Aerator Issue

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by mtdman, Jan 5, 2012.

  1. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    I have a Ryan Lawnaire v aerator that I purchased back in 2003. I've used this aerator for years and have had no problems until this last year or so. I noticed in the fall of 2010 that my plugs weren't as big as they have been in the past so I figured it was time to change the spoons. I ordered a new set last spring and replaced all the spoons on the machine. The new ones did look longer than what was on the machine so I figured the plug issue was from the wear on the spoons. But, I still had that problem of small plugs during last year's aerations. I am stumped as to why this machine isn't pulling big plugs anymore. I have noticed that I've had a problems with the spoons getting clogged up so that they aren't actually pulling a full plug length, only maybe 1/3 to 1/2 of the spoon length. I can't figure this one out at all, and it's very frustrating. Anyone have any suggestions or tips? I'd really like to just fix this aerator and get it to work good, it's still in great shape and it's made me a lot of $$ over the years.
     
  2. DIXIECONTRACTING

    DIXIECONTRACTING LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Posts: 283

    Are you sure the ground is soft when using otherwise it won't pull full plugs if ground is very dry this will prevent the machine from operating at full potential.
     
  3. Puttinggreens

    Puttinggreens LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 370

    Do you still have the weights installed?
     
  4. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    The ground was plenty wet last year, we got rain all spring and fall to the point I barely got any aerations in last year. And yes the weights are installed.

    The compacted soil in the spoons, to the point that the plugs weren't falling out, really bothers me.
     
  5. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 878

    Look at this. the cutting edge of the tines has a seam along the back where the tines are folded together during the process of manufacture. If there is a gap (however small) in this seam the fiber portion of the plants will hang up in the gap. This makes the machine tend to walk along the top of the lawn as it takes a considerable increase in weight to force the tines in the ground when this happens. This is caused when the tine is not properly folded so ther is an overlap at this seam to close it off. Usually a cheaper tine. Normal manufacturing requires a minor overlap and then machining of the sharp end to give it a good cutting edge. Another problem that may come up is if the sharp end of the tine is not machined it can tend to force more dirt into the barrel of the tine than the barrel will accept and then plug it.

    Usually it is the gap getting grass in it that starts the plugging process.
    Got more questions give me a call
     
  6. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,137

    This sounds really promising because that's exactly what happens. There is a gap and grass does get caught in there, that might be holding the plugs in place.

    How do I fix that, other than weld all those gaps? And, if you pass along your number I will call.
     
  7. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 878

    Office 520-836-8162 cell 402-432-2446
    I will be in Orlando at a meeting all next week. Mon to Fri...cell phone only
     

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