Questions About Aerator Tines

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by DavidNJ, Nov 27, 2010.

  1. DavidNJ

    DavidNJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 519

    1) How long do they last? The Deere Tine Catalog ( has three different grades:

    2) How easily do they break? The rental place had a box full of broken ones but no replacements. The Deere Aerator 800 manual says:

    I made that last line bold.

    3) What size tine? There are a wide variety of tine sizes, most available open/side ejecting and closed top ejecting (stronger, more consistant hole) in a wide variety of diameters: 1/4", 3/8", 1/2", 5/8, 3/4" and 1". There are three tine holders; a 'mini' for the 1/4" that holds the tines at 1.4" spacing, and the others, 2". There are three different tine holders, a mini for 6 1/4" tines, one for the large 3/4" and 1" tines, and one for the other size. This stuff can get expensive, with 16 tines running as much as $200, the turf guards $200, tine holders another $400, although the holder, or core deflector should be maintenance items.

    The rental house had installed what appears to be HD1/4" mini tines, although I think I only counted 4 per holder. Could he have installed them in the wrong holder?

    He said they do break, but then the Deere catalog says"

  2. LawnSolutionsCP

    LawnSolutionsCP Sponsor
    Messages: 907

    What are you aerating?

    The hardest doesn't mean it is less likely to break...just wear better on the designed use.....sand base greens.
  3. DavidNJ

    DavidNJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 519

    All of the tine catalogs talk about the trade-off between long life and wear:

    However, I have no idea what the breakage is in practice. Greens average 5000sqft or so, 18 holes would be 90k-100ksqft. All the catalogs talk about significant wear over that distance.

    They talk about rocks, etc on new fields, landscapes, and fairways. That appears to be where they recommend their lower cost tines until the field is relatively free of these issues.

    There are 1/4" tines, that appear to be used on greens. Used with the tigher spacing tine holders (1.4") they are less disruptive yet more effective on greens. On fairways tines from 3/4" to 1" seem to be common:

    We are doing this property; the picture is east facing west. Areas exposed to western sun are dead. Other areas vary in vigor, although surviving grass (all tall fescue) is very strong. The underlying soil, 2 to 4" down depending on area, is a red clay that forms 'rocks' on its own.


    The first thing I need to do is find out what tine holder the machine has. I know it has mini tines (the rental place showed me the box), however, I think I saw 4 tines per holder...which means the minis are in the wrong holder. Or was it the 6 tine mini holder? If the later, super minis at around .4" OD and costing more than the rental would be the only alternative. Otherwise, 5/8" would be available, and maybe even 3/4" or 13/16". The economy tines with .134 wall are 3/4".

    I don't know enough about the relationship of tines to mounts to understand the issues. Deere's catalog shows tines larger than 5/8" with a 7/8" mount. JRM has tines upto 13/16" with a 3/4" mount. If the mount is the 3/8" mini, JRM has a .460" OD 5" tine, but double the cost of the 3/4" economy tine, and you need 24 in the machine instead of 16.
  4. LawnSolutionsCP

    LawnSolutionsCP Sponsor
    Messages: 907

    That aerator especially with 1/4" tines is not designed for that type of job. Yes you will break the tines on tree roots and rocks. Probably several of them.

    Why not look at our riding aerator. There are videos on here and on YouTube. Rental stores love them and will be much faster than what they currently have and also won't break tines. They will thank you for showing them the aerator.

    On a residential lawn I would go with a 5/8" - 3/4" plug diameter since it is only done 1-2 times per year. golf courses use 1/4" plugs and do it almost monthly.

    Take a look.

    David Cook
    Lawn Solutions
  5. DavidNJ

    DavidNJ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 519

    First reason: no one has one.

    The only aerators I've found, other than this Aerator 800, are small Claussens and Billy Goats. Not even a Ryan. Your web site says the nearest one of your aerators is a small walkbehind in a neighboring state.

    I like the Deere and Toro pro units because of the hole density and way the hole is made. The available Deere doesn't have the plug pushers in front of the wheels, may not have the tine holders I'd prefer. However, it will create a 2"x2" (36 hole/sqft) or 1.4"x1.4" (with mini tines, 72 holes/sqft) aeration. The Deere 800 has a 32" wide path, a Toro 648 a 48" path. Most of the residential and commercial units seem to be closer to 6-12 holes/sqft.
  6. LawnSolutionsCP

    LawnSolutionsCP Sponsor
    Messages: 907

    Have you used one of these on a residential lawn before?

    Also, who is the rental store who rents the 800?


  7. LawnSolutionsCP

    LawnSolutionsCP Sponsor
    Messages: 907

    Just send a PM with the rental store info.
  8. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,157

    never had a broken tine, (core type) have had broken bolts that hold them in place though...
  9. LawnSolutionsCP

    LawnSolutionsCP Sponsor
    Messages: 907

    Impressive....even with 1/4" tines?
    Posted via Mobile Device

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