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Steve Ladd
01-22-2011, 12:54 PM
Starting up a new company and will have commercial as well as residential yards in a new subdivision and will need a durable aerator. We have a small pull behind 48" aerator, but have heard the plug type by Plughr is very good. Any suggestions by the experts would help.

Thanks,

Steve

LawnSolutionsCP
01-22-2011, 01:33 PM
Look on YouTube and search Lawn Solutions.....you might like our hydraulic driven aerators....there are several different models depending on what you need.
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Steve Ladd
01-23-2011, 02:50 PM
I see that your company has more NEW things coming out this spring. Should we wait until the new items are out, or consider buying a LS aerator now? We are new to the landscape business, but don't want to fall behind the curve as far as delivery of product.

LawnSolutionsCP
01-23-2011, 03:11 PM
We don't have any major changes for the aerators currently in the works.....the fall will be the same as our spring units.
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Steve Ladd
01-23-2011, 03:24 PM
Where do I find the 21 or 24" unit since I live in Franklin, Tn. just south of Nashville? Also, will the bigger unit fit through most gates in yards, or do I need to stay w/ the 21" model?
Thanks for your help and quick reply. From what I see, most on the website feel Lawn Solutions is the way to go, and since we are just getting started I didn't want to purchase equipment that won't last for many years.

LawnSolutionsCP
01-23-2011, 03:33 PM
There are 2-3 dealers in Nashville.

The 24 will fit through a 36" gate.
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Exact Rototilling
01-24-2011, 01:59 PM
Starting up a new company and will have commercial as well as residential yards in a new subdivision and will need a durable aerator. We have a small pull behind 48" aerator, but have heard the plug type by Plughr is very good. Any suggestions by the experts would help.

Thanks,

Steve

There is not a single perfect aerator. All of them have strong and weak points.

If you get a Plugr don't bother with the non hydro units such as the PL800 & 600. Stick with the 850 or 855. The lack of Hydro drive [600 & 800] makes them a struggle tug fest on anything but very flat properties. The Hydro drive make them very versatile, faster and frankly the ATV of aerators IMO. I will probably always own a Plugr Hydro as long as I offer this service. The draw back of the Plugr 850 is it has fairly high fiddle factor: belt adjustment, tines wear out rapidly, daily cam greasing sometimes twice a day....and I never know when something is going to break. Rocky soil here has been tough on the machine. Advantage is it has a low center of gravity pulls a ton of plugs and it a great tool for soil prep for overseeding and you can stop the Hydro and force the tines against the braking action of the stopped or slowed drive wheels and pulverize the soil or existing turf delivering an extremely tight dense spot aeration pattern.

I also have the 2010 Lawn Solutions WB and this is my favorite to run on rocky soil. I expect the service life this unit to exceed the Plugr long term due to rocky soil we have here. The lawn solutions walk behind and $8,500 Stander have the tightest pattern that I know off of all rolling tine aerators on the market. This is a competitive advantage I play on. If you get the Walk Behind get the full weight kit.

On my wish list is the Ryan 28 $5,595 [tightest aeration pattern] and the Lawn Solutions Stander $8,500 just need to demo this unit first and have a bit more market share to justify the price tag.

Steve Ladd
01-26-2011, 10:53 AM
Thanks for the info on the aerator. It seems most professionals are happy w/ the Lawn Solutions, so we may go in that direction.

It sure is nice to have such a great site to access information since we are just now getting started and learning about a great industry.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
01-26-2011, 11:26 AM
May want to consider the Turfco XT5 - LS's rival.

DavidNJ
01-26-2011, 01:02 PM
From my reading, all the university papers say you need 20-40 cores per ft^2 in order to aerate. The aerators used on greens can use mini-times (also called quad tines) some going to 144 holes/ft^2. Nearly all the rotary aerators are around 4-8 holes/ft^2, require 4 or more passes.

The Ryan 28 is rated at 12 holes/ft^2 and isn't a rotary. The Aeravator vibrates in firm soil to create a broad area that is aerated (Rutgers has one). I'm looking for a used greens aerator and will use that (25-36 holes/ft^2, depending on the model).

http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/pubs/AY-8.pdf

http://www.linksaerificationplus.com/images/ulen.jpg

Exact Rototilling
01-26-2011, 01:59 PM
Yes I have read that. Seems excessive frankly unless your going to overseed and verticut through all those plugs. I'm not aware of ANY aerator that will pop out that many in one pass.

Maybe I will offer an additional tier of aeration service..."super premium" 20 plugs per square foot guaranteed. Then again you start getting holes in holes. :rolleyes:

DavidNJ
01-26-2011, 03:24 PM
All the greens aerators will do that. Most will do 2x2 spacing (36 holes/ft^2) and can go to 3x2 spacing by adjusting vehicle speed. Then they have the mini-tine holders that do 1x1 spacing (144 holes/ft^2 or in the case of the Deere 800 1.4x1.4 for 72 holes/ft^2).

They often have windrow attachments to aid in collecting the cores. Rather than overseeding, they are done with top dressing. However, they should work in either case.

http://www.linksaerificationplus.com/images/grass_bottom_le0r.gif

sildoc
02-02-2011, 11:05 PM
I have been looking at upgrading to a ride able aerator this year have been using the plugr for 6 years and is getting worn out. needing one to fit 36" gates and also do acreage. Looking at the turfco turnare6
any one with experiences with this machine? looking at tine wear rate and reliability. Love my plugr but the tines are expensive and wear fast.

