User reviews on Plugr PL855HD the newest model...? How did it work out for you?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Exact Rototilling, Oct 24, 2010.

  1. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

  2. grassman177

    grassman177 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,795

    we own both and just got the plug855 for this aeration season. all in all it is a way better machine. more stable on hills, punches better holeson even the toughest soil here, and was much much smoother to operate BUT........................

    we had issues with the drive pulley going out and stripping. we resoved this issue twice during a 2 week period under warranty. I dont want you to be scared of the machine, but there seemed to be some flawed assembly or something with the pulley oin the shaft of the hydro that was to blame(or so we think and hope). the pulley is splined and slides onto the hyrdo shaft. the pulley was stripping out and then in effect not catching and making the machine non drivable and non usable therefore. we had it repaired through a local shop and plugr came through and helped us out with a replacement loaner while we waited for ours. it worked flawlessly the week or so we had it. we then got ours back and within 3 days the same pulley went out.

    after discussing and ordering new parts from the company under warranty, we discovered that either from the factory OR the dealer that warranted the work had put some washers of no use around the shaft and it was causing wear and heat to the pulley. hard to explain, but the salesman from plugr made it very clear that they were nto supposed to be there and we removed them, replaced the pulley and used it for another few days with no issues at all.

    so, after a long story i hope you could follow, we had some issues that seem to be resolved and the machine is definately a huge improvement over the 850 which we have one aobut three years old and it is doing well.
  3. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Any other reviews & experiences on the new Plugr 855? There are few post about issues with the Honda engines as gas caps vs. old design.
  4. stang2244

    stang2244 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 250

    I am also curious about the new plugr. How does it do as far as plug depth? And what is the cost? I was originally leaning toward the ryan 28 but realized it has a ground speed of like 2.1mph which I just don't think will do. Does the plugr go faster than that?
  5. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    New 855 will probably be like the old 850 re: plug depth. 2.5" to maybe 2.75".

    Ryan 28 is the best for plug density and from what I understand they are a bit top heavy and there is no reverse. My Plugr 850 has a very low center of gravity and was cheaper new than the Ryan 28 so that's why I went that route. Not sure about the speed.

    I will probably end up with a Ryan 28 at some point and I will be glad to give a full comparison then. Unless one is playing on the advantages of more plugs and the pros of running a reciprocating aerator....just buy a rolling tine unit already ..... they cost less and don't beat themselves to death if you're dealing with rocky soil.
    Last edited: Jan 29, 2011
  6. stang2244

    stang2244 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 250

    ? I already own a rolling tine unit(Classen 26) and I don't exactly enjoy running it. It pulls good plugs but I'm looking for something easier to operate. Im not concerned as much about price as I am ease of use and quality of aeration. I was looking at the LS 24" dual hydro but if it doesn't pull a lot of visible plugs(that are more than an inch long) it's not going to fly. I liked the Ryan 28 but am afraid it is too slow. Now I'm considering the plugr based off what I'm hearing from you guys. You have any pics or video of your work with a plugr?
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  7. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Here is some video of the Plugr 855 in action along with their other units.

    My Plugr 850 is easy to use as long as you're not hitting rocks just under the surface. If a lawn area is free of rocks it is a dream to run. I'm actually buying a 2nd used 850 hydro with very low hours this next week. This way I can tag team on larger properties with a helper and it adds the needed redundancy since my original Plugr needs some TLC and frankly has been beat to death. I believe I'm getting close to the classic frame cracked syndrome on my original Plugr. The original Honda GX200 engine has a stress cracked case from all the pounding. I never know when this machine will break or what will give way next from the constant pounding.

    Plugs are ejected rapidly and expelled to the rear and they tend to sit on top of the grass adding to the "hey that's a bunch plugs" effect. Plugs also appear to be shorter and you don't get that long plug like you can with a rolling tine unit. Rolling tine units are more passive.

