Stinger QA3600 Review

Trenady

LawnSite Member
I work for a LCO in Lafayette, IN. and our owner asked me write a review of our Stinger Quad-Aer 3600 riding aerator so here it is.

I have ran Turfco XT8 aerators for 2 seasons (we had 3 of them total) before the use of our QA 3600, and you would not believe the difference in machines.

To address the most obvious point to make is there are no chains. I can’t say enough how overdue this has been and how big of a deal it is. No chains means I don’t baby the machine or make adjustments with chains or wait for the next time something breaks. It’s literally built like a skid steer. All direct drive hydraulic lines to and from the drive pumps to the drive motors.

As far as comfort goes, the platform you ride on is very comfortable and helps to absorb and cushion the rough ride that can be expected from something without suspension. Even the aerating head is isolated with hydraulic pressure from the machine so no more getting bucked when finding a rock. It’s incredibly smooth. The pad you lean up against is just in the right spot, the controls are soft and easy on your hands. Night and day difference from what I have ran in the past.

They have a control panel switch to run the tines in 3 modes: Off, Normal, and a reverse of the normal…I’ll explain. Off is obvious…the unit won’t aerate when the tines are off. In the auto mode, you press the foot switch like on the Turfco or Toro machines.Release and it comes back up. In the “Down” mode,the tines are always down, except when you press the foot switch they are up. This is great for large properties and allows you to quickly raise the tines when needed for the irrigation box you saw at the last second or turning.

Which brings me to my next point, the time it takes for the tines to engage and disengage is extremely fast, no more slowing down or stopping every time you need to raise/lower the tines. Not waiting for the tines to go up and down to make zero turns really adds up.

Turning with the tines down is a huge selling point for myself. With past aerators going around tight corners and tree rings was a process of drawing out a square shape while engaging and disengaging the tines during turns to avoid tearing and shredding turf. With this aerator you can go around tight rings with the tines engaged without having to worry about tearing the turf.

The speed at which this machine can move while still pulling deep cores is incredible due to the large engine size and oversize hydraulic drive system. One of the best features is a parking brake that actually works! Even the gas tank is bigger than previous aerators with a 6-gallon capacity saving time filling up or running out on a property.

I have seen some comments and posts concerned about the size of this aerator being a concern. To address this I would like to say that at first the size is something to get used to, but after using the machine for a few hours it is not nearly as intimidating, especially since it is so easy to use/control. Since the machine is wide the area that the tines cover is 36" which is half a foot more than the XT8. I have used this machine on a huge variances in lawn sizes, from lawns as small as 3k sqft lawns all the way to 3 acre lawn. Even on small lawns it is quick and nimble and easy maneuver around most obstacles and still manages to do a decent job on the edges. The wideness and the low center of gravity allow this machine to operate very well on hills and steep inclines. The large square cut tire gives better grip in turf as well. I have aerated through stand water without issue of getting stuck or pulling up mud and turf.

For yards with back gates the size comes into play, but I would suggest Stinger's walk behind aerator (DA2450) which we use for backyard or their smaller 30" ride on aerator available in the spring. Having both the QA3600 and the DA2450 I cannot imagine a more productive, efficient, and easy to use combination whether it be simple Spring/Fall aeration or aeration over seeding. The biggest upside is just the ease of use along with reliability, and the increase of production that goes along with it. Customer service with Stinger has been exceptional for any questions we have had about our machine. I highly recommend this aerator to anyone looking for a new one.

If you haven’t seen their phone app check it out. Makes getting parts instant and easy, like ordering your next whatever from Amazon. I assume it works, I have never actually bought something...I haven’t needed to yet.

aerator.jpg
 

oqueoque

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Jersey
Thanks.
 

DA Quality Lawn & YS

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Rochester, MN
Good review...and I cannot wait until Stinger unveils their new ride on applicator at GIE.
 

beck

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
St. Louis, Mo
We saw it last year at the Gie and were very impressed by it unfortunately we had just purchased (before the Gie last year) a different stand on unit.
Would love to get away from all of the chains.
We did just purchase their slit seeder and are awaiting its arrival.
 

RigglePLC

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Grand Rapids MI
It would be better yet--if there were a mechanism to plant about 10 seeds at the bottom of each hole.
Do you have a good engineer? Wouldn't take long.
You might have to suspend the seeds in water and shoot them into the holes under pressure. 1000 psi should be enough.
Maybe add a shredder that would pulverize the cores; return them as topdressing over the seed.
Stinger is an innovative company, right?
LOL!
 
We have that already.

And its already more productive than any other WB Aerator (other than ours). Does what you ask in a single pass with 10x the germination rate of aerating and injecting seed in the holes.

It's an absolute beast of a seeder. Nothing else is even close. It's basically a harley rake at your finger tips with the ability to seed. You can seed, or basically till with it if you want.

 

RigglePLC

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Grand Rapids MI
Ten times the germination rate. Fine, how do you prove that? Got pictures? Side by side comparison pictures with an inferior brand?
Nearly impossible to prove. Super difficult experiment.

Suppose the two machines sowed grass seed in grass that had been sprayed 24 hours before with Roundup? Compare after two weeks. In theory, you should get brown grass with rows of new green grass--at least in the case of the superior equipment.

Suppose you planted clover seed as an overseed. In this case, you would get rows of white flowers in mid-June.
Or do you prefer seeds of some other kind of weed or flower--petunias? Zinnias?

Maybe this would make good videos in the south. Not sure how this works on Bermuda. If...you slit seeded with the Stinger just before frost with a top-rated perennial rye...then wouldn't you get brown Bermuda with rows of bright green rye after a couple weeks? Compare to a lesser equipment four feet to the left. Use it with only one or two blades in place so you can see the rows more distinctly.
 
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10x germination with a good power seeder vs aerate and overseed (seed in a spreader) and that's an understatement. Its actually much more.

Ask anyone who uses a good seeder.

We are killing off our grass on Monday at our office. I would love to prove this but it would be a huge waist of time. I don't have to have my guys go back and redo the area we don't use a seeder.

I can do time delay pictures....of the renovation.

The seeder will make the grass smooth as a pool table, the aerator just roughs it up. I'll post pics.
 

GSO LAWNEN4CER

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
GSO NC
Best damn aerator I’ve ever used hands down. I kept the pressure between 450-475. This thing makes quick work of lawns. I’ll never go back to a walk behind aerator. A walk behind will beat you half to death,and wear you out fast. This is just like mowing on a stander. Hats off to you guys at Stinger... you guys came up with the crown jewel of aerators. Bravo!
 

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