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Question for Exact Rotitilling...

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Toro 44, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. Toro 44

    Toro 44 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 155

    Hey exact,

    I am thinking of getting either a hydro plugr or lawn solutions single hydro. My concern with the plugr is ease of use esp in tightly landcaped areas. Also when it comes to turning around to switch back on the next pass, i wonder how difficult the plugr is. Is the front very heavy when you push down on the handle to pivot the machine around?

    I currently run a lawnaire v. It's tough to use, but fast in switchbacks. I pivot it on the drum to turn around. But that gets old fast particularly on small lawns with lots of turns.

    Any info you can give would be great. Thanks!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  2. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    I saw your PM as well. I'll answer after dinner tonight and explain the pros and cons.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. sjessen

    sjessen LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Knoxville, Tn
    Messages: 4,509

    Please answer publicly as others have the same questions as the op.

  4. Toro 44

    Toro 44 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 155

    Yes please post this publicly. And thank you in advance for the answers. I look forward to them!

    Another consideration here is that I may eventually get an exmark/toro standon, so I want whatever machine I get this time around to be as effective and user friendly as possible for trimming / small areas.
  5. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Another member here removed his limiter plate and got considerably more speed out of his LS 21. I have not even used mine for hire this year. I have heard some folks gripe about turning the Plugr but once you get the feel for the machine I’d rather run the Plugr since you can make pretty sharp almost right angle turns. Doing 3 point turns with the Lawn Solutions is time wasted since I can literally get a 90 degree turn out of the Plugr when you let the tines propel the machine and you push down on the control bar and force a 90 degree turn.

    Forget side hills with the LS21. It is too narrow and you end up fighting the machine. Best to go up and down. Traversing side hills hands down for the Plugr Hydro. Given a choice between going up or down a steep hill...with the Plugr hydro going UP is easier. Since the tines also drive the machine forward you basically need to use the front hydro as a brake to slow the machine down....going down hill. I don’t think I’d own a non-hydro Plugr. Even on flat ground the hydro drive is well worth having in transport mode.

    If you’re going to get a Toro/Exmark ride on I guess you could do double passes to make up for the lack of plugs in one pass compared to the Plugr hydro.

    The Toro/Exmark ride-on has the same pattern as the LS21. 3.5" L/R x 9" Fore and Aft. and yes the 9" is actual on my lawn. Plugr is 75% more dense in a single pass. 100% more dense than the LS dual hydro.

    The entire more plugs angle has been tricky to market. People tune out and are easily confused that more is better...:dizzy:...:hammerhead:...:confused: I have never given up hope that the smart ones actually get it. :rolleyes:

    Here is a time lapse video of both machines in a thatchy lawn in early Spring.

  6. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Oh yeah....break up mowing and top dressing effect. Hands down mowing over a semi dried or worse yet very dry Plugr 850 aeration is a choke fest to say the least. Top dressing effect due to the plugs getting popped up into the tops of the grass blades is best reserved for one of those wolf snout masks. This is proof in the pudding of the flat out better thatch busting that the Plugr has due to both a more dense pattern and delivery of plugs further up in the lawn.
  7. Toro 44

    Toro 44 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 155

    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. Toro 44

    Toro 44 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 155

    Thank you so much!

    I like the plug density of the plugr as you do.

    If i read you right, the lawn solutions machine is easier in turns, but more time consuming. Is that fair to say? But the plugr is better for hills?

    And how would you compare the plugr hydro to the 26" ryan or blue bird machines for ease of use? A local rental place has an old pl600 i think i will rent to try. Obviously its not a hydro, but may give me some idea of what i'd be getting into.

    I am actually more likely to get a turfco xt5 than a lawn solutions/toro machine. I just mentioned the toro bc it is similar and it is what you have to compare. Any thoughts on the xt5?

    I, like you, am obsessed with plug density and pattern. I have read your posts avidly and watched your demo video numerous times.

    I want the plugr. I guess my biggest concern with the plugr is ease of use. Currently i go over my lawns 2,3 or more times for good aeration with my lawnaire v. It stinks. I am beat after 4 lawns. I want to improve this situation.

    What i worry about is my wrists getting fatigued from pushing down on the control bar of a plugr to pivot the machine. I do run a lawn solutions seeder and it is operated similarly. I occasionally get wrist pain if im doing little areas where the front end is in the air more than it is on the ground (e.i. slicing across the little strips between sidewalk and street). But you probably dont do much like that with the plugr right?

    Also do you spread seed when you aerate?

    Thanks again!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  9. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Toro 44,

    Sounds like you are a candidate for a Plugr Hydro....if in fact you are going over lawns twice. Like I said before I had complaints from clients who I had previosuly done aerations with my PL850. I then found myself going over them twice which took much more time than the single pass with the PL850.... I even felt a tad guilty that the clients where getting less than the best. Yeah a bit deeper plug.....um, but where’s the beef...?

    I picked up my 2nd PL850 used on a fire sale for $2500 in Southern Idaho with less than 10/15 hours on it...if that. Basically a new unit. Look for a used PL850 online. I would have to agree I’d lean more towards and Xt5 than the LS/Toro/Exmark 21 due to feed back from users who have used and owned both units. Moderate turns with the LS 21 are easy enough but U turns are tough and frankly easier with the PL850 hydro. The end of the line you make a hard 180 degree U turn basically like the eye of needle...lift tines back up with hydro then hit the spot you missed in the eye of the needle...so to speak. 90 degree turns are much easier for me with the Plugr than the LS21. Maybe not at first but once you learn the unit...it is.

    The Hydro Plugr is more versatile and the front drive will take you most anywhere and the center of gravity is low. The expense of burning through tines with the Plugr is another issue. Charge a bit more to pay for tines. On larger estate properties I can actually detect tine wear after a few hours of running. I have a pile of worn through Plugr tines I have considered welding traditional beak type tines from standard machines. I have heard of others doing just this but it would have to be economically feasible.

    Years ago I had also thought of a LS ride on. For a number of factors I have decided against it. I think the added speed of the Ride on would be a great help even if you went over lawns twice to match the PL850/855. I don’t do enough bigger lawns IMO for it to be worth it for me. Just rather market to smaller and moderate sized lawns.
  10. Toro 44

    Toro 44 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 155

    Thanks for all the info!

    Do you ever spread seed in conjunction with aeration? If so do you have any tips to share? Do you spread seed after you aerate or before? I keep going back and forth and cant decide which is best.

    I ask this question because i also use a slice seeder in very thin areas. It would be nice to have an aerator that would prep all these areas in one process. I know you can "till" with the plugr. When you do that do you spread seed before you till those areas to work it in, or do you spread the seed after you aerate it?

    Thank you!

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