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View Full Version : Torn on my aeration marketing approach - more plugs w/ Plugr 850 or Lawn Solutions WB


Exact Rototilling
03-08-2010, 05:07 PM
Even though many people have said it could not be done, people won't care etc.....I have marketed my aerations these last 2 years as being a greater net benefit since I run a Plugr 850HD that has a very dense plug pattern. The most common response I get is "wow that is noticeably more plugs than the last guy who aerated". I believe only the Ryan 28 tricycle unit pulls more plugs per square foot than the Plugr 800, 850 & 855. Even that I'm not 100% sure. I have never used the Ryan 28 or even seen a plug print pattern nor have I ever seen one in service in my area. If I could rent a Ryan 28 just to try it out I would.

My Lawn Solutions WB ships out today and I also need to get my hangers and flyers finalized this week.

Correct me if I'm wrong the Plugr 800, 850 and the new 855 have one the densest patterns in the industry. IMO it makes little sense to run one of these unless you are claiming more plugs..... correct? Reason is these machines wear out tines very quickly and the tines are not cheap. A set of 8 is well over $120 and they only last maybe 50-60 aeration in the rocky soil here. With all that said why deliver more plugs and NOT brag it up and or charge more money?

*** Recent development....I just bought a Lawn Solutions WB and I'm excited to get this machine for the ease of use from what I can tell from video and user reports. I'm also very confident it will pull deeper plugs than the Plugr

The best I can tell the Lawn Solution WB pulls possibly slightly more per square foot than other rolling tine types. Not 100% sure about this.

All things being equal it makes little sense to burn up Plugr tines at a rapid rate with the wear and tear of the bouncing machine on our rocky soil here and not switch over to Lawn Solution machine as the main working unit.

So should I charge more for the Plugr aeration vs. rolling tine aeration of the Lawn Solution machine?

Any input from aeration veterans much appreciated! :waving:

americanlawn
03-08-2010, 07:12 PM
We got rid of our Plugr units cuz they beat us to death & were cumbersome. We also have Lawn Solution walk behind aerators (now down to just one) which are easier to run, except for the hand controls -- still waiting since October for some kind of upgrade that was supposed to correct the problem. They were supposed to install it this winter for $100, but we still have not heard from them. :confused: So we sold one of our LS aerators due to lack of company support. We kept one, but we're not holding our breath regarding customer support (promises).

Our favorite are the Turn-Aire units (TURFCO). They pull the best plugs, and the "chariot" is something we cannot live without.

Our 2 cents.

Exact Rototilling
03-08-2010, 10:39 PM
We got rid of our Plugr units cuz they beat us to death & were cumbersome. We also have Lawn Solution walk behind aerators (now down to just one) which are easier to run, except for the hand controls -- still waiting since October for some kind of upgrade that was supposed to correct the problem. They were supposed to install it this winter for $100, but we still have not heard from them. :confused: So we sold one of our LS aerators due to lack of company support. We kept one, but we're not holding our breath regarding customer support (promises).

Our favorite are the Turn-Aire units (TURFCO). They pull the best plugs, and the "chariot" is something we cannot live without.

Our 2 cents.

Did you have the Plugr 850, 800, 600 or 400's?

From what I know of them I'd never own the 600 or 800 due to the lack of hydro drive and they wear out the operator on anything but perfectly flat properties.

Have you ever used the the Ryan 28 http://www.ryanturf.com/products/lawn_aerators/lawnaire_28/ .... if yes how did it compare to the others?
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2437/3727770912_435da771e8.jpg

SeedPro
03-08-2010, 11:17 PM
Did you have the Plugr 850, 800, 600 or 400's?

From what I know of them I'd never own the 600 or 800 due to the lack of hydro drive and they wear out the operator on anything but perfectly flat properties.

Have you ever used the the Ryan 28 http://www.ryanturf.com/products/lawn_aerators/lawnaire_28/ .... if yes how did it compare to the others?
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2437/3727770912_435da771e8.jpg

The last time I ran a Ryan Lawnaire Reciprocating aerator it about shoot my teeth loose.

Plus the wheels wanted to get stuck if the soil was really wet.

There's absolutely nothing wrong with drum type aerators. I have the lesco Split Drum aerator you can steer with the split drums and it pulls more than enough plugs per square yard or whatever.

The real bonus I see with a drum aerator is you could drive it through a swamp and come out the other end. These wheel powered aerators wont do that. You'll never get stuck with one is my point.