Exact Rototilling
02-03-2011, 03:14 AM
Sildoc,

Which model Plugr are you currently using?
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DavidNJ
02-03-2011, 03:53 AM
I have been looking at upgrading to a ride able aerator this year have been using the plugr for 6 years and is getting worn out. needing one to fit 36" gates and also do acreage. Looking at the turfco turnare6
any one with experiences with this machine? looking at tine wear rate and reliability. Love my plugr but the tines are expensive and wear fast.

How many holes/sqft where you making with the Plugr? What is the soil texture in your area?

sildoc
02-03-2011, 11:14 AM
Been using the Pl 410, got a screaming deal on it, so I bought it. been good to me. I am getting about 9 per square ft. soil is clay and rocky around the rivers and streams. getting larger accounts now so looking for a rider that can also be used on small 3-6k sqft accounts. will still keep the plugr for a while untill I have one that guarantees will do everything.

Exact Rototilling
02-03-2011, 11:57 AM
Been using the Pl 410, got a screaming deal on it, so I bought it. been good to me. I am getting about 9 per square ft. soil is clay and rocky around the rivers and streams. getting larger accounts now so looking for a rider that can also be used on small 3-6k sqft accounts. will still keep the plugr for a while untill I have one that guarantees will do everything.
The plug pattern on those 400's is only slightly tighter [3.63" x 6"] than a Lawn Solutions WB 21" 3.5" x 6". The big advantage of running Plugrs shines on their Hydro models with 8 tines across with a tighter pattern. If you are not prompting this as a competitive advantage and/or charging more for the service vs. a standard aeration there is not much point in running them IMO.

The Turfco units are 4" x 6" and will cover ground much more quickly. Tine wear on all the rolling tine machines is not an issue.

How steep and hilly are the properties you aerate?

sildoc
02-03-2011, 12:02 PM
The plug pattern on those 400's is only slightly tighter [3.63" x 6"] than a Lawn Solutions WB 21" 3.5" x 6". The big advantage of running Plugrs shines on their Hydro models with 8 tines across with a tighter pattern. If you are not prompting this as a competitive advantage and/or charging more for the service vs. a standard aeration there is not much point in running them IMO.

The Turfco units are 4" x 6" and will cover ground much more quickly. Tine wear on all the rolling tine machines is not an issue.

How steep and hilly are the properties you aerate?

Mostly flat. a few with slight inclines and a couple that purely suck, with about a 15 degree slope. I hate using the plugr on those but can be done. I definitely get my moneys worth of a work out.

sildoc
02-03-2011, 12:07 PM
As much as I love my plugr, I am disappointed in how much the stinking tines cost. That is the only reason I am not really looking at them. 10 bucks a tine and they wear so quickly is crazy. Yeah I make plenty of money with it to afford that but when you replace the tines 4-5 times a year. My buddy has a classen and he changes his tines every other year doing about the same acreage per year. Maybe an aftermarket company should look into this.

Exact Rototilling
02-03-2011, 12:50 PM
Yes this issue with Plugr tines has been discussed many times before. One of the posters here had some sort of modification to old worn out tines. Never heard anything else on it since then. I save my old ones in hopes some sort of modification down the road.
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sildoc
02-03-2011, 09:52 PM
Yes this issue with Plugr tines has been discussed many times before. One of the posters here had some sort of modification to old worn out tines. Never heard anything else on it since then. I save my old ones in hopes some sort of modification down the road.
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yep I have tried several things, like welding steel to it but doesn't last. I just hope the more we post this the more chance we will have of them building cheaper longer lasting tines.
Are you listening??? I am just one of the many that are looking at not buying your product because of the cost to run it!!!!!!!

DavidNJ
02-03-2011, 10:10 PM
Wear should be a function of hole depth, penetration speed, and the number of holes made. Are you making your holes faster per tine or more holes per tine than the other machines?

Greens aerators run through hardened tines on one course of greens, unhardened tines faster. That would be around 150k sqft.

Does R&R (http://www.rrproducts.com/) or JRM (http://www.jrmonline.com/mall/jrmonline_find.cfm) carry/manufacture tines for it?

Exact Rototilling
02-04-2011, 09:24 AM
DavidNJ,

PLUGR tines wear fast for those reasons:

1. It is the only tine working in that location vs 6 in a rolling assembly. There are old reports of Plugr tines before I bought and ran my first Plugr 850, 3 years ago, of tines shattering on impact....due to heat treatment. If current generation tines can or would shatter I would be shattering tines constantly aerating the rocky ground.here. So yes a softer tine won't shatter but will wear quicker.

As I've said before the functional competitive advantages of running a Plugr need to be promoted over rolling tine aerators to offset burning through tines quickly. The Plugr 400, 410 and 600 don't pull as many plugs as the 800 series units so you are not getting up to 12 plugs per square foot.

I had graph paper with tine layouts of the pl 400 600 pattern with count per sq foot can't find it now but the lack of hydro drive makes them slower and tougher to handle and a pita on hills or sloped or excessively wet turf. So to advantage is a few more plugs per square foot 3.63" x 6" over a 4 x 6 standard rolling tine pattern but not as much as the 800 series with 2.25" x 8". Compare this the Lawn Solutions Stander and WB at 3.5" x 6" and hole count is lost. A few other rolling tine units have spacing of 3.75" x 6" so the Plugr 400 and 600 has it beat but not by much. Also cored holes can be shallower than the others depending on soils etc.

