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Please enlighten me on aerators!

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Sawblade, Mar 1, 2010.

  1. Sawblade

    Sawblade LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    Back in the day when I worked on golf courses, we only used cam-action aerators (both tractor pto driven and walk behind). I'm interested in starting to offer aeration services and have been looking at walk behind aerators.

    What I mainly see for sale are what I'll call the "roller" type such as the Ryan Lawnaire. The only "cam action" type that I seem to see for sale is the Plugr. Given the fact the the soil around here is usually pretty hard and compacted, I have concerns as to whether or not the "roller" type would achieve adequate penetration. However, since these seem to be the predominant type, maybe I'm over analyzing the situation.

    Do the "roller type" tined aerators do an adequate job on really tough soil?
    Should I concentrate on a "cam action" type to achieve the best cores?
  2. Hoy landscaping

    Hoy landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 836

    when your in doubt with something like this, look what everyone else does in your area. talk to them about what they do and why.
  3. Sawblade

    Sawblade LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    I don't ever see anyone else doing it around here. That's why I'M interested in doing it!!!:laugh:
  4. Hoy landscaping

    Hoy landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 836

    then your an entrepreneur. go to a rental place. try what they have and see how well it works.
  5. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    The cam type are going to pull much cleaner holes - with less damage or lifting around the edges...something rather crucial on greens and tees. The other type, have more of a tearing action. Now, on greens, the straight up and down of the cam action is a plus....one downfall of it though, is that it tends to glaze the walls of the hole, slowing the closure of the hole back up, and sort of compacting where the roots would begin to grow back out. With a roller type, the tearing action actually promotes faster root growth start, the plugs are looser, so they will break up faster, and the lifting (minimal) part of it isn't as crucial in normal turf conditions. Bottom line, it is as if the roller type that have less parts moving are also more suitable for normal turf conditions such as resi and commercial lawns.
  6. CollegeMowers

    CollegeMowers LawnSite Member
    Messages: 119

    Plugr all the way!!!
  7. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,795

    we have both mentioned, and both do a great job, but the plugr will beat you to death if the ground is too darn hard and actually not penetrate at all, so must have very adequate moisture. otherwise, i like the plugr best.
  8. pugs

    pugs LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,024

    You will see alot of the drum style because they are cheaper. Ryan also makes a cam action one but its about double the price. Its the Lawnaire 28. I think you could aerate concrete with it.

    Drum style is harder on the operators but can be a bit faster too while the came ones are pretty easy on the operator.

    Plugrs are interesting. Havent seen enough of them in use to tell if they hold up well. One downside to them is you cant drive them up a board like you can with the drum type. The only one that would is the top of the line self propelled model which would need ramps to get in/out of a truck or what not....the Lawnaire 28 would need the same thing though and its a beast.

    The non self propel Plugrs do pull themselves along when aerating but wouldnt work the way alot of my customers put them into a van. 2x12 with alot of chunks taken out from driving drum aerators up them...LOL
  9. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    I rent a BlueBird 48" pull behind. Works great.
  10. Maple Wood

    Maple Wood LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 322

    I have a Walker Perforator. This is a cam type, 48" wide and mounts to the front of my Walker mower. Works great and all I have to do is set on my butt! It will cover a lot of ground and does a good job. We had a dry spell last fall right when I needed to aerate some yards. It still pulled plugs but not as deep as in good conditions.

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