JFGLN
03-09-2010, 09:55 AM
Did you have the Plugr 850, 800, 600 or 400's?

From what I know of them I'd never own the 600 or 800 due to the lack of hydro drive and they wear out the operator on anything but perfectly flat properties.

Have you ever used the the Ryan 28 http://www.ryanturf.com/products/lawn_aerators/lawnaire_28/ .... if yes how did it compare to the others?
http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2437/3727770912_435da771e8.jpg

We picked up a used Ryan 28. It is much easier to use then our old Bluebirds. Now we don't feel exhausted after a day of aeration.

pieperlc
03-09-2010, 10:18 AM
We have an LA28. I've never run any other aerator, but I can tell you about my experience with it. To my knowledge, no aerator in the lawn care market will pull more plugs. In perfect conditions it is a breeze to run as it is a zero turn aerator. It will pull plugs out of dry lawns, but it jars your teeth out. Hills are not fun. As for your original question: The plugr and LA28 are niche machines so they deserve a premium price. The LA 28 is slower than drum aerators, but pulls a much cleaner plug from what I've observed.

Exact Rototilling
03-10-2010, 01:04 PM
We have an LA28. I've never run any other aerator, but I can tell you about my experience with it. To my knowledge, no aerator in the lawn care market will pull more plugs. In perfect conditions it is a breeze to run as it is a zero turn aerator. It will pull plugs out of dry lawns, but it jars your teeth out. Hills are not fun. As for your original question: The plugr and LA28 are niche machines so they deserve a premium price. The LA 28 is slower than drum aerators, but pulls a much cleaner plug from what I've observed.

I agree. Funny.... Ryan says on their web site the 28 is the most productive unit they have...? At pulling more plugs yes. Speed no.

This is big favor to ask ... or any Ryan 28 owners ....can you get a big piece of cardboard pallet sized and run over it with your Ryan 28...then cut out a square foot template and post pics of the plug pattern? So the world can see once and for all if the Ryan in fact pulls more plugs than the 800 series Plugrs?

When I'm doing over 60-100 aerations per week...then I will get the Lawn Solution stander.
:walking:

brucec32
03-10-2010, 08:46 PM
I wouldn't call a machine with tines that cost $120 to replace all that expensive to operate. Spending $120 every $5000 or so of revenue seems reasonable.

The aeration effect of using these denser pattern machines or ones that provide deeper cores matters and you should highlight that.

However, you might consider machines that have a less dense plug pattern but are far faster and more user friendly than others. That way you can make 2 passes with less effort in about the same amount of time. It might be better to advertise "2 passes over the lawn" rather than just a denser pattern anyway.

With aerating I don't think it's the time it takes that matters as much as the effort it takes. I wear out far before I run out of time. If I did a lot of aerations I'd sure want the machine that was easiest and most comfortable to use. Because if you stay fresh you can work longer.

pieperlc
03-12-2010, 12:35 PM
I agree. Funny.... Ryan says on their web site the 28 is the most productive unit they have...? At pulling more plugs yes. Speed no.

This is big favor to ask ... or any Ryan 28 owners ....can you get a big piece of cardboard pallet sized and run over it with your Ryan 28...then cut out a square foot template and post pics of the plug pattern? So the world can see once and for all if the Ryan in fact pulls more plugs than the 800 series Plugrs?

When I'm doing over 60-100 aerations per week...then I will get the Lawn Solution stander.
:walking:

Right now everything around here is mud, maybe in the future. I'd like to try out the pull behind unit that plugr makes. It looks like a nice unit for larger areas. Anyone have any experience with that?

Exact Rototilling
03-12-2010, 01:19 PM
I wouldn't call a machine with tines that cost $120 to replace all that expensive to operate. Spending $120 every $5000 or so of revenue seems reasonable.

The aeration effect of using these denser pattern machines or ones that provide deeper cores matters and you should highlight that.

However, you might consider machines that have a less dense plug pattern but are far faster and more user friendly than others. That way you can make 2 passes with less effort in about the same amount of time. It might be better to advertise "2 passes over the lawn" rather than just a denser pattern anyway.

With aerating I don't think it's the time it takes that matters as much as the effort it takes. I wear out far before I run out of time. If I did a lot of aerations I'd sure want the machine that was easiest and most comfortable to use. Because if you stay fresh you can work longer.

Yes Lawn Solutions WB unit will be here today....will post 1st impressions late Saturday.

Wish I knew how the LS units plug pattern per sq foot compare most rolling tine units in service...?