So the remaining competitive advantage of the Pl 400 and 600 is the plugs can and are often ejected and sit on top of the grass blades for amore impressive visual plug count vs. the passive rolling tine unit of near equal pattern and count. The funstional advantge would be plug break up is a bit better with a mower and mulch plate installed since plugs will be a bit more likely to get broken up more throughly with a mower n the first pass.

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Exact Rototilling
02-04-2011, 09:40 AM
Ok on a roll here....advantage of Plugr 850 and 855 Hydro over PL 800 is tire pressure can be dropped to compensate for tine wear. Also PL 800 is subject to tug fest like the 400 and 600 on slopped properties and soggy turf.

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DavidNJ
02-04-2011, 10:53 AM
A quick calc shows those to be 6.6 and 8 holes/sq ft. With a 3/4" tine that about 2.5" of the surface area. It is my understanding that to be effective it needs to be 10%. A 2x2 pattern (typical for a greens aerator) with a 3/4" tine would be 11%.

Given the small number of tines, isn't the Plugr tine wear per hole about the same as the drum aerators?

Question: how do you test for the need for aeration? Do you do the 'screwdriver test'?

sildoc
02-04-2011, 11:59 AM
A quick calc shows those to be 6.6 and 8 holes/sq ft. With a 3/4" tine that about 2.5" of the surface area. It is my understanding that to be effective it needs to be 10%. A 2x2 pattern (typical for a greens aerator) with a 3/4" tine would be 11%.

Given the small number of tines, isn't the Plugr tine wear per hole about the same as the drum aerators?

Question: how do you test for the need for aeration? Do you do the 'screwdriver test'?

After a while you can just tell by walking on it. regardless of whether it needs it or really needs it, it is a good up sell and beneficial for the turf.

Exact Rototilling
02-04-2011, 12:11 PM
A quick calc shows those to be 6.6 and 8 holes/sq ft. With a 3/4" tine that about 2.5" of the surface area. It is my understanding that to be effective it needs to be 10%. A 2x2 pattern (typical for a greens aerator) with a 3/4" tine would be 11%.

Yes precisely why a standard single pass aeration with a rolling tine unit spaced at 4" x 6" or 3.75" x 6" looks very sparse. I had several people tell me they didn't think aeration isn't all that effective because of this fact and they have a bias against ALL aerations due to the rip off factor. I'll be pushing a double pass aeration with my Plugr 850's as an ideal balance. As long as there are not holes in holes with a plugr 850 double pass hole plug count will be 18-24 plugs per square foot. Plugrs standard tines are 5/8 to begin with and get a bit fatter as they wear on the inside. Ryan 28 reciprocating aerators pull 3/4" plugs @ 3.5" x 5". This is the densest pattern on a WB unit on the planet. From what I hear they are slow 2+ mph, tend to be top heavy, not fun on some hills and have issues with soft ground mushy ground since the tines and drive wheels are in the back and there is only one wheel up front combined with 400 pounds of weight.vs. #322 & #360 on the Hydro Plugrs. Plugr hydro 850 and 855 have 2 front wheels and hydro drive and the tines help push in the back. At some point I will be acquiring a Ryan 28 - yet again due to competitive advantage.
If there was stander or WB aerator that could pull 2" x 3" or 2" x 2" that would not destroy it's self in rocky soil I'd be interested. A stander reciprocator aerator would be a wild ride in the soil here.


Given the small number of tines, isn't the Plugr tine wear per hole about the same as the drum aerators?

Due to the speed of the tine plunging into the ground I'd say it has to be greater but I don't have an exact number? Cost of single Plugr tine is $12 - $18 each. Question: how do you test for the need for aeration? Do you do the 'screwdriver test'?

Many of the lawns here will not allow a screw driver to go very far due to tight gravely soil. If there is heavy evidence of night crawlers naturally aerating the soil there tends to be an absence of thatch - then there is not as much need for it. I've told several potential customers to save their money. Still most lawns will benefit from aeration especially in traffic areas. Many people think they don't need aeration but insist on habitual power racking and dethatching thinking that is the best option for their lawn. Natural plug breakdown acts as a top dressing for the unplugged grass and soil microbes help thatch breakdown. I don't think there is any golf course that would leave plugs on the greens? Daily irrigation in the summer combined with high nitrogen fertilizer and short mowing height below 2" for cool season grasses is the norm here. I've lost mowing accounts because of my resistance to mow below 2". These handicapped lawns need aeration the most but most home owner are still convinced power raking is best and they want instant results.

DavidNJ
02-04-2011, 01:00 PM
Golf courses windrow and remove the cores. It is easier when your grass is mowed to 1/8" height. :)

Wouldn't you need 3 passes with the Plugr 850 to get in that range?

The measurement I like to use is holes/hour with a secondary measurement of holes/sq ft. That last is more a factor in comparing older greens aerators. For example a Toro Greens Aerator does a 2.5x2.25 pattern, 25.6 holes/sqft while the Ryan/Jacobsen GA24, Deere Aercore 800, Toro Procore 648 do a 2x2 pattern for 36 holes/sq ft. Mini tines are usually 1x1 pattern (144/sq ft), however the Deere does 1.4x1.4 and the Toro 648 does 1.5x1.333, both for for 72 mini holes/sq ft,. The Toro 648 and Deere 800 have variable forward speeds which lets you adjust the length, the Ryan doesn't.

