Rotating tines vs camshaft punch tines

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by IslaMan, May 3, 2011.

  1. IslaMan

    IslaMan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Looking to purchase a new aerator. Been seeing the new camshaft style punch tine (Plugr) and they look pretty good. Now I've only seen the promos on the net and wonder if the are as superior as they say compaired to a Bluebird or Classen. Any advice?
  2. G. Ramey

    G. Ramey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 376

    I have rented a Plugr brand walkbehind aerator two times. It is the best aerator I have ever used. The only other walk behind I have used is a Toro. I have used a drum type plug aerator several times and a spike aerator. The plugr pulls longer plugs and makes many more holes than all the others I have used. Now for the bad news. Both the Plugr brand aerators I rented have been unreliable. The first one would not run well, because the float was stuck in the carburetor. It poured gas and flooded all day. I had to run it with the choke half closed and it would die every minute or two. I rented a different one a few days later. It was Brand new. The dealer said it had been rented out two times. It looked new. It had a Honda engine on it and purred like a kitten at the dealer. I loaded it up, took it to the first yard of the day, fired it up, engaged the tines and nothing happened. When I pulled the lever to apply power to the tines, they simply hit the ground and stopped. The engagement cable had way to much slack in it. I could grab the cable and pull the slack out and it worked great, but holding the cable was to hard to do and run the aerator. I made two passes across the yard and took it back to the dealer. The toothed belt was completely eat up and a pully was bent. you couldn't see the belt or pully without taking the cover off. All I can say is it is a superior walkbehind aerator as far as making holes in the ground, but the quality of the machine may be lacking. I will rent it again the next time I need a walk behind. I like the job it does and am willing to give it one more try.
  3. mdlwn1

    mdlwn1 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,443

    1.Ryan LA28 Cam type. Best out course machine..will last longer than a mower. Iv'e dropped one from the back of an isuzu box truck with no problem...used them on possibly 1000 or more lawns over the years...$6500 or so. The beauty of the ryan is ease of handed. Also you can aerate with the drive in neutral and pull the machine backwards resulting in as many holes per square foot as you want. You can plant a spring lawn solid under (if you wanted) a silver maple, pin oak, etc. The down side is that is doesnt like hills (golf course machine) or soft/muddy areas. Driven both by the aerating action as well as the wheels.

    2. Pluggr. I currently have one. It's a cam type and fine for large open areas. It doesnt like turns but will comply with considerable effort and wont go through as hard as the Ryan..but is still able to punch through hard soils and guarantee results. The guy above used a rental machine..disregard his comments about reliability..typical honda engine thats on everything else.

    3.Roller type...they're all the same. They barely go through a thick thatch layer let alone into a dense soil below the thatch. You cant show up to every property and guarantee results..essentially you will be ripping off anyone who has thick thatch or dense soil.
  4. georgiagrass

    georgiagrass LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 970

    Exactly. We use the Ryan Lawnaire 28 and love it. It has all the pluses and the minuses discussed above. Before we had the Ryan 28, we had a Bluebird 530A. It did a very mediocre job, especially if the soil has not been irrigated. After we got the Ryan, I gave the Bluebird away.


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