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Lawn Solutions WB Aerator update

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by grass4gas, Oct 3, 2009.

  1. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,954

    My guys love these units. 3 things we have to be careful about:

    1) When moving the unit (while not running), we have to be careful not to tip it back very far cuz the tines can easily scrape hard surfaces

    2) Transporting the unit (while running) relies on the front wheels, so we struggle a little to get her going forward

    3) The fwd/reverse/park (right side control handle) is a bit tricky
  2. urbanlw

    urbanlw LawnSite Member
    Messages: 28

    Ok, I have to try one of these. Anyone know where I can rent or demo one in the San Antonio Area? ( Our Drought is over and the grass doesnt know what to do.. I think will be mowing until Thanksgiving this year )
  3. LawnSolutionsCP

    LawnSolutionsCP Sponsor
    Messages: 907

    We don't have any dealer or rentals in your area yet, just LCOs using them.

    If you are looking for one, give Josh or myself a call at the office.


  4. jfoxtrot9

    jfoxtrot9 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 289

    I have had my LS walk behind aerator for over a month now. I have aerated about 50 lawns now, everywhere between a few thousand sq. feet to up 15-16 tsf. Most have been around 5-6000.

    Most of what everyone is posting about the LS WB is right on with what I have experienced as well. It really is a whole different aerating experience. The operator fatigue is clearly the biggest difference. No more tines up, tines down, tines up, tines down 100,000 times a day kickin' your rear all the day long. As has already been posted, the aerating in reverse is also a great feature. Hills up and down is still the only way to go as this is not as sturdy as I though it would be sideways, but thats not new with aerating hills, but going down in forward and up in reverse is the easy way to go.

    The only complaint that I find a tad silly is the transporting on concrete or with the tines up. Granted, it seems to need a little more assistance than one may like considering it has 4 wheels, but with a lift up on the handle bars, it seems to move o.k I suppose, including up my trailer ramp. The reason I say it is a little silly is not because the complaint isn't true, it is because I have never had ease transporting any aerator with the tines up, especially up my trailer ramp!

    The next area to discuss would be customer service. Overall, it has been rather good. The unfortunate thing is I have had to test this area a few times already. The first time is when I received a bill for additional shipping by Fed Ex, I believe. I guess the $125. shipping does not include getting your very heavy piece of equipment OFF the truck...Hmmmm. Anyway a call to LS and it was taken care of immediatly. A+.

    The next time is when the machine was having some difficulty moving in the higher gear. A more complete owners manual may have helped here, but another call to LS, I received quick and precise instructions that only took a few minutes to perform which was to adjust the transmission belt. No big deal, I probably should of figured that out myself, belts do stretch. And I discovered how cool and easy it is to get up under this bad boy for maintenance and cleaning. Another A+.

    It is the third time that has began to stress me a little bit. A couple weeks ago, I was kickin' off my morning aerating a yard, I had just begun when I heard a little "crack" and the machine quit moving. I pull her back and to my surprise, a drive chain hanging out the bottom! I am not sure if I may have never pulled my cell phone out of my pocket so quickly. This frustrated me. I called LS, dialed through to the emergency # and left a message. I recieved a phone call back within minutes. I am informed of the cause, an assurance that this has not happened before and that I would receive instructions on how to help make sure it didn't happen again. Also instructions how to fix it and a new chain was enroute because I didn't just break just the master link, but the next link as well. I am told the chain probably stretched, was loose and somehow got twisted causing this to happen. Makes sense, maybe could of been avoided with an adjustment. But here the need again for a better owners manual. I receive a email for recommended maintenace on the machine with in hours, a confirmation of new chain shipped, a nice video on how to "quickly" replace the chain without taking half the machine apart and received the new chain the next day. So far, despite my frustration, customer service is an easy A.

    But here is something that may be worth considering. The warranty. Yes, I received a replacement part in one day and I appreciate that more than I can say. Also the video is nice, easy to see what is going on and looks to be pretty easy. Problem is, it wasn't as smooth for myself as the video showed. First I had a couple jams trying to get the chain in place but was warned about this, and I can live with that part. The problem came in when the chain seemed to be too short. I pulled and tried to stretch the two ends together with little success. To the point that I took the chain back out to check against the old one, which was the same, so I get the chain back in again and pull and stretch and finally get her back together. I'd say about an hours time. This is where my concern lies...Do I bill LS for my labor? How hard do they laugh when they receive my bill? Isn't this part of a warranty, or is the LS warranty for parts only. What if I can't get the stupid chain on and I need to take it somewhere? Is this at my expense?

    It doesn't seem to me that chain was too loose. The old and new chain where indeed the same size and I am not lying when I say, I had to work to get them two ends together. And yes, I had loosened the adjusting gear.

    I am basically done aerating this year and I find myself a little concerned about the warranty offered. I'll do minimal aerations in the spring. By next years aeration season, I'll be out of warranty. Something to seriously consider.