Most of the ones used by landscapers do around 100-150k holes/hr. It looks like the PL855 may hit 280k holes/hr. The PL600 is around 180k holes/hr. The older Toro Greens Aerator does around 330k holes/hr, Deere 800 does around 550k holes/hr, the Toro 648 over 700k holes/hr.

None of these do deep tining that fractures the soil below the root layer. An interesting note about soil texture: while fine clay and silt soils compact removing voids for roots to grow, they have higher water retention and CEC than sandier soils.

Exact Rototilling
02-04-2011, 04:21 PM
What is your formula for calculating the plugs per square foot? I was doing it the hard way with graph paper and a cut out square.

A double pass with a Plugr 850 is almost shocking to a home owner. If the plugs are not gathered up it looks like the lawn has been torn up - looks pretty unsightly. A triple pass would be alarming. I don't enjoy mowing over a property I have recently plugged - a double pass with a plugr is a tremendous dust dirt cloud. Unless I was over seeding I would probably not go overboard but hey whatever the customer wants except for gathering those plugs up I will have to charge extra for that. They want 3 passes great just need to payup

I'm still going to cite the Purdue recommendations as being ideal for aeration. Too many potential customers as it is have a mental block on more plugs is better. I've had several people in the industry tell me "quit marketing more plugs is better and focus on lawn benefit" do what the golf courses do etc. Did that last year. Worst Response Ever! Lost about $1,000 on that run of doorhangers and graphic design work and time wasted handing them out. :cry: I believe people are smart enough to belive that more is really more not just the same or even less or even undesireable...if it is correctly presented.

Dispite telling my customers that it is best to leave the plugs many still get tired of seeing them on the lawn past 2 weeks and start raking them up. :hammerhead:

As for deep tine aerification and soil factureing.... one can get closer with the super long plugs that the Lawn Solutions Stander 1200 pounds+ over 8 tines. It cranks out 4 to 5 inch plugs but appently it bogs the motor and forward speed on the machine. Not going to get long plugs like that here unless it's a rock free spot.

The other problem here is irrigation system with shallow lines barely 2" down below the surface. Lots of low bidder irrigation companies here who do marginal work. Sprinkler lines even being hit with a mower blade on the crown of the slope. I've run into resistance to having a lawn aerated due to their knowledge they don't want the lines hit since they realized that during installation they got what they paid for. I'd hope golf courses would not be subject to this. :laugh:

sildoc
02-04-2011, 06:44 PM
Worst Response Ever! Lost about $1,000 on that run of doorhangers and graphic design work and time wasted handing them out. :cry:

I did Door hangers about 5 years ago. Spent like $2000 for 20000 and hung them. I got about a 9 percent response. Was very profitable but decided to take another route the next year and got business cards with my business name and on the back ran a aeration special. (special was my normal price) I gained a 23 percent response off that and gained customers for maintenance. The great thing is I ordered 50000 cards and only cost me $550 shipped. lasted me 2 years. Now I order in quantities of 250000 and it runs right around 2000 shipped. I cut my costs and almost tripled my customer base.

Exact Rototilling
02-04-2011, 07:18 PM
I did Door hangers about 5 years ago. Spent like $2000 for 20000 and hung them. I got about a 9 percent response. Was very profitable but decided to take another route the next year and got business cards with my business name and on the back ran a aeration special. (special was my normal price) I gained a 23 percent response off that and gained customers for maintenance. The great thing is I ordered 50000 cards and only cost me $550 shipped. lasted me 2 years. Now I order in quantities of 250000 and it runs right around 2000 shipped. I cut my costs and almost tripled my customer base.


Did you put prices on the back of the card?

sildoc
02-04-2011, 07:27 PM
Did you put prices on the back of the card?

hand wrote them in as I went. saved a ton of time that way instead of going and doing a bid. most everyone that called was on the hook ready to go. only had a few that tried to get a better price.
The great thing about aerations and canvasing the area is once one person sees you out there doing it, many more want it done. I have spent 3 days in the same neighborhood, that is when I love what I do.

Exact Rototilling
02-04-2011, 08:19 PM
hand wrote them in as I went. saved a ton of time that way instead of going and doing a bid. most everyone that called was on the hook ready to go. only had a few that tried to get a better price.
The great thing about aerations and canvasing the area is once one person sees you out there doing it, many more want it done. I have spent 3 days in the same neighborhood, that is when I love what I do.

What time of year in relation to mowing season? Do you have to deal with sprinkler flagging? Huge road block for me here in the Spring. Many systems not turned on until May often too busy with mowing to get to them then.

sildoc
02-04-2011, 08:51 PM
What time of year in relation to mowing season? Do you have to deal with sprinkler flagging? Huge road block for me here in the Spring. Many systems not turned on until May often too busy with mowing to get to them then.

