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Landscraper1
09-27-2012, 05:21 PM
I have just purchased the Toro Stand on Aerator (formerly Lawn Solutions).Was very impressed with it until it broke down the first day out. Showed the foreman how to operate and off he went to do a large property. I called him around lunch time, he loved the aerator. By 4pm it broke down.

The right side would not work. It was stuck 300ft down a hill. They had to tie it to a Hustler Z and tow it up the hill and push it into the trailer. After looking at it the next day I saw found the problem. The nut that holds the drive wheel to the shaft came loose. No big deal, except now the threads are stipped from towing it up that hill.

Had it dropped off at dealer. He doesn't know when he will get the parts in. Toro does not have that shaft in stock(unbelievable) and they have no date as to when it will be in (UNBELIEVABLE). He micky moused it for now to get me going again.

SO far I am very disappointed with Toro. How can a reputable company like Toro, sell a product and not have parts for it. They should be ashamed.

What the hell it's only $9500. Why am I complaining?

americanlawn
04-20-2013, 09:46 PM
Thanks for the heads up Landscraper1. I demoed the 30" Toro stand-on aerator yesterday at http://www.porterdoitbest.com

pros:
1) Easy to operate
2) Pulled deep plugs
3) Goes fast in open areas
4) Has adjustable down pressure
5) Fits thru 48" gates

cons:
1) Needs at least 48 inches to get into back yards
2) Only 30" effective aeration width (2 1/2 feet)
3) Does not pull as many plugs as necessary Can additional tines be added? (Cuz it should be 2 times more)
4) Tears up turf while turning
5) Foot platform = "slippery when wet"
6) ZTR controls are touchy
7) $9350.00 plus tax = $10,000 or more depending what state you live in.

I would like to hear from others regarding this aerator. Meanwhile, our best aerators are the (walk-behind) TURFCO XT5's.

Thanks in advance

pieperlc
04-20-2013, 10:47 PM
Holy old post. How did you dig this out if the woodwork Larry?

Bought a toro last fall and I would agree with most of the above, except most of the cons. We love it.
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FdLLawnMan
04-21-2013, 03:58 PM
I love my Exmark stand-on, same as the Toro. As far as the cons I disagree on several of them. The hydro controls are not touchy IMO, if does pull enough plugs per Sq. Ft., if only tears up turf when turning if the ground is to soft or the times are too deep, I do not find the platform to be slippery, I where decent work hoots when aerating, expensive, yes but the amount of work I get done in a day is way ahead of any other aerator Inhave used and I am not beat up at the end of the day. The one thing you have to keep an eye on is the chain tension, it must be tight. Those chains are under a lot of load.
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americanlawn
04-22-2013, 07:58 PM
Thanks guys. I can live with the touchy controls -- no big deal. BTW, the controls ARE touchy compared to most ZTR mowers (say what you want)

"Only tears up turf when the ground is soft" >> okay... is the best time to aerate lawns when the soil is hard & dry?? Kinda wunderin'

I understand keeping the chain tension adjusted on a regular basis, and Toro did a nice job by allowing chain tension adjustments to be made on top instead of underneath like the former LS models.

My only gripe is the "low number of plugs per square foot". You guys happy with making only one pass???

Can additional tines be added on this aerator? Please respond, thanks

FdLLawnMan
04-22-2013, 10:38 PM
Larry,the Exmark pulls 4.6 plugs per Sq. Ft. while the XT5 pulls at most 6 plugs per Sq. Ft do where do you the idea the Exmark needs twice the amount of tines. As far as tearing the turf when soft I mean really soft. The nice thing about the Exmark is you can aerate when the ground is pretty firm.
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pieperlc
04-23-2013, 09:13 AM
True. You can aerate with these machines when the walk behind units won't leave much of a divot. Gentle curves not problem. Tight corners can tear some. The ride on units can probably perform a double pass of aeration and still out produce a walk behind at the end of the day to speed and no fatigue. The controls are probably touchier do to less travel fore and aft of neutral. Pretty much the same as stand on mowers. They are expensive and we don't have enough aerations to justify one, but it does allow us to get done and move on to the next job faster as we are design, install, maintenance. We bought ours with the fleet discount and that makes it much more reasonably priced.

