View Full Version : Please enlighten me on aerators!
03-01-2010, 06:45 PM
Back in the day when I worked on golf courses, we only used cam-action aerators (both tractor pto driven and walk behind). I'm interested in starting to offer aeration services and have been looking at walk behind aerators.
What I mainly see for sale are what I'll call the "roller" type such as the Ryan Lawnaire. The only "cam action" type that I seem to see for sale is the Plugr. Given the fact the the soil around here is usually pretty hard and compacted, I have concerns as to whether or not the "roller" type would achieve adequate penetration. However, since these seem to be the predominant type, maybe I'm over analyzing the situation.
Do the "roller type" tined aerators do an adequate job on really tough soil?
Should I concentrate on a "cam action" type to achieve the best cores?
03-01-2010, 06:58 PM
when your in doubt with something like this, look what everyone else does in your area. talk to them about what they do and why.
03-01-2010, 07:12 PM
I don't ever see anyone else doing it around here. That's why I'M interested in doing it!!!:laugh:
03-01-2010, 07:20 PM
then your an entrepreneur. go to a rental place. try what they have and see how well it works.
03-01-2010, 07:28 PM
The cam type are going to pull much cleaner holes - with less damage or lifting around the edges...something rather crucial on greens and tees. The other type, have more of a tearing action. Now, on greens, the straight up and down of the cam action is a plus....one downfall of it though, is that it tends to glaze the walls of the hole, slowing the closure of the hole back up, and sort of compacting where the roots would begin to grow back out. With a roller type, the tearing action actually promotes faster root growth start, the plugs are looser, so they will break up faster, and the lifting (minimal) part of it isn't as crucial in normal turf conditions. Bottom line, it is as if the roller type that have less parts moving are also more suitable for normal turf conditions such as resi and commercial lawns.
03-01-2010, 07:53 PM
Plugr all the way!!!
03-01-2010, 07:57 PM
we have both mentioned, and both do a great job, but the plugr will beat you to death if the ground is too darn hard and actually not penetrate at all, so must have very adequate moisture. otherwise, i like the plugr best.
You will see alot of the drum style because they are cheaper. Ryan also makes a cam action one but its about double the price. Its the Lawnaire 28. I think you could aerate concrete with it.
Drum style is harder on the operators but can be a bit faster too while the came ones are pretty easy on the operator.
Plugrs are interesting. Havent seen enough of them in use to tell if they hold up well. One downside to them is you cant drive them up a board like you can with the drum type. The only one that would is the top of the line self propelled model which would need ramps to get in/out of a truck or what not....the Lawnaire 28 would need the same thing though and its a beast.
The non self propel Plugrs do pull themselves along when aerating but wouldnt work the way alot of my customers put them into a van. 2x12 with alot of chunks taken out from driving drum aerators up them...LOL
03-02-2010, 12:58 PM
I rent a BlueBird 48" pull behind. Works great.
03-02-2010, 03:01 PM
I have a Walker Perforator. This is a cam type, 48" wide and mounts to the front of my Walker mower. Works great and all I have to do is set on my butt! It will cover a lot of ground and does a good job. We had a dry spell last fall right when I needed to aerate some yards. It still pulled plugs but not as deep as in good conditions.
03-02-2010, 03:44 PM
I have the Lesco dual drum aerator and like it a lot because it turns and can be steered.
Most aerators work well.....I like a decent size tine on mine for a good plug.
The biggest mistake i see people making with aeration in general is doing it on dry hard soil. You need to do it after a good rain or after irrigating for best results especially if the soil is clay or really compacted.
I used a ryan lawnaire walk behind reciprocating (cam type) aerator once and it about shook me to death.
03-02-2010, 09:55 PM
We have a lesco 30 & the lawn solutions, both walk behind drum style. They both do a great job. The lesco is old technology, its much harder to operate and it takes 3 passes to pull as many plugs as the lawn solutions pulls on 1. If there is little or no moisture in the topsoil, dont aerate! Its unethical to charge people for a premium service thats for the most part ineffective.
03-02-2010, 11:41 PM
We have a 3 aerators. We have been using two old Bluebirds that I bought used from rental stores. Paid $300 for one and $500 for the other. The "new" aerator is a Ryan lawnaire 28. I bought it used for $2800 (I know, yikes!) Its much easier on the operator and pulls many more plugs than the old Bluebirds.
03-04-2010, 10:54 AM
Call Lawn Solutions... friendly people.... their walk behind aerator make aerating enjoyable!
03-04-2010, 12:51 PM
....snip....Plugrs are interesting. Havent seen enough of them in use to tell if they hold up well. One downside to them is you cant drive them up a board like you can with the drum type. The only one that would is the top of the line self propelled model which would need ramps to get in/out of a truck or what not....the Lawnaire 28 would need the same thing though and its a beast.
The non self propel Plugrs do pull themselves along when aerating but wouldnt work the way alot of my customers put them into a van. 2x12 with alot of chunks taken out from driving drum aerators up them...LOLI own the Plugr 850 Hydro drive model w/ Honda GX200 had it for almost 2 years now. Unless all your properties you will be aerating are super flat ...I believe you will regret buying the PL 800, 600 etc. If you're going to buy a Plugr...get the 850HD or the newer 855HD. The newer 855 appears to be simpler and easier to maintain. The fiddle factor with my 850HD adjusting belts has been fairly constant. Running a Plugr on rocky soil is not very fun - running it on soft ground is a piece of cake. In my area the tines [set of 8] wear out quickly. Running my 850 down a a steepish hill is not fun - it's always better to go uphill to control the speed. The pounding the machine has taken in our rocky soil has caused the spot weld to break on the top cover slide guides and has shaken of the kill switch on the Honda engine.
I was inclined to get the Ryan 28 tricycle cam driven model 2 years ago but the higher cost new scarred me off along with the lack of a reverse and a higher operational center gravity. I have been told the Ryan 28 pulls deeper plugs than the plugrs however the new 855HD weigh more than the 850 so I'm sure this will help. I still want to try out a Ryan 28 just so I can directly compare.
I never thought I'd want or buy one [rolling tine aerator] but I have a Lawn Solutions WB rolling tine aerator on order. I have never demoed one but from what I can tell it is the easiest to use of all the rolling tine types. I will post a review.... :)
I hope to get it soon. David when is it shipping out?
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