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  #1  
Old 11-09-2012, 01:38 PM
rbljack rbljack is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 517
AE 551 Billy Goat Aerator Question

I'd like some inputs. I found one for 500 bucks used, and it looks to be in good condition with the briggs engine (not the honda...DAMN).

If its in working condition and runs good, im debating pulling the trigger. I need to aerate my own lawn which is less than 2000 sq feet. Most of my customer lawns are in the same size range. From my search on this website, others didnt recommend the unit for Large yards, or extended run times because it will beat ya up.

I think this unit will serve me and allow me to make some exta $$$ next spring. From what Im reading on here, seems the going rate is 2-3 times the price of a regular lawn mowing.

Whats your thoughts on my theory? Think I should pull the trigger? Seems that I could pay this thing off next year if I can get a few customers talked into an aeration. Obviously there are better choices out there, but I only have about 20 customers currently, and I cant afford to spend big bucks on a unit. the other plus is that our small town doesnt have a place where people can even rent an aeration machine (i looked into it) so that means the customers cant obtain the unit locally to use the DIY method.
__________________
Equipment:
2000 Chevy 3/4 Ton Long Bed 4x4
6.5x12 Dual Ramp Trailer
2012 21" Honda HRC-216 mower
2013 Exmark Commercial 30#1
2013 Exmark Commercial 30#2
2014 Exmark Lazer Z S Series EFI 52
Mclane 25" Reel Mower
2010 Husqvarna 21" mower
2008 Stihl FS250R Trimmer
2010 Stihl FS90R Trimmer
200? Stihl FC75 Edger
2013 Stihl BR 600 Blower
2013 Stihl HS81 t Hedge Trimmer
2014 Stihl SH 86 C E Blower Vac
2014 Stihl KM130R edger and trimmer shafts
200? Billy Goat AE550 Core Aerator
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  #2  
Old 11-09-2012, 10:00 PM
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dstifel dstifel is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2012
Location: des moines ia
Posts: 776
i bought a lesco this fall for pretty close to that price. From what i have seen they are pretty similar machines. I usually would just rent an aerator to do my regular customers but this fall i bought my own. It was defiantly worth the money. It has paid for its self five times over so far and still get calls on it. My best advice is just let the machine go at its own pace. You are not going to push it any faster then it wants to go. Also try doing your regular customers on the weekend if they are ok with it. I did this and very rarely do i do a yard on the weekend without having a neighbor or two come over and ask me to do theirs as well. Out of all of the equipment i have bought (which I've only been doing this for a couple years now) this is the most profitable machine i have bought yet. I paid it off in the first weekend using it. Just my two cents.
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  #3  
Old 11-09-2012, 11:47 PM
rbljack rbljack is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 517
Well, i pulled the trigger on it. It needs some work, but does functinon for a 1/4 the cost of a new one.

If anybody has the same unit, I could really use a photo or two of how the lower handle attaches to the clutch cable. The bar for the drive mechanism is broke, and I have to weld a new piece in, and then figure out the correct spacing for attaching the cable again. The dealer wants 110 bucks for the handle assembly which seems high for a piece of round bar bent in a few places.

The thottle cable isnt functioning properly either, so Ill have to get a look at that.

Oh...and here is another question, for those who have mentioned that they are charging 2 or 3 times the charge for a mowing, does that include actually doing a mowing before the aeration? does that include applying fertilzier? or topsoil? or seed? I have gotten decent at giving estimates for mowing, but this is a whole new area that i dont have any prior experience with. But i got my foot in the door now anyways...hopefully the unit will at least pay for itself and make me some money next year.
__________________
Equipment:
2000 Chevy 3/4 Ton Long Bed 4x4
6.5x12 Dual Ramp Trailer
2012 21" Honda HRC-216 mower
2013 Exmark Commercial 30#1
2013 Exmark Commercial 30#2
2014 Exmark Lazer Z S Series EFI 52
Mclane 25" Reel Mower
2010 Husqvarna 21" mower
2008 Stihl FS250R Trimmer
2010 Stihl FS90R Trimmer
200? Stihl FC75 Edger
2013 Stihl BR 600 Blower
2013 Stihl HS81 t Hedge Trimmer
2014 Stihl SH 86 C E Blower Vac
2014 Stihl KM130R edger and trimmer shafts
200? Billy Goat AE550 Core Aerator
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  #4  
Old 11-10-2012, 06:07 PM
rbljack rbljack is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Texas
Posts: 517
Turns out the unit was actually a AE550 according to the tags on the machine. I remembered that I had an old mower with a bar engagement that wasnt being used, so I may try to use that for my Drive bar repair. I'll try and get a few pictures up and maybe start a new thread for that repair work.

I spent a great deal of time searching this site about aeration prices. I still havent figured out exactly what I want to do there (pricing wise). I do appreciate the individual who sent me a PM about their information, and how they do it. that information was much appreciated.

most of the yards im going to aerate will be under 2500 sq feet im guessing, and this area is not going to allow me to charge a lot for this service. Ill have to find a happy medium between "value pricing and quality service at a price that is affordable. that isnt easy...LOL!
__________________
Equipment:
2000 Chevy 3/4 Ton Long Bed 4x4
6.5x12 Dual Ramp Trailer
2012 21" Honda HRC-216 mower
2013 Exmark Commercial 30#1
2013 Exmark Commercial 30#2
2014 Exmark Lazer Z S Series EFI 52
Mclane 25" Reel Mower
2010 Husqvarna 21" mower
2008 Stihl FS250R Trimmer
2010 Stihl FS90R Trimmer
200? Stihl FC75 Edger
2013 Stihl BR 600 Blower
2013 Stihl HS81 t Hedge Trimmer
2014 Stihl SH 86 C E Blower Vac
2014 Stihl KM130R edger and trimmer shafts
200? Billy Goat AE550 Core Aerator
Reply With Quote
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