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Walk behind aerator opinions?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by jay12, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. jay12

    jay12 LawnSite Senior Member
    from KY
    Messages: 270

    I am considering buying a walk behind aerator to start doing some aerations in the spring and next fall. I will buy used to avoid spending a lot of money. I have never done any aerations before and Im looking to get into it to make alittle extra money each year, especially with no more input cost than there is in a used aerator. I would like any opinions on this idea. Will it make money? Good idea? bad idea? any help would be appreciated? most yards that would be aerated are probably 20000 sq ft. some are more some are less. Any advice is welcome, thanks
  2. weeble67

    weeble67 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 286

    I have a Ryan that I use. I aerate in the spring and in the fall. I offer over seeding when I aerate. I have noticed a huge difference in my customers lawns. The thatch is reduced greatly and when combined with over seeding the lawns get so much thicker. As for money maker? The profits are huge. Your overhead is low, and maintenance isn't that much. I have several customer that aerating is all that I do. Next year I'm going to spend some money promoting aerating and try to expand it.
  3. jay12

    jay12 LawnSite Senior Member
    from KY
    Messages: 270

    Thanks, I considered the same approach, maybe advertise aeration with seeding or aeration with a fertilize, or aeration only for x dollars or a discount if they signed up for late march service or something along those lines? I am still in consideration about it, but I believe it would be good for extra income and maybe an opportunity to grab some extra customers.
  4. aeration

    aeration LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 68

    Rent an aerator until you can cash flow for a new one. When you have enough, purchase a Lawn Solutions walk behind. You won't regret it. You will understand what I mean after using a rental machine. It will most likely be a Ryan, Blue Bird, or maybe a Billy Goat. They are beaters, IMO.
  5. jay12

    jay12 LawnSite Senior Member
    from KY
    Messages: 270

    Thanks for the input, what is your opinions on a split drive lesco? I know where there is a decent buy, I suppose on one? That is what I am looking at. Ups downs? I like the lawn solutions but I dont know how well I can justify that at $4000 vs spending 1500 or so on a used ex: lesco for now. I would perfer to own, rental around here isnt exactly profitable.
  6. fatboynormmie

    fatboynormmie LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,293

    Jay12 lesco and classen are the same units except ones green and the others red.Slit drive is better then the non split drive units.Alot easier to use.If you have never used these machines before you might be surprised at how physically demanding they are to you.If your area is mostly flat they aren't horrible to use but if your in a hilly area your in for a treat.I use to have to wrestle my classen all 400lbs of it because the lawns I work on were not all that flat. You better learn to schedule your aerations for the last day you work that week because your day off will be needed to recoup.I switched over to a hydro machine and will never look back .Can work all day and don't feel worn out. I'm more tired from just walking behind the unit.Plus having reverse is sooo much easier to maneuver around obstacles .I too bought the cheaper unit when I first started out but now that unit is up for sale .It was a hard financial decision for me to make to buy the unit but I really see the potential that they offer my business and now I'm not afraid to build this portion of my services because It's no longer taking the physical toll on me. These units are deal changers and if your serious about growing this service buy the right tool from the beginning .You will see how easy and fast that unit puts dollars in your account and if you take care of it it should last you 10yrs.Most of the time you get what you pay for.
  7. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 878

    Jay, There are some very good comments in this thread. Myself first year out I would rent if I could. If you buy a used unit be prepared to get rid of it the 2nd year. When you understand the income vs expense you can get from aeration you will be ready to expand quickly.
    The older design aerators that all of us have made for the past 30 years are back breakers they will put you down. But they were much better than what we had in the 1960s / early 70s. But in the past 5 years we manufacturers have made great advances in designs to make it easier on the body. We now make aerators you can steer, ride behind and on, hydro drives with easy steer and reverse and the options will grow in the next few years. Development of small hydro drive axles have been a big boost so look for more in the coming years. When you get a solid base of aeration customers you will see the value of a $3000 to $4000 machine that is easy to operate all day. If you want some tips on how to SELL AERATION, give me a call. I used to give hour long lectures on Aeration, What is it and how do I sell it.
    I am glad to help out, Turfcobob 402-783-2028 cell 402-432-2446
  8. jonthepain

    jonthepain LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Raleigh
    Messages: 595

    If you still have your outline, notes or whatever, I'd love to buy a pdf copy from you.

  9. Bryn

    Bryn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 209

  10. turfcobob

    turfcobob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 878

    I do have many trays of old slides. You know the things we used before power point. None of my notes or scripts exist anymore. But you can find some great information on the various University sites in studies they have published. Check out Michigan State, Ohio State, University of Nebraska and Perdue...

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