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Old 09-30-2014, 07:09 PM
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americanlawn americanlawn is offline
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need advice. stand-on aeration + wet soil

How do you avoid causing tire damage on saturated soils when you turn with a ZTR stand-on aerator? Is this even possible? I've tried everything >> Y turns, J turns, etc. I also turn on concrete whenever possible, but the plugs are like grease & the tire treads are full of mud.

Our soils have been saturated since mid August. Over 5 inches of rain in September, and we expect 2-3 more inches during the next 48 hours.

Last week I was coming up a slope with a 30" stand-on aerator, and the tires began to spin. So I got off the aerator (left it running) and went to the front yard to get my helper so he could help push while I drove. But the aerator had slid down the hill on its own.

Any tips?
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Old 09-30-2014, 07:27 PM
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Originally Posted by americanlawn View Post
How do you avoid causing tire damage on saturated soils when you turn with a ZTR stand-on aerator? Is this even possible? I've tried everything >> Y turns, J turns, etc. I also turn on concrete whenever possible, but the plugs are like grease & the tire treads are full of mud.

Our soils have been saturated since mid August. Over 5 inches of rain in September, and we expect 2-3 more inches during the next 48 hours.

Last week I was coming up a slope with a 30" stand-on aerator, and the tires began to spin. So I got off the aerator (left it running) and went to the front yard to get my helper so he could help push while I drove. But the aerator had slid down the hill on its own.

Any tips?
If its soft enough to rut maybe it's not compacted enough to need an aeration.......three point turns
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Old 09-30-2014, 08:21 PM
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If its soft enough to rut maybe it's not compacted enough to need an aeration.......three point turns
Common sense isn't as common as you think.

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Old 09-30-2014, 09:04 PM
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I don't think anybody has a solution for this problem I spoke with Scotts Lawn Care and a couple others who locally run Exmark/Toro stand-on aerators. Same deal. We inspect each lawn first before we begin aerating, but sometimes you can't predict what's going to happen. I like to use a 12 foot trailer instead of a 16 foot, but.....I think we will have to hope & pray that things dry out before winter so we can finish aerations.

On many properties, I expect that we will have to pull 16 foot trailers so we can also carry a ZTR mower for directional mowing of leaves before we can aerate. I already hate pulling trailers in the first place.
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Old 10-02-2014, 06:09 AM
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Use some common sense, stay off lawn until it dries out a bit. If you can't run the machine on there without rutting you have no business on there.
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Old 10-02-2014, 09:37 AM
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Use some common sense, stay off lawn until it dries out a bit. If you can't run the machine on there without rutting you have no business on there.
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Common sense isn't as common as you think.

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Need I say More???

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"As Americans you have the right to be stupid." John Kerry

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Old 10-02-2014, 07:03 PM
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3 or 4 trips every year

[QUOTE=Ric;5120687]Need I say More??? No please. Especially if you are trying to diagnose a problem from a thousand miles away. RABBIT - you're only 500 miles away.

1) We first went to the property to aerate, but he forgot to mark his sprinkler heads (even though he was notified one week in advance).

2) We we went there again to aerate, but the wife "turned us away" -- said they had shallow electric wires for their outdoor lighting.

3) Mister called back saying "he's ready, and wants it done A.S.A.P."

4) We arrive for the 3rd time (he had just mowed). We walked the property first. We saw the mud tracks, etc from his mower. We also found other soft areas that we needed to avoid. So we thought we were good to go only on areas we felt safe.

5) We began aerating only the areas that we thought we could attempt.

6) We found out that even a "walk-behind" aerator was causing damage cuz the soil was too soft/muddy.

7) I found out yesterday the customer had 2 broken sprinkler heads in the area we got stuck.

8) Now he wants us to return for a 4th time to "aerate & seed" once his lawn dries out.

2013 -- we ran into all the above SAME problems with this guy.

2014: We will nolonger offer aeration for this account.

Reasons: $45,000 truck, trailer, and equipment..........plus salary expense.
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Old 10-02-2014, 07:34 PM
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You're sliding on the actual plugs right, not just wet and soft soil?

I experienced this today while mowing. The lawn had been recently aerated (not by me). It's also been raining here for the last few days.

I both saw (from the aerator) and caused (from my mower) way more damage than I would've expected. At first I saw the twists from the aerator guy and thought he was just a hack......but them I proceeded to slide out on the wet greasy plugs on quite a few occasions. And then not when turning, just mowing in a straight path I was "smooshing" the plugs....adding to the messy muddy mess.

So.....I'm sorry, I have no advice for you.....but maybe after reading my story you'll feel a little better...call it par for the course?
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Old 10-02-2014, 08:52 PM
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Need I say More???
No please.
Larry, I encourage you to ask all the questions you can.

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"TG doesn't give a rats ass about being "Responsible" as long as sales/production quotas are met. That's it in a nutshell. A recipe for disaster IMO." Ted Putnam 2/28/14

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"As Americans you have the right to be stupid." John Kerry

"Life is tough, but it's tougher when you're stupid.” John Wayne.
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Old 10-02-2014, 09:21 PM
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Larry, I encourage you to ask all the questions you can.

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Lol. Some elevators don't go to the top!
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