Exact Rototilling
04-23-2013, 10:11 AM
Larry,the Exmark pulls 4.6 plugs per Sq. Ft. while the XT5 pulls at most 6 plugs per Sq. Ft do where do you the idea the Exmark needs twice the amount of tines. As far as tearing the turf when soft I mean really soft. The nice thing about the Exmark is you can aerate when the ground is pretty firm.
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Let's just say more tines on this unit was considered and even tested. 3.5" x 9" pattern is it.

This entire more plugs per square foot issue I have gotten away from. I really hate having to mow over more plugs than necessary.

As a promo package for smaller lawns I include 2 gimmie aerations when they sign up for the full meal deal lawn aps and snow over a 12 month time frame.
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Landscraper1
04-23-2013, 10:37 AM
I don't want anyone gettting the wrong idea. I do like the aerator. I think it's the best one out there by far. The break down was caused by just a loose nut. Problem I had was that Toro did not have the parts for it.

Service 1st Lawn Care
04-23-2013, 04:15 PM
As a professional I think you know weather the aeration job you did is good as far as the numbers of holes. I seriously doubt any home owner would ever come out and say well doesn't look like your getting 6 plugs per square ft. Larry will complain about any ride-on aerator until Turfco comes out with one, then they will be the greatest thing since slice bread even if Turfco's cost $10,000.

americanlawn
04-23-2013, 09:37 PM
As a professional I think you know weather the aeration job you did is good as far as the numbers of holes. I seriously doubt any home owner would ever come out and say well doesn't look like your getting 6 plugs per square ft. Larry will complain about any ride-on aerator until Turfco comes out with one, then they will be the greatest thing since slice bread even if Turfco's cost $10,000.

1) As a Professional, "you "know"???
2) Number of holes = customers don't care or are they are uninformed???
3) You mention my personal name on this site. Professional???
4) You got a beef with TURFCO??? Why?
5) Does TURFCO build a stand-on aerator? If so, please let me know.

The above "1 -- 5" make you look like ___________
Try this:

http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/hortnews/2005/6-22/lawnaeration.html

I certainly do not mean to personally attack you, but I disagree with you. Nothing personal whatsoever. And suggesting 20 - 40 plugs per square foot might be overkill in many situations (unless you're talkin' serious renovation).

NOTE: Our Ryan 48" tow-behind aerators come with a "set number of tines", yet Ryan allows one to "double that number" of tines on these aerators.

Plugr walk- behinds pull more plugs than you are recommending, and they are great aerators.

p.s. "whether" is not spelled "weather". just sayin'

:usflag::canadaflag:

djagusch
04-24-2013, 08:24 AM
A couple things to consider. Last week I ordered the xt5 and will be picking it up today. Before this I called the exmark dealer asking about pricing and how soon it would come in. He called the emark rep and was told won't have anything ready to ship till aug. Also was told they were redoing some things due to field breakdowns.

So even if you wanted a exmark/toro and your dealer didn't have one on the floor could they get it?

One machine I think is overlooked is the LT Rich aerator. Very solid machine and has other attachments so it can be used throughout the year. Service and support seems very good also. Exmark/toro is more of a add on to the mower sales and dealers don't seem to know the in's and out of their aerators. Turfco seems to have good service support system in place. Turfco Bob is a asset to them.

By the sounds of it turfco has a ride on in the works, but if it has a steering wheel no thanks. Interesting to see what they come up with but I'm leaning on buying a LT Rich unit next year.
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Service 1st Lawn Care
04-24-2013, 01:51 PM
Thanks for being my spell checker, by the way I own an XT5 so I don't see where I have a problem with Turfco. I see you mentioned the price of the ride-on aerators so when Turfco comes out with theirs and it's price point is around 10,000 you will be all right with that right?

americanlawn
04-24-2013, 11:07 PM
djag -- unless LT Rich has somehow changed their Z-aerator, I don't think it's a machine to consider. But I have not tried one for over a year. Just sayin'.

Regarding Toro/Exmark >> their main USA warehouse is here in Ankeny, IA. Spoke with a local dealer last week. Said the warehouse had plenty. ??? Exmark/Toro, etc.

