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What are peoples experiences with these pieces of equipment. Im looking ot rent one to do spring clean ups and would like to know what to look for in a power dethatcher. Also on a different sbject has anyone done any sod tare offs. I would also rent a powered sod cutter to do a 100 sq yds of sod for a garden install. Anyone with some experience in either of these pieces of equipment please help. thanks for al of the help in advance.
2004 is for my efforts and time
 

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Check into the Bluebird model for dethatching. Most rental companies around here use them, including Home Depot.
 

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I rented for years until I built up enough repeat customers. When my rental bill reached over $1300 a year I decided to take the plunge. I purchased a used BlueBird power rake that was in great condition from our local RSC. Paid about half what a new one costs and have had excelent service from it. It does a great job and gives me no trouble. Looking to buy another used one soon because of the work load and the good service I have had from the first one. The only other sugestion I have is to have a good machine to pick up the debris. That is 3/4 the battle. When other guys can't wait to get done with power raking my guys are out looking for more work because we have the right equipment. We keep going a long time after everyone else has given up. To us this is a very profitable service and actually accounts for 40% of our total sales for the year. And that is in just 2 month's. We have figured out how to do a great job and be very quick at doing these. Our referal list grows 30% to 40% every year. I have rented other brands of power rakes and did not like any of them do to problems on the job. Do not include this in a spring cleanup catagory but as a stand alone specialized lawn renovation or lawn maitainence service because that is what it actually is. Remember, Having good reliable machines matters to your success at doing this. It can beat you down if things go wrong. Been there done that, have learned from prior mistakes.This type of service is hard work unless you figure out how to make it easier on you.
 

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I have the ryan Ren-o-thin. its a pretty nice unit. I just wish they made something that would hook up to the ztr that isnt a tine type like the jrco. Maximum depth on the Ryan is 1 inch and it sure does pull up the thatch. Running the ztr over the thatch afterwards using the Vacuum collector makes it a breeze. Hand raking would be alot of work.

There are 4 different styles of vertical blades for this unit. I have only used the one that came with it.
 

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Ha, LawnGuy61 tell us more on the way you do the pick-up.

I've been doing de-thatching for 3 years now and have try ed a lot of different ways. Currently I'm blowing into the middle, using a soft metal rake to put it into rows, then laying a tarp down and securing the 2 corners of the tarp with long screwdrivers, then raking the thatch onto the tarp. I then dump the tarp into the truck and repeat until it's all up. Last I mow.


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Oh to answer the original question.

I use a BillyGoat aerator. New this year, only cost $950.
Not overly happy with it, wish I had gotten a BlueBird. It will do for now. De-thatchers are so cheep my advice is don't rent, buy.
 

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Originally posted by HayBay
I just wish they made something that would hook up to the ztr that isnt a tine type like the jrco.
Bluebird does make a model like you want. I have recently checked into these. They are powered by a 5hp Honda or 5.5 B&S. They are 38" wide and cost around $1750 with the Honda engine or $1450 with the B&S. Here is a pic of one.

Wheel Tire Vehicle Automotive tire Motor vehicle
 

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Thanks,

I like that pull behind. Too bad it wasn't on the front so you could vacuum at the same time. But never the less its probably alot less work than the push/sorta self propelled unit I have.

I paid $1750 canadian plus tax on my unit and it comes with the 6.5HP B&S Intek (cast piston sleave).

For what you get price wise I think to my self this is expensive. But these seem to be the going rates on new equipment here.
 

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We use 48 inch de-thatchers on our John Deere 445's. We have 15 or 20 bushell baggers setup on both 445's that dump themselves via the 445's hydraulics. I've tried power rakes before but they just thrash stuff to much.
 

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I use a grasshopper 616 with high lift blades on it with a factory vac on it. As long as you keep your deck clean and go at a slower pace than mowing it picks up almost all of it on the first pass. To give it a finished look we lower the deck down to regular mowing height and go over it a second time. Along with a good trim it gives it a real professional look and impresses the customer. I have helped others obtain the same ease with other types of mowers. The key is to go high on the first pass and not too fast to clog your chute. Then lower to regular cutting height to finish up. Having paitence is the key. I used to try and rush through it and all I did was get frustrated. If you are charging right this is still very profitable and 99% of your customers don't mind the price when they see the finished product. If you have a push mower having an extra bag or two helps speed up that process as you can carry 2 bags to your truck or whatever you are putting it in. If your have a total of four bags and two men working the 2nd man can help carry bags. You would be suprised as to how much your frustration level goes down. We started out using push mowers until we were able to afford and obtain larger equipment.
 
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