I place cards in late feb early March. We start testing systems in March and have them finished by mid April at the latest, major mowing starts April. I hire one guy specifically on a per aeration basis. (pay him 15 per aeration, I pay fuel, insurance, truck) He not only does aeration but puts out my cards also. (more work he gets, more money for him) Easier that way when trying to get guys on board for major mowing/maintenance. As for sprinkler flagging it is left up to customer. If they want it flagged it is an additional 10 bucks. If they do it themselves then they are responsible for repair, if we do it we are responsible for repair. Good way to get extra irrigation repair jobs. Most let us do it for the 10 bucks.

So break down for one day mowing.
10 appointments average 40-55 dollars+ depending if we flag (ticky tacky house 3-4k sqft)figure in 2-3 extras in a day just from people seeing you. average 8 hour day.
Costs break down.
50 for truck
15 for fuel
5 for insurance
25 for aerator
50 misc. items
150-200 for labor. I average High for unexpected events. figure actual costs are around 200 or so. never know till the end of the year.

Low cost 270 High 345 monies brought in average Low 450 High 650.

This is a basic run down. During my high season he averages 20-30 aerations a day for roughly 2 months.
then around 15 a day for 3 months
4 months is right at 10 a day.

this puts the ball in his court to really pass out cards and get extras.

Average for the year in irrigation repairs due to finding them during aerations is another 8000.

this has worked out well for me and with the right motivated individual you can average 300 profit a day.

best day one guy/one aerator is 2600 - costs was close to 1900.

I price myself a bit below the average. I do this for a couple of reasons.
1. to keep a guy employed making me money.
2. to pick up extra jobs
3. to keep my business name out there.

after the last couple of years I have contemplated just doing aerations, the problem is letting go of all the extras it brings in just by being there.

Exact Rototilling
02-04-2011, 09:53 PM
Are you doing all those aerations with just one little Plugr 400? :dizzy:

Sprinkler repairs, back flow testing, blow outs is what I get asked about constantly. I know far more about aircraft hydraulics than sprinklers systems. But then again this is the land of $20 and $25 blow outs not sure if it is worth bothering with all the lowest prices in town types in operation.

Probably would be better off subbing that out? Maybe??

DavidNJ
02-05-2011, 12:07 PM
What is your formula for calculating the plugs per square foot? I was doing it the hard way with graph paper and a cut out square.

A double pass with a Plugr 850 is almost shocking to a home owner. If the plugs are not gathered up it looks like the lawn has been torn up - looks pretty unsightly. A triple pass would be alarming. I don't enjoy mowing over a property I have recently plugged - a double pass with a plugr is a tremendous dust dirt cloud. Unless I was over seeding I would probably not go overboard but hey whatever the customer wants except for gathering those plugs up I will have to charge extra for that. They want 3 passes great just need to payup

I'm still going to cite the Purdue recommendations as being ideal for aeration. Too many potential customers as it is have a mental block on more plugs is better. I've had several people in the industry tell me "quit marketing more plugs is better and focus on lawn benefit" do what the golf courses do etc. Did that last year. Worst Response Ever! Lost about $1,000 on that run of doorhangers and graphic design work and time wasted handing them out. :cry: I believe people are smart enough to belive that more is really more not just the same or even less or even undesireable...if it is correctly presented.

Dispite telling my customers that it is best to leave the plugs many still get tired of seeing them on the lawn past 2 weeks and start raking them up. :hammerhead:

As for deep tine aerification and soil factureing.... one can get closer with the super long plugs that the Lawn Solutions Stander 1200 pounds+ over 8 tines. It cranks out 4 to 5 inch plugs but appently it bogs the motor and forward speed on the machine. Not going to get long plugs like that here unless it's a rock free spot.

The other problem here is irrigation system with shallow lines barely 2" down below the surface. Lots of low bidder irrigation companies here who do marginal work. Sprinkler lines even being hit with a mower blade on the crown of the slope. I've run into resistance to having a lawn aerated due to their knowledge they don't want the lines hit since they realized that during installation they got what they paid for. I'd hope golf courses would not be subject to this. :laugh:

I just did the math, which checks against the greens/fairway/sportsturf aerator specs (the landscaper holes/sq ft often seem to be wishful dreaming). I used MathCAD, but Excel, OpenOffice Calc (free), or a calculator would work fine.

Golf courses and sports facilities typically have high capacity/high pressure irrigation feeds and use long range sprinklers creating bigger open areas. A residential property could have a 10gpm 3/4" water line requiring lots of smaller sprinklers. Not placing the lines deep enough is a problem. It is a problem everywhere for deep tining which can go 12+" deep.

http://www.toro.com/golf/images/ProCore_SR48_xl.jpg

It should be possible to windrow and pickup aeration cores. Alternatively, doesn't the mower 'process' them? Toro has a machine that pickups and grinds the cores; it is too big for residences. Deere has a collection unit.

http://www.toro.com/grounds/images/procore_processor_xl.jpghttp://www.deere.com/en_US/ProductCatalog/GT/media/images/product/largerview/tc125_44160_large.jpg

One issue would be when should top dressing be applied. If applied before it will take nature or irrigation to add to the core holes. Added after the cores will be in the way and still only a portion would find its way in the holes. 24 .6" dia (7/8" .130 wall tine) holes/sq ft 3" deep would create 20 cuyd per acre.

Exact Rototilling
02-05-2011, 01:02 PM
DavidNJ,

Ideally aeration cores need to be broken up with a mower with a mulch plate installed. I was forced to use a catcher on several of my properties last season and much of the top dressing is wasted.