XT5 = you won't be sorry. It's my guys' favorite "walk-behind" bar none.

Service 1st. I was rude to you. I apologize. I tested the Toro stand-on aerator (again) today. I wish it pulled about 50% more plugs. And there is NO WAY to add additional tines. I was pulling plugs nearly 4 inches at the 2000 psi - just wish I could pull twice as many 2 1/2 inch plugs. 30 inch aeration width kinda sucked too. Especially for nearly $10,000.

If you hear of TURFCO building a stand-on aerator, please let me know. Will was here today (TURFCO), and he was unaware also. Please keep me informed. Thanks.

Rick13
04-24-2013, 11:25 PM
I've had my ExMark Riding Aerator 30" for a year now. No problems...works great!

I usually only have the psi at 200 to 250. No need to go deeper....pulls 2 1/2" to 3 1/4" plugs. I usually over lap a bit when I make a pass...no big deal...it's quick, fast, and easy.

Tearing up the grass...just let up on the tine pedal before you come to the end of the yard....make your "Y" turn....then when you are square...hit the tine pedal and go the opposite way.

Making turns with the tines in the ground...can be done...if you go slow and don't have a sharp circle, but I usually just hexagon with straight passes around trees/bushes....this way it gives me enough room/boarder around the object and then I can run straight back in forth....just like cutting a yard. It looks like their yard is striped with a ton of little plugs laying in their grass.

The question is...can you justify spending a lot of money for aeration? If you don't have a lot of customers or wanting to expand your aeration business...then it's had to justify the cost.

If you are solo...it's a great machine....it can replace two to three workers = More Profit!

I guess I'm lucky...because My L.S. Dual Hydro Walk behind Aerator 24" works great for me! And if Toro/ExMark ever comes out with this machine...it may not make more plugs (like other machines)...but at full speed....I have to almost run behind it...or you can use a sulky if you like. But it's a great machine for backyards with gates.

As long as your customer is happy....that's all that matters....and I've never had a customer complain on My Plug Count in their yards. They are usually amazed at how many plugs are in their yard.

americanlawn
04-25-2013, 10:47 PM
I wish the Toro stand-on aerator pulled about 50% more plugs (that would be sweet). Can't add any more tines to the unit either (I crawled underneath).

Here's what I thought was illogical >>> location of fixed tines vs free-wheeling tines:

2 rows (total of 4 rows) of fixed tines at "each end" (causing turf tearing). 4 rows of "free-wheeling tines" in the "middle". Shouldn't the free-wheeling tines be on the outside??? Just wondering. Might be a reason -- not sure.

I say why not create more plugs per sq ft - even if they are only 2 1/2 inch deep??

Rick13
04-25-2013, 11:01 PM
Not sure why you would want more plugs....the more plugs....more of a mess if the ground is damp. The ExMark works great, pulls super plugs, quick, easy, and makes aeration fun! Something you usually don't associate with aeration....fun!!!

americanlawn
04-26-2013, 08:25 PM
Good looking photo Rick (thanks). Is there a difference between the Exmark stand-on aerator & the Toro?? Curious. They're both "red". lol

Also wondering if anyone out there might be interested in going 50/50 (I buy one & they buy one) so we can get the "fleet discount" ??? Keep in mind that I am a cheapa$$, and I don't want to shell out ten thousand dollars (includes tax) for an aerator.

Rick13
04-26-2013, 09:45 PM
Nope...they are both pretty much the same... Toro & ExMark.

Your dealer should be able to add you to another sale so you can get a fleet discount. Mine does....and I'm not a big customer....just a solo operator.

So I think they should work something out for you....just ask.

XYZLawnPros
04-27-2013, 11:31 AM
All in all it definitely seems like toro has gone to the "push junk out as new models as fast as we can for profit" and then "let the suckers who have purchased the new model do all the work in telling us how to fix it" operation strategy.
Just hearing the words from Landscraper1 that toro does in fact not have most of the parts to fix broken down machines would make me run the other way from purchasing this machine. That would be the equivalent of you purchasing a new truck off the dealer lot and it breaking down the next day, only to be told "sorry, we don't have any parts to fix your new truck. In my opinion that is extremely pathetic. Sounds exactly like the issue I encountered when I was going to purchase a new gravely stand on. Horrendous service and not knowing the outcome after a mishap.
My pops always told me, "NEVER BUY A FIRST YEAR MODEL OF ANYTHING WITH AN ENGINE ON IT." Best advice ever.

