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pull behind or 3pt aerator

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by grass disaster, Sep 29, 2007.


pull behind or 3pt aerator

  1. standard pull behind

    4 vote(s)
  2. 3 point hitch with aerator

    10 vote(s)
  1. grass disaster

    grass disaster LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,748

    i have a 318 john deere. i can get a 3 point hitch added on to it for around $400.

    i aerate mostly 1/4 acre lots.

    which do you feel is better?

    standard pull behind or a 3pt with an aerator???

    can you turn with the aerator down with a 3 pt.?
  2. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    Depending on your aerator (independent, ganged, or single axle tine shafts) you might be able to, but why would you? Get to the end of the row, pull the lever, make a three point turn, push the lever, head back.

    The alternative is to make overlapping loops, the arc of which will be determined by aerator design. With overlapping loops, the edges of the lawn are very likely to get overworked -- even if the aerator doesn't tear sideways, the edges are going to see several times more passes from the aerator than the middle will.

    The only reason to run a tow behind is if you don't have access to a 3 point hitch machine. Tow behind has absolutely zero advantages over 3 point.
  3. lawn king

    lawn king LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,386

    3 point hitch unit by far! I purchased this woods aerator 4 years ago and after decades in the lawn business, i can honestly say that i have made more money with this aerator than any machine we have ever owned! I aerated 12 acres with it today and billed out $2300. I sat in the air conditioned cab and listened to yes all day. 3 point unit, its a no brainer!

  4. mmacsek

    mmacsek LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 545

    I used to have a 318 and the 3 point hitch is a category 0 and I believe the 3 point aerators are category 1. I have used a tow behind 48" aerator on the 318 and it grunted. That was with the original Onan 18hp engine. I am sure you know the specs of your tractor but added my thoughts. Matt
  5. TAZ

    TAZ LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 344

    I use a tow-behind turf vent as I do not have access to a 3-pt. It has independent clusters so it doesn't tear when turning but what Jeff posted about the edges getting more aeration because of the turning is true. It is also a pita to constantly have to get on and off the machine to raise and lower it.

    Both types work well though. I am happy with mine. While that 318 may have 3-pt ability I can't see the hitch picking up a 2-300lb unit with even more additional weight on it without adding front weights or stressing the hitch. I pull my 48 with a 20hp wheel horse and with 200lbs of water on it you know it's back there.

  6. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    Of course you have to add front weights. That's what the weight bracket is there for. As for stressing the frame, the hydraulics have pressure relief valves. If the weight is too much for the frame, it won't pick it up. If it picks it up, it is within design limits.

    Disaster: the 318 is a very capable little tractor, but you might need to look carefully at both the 36 and 48 inch widths of the TurfAire's to see which one is going to accept Cat 0 pins and be within the capacity of the 318. Even if you go with the 36, you're a foot wider than a walk behind.
  7. grass disaster

    grass disaster LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,748

    how much weight can the 318 lift?

    i was thinking about getting a 42" aerator.
  8. grass disaster

    grass disaster LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,748

  9. jeffinsgf

    jeffinsgf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    Owner's Manual?


    Come on GD, you can do some of the work besides just posting here, can't you?
  10. grass disaster

    grass disaster LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,748

    i can't believe i can't find anyone using this set up..... 318 with 3pt aerator.

    this seems like a reasonably cheap way to have a nice set up.

    i've been googling this to try find someone that uses the 318 for aerating. nothing shows up.

    This set-up could also be used commercially also. you get the best of both world's i would think. although you may still need to rent one to get in the fenced in areas.

    i would think this would be much easier on the body too.

    why don't more people use this ?

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