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Different styles of aerators

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by PHS, Mar 6, 2008.

  1. PHS

    PHS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 724

  2. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    Theoretically, the straight down type (cam action?) will pull a much deeper plug given the same soil conditions. They are also set up to punch many more holes per square foot. They are SLoooowww. I have seen them in action on golf courses, and they do a fantastic job, but it looked to me like a very specialized piece of equipment for greens and tee boxes.
  3. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 878

    There are big differences between rolling aerators and cam type units. Cam type units will put more holes in the ground as said. But, in wet or real moist conditions they tend to pack the bottom of the holes and glaze the side of the holes this limits the usefulness of the hole. Secondly cam type aerators use thrust to get the hole depth and are more prone to breakdowns. Rocks, roots and other underground objects tend to harm them.

    Rolling aerators on the other hand use a clawing action to get the hole in the ground. By doing this they do an "X" movement under the ground causinig the ground to fracture all around the hole. Except when it is real wet. This fracturing of the soil makes air, nutrient and water movement work much better. Best of all rolling aerators are faster, and do not tend to break very often as they walk over rocks, roots and other objects. Times are also less money when you do break one.
    I would caution you to shop as there is a world of difference in the rolliing aerators around for sale. Some are high maint and need chains cleaned and serviced every day as they run in the dirt. Most are hard to operate and a back killers but there are some new designs that you can drive like a mid size mower and are spring lift. MOre money up front but worth it after you run them a few days.
  4. PHS

    PHS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 724

    Thanks for the good advice. I'm not thinking about buying one right now but I've been looking and aeration services for this year. Trying to find a couple different brands to rent so I can try them out. Fortunately rocks aren't a problem around here but you still have tree roots and things to deal with.

    Does the soil need to have a more moisture for a rolling aerator to work properly?
  5. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 878

    Soil should be damp. To check use your soil probe if you cannot push it into the ground easily you will not aerate very well. IF you do not have a soil probe use big screwdriver. It takes at least 75 lbs of pressure to make rolling aerators work well. Understand that hard ground is extremely hard on piston type aerators. Also when renting understand that you will using OLD equipment and it is designed for home owners. Most rental dealers do not use commercial Aerators like the Turfco units. they usually go for the smaller lighter units that do a poor job in most commercial applications. Also rental units are designed to be used for an hour at a time not 6 to 8. The Ryan, Bluebird and classen units you will find in rental will break your back after two days of 6 to 8 hrs each.
  6. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    What are your opinions on the Billy Goat aerator? Are they better than Bluebird? Do they pull better cores?
  7. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 878

    From what I hav heard the B Goat has some real weight issues. Not heavy enough so this year they had it at shows with water tank. What a joke water only weighs 8 lbs per gallon. The tank looked like a 3 to 4 gallon tank so maybe 32 lbs more. They could have done that with one small bar of steel. I have not personally tested one but have spoken with many people who owned them and came back to the drum foward design. IF someone wants and easier to use machine why not go all the way and get a TurnAer you can drive and ride behind?
  8. Pflat1

    Pflat1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

  9. JShe8918

    JShe8918 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 946

    I have been looking at one of those JRCO's but the price is almost 1800.00 And i have heard both good and bad stories... Kinda torn about them.
  10. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,466

    We have a four year old Billygoat and it does an excellant job as long as you are going in straight lines. This thing is not useable. Be sure you get one that has independent drive on each side to assist turning.

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