BlueBird aerator problem

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by KS_Grasscutter, Sep 19, 2006.

  1. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,335

    Well, i got a bluebird aerator a couple weeks ago. I have only ran it over three lawns, but might have a real big lawn coming up to do, so i want it working perfectly.

    Anyway, what its doing, is instead of pulling the plug of soil out, and spitting it out like it should, all the soil just packs into the "reel" that holds the "tines" onto the machine. So i end up with a nice and plugged up aerator. I dont know if it affecting the penetration or not. It doesnt seem to pull real deep plugs though.

    So, is there anything i can do to fix this? I dont know if it is a real big problem as much as me just not being happy as i dont think it is "right". I am kinda wondering if maybe it might have the wrong tines on it?

    Anyway, thanks for the help.

    BTW, it is a 424. It is about 6 years old, originally was a rental machine for Home Cheapo, if that means anything.
  2. upidstay

    upidstay LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CT
    Messages: 1,542

    You bought a piece of junk. That's why you are having trouble with it. I'm guessing it was alot cheaper than the others you looked at, and now you're finding out wy it was so cheap. I've used Ryans and they were great. Lesco's split drum does a good job, and you can turn it too. I'd dump the bluebird and get a better one.

    SOUTHERNGREENSCAPES LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 763

    Your being a little harsh don't you thenk? How would you feel if I said I think Ryans are a piece of Crap? I don't think that is what this website was created for. Esp. when you don't have any more information than what has been given. I have a blue bird aerator and it does a great job and guess what. I purchased it for $800 from Home Depot and mine looks all but brand new and only had a little over a 100hrs on it. What did you give for that Ryan?

    As for the trouble you are having with the Blue Bird, I had some similar problems with mine when i first got it and the tines had just been abused and needed to be replaced. It is also important to clean the unit up after each day so that any clay or hard soil does not dry up in the tines and make it harder for them to clear when you go to aerate the next day.
  4. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,335

    Thanks for the posts from both of you... I do know that the BlueBirds aint the best, but i do also know of a couple guys in town who swear by them. I paid $600 for mine, it was originally a Home Cheapo unit, i am the third owner. I guess i will have to fork up the $$$ for new tines, i am pretty sure that will fix it. I will also wash it up when I get done using it every day, to help avoid problems. Thank you for your replies.

    Also, upidstay, i know i didnt buy the best machine on the market, just got a cheap local one to get my by a couple years till i can eventually get a plugr or a ryan.
  5. DoetschOutdoor

    DoetschOutdoor LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S. IL
    Messages: 1,818

    Dont listen to those that jump on you for not buying the most expensive or brand new units. If we all could afford brand new top of the line machines there wouldnt be much use for this site. If it wasnt pulling that good of plugs just make sure some rock hard dirt isnt stuck in the tines and clean it well after each use like said before. I used a bluebird for the first time this year after always using ryan aerators and I like them both equally. I thought the bluebird was a little faster but more of a beast to control but this kind of stuff is all opinions. The machine is going to make you money either way and if you got a good deal on it then that makes it that much sweeter.
  6. KS_Grasscutter

    KS_Grasscutter LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,335

    Cleaned it out REAL good, twice, with no improvement (first thing i did, before posting about it). I SERIOUSLY think it has the wrong tines on it... so i call my dealer to order more. He says "WHY would you want to replace them, I havent ever had anyone but all new ones"... i was so dumbfounded, i just kinda said to check on the price and call me back, and i just hung up. These things DO wear out or get otherwise boogered up, right? Well, i know they do because of all the sites with afermarket tines... So anyway, IF he calls me back, I am gonna replace all the tines and go from there.

    BTW, got confirmation that i AM in fact going to be doing my big $100 aerating job, either on Sunday or Monday, so its GOT to be working by then.

    *EDIT- also, even sprayed the tines down with WD40, and still nothing...
  7. DoetschOutdoor

    DoetschOutdoor LawnSite Bronze Member
    from S. IL
    Messages: 1,818

    When I was renting the last aerator, they had one all apart getting new tines so im sure that they can get screwed up especially if it was purchased from a rental place. Be glad you only have 1 job lined up when trouble hits. I was scheduled to do 14 aerations and 7 spilt seeding last weekend when the rain came and now they are calling for rain for the next 4 days!!!!
  8. EngineeredLawns

    EngineeredLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 100

    Ryan and Bluebird use the same tines. As far as one being better than the other, be happy with what you have. It sounds like the tines are worn out and you need new ones. It will take a few hours to replace them but it will be worth it.
  9. daveyo

    daveyo LawnSite Senior Member
    from N.J.
    Messages: 907

    The bottom line is he got what he paid for, have you ever rented a plugr pl800 or a lawnair 28, there is no comparison. However you have what you have, make your money with it and upgrade when you can afford it. The bottom line is you have no hassles of having to return equipment at a certain time.
  10. Focal Point Landscapes

    Focal Point Landscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 401

    Did you try it on more than one yard ? Is it failing to pull any plugs at all ? It is highly unlikely that they all would be worn out . It has been my experience that the turf can be too hard or too wet and the machine will be inconsistent on plug size - smaller plug in hard soil and no plugs at all if the soil is very wet . I like Bluebird just fine - the only thing head and shoulders above the rest , imo , is Plugr .

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