problems the first time with it, and belt issues the 2nd! It's never a good idea to buy a 'NEW' thing on the market until the manufacturers get a chance to get 'religion' and fix common problems that come up with them as they debut. But I have my doubts about the future success of this Revitalizer on the market, because it's just simply too light to do the job! It'll have a niche in the tool rental biz-right next to the Bluebirds. Those are ones homeowners can pick up. by hand.
I'd go with the Lesco Renovator. It's time-tested, (been on the market for maybe 8-10 years) and certainly rugged enough for the commercial user.

I also like the Classen split drive 26" aerator. There's some 'getting used to' with the maneuvering of the handles to get the thing to work well, but once you do, it's very nice! But watch out! They almost always ship them to you, or to Lesco with the crankcase dry, so check that before you use it.
Split-geared pull behinds are nice for huge lots and wide open areas.

11-12-2007, 01:35 AM
I still don't understand the problem with the Revitalizer. I have no idea about the belt or bearing problem, but I CAN tell you that I just do not understand how this unit would be too late. The way the blades are designed and configured, they rip through rock hard ground with absolutely no hesitation or resistance. Each disk has 8 blade edges on it, so to every 1 rotation of the spindle, it is equal to 8 rotations of any other spindle. This machine is so well balanced and has such great cutting power, that I believe there is no stopping it. I have one alot of seeding with it now, and if I was to buy another one tomorrow, it would be the Revitalizer.

11-12-2007, 01:53 AM
.......you that I just do not understand how this unit would be too late.

I'm assuming you meant 'light', correct?

All I can tell you is that from what I've seen and experienced, it's a toy compared to the Lesco. I saw what you meant by blade edges and increased rotation speed of the Revitalizer, but what good's all that fancy engineering if all the crucial weight's stripped off the machine, and the 'nads of the workhorse are diminished! It ends up being nothing but a big 2008 Turf Solutions callback, that's what! ;)

11-12-2007, 12:07 PM
I'm sorry, I disagree. The blades act more as a saw, giving it a cleaner and more steady cut. I have run it over rock hard ground, including moving t around over hard mounds to break them up and level them out, and weight was never a factor. Another thing to consider, is that because it runs an actual closed loop hydro system, (unlike the open loop of the Lesco - which isn't a true hydrostatic, just hydraulically driven the same type system that is on wood splitters), less power is required to run the drive. Therefore, much more power is delivered to the business end of the machine.
I have used the Lesco machine for several years, and there is no denying that it is a decent machine, but as I say, the Rejuvenator is just much faster and more productive, and much easier to use. I guess we just agree to disagree. :)

11-12-2007, 11:22 PM
I bought revitalizer don't have nothing to compare it to but i to had to replace the bearings on the cutter shaft to after 6 jobs.I think because of the mulch job done early this year and the strings were left on the ground and you could not see them i hope this was the problem and it don't happen again. The seed bar has dirt[i think ] behind it and does not work you have to tap on it to shut it off i will have to take it apart again to clean it out. the motor will stall when you go to deep like when you hit a bump in the yard. it will not go deep enough in hard ground it just lifts the cutter up because they are not stiff you can pick them up they like float. It could use a cover over the seed box. And a diver in the seed box to keep seed all the way across the bottom of the seed box on hill sides.I am sure glad i didn't get the 6hp motor i see they up the hp to 9 now
charles cue

11-12-2007, 11:48 PM
Yes, I can see how the 6 horse could be a bit shor on power. The seed bar - I keep sprayed with silicone, and it works fine. It has been a bit sticky before, and not opened all the way. The silicone spray fixed it. It is much like how we have to spray the slides on our fert. spreaders. One thing I CAN say....the seed never mats and clogs up like it does on the Lesco, because the agitator roller turns and goes right against the floor and hole surface of the hopper. With the Lesco, there is a further tolerance - leaving a gap for matted seed to stay, eventually blocking up the drop holes. I don't know if the larger motor makes the difference on the weight or not, but mine DIGS into the ground - even on hard clay. as far as a cover, one is available as an option...It has a large clear cover so you can always see the seed level. Yes, the Lesco has a clear view window on the side of the hopper, but let's face it...anyone who has run this machine knows this window quickly gets covered with dust, and you can't see the level, anyway. You end up just lifting the cover to check. I agree that maybe the cover on the Revitalizer should be standard. Maybe it will be in the near future (Kind of like Exmark did with the footlift).