I have also power raked the plugs with a spring tine bar to break up the plugs. Flail blades can also be used but the spring tines still have enough force to do a decent job with out damaging the turf crown the way flail blades can if you hit a high spot. Again a very dirty job.

Post aeration top dressing a lawn with EKO type compost: hand applied, use of a spreader or a larger compost top dresser spreader designed for this is ideal and is something I have wanted to venture into but I'm NOT convinced there is much of a market or should I say profit margin for it here.


Working largely with golf courses sounds like a great niche market. The conditions are controlled, better grading and I'm sure far less rocks lurking just inches below the surface.

sildoc
02-05-2011, 07:10 PM
Are you doing all those aerations with just one little Plugr 400? :dizzy:


Probably would be better off subbing that out? Maybe??

Yep all with a 400, thus the reason for looking for a bigger one. Could double my day with a larger one.

I would looking at subbing. I sub some stuff and just take a percentage. My tree guy kicks me 15% for any one I line up for him. I sub out bark and occasionally irrigation repair when we are swamped and I can't justify hiring another guy.

Exact Rototilling
02-07-2011, 08:34 PM
Yep all with a 400, thus the reason for looking for a bigger one. Could double my day with a larger one.

I would looking at subbing. I sub some stuff and just take a percentage. My tree guy kicks me 15% for any one I line up for him. I sub out bark and occasionally irrigation repair when we are swamped and I can't justify hiring another guy.

If you were to get a Plugr Hydro 850 or 855 you would speed up the process and pull more plugs and make more $ in the same time spent. Depending on property access and what kind of hills and slopes you have the Lawn Solutions 21" WB might also be an option. If a property is loaded with rocks in the soil Lawn Solutions is my choice. If you have to traverse side hills grassy swells and have to deal with tricky access...Plugr Hydro is my vote. I have both.

You're current Plugr pulls a slightly tighter patter than the Lawn Solutions unit you're customer may not notice the difference. If you buy one make sure you get the full weight kit. 3 in the back and one in the front.
:waving:

sildoc
02-07-2011, 09:34 PM
If you were to get a Plugr Hydro 850 or 855 you would speed up the process and pull more plugs and make more $ in the same time spent. Depending on property access and what kind of hills and slopes you have the Lawn Solutions 21" WB might also be an option. If a property is loaded with rocks in the soil Lawn Solutions is my choice. If you have to traverse side hills grassy swells and have to deal with tricky access...Plugr Hydro is my vote. I have both.

You're current Plugr pulls a slightly tighter patter than the Lawn Solutions unit you're customer may not notice the difference. If you buy one make sure you get the full weight kit. 3 in the back and one in the front.
:waving:

Thanks, was looking at the plugr but the price tag is a little more than I think it should be. My next bet was the Lawn Solutions or the Turfco xt5 or the 6. We do have some slopes but very few. Mostly clay with some areas being rocky (shale or river rock). I am ready to sell the PL410 and upgrade. I am hoping we can pay for the new machine in just time and then next year get a rider like the classen or Lawn solutions for our acreage. I am not paying 2 grand on a pull behind that I can only use on wide open or big areas, just not enough people have that kind of turf around here.

Just curious what would someone be willing to pay for a Plugr pl410 in average shape? engine only a year old and new upgraded cam shaft 2 years ago.

DavidNJ
02-07-2011, 10:08 PM
Why not get a used greens aerator? you will get more holes/sq ft, more holes/hour. If you are doing 20-40 holes/sqft, is faster. JRM has budget tines--3/4" or 7/8" mount, 3/4" diameter, .130" wall for .6" core, 4130 steel--that are under $4 each.

Roots are a problem, but otherwise not. For the price of a new one of the types being discussed, there are good selection available, including some of the Deere Aercore 800s.

sildoc
02-07-2011, 10:17 PM
Why not get a used greens aerator? you will get more holes/sq ft, more holes/hour. If you are doing 20-40 holes/sqft, is faster. JRM has budget tines--3/4" or 7/8" mount, 3/4" diameter, .130" wall for .6" core, 4130 steel--that are under $4 each.

Roots are a problem, but otherwise not. For the price of a new one of the types being discussed, there are good selection available, including some of the Deere Aercore 800s.

If I could up sell the aeration "more holes is better/pay me more" I would. but there is no way I could justify the extra time spent. People are used to seeing turds and holes that is mostly all they care about. I can help and make people happy buy offering single or double aeration and price it accordingly.

I have a competitor here that offers aeration single pass no pick up for 35 a yard. uses a Billy goat. He can do around 15-20 a day. I use my plugr get more holes but can only get 40 and it takes longer. People are basically using us cause we have been here longer not cause of the price. If I can do 1.25 times more by getting a hydro one It will make me money in less than one year.
When the economy improves I will try to upsell more holes is better, until then I need to compete apples to apples.

Exact Rototilling
02-07-2011, 10:29 PM
As many aerations as you are doing I'd keep the PL400 as back up but then again you could rent a standard machine and your customer will probably not notice. When I showed up to aerate a few properties last fall with my Lawn Solutions WB a few of my customer complained about the lack of plugs....in one instance even 2 years ago.

Yes Plugr Hydro's are spendy but I just picked up a basically new [less than 10 hours] Plugr 850HD for $2500 last week so that beats the well over $4300+ for a new improved 855HD.

