Tow behind aerator

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Tallkracker, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. Tallkracker

    Tallkracker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Alright I'm new to the biz, so I ask a silly question. I have a tow behind aerator non powered; the kind from Lowes. Is it acceptable to use this when aerating for customers? I am sure it does not work as well as a powered aerator, but it does pull plugs if the ground is not hard. If the ground is hard forget about it.
  2. Marcos

    Marcos LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,720

    The only things a pull behind aerator from Lowes would be good for would be aerating your OWN yard once or twice a year, and serving as an ANCHOR for your boat this coming summer!!!:laugh:

    But seriously now...

    Would you expect a 'pot metal' box store pull behind aerator's going to last any length of time?

    I'd look for a used Lesco 48" or 60".
    They're very heavy and rugged.
  3. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,526

    What Ive learned from using a home owner aerator.....they dont pull enough plugs per square foot for efficient plugging. I cant remember how many plugs is desired for proper aeration. A commercial pull behind has more tines and maybe longer ones also. So yours may be good to start with but plan to upgrade to a commercial version soon

  4. greasy_gun

    greasy_gun LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    it will be fine

    you may or may not need a commercial aerator, depends on your customers/sales.....will the customer be willing to pay for aeration service?

    i would use what you got, go from there
  5. Elite LawnCare

    Elite LawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Do you think one of these 48'' plug areaters from a place like central tractor or lows (agri-fab I think thats the name of them something like that) would work with a lot of weight added to the top of them? I would Love to get a real areator but first I need to see what kind of customers I will get for areation this year.
  6. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    They don't pull enough plugs...not NEARLY enough. If you want to take the time of going over the lawn 4 times, then yes,...they are closer to what the lawn needs. But for that kind of money in time invested, you could rent a real one, or purchase a real one that would pay for itself over time. If you want a decent one that pulls an adequate amount of plugs - yet at a reasonable price, the look into the Turfvent. It is a decent machine, all fully greasable, and a decent price.
  7. greasy_gun

    greasy_gun LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 334

    no one knows the amount of plugs that are 'needed'

    some say aeration is a waste

    use what you have, see what results u get

    customers prolly dont have a clue
  8. Tallkracker

    Tallkracker LawnSite Member
    Messages: 15

    Thank you for the reply's. I think I'll have to use my judgment on each customer. Some lawns are just not that nice because they don't want to put that much money into their yard, but they feel that something should be done. So that is where I can offer them an affordable lawn aeration. Now some customers who have nice lawns may be willing to pay for that close plug ratio; I'll just have to figure out what to do then, maybe rent for the first year.
  9. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Most universities recommend atLEAST a 10% displacement. Anything less than this is essentially a waste of time and does very little if at all to benefit the lawn..especially if there is an adequate thatch layer that is being addressed. This would do nothing but put money in the operators pocket without really completing the job.
    On these numbers. a 10% displacement with 5/8" holes, would equal about 12 holes per sq. ft. This would be even more holes with the smaller 1/2" holes that these lighter aerators pull.
    No, there is no direct formula, as different soils drain different, and there are also different thatch layers. However, it has been my experience over the years, that even with heavier commercial machines, that in heavy clay soils, a second pass is always able to do better by pulling deeper plugs after the soil has a bit more room to move from the first pass.
  10. Elite LawnCare

    Elite LawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Good solid information runner thank you!

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