    My rates for "Premium" aeration with the Plugrs are going up $$ and I'm going to aggressively push the more plugs issue again. Every time I have drifted away from "more plugs is better" in my marketing and more towards "how wonderful aeration is in general" or "here is a picture of golf course" has been a flop for me. It just becomes a price issue.

    The Ryan 28 looks slow on a video as well. If your not making better money running a slower Ryan 28 with a single pass why bother. The Ryan 28 needs to be compared to a double pass of a rolling tine aerator. If the customer wants more plugs they need to pay for it. The other big companies here are not overlapping and you have to search for the plugs and they aerate when the soil is too dry, skip areas, miss corners completely, leave plugs all over walks and driveways.

    I will be offering "Standard" rolling tine aerations with my Lawn Solutions WB. I found myself over lapping quit a bit last season with this unit to crank out a fair amount of plugs. Not going to overlap like that this season...takes too long compared to a single pass with a Plugr Hydro. A few customers commented hey didn't your other unit [plugr 850] crank out more plugs? I found myself at a loss for words at times. I ended up telling them that the plugs are deeper and they can be if the soil isn't rocky - you're trading one thing for another.

    The Lawn Solution WB is easy to run and I really like the ability to aerate in reverse. It does need the full weight kit to pull a good length plug. This machine is a dream to run on the rock infested soil here and will not beat its self to an early death. Going across side hills is the weak point of this unit and the top heavy nature of the unit causes it to be a wrestle fest. Also transport mode can be tricky. The strong point of the Lawn Solutions WB is the maneuverability that is unmatched in the rolling tine arena while aerating on fairly flat ground.

    I was considering buying a Lawn Solution Stander for this season but in order to spend $8500 I will need to demo it in rocky soil 1st.

    The Lawn Solution dual hydro 24" WB look great but as of yet I have not gotten an answer on tine layout. The distance left to right looks to be a greater on one of the video than the spacing on the stander or the 21" WB....? So it pulls less plugs than the other Lawn Solutions units per square foot?
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011
  8. Jason Rose

    Jason Rose LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,858

    Exact, thanks for the review of the LS walk behind model. I was really considering one this year, but I want the best and easiest to operate as well as the best plugs both quantity in one pass and depth. I know, asking a lot! I've seen more and more threads and posts on here about how amazing and perfect the LS model is... I think yours is the first to point out flaws. I have however been seeing a lot of negative threads the last couple years on the plugr machines. They wear out too fast, break too easily, too slow, can't be operated around tree roots. (I have lawns that are over 1/2 roots)

    I'm pretty much at a stalemate as to what I want to buy myself... My current machine is a ryan LA4, and it's ancient and wore out. Basically I just want a machine that's a bit larger than the LA4, pulls more and deeper plugs, goes the same forward speed, can aerate on side slopes decent, won't be trashed by tree roots, and doesn't kill the operator!
  9. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    My comments in the past have sold a few Lawn Solutions WB and I'm sure SourceOne "Plugr" has sold a few Plugr 850's over the last few years based on my comments on lawnsite as well.

    There really isn't a machine out there that will do all the above that you just stated. I'm only buying the second Plugr since it's to good of up.

    I just watched the LS video again of the dually 24 and it is very clear to me it pulls fewer plugs per square foot than the other LS machines. There is a wide gap in the center and the tines are spaced out further apart. That will not fly with me.

    There have been a few posters here that have griped about the LS WB pulling short plugs ...reason is it is tightest pattern in a rolling time aerator and they should really ship with a full weight kit stock. The slightly tighter pattern is still a competative advantage for me.
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    Last edited: Jan 30, 2011
  10. fatboynormmie

    fatboynormmie LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,280

    There have been a few posters here that have griped about the LS WB pulling short plugs ...reason is it is tightest pattern in a rolling time aerator and they should really ship with a full weight kit stock. The slightly tighter pattern is still a competative advantage for me

    Totally agree with you!!!

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