After months of research I've decided to go with Turfco's Xt5 over my other main choice of the Plugr. Here's why: Ryan's/Bluebirds etc. are the rentals around here and I'm getting too old for that business. Looks like this machine will do well on hillsides and they advertise on that basis. Hydro drive is simpler than the Plugr and the replacement tines are way less expensive. I also like the sub-surface fracturing that a drum sytle provides over the cam-driven design. The price is better than Plugr and I've been hearing that the Plugr beats itself to hell. Lastly, less expensive machine and maintenance items will allow me to charge lower. I saw a guy quoting $150 for overseeding and using his plugr. I could do the same with mine for $100. Customer's care about "value" and not price or what color your machine is. Expected services at an acceptable price.
I've been working with Steve over at Turfco and he's been great and pretty patient with me even though it's busy season and I'm a one man shop only ordering 1 unit. He said that they've worked out the bugs on the Subaru engine which is their $150+ upgrade to the B&S with the larger gas tank. I've always loved the B&S and have no experience with the Subaru but I'm willing to take a chance. I notice that a lot of LCO's rave about their customer service and business relationship and with my recent experience I would agree. Turfco Bob also has a cute youtube video on how to promote your aeration business. I don't think I'll be leaving plugs in baggies on peoples doors anytime soon but he's got some good common sense e.g. don't under charge for this service. Pretty psyched as we've had a drought last 6 months and nothing helps a lawn recover like some good old fashioned plugging and over-seeding. Ground around here has a high clay content so it gets baked like a clay pot in a kiln. Once I get my machine I'll let you know. Curious to see how well this touch-sensitive hydro drive responds. Not sure why not a dual hydro but I'm guessing the drum style wouldn't work well with that as it would tear up a lawn on short turns. We'll see!