My second Plugr 850 takes the panic out of having to do a double pass with my lawn solutions WB when it breaks and it is my favorite aerator overall despite the drawbacks. My plan is to run the Lawn Solutions WB as the economy/standard/budget aeration for all the price bargain hunters but my main emphasis will be to push the greater quantity of plugs in single pass with the Plugr 850HD and offer this as my premium added service. Makes little sense to give away extra plugs for ZERO additional income. The Plugr hydro's are expensive to purchase and operate in rocky soil so the additional fiddle factor and expense needs to be passed along to the customer.

Exact Rototilling
02-07-2011, 10:38 PM
Why not get a used greens aerator? you will get more holes/sq ft, more holes/hour. If you are doing 20-40 holes/sqft, is faster. JRM has budget tines--3/4" or 7/8" mount, 3/4" diameter, .130" wall for .6" core, 4130 steel--that are under $4 each.

Roots are a problem, but otherwise not. For the price of a new one of the types being discussed, there are good selection available, including some of the Deere Aercore 800s.

Is there such a thing as a greens aerator that fits through a 33" gate, traverse a 30+ degree side hill, aerate up and down those slopes? All those greens aerators look like tow behind models.

Sildoc has a point I've had more than few people scoff at the more plugs line .....assuming an aeration is just an aeration. :hammerhead:

DavidNJ
02-07-2011, 10:52 PM
Can't do the 33" gate. Also can't do under trees.

georgiagrass
02-08-2011, 12:16 AM
We use a Ryan Lawnaire 28. It does a fantastic job for us. We usually do two passes.

DavidNJ
02-08-2011, 12:30 AM
We use a Ryan Lawnaire 28. It does a fantastic job for us. We usually do two passes.

Nice truck!

Exact Rototilling
02-08-2011, 12:47 AM
We use a Ryan Lawnaire 28. It does a fantastic job for us. We usually do two passes.

Are you charging more for that?

You're double pass could actually be 24 plugs per square foot if there are no holes in holes. That would require 4 passes with a standard 4" x 6" rolling tine aerator to attain that level of plugs per square foot.

DavidNJ
02-08-2011, 01:28 AM
Ryan Turf lists the spacing as 3.5"x5". The GA24, which does 2"x2", has one speed. Is that the case for the Lawnaire 28?

If so, 3.5" (which is 28"/8 tines) x 5" (which is speed dependent) would be 8.2 holes/sqft. To get 12 the spacing would have to be 3.5" x 3.4".

The mechanism seems similar to the GA24, except that unit has 6 crank arms each holding 2 tines each with 2" spacing while the LA28 has 4 tine holders holding 2 tines each with 3.5" spacing. The GA24 tines are upright and have a cam assembly to keep them upright throughout their travel. The LA28 seems to have the tines at an angle and a simpler (more reliable? lower maintenance?) linkage to position the tine.

Exact Rototilling
02-08-2011, 02:03 AM
I frankly wanted to verify this plug count so I did the graph paper drill and cut out [few weeks back] since I didn't trust my own math. Ryan claims 12 per square foot. My graph paper reveled and confirmed this. Ryan 28 is king of the hill.

Ryan also claims 9 plugs per square foot on their rolling aerators as do a few other on the market on their web site ....um this is a stretch when plotting on graph paper as of yet I can not make a rolling tine pattern of 6" x 4" or 6" x 3.75" equals 9 plugs yet..no matter how I rotate the square..I'll keep trying. 6 plugs per square foot reliably yes. Maybe I'm doing something wrong? Lawn Solutions 6" x 3.5" = 7 per square foot if my memory is correct.

Plugr 800, 850 & 855 when square pattern is rotated will deliver 12 per square foot

Last year this pic showed up in thread of the Ryan 28 pattern proof positive.



http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=307717

DavidNJ
02-08-2011, 02:28 AM
Umm....I suggest you try counting the holes in a pass 28" x 36". To get 12 holes/sq ft you actually overcounted. The area you measured is actually 16" long. Also, from your measurement it appears Ryan didn't do uniform 3.5" spacing. It appears the center two tine holders are a bit closer together. 8 tines over 28" can't produce 4 tines/12" with uniform spacing.

I will stick with the 8.2 holes/sqft. However, your graph shows how they market it as 'up to 12 hole/sqft'. If that marketing guy worked for me, he would wouldn't be working for me long.

Exact Rototilling
02-08-2011, 11:05 AM
Umm....I suggest you try counting the holes in a pass 28" x 36". To get 12 holes/sq ft you actually overcounted. The area you measured is actually 16" long. Also, from your measurement it appears Ryan didn't do uniform 3.5" spacing. It appears the center two tine holders are a bit closer together. 8 tines over 28" can't produce 4 tines/12" with uniform spacing.

I will stick with the 8.2 holes/sqft. However, your graph shows how they market it as 'up to 12 hole/sqft'. If that marketing guy worked for me, he would wouldn't be working for me long.

I'd like to be able to duplicate that cardboard test but I don't own a Ryan 28......yet. Those pics were from a LS member in western WA.

The graduations on the tape measure are at 12" not 16" centers. I could be missing something. :confused:

Distance to outer most tine center should be 24.5 [3.5 x 7]. I really don’t know why aerator manufacturers rate their machine as being wider....?


When the ground thaws out here I will run over some cardboard with my Plugr 850 and my Lawn Solution WB and I will do the 12" x 12" cut out drill and count the holes.

