Three aerators were compared at the field today: LS 21" hydro, TURFCO XT5 24" hydro, Plugr 855. Loam soil with minimal amount of soil moisture.
Ground speed: TURFCO & Plugr were both winners, as their ground speed were identical. The LS unit was much slower, and quite disappointing.
Plug depth & number of plugs: The 855 Plugr was the winner. XT5 was 2nd*. LS was 3rd.
Ease of use: XT5 was #1. Much easier to turn. Much smoother & quieter. Very easy to raise the tines. LS was #2. Plugr was #3.
*Note: The LS aerator had all four weights. The TURFCO XT5 had 2 weights and was only set in the "shallow plug" position (not the deep plug setting).
Easiest to service: XT5 -- extremely easy to get to whatever you want.
The above are the opinions of those who demoed these units today. I personally noticed the most interest in the XT5.
I also have videos that were taken today that show the stark differences between the XT5 & the LS aerator. I can forward them via email, but that's all I know how to do right now, cuz I don't know how to post the videos on lawnsite.com.
Which of the 3 would work for me? It would be the XT5 due to ease of use, number of plugs, and depth of plugs.
Regarding the LS with caster wheels? The videos look very cool, but nobody around here has first-hand experience with it. So far, no midwest Toro dealers have plans to sell them. (maybe later)
The Plugr 855 was awesome, but it's a different class of aerator. (kinda like the LA 28). Very nice unit, nice company. Keep in mind that I have never used the 855. The new 855 also eliminated moving parts to make it more bullet proof. I only saw it operated by their rep today (nice guy) So I cannot say good or bad about it. Yet it pulled deeper & more plugs than the LS & TURFCO hydro aerators. My only concern would be operator fatigue, but don't quote me on this.