Lawn Aerators

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by daveslandscaping, Sep 19, 2005.

  1. daveslandscaping

    daveslandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 39

    I run a relatively small business to help me pay for college. Now that fall is here i will be doing thatching and aerating. I will be purchasing a thatching attachment for my walker and really don't want to have to rent an aerator this year. The aerators for rent in my area are real back-breakers and are hard to be productive with. I am looking for an aerating solution suitable for doing half acre to one acre lots. I have a walker mower, husquavarna lawn tractor and 2 walk-behinds. I am hoping i can get an attachment to use on one of these machines. I saw the walker perfaerator but there is no way 3 grand for an aerator will pay off for my business. I have also seen the tow behind aerators for lawn tractors, but they look crappy and hard to maneuver on most properties i will be servicing. Budget wise i definitely can't be spending more than like 500 dollars for it to pay for itself this season given the competition in my area and my tight school schedule. Anyone have any ideas?
     
  2. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    This would be your best option. Go for the 48-W http://www.wikco.com/Turfvent.html

    This aerator will do a great job, but isn't as well built (strength wise) as the more expensive aerators. The bolts that hold the wheel arms tend to bend, but they are easily replaced with common bolt sizes from any hardware store. I think this is mainly a factor when trailering with heavy weight loaded on it.

    EDIT: I just noticed they went up on price which will put you $50 over your budget, but it is the best option you have. It used to be $499 shipped.
     
  3. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    Rent or just do dethatching only. There are used ones out there for under 500 but few and far between. I have an old snapper hanging around that we use as a back up that would go for right around the 500 mark. but for an acre it takes about 1.5-2 hrs to push and sucks on hills unless you go side ways. All I can say is good luck. Renting is about the only option unless you find a good used one some where.
     
  4. daveslandscaping

    daveslandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 39

    Thanks for the input guys. Soupy, have you used this aerator? If so how does it do on turns and stuff like that? Looks a lot better built than any tow behind i have seen. I would either be pulling it with my 14hp Husquavarna tractor with a hydrostatic transmission, or my 1996 Walker MC with a brand new 16hp Kohler. Do you think either or both of these machines would be able to pull this thing over light grades? Also, if you bought one how long did it take to ship?
     
  5. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    I believe it took about a week to get. I bought that aerator several years ago to compliment my Ryan walk-behind. It turn great because each set of tines turn independently. I can't comment on your mowers pulling capabilities. I have not used anything under 20hp to pull with. Right now I am using a 27hp Hustler Z to pull it. I put anywhere from 75lbs to 225lbs on it.
     
  6. Currinson

    Currinson LawnSite Member
    from MA
    Posts: 98

    I purchased the walker perferator, it is awesome, great investment. You know the quality of the walker, well this aerator is equal in quality. I believe you get what you pay for. Other front mount aerators like the jrco, dont pull cores, they are spoon aerators, my customers want to see cores. The jrco cant dig deep enough in tough new england soil. Go for the walker, it is the best investment.

    Good Luck
    Erick
     
  7. marko

    marko LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 963

    Why not rent till you can afford what you want? Home Depot here rents PLUGR and the large split drum (Classen I think) for $300/week. Lesco had one of their 24" wide split drums for $275/week. Just factor the cost in and pass it along.
     
  8. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    If you are planning on being in it for a long time that 300 per week rental is money out of your pocket.
    Lets analize this. rental 40 a day. You can do 5-8 aerations a day at a daily rate of 500 per day. Ok 4 days of aerations you own your aerator.
    Now lets factor this in. 2000 dollar machine. Used 5 years. Average income from machine would probably average at 15000 (on the low side) or more. Now take that machine after 5 years and you can sell it for 800-1000 on ebay and the machine only costs you 1000 over 5 years. That is 200 a year or 5 rentals per year. Not to mention the tax write off, the fact that you don't have to drive to rent it during their time not yours. Heck buy a used one if you are straped for money but you will definitly pay it off quick.
     
  9. marko

    marko LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 963


    I Agree, buy if you can. If you only have 10 lawns to do though, rental is the way to go. If you can do 8 a day, and do it all 7 days, Its only 5 bucks a customer.
     
  10. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,125

    I agree, In many cases (more then you might think) it is actually a wiser choice to rent each year vs owning. If you do under 50 aerations a year you can let the rental store invest in the equipment, store it, and maintain it for you. As long as you can line them up and get them done in one week. I got lucky and found a small Ryan that this old guy didn't know the value and sold it to me for $25 a few years ago. It started and still starts on the first pull and works flawlessly even though it has some dents and scratches. Generally I use the tow behind though and those are cheap enough to justify a new purchase.

    I will admit it is great not having to work your schedule around equipment rentals though. When you own the equipment you can do them anytime. But it will take you 8 years to see a return on your investment vs spending $300 a year and getting them done. Now if you can't get them done and need to spend more then $300 a year then things start to change and buying starts to look a lot better. Plus you have to factor in late callers that always seem to call the day you pack the aerators away. I just put mine up and got 3 new calls over the weekend. They want seed too even though it is a little late for that. Oh well hopefully it will sit still until spring :)

    Bottom line, if you have the money to spend, it is worth owning just to cover scheduling and late callers issues. But if money is tight, renting is a valuable option.
     

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