:waving:

DavidNJ
02-08-2011, 11:34 AM
Yes...your measurements needed to be from centerline (or edge) to centerline (or edge), but you count was off.

For example, if you have four holes over 12 inches you divide the 12 inches wide and number holes -1, not the total number holes. In your example you counted the holes at the very end which gave a higher count.

I'm sure that's what Ryan's marketing department did also.

Exact Rototilling
02-08-2011, 09:07 PM
Ok....I see what you are saying but fact is two aerator manufactures are claiming 9 plugs per square foot for 3.75" x 6" or 4" x 6" rolling tine units.

It is already an uphill battle IMO trying convince the customer the added value in more plugs in a single pass [forget a double, triple or quad pass at this point] so now I need to come up with a creative way to call foul if another rolling tine aerator jockey running an old school type machine claims 9 plugs per square foot. "....see the manufactures web site says 9 per sq foot".

What I'm saying is I need a way to level the playing field without reinventing the wheel.....and maintain my competitive advantage running Plugr 850's or maybe a Ryan 28 down the road.

DavidNJ
02-09-2011, 03:52 AM
There are two issues here. First, the drum roller/landscape contractor/rental market has entered into a shared deceptive marketing practice and no one has called them on it. Lawnmower/snowblowers recently had a settlement in case about deceptive horsepower figures; nearly all the engines are now sold with rated torque, a meaningless number since it occurs around 2500rpm when the engine operates at peak power around 3600 rpm.

The greens aerators are all marketed with the correct numbers.

As far as making the sale, that requires educating the customer. I would recommend doing an ongoing education approach that can address, as appropriate for the climate, grass type, soil texture, drainage, and irrigation, the different things to care for the lawn. This can include dethatching, overseeding, aeration, top dressing, additional drainage, different chemicals.

While topics here, Tenacity, Imprellis, Acelepryn, Speticlem, etc. herbicides and pesticides are not topics most people understand. However, once they do they may see the value of your chemical program over another service.

E-mailing them links do documents like this may help: http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/pubs/AY-8.pdf

In the end, a customer who trusts you and has financial resources should be an easy sell; the education can move a customer who hasn't yet developed the a priori trust or who is more restricted financially. A customer who is financially constrained probably can't be sold.

The education can be done in emails or direct mail to existing and prospective customers. The link to university papers supporting what you say in text adds crediblity. It takes time but probably not that much more effort and will probably result in increase customer retention in addition to increased revenue per customer.

Exact Rototilling
02-16-2011, 01:31 PM
I just checked the math on the Purdue PDF below and sure enough it does work. Plotting on graph paper and rotating a square is a rather fuzzy way to prove or disprove effectiveness and is rather disingenuous because of the rotating square factor will skew the count making a common rolling tine pattern look as equally effective as a Plugr Hydro 850 or 855. The only way to approach it is on a percentage basis of more plugs in a single pass and effectiveness of soil surface area.

The tine spacing on many rolling tine units is more spread out than 4" x 6" delivering a truly sparse pattern in one pass.

My aeration marketing will play this angle. I have been told people don't care about more plugs but I beg to differ. I believe people are smart enough to understand.....I hope. :hammerhead:

I will be marketing aerations with my Lawn Solutions as being the standard/economy line at 3.5" x 6" [best of the rolling tine patterns] but I will push the Plugr 850 aerations as an up sell. A double Plugr pass will be 40-60% more in cost than a single Plugr pass.

Time will tell.

http://www.agry.purdue.edu/turf/pubs/AY-8.pdf

jwildes
02-17-2011, 11:40 PM
Are any of you familiar with the walk behind/ ride on aera vator made by first products? I have the the 60" that i pull behind my tractor which I highly reccomend if yall have a market. Was thinking of getting the 40" ride on for smaller yards.

Exact Rototilling
02-17-2011, 11:50 PM
Are any of you familiar with the walk behind/ ride on aera vator made by first products? I have the the 60" that i pull behind my tractor which I highly reccomend if yall have a market. Was thinking of getting the 40" ride on for smaller yards.
Just looked at the video...how does it handle rocks and I mean big rocks? I have pried out some huge rocks when tilling here. I understand the soil fracturing concept...how much are those ride on units?

DavidNJ
02-18-2011, 12:13 AM
Rutgers has one. There is also one that is a Dingo attachment, however that one only uses the coring tines; the others have a selection. If the soil is dry enough to fracture, it may be the best aerator. It isn't cheap though.

jwildes
02-19-2011, 07:51 AM
Its sole purpose is to loosen the soil for root growth however if u do hit a big rock, stump, whatever, if it works like my 60" it'll just bounce over it. If its within that 3" range you should be able to pull it out. Not sure on cost.. hadnt got that far yet.

DavidNJ
02-19-2011, 08:24 AM
But how does it like wet soil? Doesn't the ground have to be fairly dry?

humble1
03-22-2011, 09:50 PM
We don't have any major changes for the aerators currently in the works.....the fall will be the same as our spring units.
Posted via Mobile Device

took a hard look at the rider at the new england grows show, is there any way to build that machine without chains and just use hydro motors. I am not sure I would buy it because a rock, or branch could get between the spkocket and chain, throwing it off, also chain stretch and constantly adj turns me off, I buy equip to make money not have to work on it constantly.