    Overall, I love this machine, no doubt. I have had no regrets about buying it. The machine does seem to be built well. I also appreciate David and Josh and each time I have talked to each one it has been pleasant and they have certainly strived to meet my needs as one of their customers. They seem like nice guys.

    I know this has been long, but I thought I would finally share my experience with this machine.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2009
  5. EastCoast

    EastCoast LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 311

    This is a great review... many thanks!

    One of the observations that you mentioned is whats is keeping me from purchasing this unit... the warranty!
    One year does not cut it for commercial grade equiptment and if you believe in your product, which I believe LS does, you provide a better warranty.

    Look Scag just increased theirs to 3 years.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. LawnSolutionsCP

    LawnSolutionsCP Sponsor
    Messages: 907

    Excellent review, very thorough.

    The chain on your machine probably had 2-3 inches of slop allowing it to move up and down. When the chain is allowed to flop around it eventually will knock off the clip holding the master link.

    On our field test units ~30 of them which were out for a year, we never had a chain come loose because we checked on the units monthly. We pointed out what we felt was obvious to them at the time and made chain adjustments. When operating the machine you could physically hear the chain getting tossed around inside the machine. We had the customer tighten the chains and still nothing and I know they haven't ever tightened them again. These are the type of customers who used them 12 hrs a day, 6-days a week, 3-4 months out of the year. Some of their location actually used them 10 months out of the year due to their location.

    Why does this happen. We purchase Diamond chains which are hands down the best and most expensive in the industry. Even the Diamond chain will have an initial stretch where the pins and rollers seat like when pistons seats in an engine. Once everything seats the chain will be longer need to be adjusted or very, very seldom. We even get our chains pre-streched which helps, but around 30-40 hours on the machine the chains need to be tightened after the break-in period. The adjustment takes about 2 minutes with half of that time looking for a 9/16" wrench.

    Yes, your new chain was tight...but in about 30-40 hours it will be loose again like the other chain was on your machine.

    As for the warranty, you won't find another company who stands behind their products better than we do during any point the the producst line (in or out of warranty). We have covered things well out of warranty period if it was a manufacturing or design issue.

    And yes our owners manual can and will be more thorough with break-in proceedures....and it has been updated and will be posted to our website shortly.

    The other thing that amazes me is how smooth this new product launch was compaired to most of the products that were launched in the past 2-years by other OEMs (this includes mowers too). Every new product will have something that isn't just quite right even with months of field testing. Some more than others.

    Our seeders in 2006 had several issues that were corrected all on our dime. No parts were sent out for customers to put on...we did all 100% of them (over 400 units) at 2.5 hours each, plus travel time, plus hotels, etc... I was 31, first year in business, and it cost me over $100,000 to do it the right way...it hurt to do this and people asked why not send out parts like other companies...well, we just don't work that way. Our customer couldn't believe we were going to this length to make them all perfect without waisting their time. And most of the customers had no idea what we were doing because they never had anything wrong with their mahines, but we know they would in the future so we corrected them before they encountered the loss time and frustration. Again, no other companies stands behind products better than we do.

    Most of our customers we purchased seeder all have our aerators because they know the kind of service and support available.

    This has also made us much more conservative when launching new products. Take our ride-on unit for example. We only built 15 of them this year when we could have done 50-75 units. This frustrated some customers who wanted to purchase them after we hit our 15 units, but we told them to wait until spring until we had them out in the field for a 2nd year. Why wait this long, our ride-on aerator is unlike anything ever introducted to the turf industry with nothing to compair it to...so we are limiting the numbers product the first year incase we want to make a design change. So far only minor service features making it easier for our assembly which saves us time and money when building them.

  7. B.H.

    B.H. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    is their a way to hook a sulky up? i already have the double swivel wheeled model from haevener enterprises for my hustler hydro and was wondering if it would work for those larger than average yards?
  8. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,954

    Even if you throw a chain & break it, it's cheap & easy to fix. We broke a chain last week on a Ryan small walk-behind. Went to Tractor Supply & bought a 3-pak of master links. Cost: About 3 bucks. Had it fixed within one hour. Any aerater that puts alot of torque on a chain will occasionally have some wear & tear. I don't care what brand it is.
  9. LawnSolutionsCP

    LawnSolutionsCP Sponsor
    Messages: 907

    Yes, but you won't be able to like you can without the sulky. It will drive like other aerators that use sulkies where you go in circles....or, just get off make the zero turn and hop back on. I have done this when doing large areas playing around.

    Can the unit handle a sulky? All day long. The best sulky setup of the aerator pivots right at the back of the frame. On our seeders, the best pivots in the middle like on mowers.


  10. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,954

    Does LS offer a sulky for the walk-behind aerator? That would be cool, cuz I figure the horsepower is not an issure. If so, how much for a sulky? Are they available yet?

    Thanks, proud users of LS walk-behinds.

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