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Aerating Preferences

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by wbkuhler, Feb 28, 2003.

  1. wbkuhler

    wbkuhler LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    I don't have any experience with aerators so I am looking for some advice.

    I am new to the biz and was wondering if you guys prefer spike aerators or core plug aerators and what benefits and drawbacks each has?

    Trying to make a purchasing decision and could use some advice. From some people who know about these things.

    Thanks for any help!
  2. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Messages: 3,485

    Core all the way. Spike "aerators" do no such thing, they only press the dirt further into the ground.
  3. grshppr

    grshppr LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 301

    Definately you want a core aerator. It is much better for the lawn than punching holes down into the ground. We use a Ryan, its a great machine.
  4. dklawncare

    dklawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 79

    could someone please tell me the price ranges of core aerators? Also, what is the average hourly rate that they bring (how much do you charge per hour of aeration?). Thanks
  5. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,516

    There are different brands, but price ranges from 2500.00-3500.00. This would be for a core aerator. They come in 26,28,30 inch widths.

    For the last two seasons I have used a lesco split drive aerator(cost 3500.00). I can average around 100.00-150.00 per hour, sometimes more than that. The jobs are bid by the square footage of lawn to be aerated. Some just aeration, some get seeding and starter fertilizer. And yes these machines will beat you up really good. I have rented a small bluebird(26inch width) and it was a waste of time, it could not hardly make a plug, just bounced all over the place. I am interested in the plugger, there are some on this site that have them and they say they do a good job, and are a lot less tiring to operate.
  6. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    You would probably be better off to try to line up some jobs first, then rent a machine for a while. At this point you have no experience with aerating, seeding, etc. One of the biggest mistakes people make is thinking all I need is an aerator and just run all over a lawn. That is it. But what I know now, compared to what I knew back then is much different. Especially when your talking about seeding.

    If you try to sell aerating and seeding to customers you really need to know about soil conditions, organic matter, nitrogen, ph, etc to really do a good job. So I would suggest before you spend big dollars for a new aerator you rent one for a while until you can get some hands on, real world experience. Things are not always like what the book said.

    Just my thoughts...
  7. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,501

    Very good points. One thing I would add is that it isn't easy work!
  8. wbkuhler

    wbkuhler LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    Thanks for the tips fellas.

    Coming from a farming background a thought the core plug was the way to go considering compaction but did not know if there may be some different rules that might apply to lawncare that I needed to consider.

    Thanks again for the advice!:):)
  9. Lombardi

    Lombardi LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 538

    Due to our drought last year I renovated a lot of lawns last fall which included core aeration. The ones the guys mention earlier are by far the best, but very expensive. I bought a pull behind core aerator from HD for around $165.00. It has pneumatic tires and is designed to hold several concrete blocks or sand bags for weight. I pull it behind my Polaris Quad. I had very good results with it. As with any core aerator the soil has to be slightly damp to pull up good cores.
    This is just an idea to save some money at first. If I did more than 30 aeration jobs a year I would probably invest in a Ryan or Lesco.
  10. garyslawn

    garyslawn LawnSite Member
    from NE Ohio
    Messages: 156

    I started off renting an aerator. Rent was $40.00 a day and I would do 8 to 10, 1/2 acre lawns before I went to a second shift job. I charged $90.00. (20years ago) I put out flyers in better neighborhoods. Any golfer knows about aeration and wants his lawn done. Chemlawn and the likes, would not aerate unless the get the fertilization. It was great, one neighbor would see you and before you knew it you did the whole neighborhood.:D

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