FdLLawnMan
04-27-2013, 08:45 PM
The Toro/Exmark has been on the market for over a year and it is definitely not junk.
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Rick13
04-28-2013, 10:03 PM
I think Toro/ExMark were surprised at how many people were ordering their riding aerators.

When Lawn Solutions had had their riding aerators (before selling out to Toro)...they had a hard time maintaining enough parts for the demand from the customer. They were caught not having a good supply chain in place....so their customer service suffered, they L.S. sold machines that they couldn't make because they didn't have parts, didn't really know when they were going to get the parts, and the story goes on. They had a good product, but couldn't supply the demand the customer needed.

They made and changed the aeration world (I think) with a great machine....yes it needed some improvements....but I think they were on the right track....they just didn't want to deal with the rest of the problems that comes with owning a business...going from small to a world level.

The guys down there wanted to spend time making new machines... then hunt down a good machine company that could make quality parts and supply them on time. So their reputation suffered and then Toro came and made a deal they couldn't refuse. The big companies buys the small guy and then repack their product to make more money.

So Toro is in the same boat....they have a ton of orders....and they don't have a good supply chain in place. Many other companies have the same problem.

djagusch
04-28-2013, 10:15 PM
I think Toro/ExMark were surprised at how many people were ordering their riding aerators.

When Lawn Solutions had had their riding aerators (before selling out to Toro)...they had a hard time maintaining enough parts for the demand from the customer. They were caught not having a good supply chain in place....so their customer service suffered, they L.S. sold machines that they couldn't make because they didn't have parts, didn't really know when they were going to get the parts, and the story goes on. They had a good product, but couldn't supply the demand the customer needed.

They made and changed the aeration world (I think) with a great machine....yes it needed some improvements....but I think they were on the right track....they just didn't want to deal with the rest of the problems that comes with owning a business...going from small to a world level.

The guys down there wanted to spend time making new machines... then hunt down a good machine company that could make quality parts and supply them on time. So their reputation suffered and then Toro came and made a deal they couldn't refuse. The big companies buys the small guy and then repack their product to make more money.

So Toro is in the same boat....they have a ton of orders....and they don't have a good supply chain in place. Many other companies have the same problem.

David, the ls guy worked for toro before ls so I'm guessing he had a plan to sell to them from the get go. Set it up, promote it, sell some, and sell out.

Toro with the mfg capactity's they have don't have a supply chain issue if they cared for the line. Guessing the volume dictates the money they throw at it. The need to also educate dealers as they have little info.

Just my 2 cents.
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corey4671
04-28-2013, 10:25 PM
I bought the Exmark unit last fall. I honestly felt like I knew more about the machine than the dealer did (large Case IH dealer just recently picked up the Exmark line...VERY rural area). I have NO...ZERO regrets. Coupled with my text marketing campaign, I did more aerations last fall than I believe I've ever done. I used to hate aerating and honestly wouldn't even advertise it. Now, I look forward to it and I'm kinda even having aerator withdrawals right now LOL

americanlawn
04-29-2013, 09:08 PM
Toro stand-on aerator questions:

1) With the amount of download pressure used to pull good plugs, how do the tines hold up going over tree roots, unexpected chunks of concrete, etc?
a) How often do you replace tines?
b) Do you replace tines due to damage, or just wear & tear?

2) We have a really great local dealer, so that's not a problem. And the Toro stand-on aerator is so easy to work on that we could do repairs ourselves.
My problem is they won't budge on price unless we buy more Toro equipment. I realize they are limited by Toro, so I can't blame the dealer.
I hesitate spending $10,000 on an aerator that is used only 5 - 8 weeks per year.
Then if I buy one, my luck is they will improve it the following year.

Where is TURFCO, RYAN, and others? Curious. We plan to buy a stand-on aerator in August....don't care what color it is, just so it's made in America & is high quality.

