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Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by rhatala, Oct 9, 2007.

  1. rhatala

    rhatala LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 73

    Has anyone used the aerator made by plugger? Is there any advantages or disadvantages between the plugger aerator unit and the bluebird aerator units? Thanks for any help.
  2. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,305

    I use both. Pluggers are sooooooo much easier on your back. But their pattern is erratic.

    * If the lawn is hard, it will dance across the surface leaving big gaps unless you literally hold it back to slow it down.

    * Transversely, if the lawn is too wet it can't properly propel itself - and so YOU have to push it (very tiring) or you get holes every 2 inches!

    * Also, if your customers have inground sprinklers, the plugger will forcefully jab into and through any heads you go over (whereas a bluebird will usually roll right over without damage).

    * And the tines on a Plugger wear out VERY rapidly (multiple sets per season [based on quantity of aerations] costing about $85 to replace - this will vary based on number of tines on the model).

    * NOT self propelled on concrete. YOU have to push it around and up into the trailer. Gets old on the larger models.

    All that being said, however, if you have hilly lawns at all - it's a life saver.
  3. MikeLT1Z28

    MikeLT1Z28 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,732

    yep, i've used the plugr, does a good job. does the bluebird pull cores or does it just pierce the ground and require weights for depth? i'm not too familiar with it, but i can tell you a bit about the plugr model.
  4. whoopassonthebluegrass

    whoopassonthebluegrass LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,305

    Bluebirds core aerate. And they have removable weights on the sides. I find them such a hassle to operate, that I ONLY aerate on rain days so I can leave the weights out. It makes a HUGE difference.
  5. rhatala

    rhatala LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 73

    Thank you for your comments I really appreciate it and will take it into consideration when purchasing a aerator. Thanks again
  6. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 878

    You are asking the difference between a pistion type aerator and a rolling aerator. there is a big difference in what they do to the soil. A piston type aerator makes a hard vertical plunge into the soil. In dry conditions they tend to not work well (no aerator does) in wet conditions the piston type tend to pack the bottom of the hole that can lead to layering or a hard pan over time.
    Piston types also tend to break more on impact with buried objects and they do very little fracturing of the soil. They were designed orginally for golf courses.
    Rolling type aerators are better for home lawns. They perform an "X" action under the soil so they tend to loosen and fracture the soil as well as pull a plug. Like the pistion types the soil should be damp to wet but not too wet. Aeration of any kind when it is too wet is bad for the lawn. Rolling types also will take much more impact and rocks without breaking. They are designed to do that. They were designed for roughs orginally and work very well on home lawns.
    The past 30 years has seen a big improvement in rolling aerators. From the old straight line, lift and turn aerators like the bluebird, claussen and ryan. these machine will only go in straight lines unless you muscle them into turns. Very labor intensive and hard on backs. Turfco has a unit you drive like a mid size mower and lifts itself when done. It turns with brakes and is very easy to use. The have been around about 5 years now see then at turfco.com

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