DUSTYCEDAR
03-12-2010, 01:31 PM
Just sell the plugr and move on

Exact Rototilling
03-12-2010, 01:41 PM
Just sell the plugr and move on


:laugh: yeah just aerated a farily rocky place last night..Honda kill switch falls out of place...machine take s serious beating in these condtions serious hammer fest...:hammerhead:

Exact Rototilling
03-12-2010, 02:29 PM
Just off the truck few min ago..

Do these ship with a manual?

I only see one balast weight room for 2 more...?

lawn king
03-13-2010, 08:39 AM
There should be 2 30# rear weights.

Exact Rototilling
03-13-2010, 09:35 AM
There should be 2 30# rear weights.

I called LS and they said since the operator handle has been redesigned ... they only ship with 1 weight now.

The one in the video [website] vs. what I own now can be seen in their online product manual. Looks to be a major improvement. :)

Exact Rototilling
03-14-2010, 02:08 PM
My Lawn Solution WB aerator arrived on Friday did a good sized property for a friend on Saturday and I can say hands down in rocky tough soil this is waaaaaay easier to operate.

Running my Plugr 850 in some area is like holding onto a jack hammer and frankly big repeated rock strikes can stall the Plugr 850 stopping the :hammerhead: GX200 engine. The Design of the Plugger does pull more plugs per square foot but people are going to have to pay me extra payup for me to abuse the machine and operator over just using the Lawn Solutions WB and be done with it already. :walking:

The productivity walking speed is fairly close to Plugr 850HD possibly a tad faster with the Lawn Solution WB unit but being able to aerate in reverse is great so yes for smaller lawns yes... hands down consider the David's machine.

The forward and reverse control has been updated from what you see on their video. I will post pics later.

JFGLN
03-14-2010, 04:28 PM
I agree. Funny.... Ryan says on their web site the 28 is the most productive unit they have...? At pulling more plugs yes. Speed no.

This is big favor to ask ... or any Ryan 28 owners ....can you get a big piece of cardboard pallet sized and run over it with your Ryan 28...then cut out a square foot template and post pics of the plug pattern? So the world can see once and for all if the Ryan in fact pulls more plugs than the 800 series Plugrs?

When I'm doing over 60-100 aerations per week...then I will get the Lawn Solution stander.
:walking:

Here is your picture. You owe me a :drinkup: Looks like 12 holes per sq ft, which is what the Ryan website claims.

JFGLN
03-14-2010, 04:44 PM
Here is another shot.

Exact Rototilling
03-14-2010, 11:13 PM
Here is your picture. You owe me a :drinkup: Looks like 12 holes per sq ft, which is what the Ryan website claims.

You got it! Beer's on me. Is that a single pass of the machine on the last one?

I'll have to post Plugr 850 punch holes as soon as I replace the belts.

integrityman
03-15-2010, 12:48 AM
Geez Id love a hydro aerator. The Ryans and Bluebirds Ive run just run me to death.

Exact, keep the info comming.

How much did the LS set ya back??

pieperlc
03-15-2010, 08:43 AM
Here is another shot.

I've been using the LA28 for years and knew it pulled a lot of plugs, but man, that's alot of holes. If you don't mind, I think I'm going to save that picture and use it on sales calls if I'm trying to sell my service vs. a standard rotary.

pieperlc
03-15-2010, 08:47 AM
You got it! Beer's on me. Is that a single pass of the machine on the last one?

I'll have to post Plugr 850 punch holes as soon as I replace the belts.

Why don't you do both machines side by side. That would be an interesting comparison. If the lawn solutions is faster and easier, would it be safe to say that you could double aerate and finish the lawn in the same amount of time that you would with your plugr a single time?

pieperlc
03-15-2010, 08:54 AM
Since we're talking about aeration equipment, has anyone used or tried the pull behind model from plugr. The piston type one with the honda engine. PL1600, I think.

JFGLN
03-15-2010, 10:34 AM
You got it! Beer's on me. Is that a single pass of the machine on the last one?

I'll have to post Plugr 850 punch holes as soon as I replace the belts.



That's one pass.

Exact Rototilling
03-15-2010, 10:43 AM
That's one pass.
Wow...OK that explains why Ryan claims higher productivity. How narrow of gate can you get it through?

The Plugr aeration path is right at 18" center of outside tines. Lawn solution is aprox 1" narrower. I don't have the exsact figure in front of me but I wrote them down yester day.

