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Aeration Greenhorn

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by ted putnam, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,718

    Yesterday, I got my first taste of aeration and I must say...It kicked my azz. I've been in the lawn care business for over 20 yrs and never aerated a lawn. I guess it just happened that way

    I just bought a Turfco XT5 and used it to complete 3 - 12klawns that were side by side. The front yards had circle drives and were on 30 degree slopes. The back lawns were a little more level but had invisible pet fences and there was irrigation systems I had to manuever around throughout.

    It took me 3.25 hrs to complete and I made $350 using a gallon of gas

    I slept like a baby last night...after 2 beers, 4 Ibuprofen and a hot shower

    I'm thinking I may have to hire a kid.
  2. Ducke

    Ducke LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 353

    That will be the smartest 18.00 hour you could spend. :)

    I aerate 10 lawns any where from 2500 to 5500 sq ft each.
    I learned years ago to let the machine do the work and not try to muscle the machine around the lawn.
    At the end of Aeration day I am beat but not as bad as years ago when I was learning.
  3. WHIPPLE5.7

    WHIPPLE5.7 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 958

    The XT5 is tricky. Make sure when you plan on turning put enough down pressure so you aren't dragging the front wheel threw the turn. Its much easier on just the spikes. Also remember reverse is there. I used a Ryan for several years and after that you tend to forget that you actually have reverse. I'm really surprised it took that kind of time though. You may have been overworking yourself for nothing. I can aerate a lawn that size with obsticles in like 20-25 minutes and thats atleast double passing. It is a pretty fast machine when used properly.
  4. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,718

    I did another one across the street from the 3 today. About 14k. However, I first called Turfcobob and talked to him for a little bit. He left me a PM with a couple of phone numbers. He gave me some tips and pointers and pretty much told me to let the machine do the work and don't let the machine work me. It still took me 45 minutes to do this one lawn but there was a night/day difference after using some of his suggestions. It was halfway enjoyable and I picked up yet another one next door that I will be doing once they flag the irrigation system.I'll get better with each one I do.

    The XT5 is a great machine. I got personal service from a fine:usflag: company and I don't care what americanlawn says about Turfcobob, he's a helluva guy!:laugh:
  5. JFGauvreau

    JFGauvreau LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,298

    Remember that you do not need to circle around every trees, or go 1inch close from the property, you can "cut" corners if you want with aeration, not telling you to go 5 feet away from tree/shrubs, but when I first started, I was beating myself trying to get every inch of the lawn, now I just try to do as much straight lines as possible. You won't see the difference in the lawn if you skipped a few spots.
  6. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I rent the turfco aerator when I have aerations to do... It is a fine machine, that does what it should in a rather comfortable exercise...
    The discussion did bring about one important point and that is: let the machine power its movement about the yard... all the operator should do is steer... :)
  7. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    Yes it can kick ur a$$
    This year I made me something to help kick aerating butt I put a 3 point hitch on my DC and have a 5ft plugger and a 5ft thatcher rake and 6 ft spiker
  8. ArTurf

    ArTurf LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Ark
    Messages: 4,391

    Sounds like you're getting about $10 a K, is that how you charge? Or are these current customers already on your plan?
  9. ted putnam

    ted putnam LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,718

    Actually, I was trying to make the pricing a "no brainer" for me and my guys when out on our routes. I am pricing it at 1.5 times the regular application price we charge for standard lawn apps. So, a $60 lawn would be charged $90 for aeration.
  10. greendoctor

    greendoctor LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,000

    If that were true, then it was not really needed at all. I almost never suggest aerations. In my area, what causes hard soil is problems with soil chemistry. Too much magnesium, too much sodium, excessive carbonates.

    About 10 years ago, I remember having to run a Ryan Lawnaire over a 20,000 sq ft lawn. This lawn was not flat, the LA that designed it thought it was cute to make all kinds of hills and flowerbeds interrupting the lawn. Lawns are supposed to be flat. Anyway, after 20 man hours to aerate and compost topdress the lawn, the lawn did not look any better than how it does now with a prescription fertilization program designed to address the soil conditions. If anything, the client never has to look at dirt plugs all over the lawn or compost. They only see a green lawn 12 months out of the year.

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