11-14-2007, 01:00 AM

11-14-2007, 11:10 PM

Whats the difference in a plug and a core ? The JRCO plugger looks like a homeowner toy instead of a useful core aerator.

11-14-2007, 11:34 PM
i love the lawn solutions machine :usflag:

11-15-2007, 11:12 PM
TR30 Video (http://www.lawnsolutionscp.com/video/TR30Video.wmv)

Here is a quick look at our new 30" model in action. This unit has the productivity of a tractor mount type seeder except it has the flexibility and mobility of a walk-behind mower. It is designed to knock out acres of seeding quickly, yet small enough to still do the standard 1/4" property.

Those that came to the expo will recognize Steve, who is 6'6" and 250 lbs can easily maneuver the unit up and across hills with ease using the sulky option.

We rate this unit at 1 acre per hour, but it actually does 1.2 acres per hour. We included a clip of Steve adding a full 50 lbs of seed to give a better idea of the true size of this machine.

11-16-2007, 03:16 AM
Whats the difference in a plug and a core ? The JRCO plugger looks like a homeowner toy instead of a useful core aerator.

Here is a little information about the JRCO aerator that I had referred to. It is advertised for the commercial user and in my opinion appears very durable. and at a cost of $2,270.91 there a probably only a few that want to pay that price.

Hooker Aerator
High Production Aerator has zero-turn maneuverability!

The JRCO Hooker Aerator is designed for the lawn care professional. It saves time and labor with high-production aeration. Aerate 66,000 square feet per hour at 5 mph.

Model 751
Aeration Width 38"
Aeration patttern 5" x 6"
Hole size ½" wide x 1¼" long,
up to 3" deep
Tines 3/8" wide x 3" long
Productivity 1.5 acres per hour
@ 5 mph
Weight 198 lbs
Dimensions, WxLxH 38¼" x 35" x 16"

Each of the three caster assemblies has two floating cast iron tine rotor heads. The casters swivel, allowing turning while aerating. The six floating rotor heads independently lift over tree roots and rocks while the other heads continue to aerate.

The 38-inch wide Hooker Aerator punctures up to six holes per square foot. Holes are approximately ½" wide by 1¼" long and up to 3" deep. Tines pierce deep into the soil, hooking and lifting loose plugs of dirt that disperse quickly, spreading nutrients over the surface. No unsightly hard plugs accumulate on the lawn. The lifting action of the tines prevents soil compaction that is common with hollow tine aerators and allows good filtration of air and water into the lawn.

The front-mount aerator attaches to the JRCO mount bar with two clevis pins. An electric actuator lifts the heads for transport.
Hooking tines lift soft soil plugs.
Aerator heads caster allowing zero-turn maneuverability.
Electric actuator lifts aeration heads for transport.
Switch control for electric lift mounts on operator control arm for easy operation.
Hardened steel one-piece rotors assemblies and hardened axles for long life.
Aerator frame supported by castering wheels with heavy-duty yokes.
Independent rotor heads lift over rocks or roots while remaining heads continue aerating.
Aerator attaches to JRCO mount bar with 2 clevis pins.

Also see the link below:

01-08-2008, 08:10 PM
So has anyone used this JRCO aerator?

I was wondering weather to buy this or just get a decent pull behind plugger. I rented one from Sunbelt Rentals and It worked great. I wonder where to buy that model?

J&R Landscaping
01-08-2008, 08:27 PM
I have a ryan ren-o-thin and like it a lot. I have also run my buddies mateway over seeder and that is a great machine. I can't justify buying one at the moment but when the time comes, I know I'll buy one!