Thanks in advance for any responses. (kinda figuring others have the same concerns??)

corey4671
04-29-2013, 10:40 PM
Toro stand-on aerator questions:

1) With the amount of download pressure used to pull good plugs, how do the tines hold up going over tree roots, unexpected chunks of concrete, etc?
a) How often do you replace tines?
b) Do you replace tines due to damage, or just wear & tear?

2) We have a really great local dealer, so that's not a problem. And the Toro stand-on aerator is so easy to work on that we could do repairs ourselves.
My problem is they won't budge on price unless we buy more Toro equipment. I realize they are limited by Toro, so I can't blame the dealer.
I hesitate spending $10,000 on an aerator that is used only 5 - 8 weeks per year.
Then if I buy one, my luck is they will improve it the following year.

Where is TURFCO, RYAN, and others? Curious. We plan to buy a stand-on aerator in August....don't care what color it is, just so it's made in America & is high quality.

Thanks in advance for any responses. (kinda figuring others have the same concerns??)


I can answer one of those questions. Last fall I was on a large property letting the exmark eat for all it was worth. Hit a large rock and it launched me and the machine in the air throwing me off
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Rick13
04-30-2013, 02:53 AM
I haven't replaced any tines yet. I've got 6 extra tines...I usually clean the tines after each use....this way I can unplug and rocks or tree roots that get stuck in the tine.

I use I long flat head screwdriver...and if a rock or tree root is stuck in the tine....I use the screwdriver and plastic hammer to push it out of the tine.

I usually only use 200 to 250 psi....and get 2 1/2" to 3 1/2" plugs...anything more is over kill. Plus going up or down hill at the lower psi makes it easier on the machine. And you have a better chance of not tearing up the customer's grass.

If you wait until the Fall, I am sure Toro or ExMark will run a "special" and then you should be able to get it down to $8,500.00.

That's what I paid of mine...or it was $8,000????

But My ExMark dealer hooked me up with someone else....so I could get a fleet discount. I guess he's just glad to get the volume of sales.

americanlawn
04-30-2013, 06:52 PM
Thanks guys -- Good info. Another advantage I like is being able to "adjust" the down pressure in order to pull the proper plug depth. Hard/dry soil or moist/soft soil. I think I'll take Rick13's advice and wait closer to fall before I buy one. (thanks)

dalacasatd
09-04-2013, 08:01 PM
Don't buy this aerator! Bought a brand new one in 2012. Has 150 hours on it. The right shaft and tire fell right off in a clients backyard. how embarrassing it was trying to push this thing with one wheel to the front yard. Especially when the equipment is new. Took about 2-3 weeks to get it fixed. Then this year, second day of aerating, the other side falls right off. Called exmark directly and also called our sales rep and they said there is nothing they can do for us. How about that customer service? Looks like we will never buy another exmark product again, and we will keep telling this experience to everyone we know. We would of liked to hear that, here is another one until we fix yours" or something like that. But exmark just said oh well!!
Don't buy this product! When it works its fast, but remember, it takes about 2 hours every night to clean all the sprockets out because dirt and dead grass gets stuck in all the sprockets. Terrible design.

Rick13
09-04-2013, 09:41 PM
Sorry to hear about your bad experience.

I usually clean my tines after each customer's yard. Remove two bolts that holds the metal plate to the tines. I have a plastic hammer to punch out any rocks that might get stuck. But I use a 8 inch flat head screwdriver to clean each tine out. This way I know its good for the next customer's yard. It takes about 10 minutes and then I'm good to go.

This also gives me a chance to check the chains out before I go into another customer's yard.

If you are getting a bunch of mud, sounds like the ground is a little too wet. I know it can turn into a muddy mess the way this machine can pull such deep plugs.

Good luck and I hope you get your machine fixed.

adam.neusbaum
09-14-2013, 03:47 PM
From day one I've removed the access plate & never re-installed it. I like being able to easily remove any turf that might have wrapped up due to localized grubb infestation. Having a clear view of sprinkler heads etc is helpful also. For example if a head is 2 feet out from a driveway I can simply back up tight to the slab then view progress towards sprinkler to raise then lower after clearing. Small yards so you have to be detail oriented.