JFGLN
03-15-2010, 10:47 AM
I think its 34". We use a small Bluebird on a few backyards with small gates.

Exact Rototilling
03-15-2010, 10:53 AM
Why don't you do both machines side by side. That would be an interesting comparison. If the lawn solutions is faster and easier, would it be safe to say that you could double aerate and finish the lawn in the same amount of time that you would with your plugr a single time?

The Lawn Solutions unit is faster [not twice as fast] but the aeration width is also aprox an 1" narrower vs. Plugr 850

There is a trick when running the Plugr 850HD you can move it faster than what the reciprocating tine using the hydro drive can keep forward pressure on the bottom tine guide block. They begin to trail aft and then the plug depth suffers. You can see this happen through the cable access hole on the back cover. Plug spacing for and aft is 8" but can be stretched when this is done also the hydro can used as a forward break to tighten the spacing which is great for a more plugs and has a tilling effect.

Exact Rototilling
03-15-2010, 11:01 AM
Geez Id love a hydro aerator. The Ryans and Bluebirds Ive run just run me to death.

Exact, keep the info comming.

How much did the LS set ya back??
No dealers here...right around the same as the others $3250 plus freight. David also can finance if you need to.

starry night
03-15-2010, 11:09 AM
I plan to buy the LS walk-behind. Price quoted was also $3250. I'm lucky to have a dealer about 90 miles away and can pick it up. No freight. Exact, thanks for the review. It pretty much seals the deal for me.

Exact Rototilling
03-15-2010, 11:36 AM
I plan to buy the LS walk-behind. Price quoted was also $3250. I'm lucky to have a dealer about 90 miles away and can pick it up. No freight. Exact, thanks for the review. It pretty much seals the deal for me.


Yes there is absolutely no waaaay I would push aeration chasing the more common style ones on the market. Just not worth it to me. I can aerate all day no problems with either machine I own....but the LS is waaaay easier to run on rocky soil.

I have opted to get the added weights from LS since we have very rocky gravely tight soil here in many spots.

Just hope to have the need for the LS stander at some point but that won't happen unless I'm doing 50-80+ aerations week. This service is really all about marketing and timing. I'm hiring a door hanger estimater this week just for aeration.


I can just hear it now, "you just aerated my lawn for $240 and it only took you 30-40 min with that stander aerator"...."...that's a lot of $ for a solo Co."..."I'm Union I don't make that much per hour".....

This is a topic for another thread but I'm not sure what it is with people and their profit Nazi mentality...wanting you to compete with neighbor kids, I'm making too much etc...:dizzy:

starry night
03-15-2010, 11:49 AM
EXACT: I know what you are saying about productivity. We are a full-service landscape maintenance company with 25 years in business. We have become extremely productive at what we do and hate it if anyone judges our work on how long it took us to do it. I had a Snapper plugger die on me last Fall after about 15 years. As you can guess from 15 years of use, I really haven't done enough aerating in the past to justify the cost of the LS.
However, I am believer that if you invest in equipment, you are forced to find work for it.
Additionally, I am converting to organic lawn care and aeration is one of the core (haha) organic aids.

Exact Rototilling
03-15-2010, 03:18 PM
EXACT: I know what you are saying about productivity. We are a full-service landscape maintenance company with 25 years in business. We have become extremely productive at what we do and hate it if anyone judges our work on how long it took us to do it. I had a Snapper plugger die on me last Fall after about 15 years. As you can guess from 15 years of use, I really haven't done enough aerating in the past to justify the cost of the LS.
However, I am believer that if you invest in equipment, you are forced to find work for it.
Additionally, I am converting to organic lawn care and aeration is one of the core (haha) organic aids.

....yes my market slogan catch phrase for those clueless about the benefits of aeration will be "is your lawn addicted to chemicals?" as a secondary tag line.....think up sell....organic based fert with organic matter to break down thatch...stop using cheap fert high shock nitrogen....sure use weed killers but focus on healthy turf...aeration is the key...payup

Ok... you [customer] insist on using the Big Co. to put down fert for less than you can buy it yourself ...yes you lawn needs aeration 2 times a year. payup

Exact Rototilling
04-14-2011, 11:39 AM
Ok....it's official. I will be charging roughly 25% more for my plugr 850 aerations over ones performed with my Lawn Solutions 21" WB. Fact is the plug count on my Plugr 850 is 75% more plugs per square foot over the LS 21" WB.

My marketing will be clear on the pros and cons of rolling tine vs reciprocating aerations. I'm giving my customers a choice.
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