Aerating

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by Clear-Cut, Oct 20, 2007.

  1. Clear-Cut

    Clear-Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 481

    i did aerating for the first time for 4 of my customers and OMG was that a workout. I rented a clemmens i think it was.

    the damn thing weighed like 300 lbs! making it almost impossible to control. i work out but i cant lift 300 lbs...do you have to be able to lift 300 lbs to control this thing or is there a secret that i missed that will make it easy to control....because after 5 lawns including my own...i was tired and sore

    btw i am no where near out of shape..i am 20 and work out 5 days a week

    are there better models out there?
     
  2. LawnTamer

    LawnTamer LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,988

    There is a trick to controlling the machine, most of it has to do with leaning and limiting turns in your pattern, that said, a day aerating with one of those will leave anyone sore and tired.

    Try a Plugr. It may be a little slower, but it is about 20 times easier.
     
  3. Clear-Cut

    Clear-Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 481

    i was basically dong straight runs back and forth...but once u are on a slight incline and you go across it, it is extremely hard to keep it from drifting down the hill..plus the fact that it goes like 50mph haha

    ill try to get my hands on a plugr for next year and see how that goes. i dont care how slow it goes, i just want to make the job easier. thanks lawntamer
     
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I did 5 today with the ole' Classen TA-26, I'm sore but I have learned this over the years:

    1) The solid axle is still the most cost-effective walk-behind aerator, the nice split axle-drives run 4g+, by the time I'm done spending 3g beyond what I paid for mine my wallet feels a lot more sore than I do... Try and find a decent one used, they usually can be had for 1,000-1,500, I paid a g for mine 6 years ago. They're stupid simple, if it's in half decent shape and all to most of the parts are in working order, I've spent probably 40-50 hours and 5-600 dollars on mine in maintenance in those years.
    > Renting blows, I think my cost on using my own is IF $20 / day but no time wasted picking up / bringing back (an easy hour), plus I've got mine tuned up, most rentals are tuned down (or factory / mfg spec'd).

    2) Walk-behind aerators are the only thing I will ever use for a job well done, no tow-behind will ever do it as good. So feel free to charge +$5 per 1/4 acre, that helps alleviate the sore muscles. I'm quoting 40-50 for a 1/4 acre and smaller and getting it because fools out there are charging 60-70 and then they tow one!

    3) You get used to it, the pain isn't so bad after several years, but I did find with mine a counter-clockwise direction appears to go a bit easier. Not sure if this is the case with all units, but do try going the other way around, it might help.
    > One trick I learned for turning is to grab the 'in' side of the bar with both hands but watch it so you don't pinch yourself.

    4) 240 bucks on 5 lawns just for the aerating, if it hadn't been for a couple that required seed etc and it did break down on me (chain came off, had to run home to fix it) I would've been done in ~6 hours... As things were, I started at 10am or so and was done by 7p, lunch too... Still 26.67 / hour and that's not including the extra stuff I did on 2, so it gets better with time.

    They don't weigh quite 300 lbs, I think mine's around 2 maybe 250, I can just about lift it.
    The fun part was pulling it up the trailer ramp after it broke, it's not as bad as my 48" Wb thou so it can't be 300 lbs :laugh:

    Makes for a good night's rest.
     
  5. Dunn's

    Dunn's LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,546


    Do you just say you charge $40-50 dollars for aerating a 1/4 acre lawn. Holy crap that is 11,000 square feet. our price would be more than double that. The only company anywhere mnear that low is this crackhead group that does only aerations and pulls their trailer with a Thunderbird. That is less then we make cutting
     
  6. DAR57

    DAR57 LawnSite Member
    from NW Ohio
    Posts: 212

    I just did 22,000+ actual sq ft(I subtract flower beds, drives, patios,house,etc. from overall measurements) Friday afternoon. It took me less than 2 hours with a walk behind. NO SWEAT= Pluggr. Bought it off ebay, just like new, with a box of brand new parts for $800. I would drive an hour+ to rent a Pluggr if I had to!
     
  7. Clear-Cut

    Clear-Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 481

    what is the difference between a plugr and a lesco or clemens?
     
  8. DAR57

    DAR57 LawnSite Member
    from NW Ohio
    Posts: 212

    Pluggr, the "spikes/drills" are mounted on a cam or crank. Very simple in design. It doesn't throw dirt all over either. The "punches" basically remain vertical like a sewing machine. The rotation on the crank is what gives it forward momentum.
     

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