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Who is doing double pass core aerations?...$

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Exact Rototilling, Jan 15, 2011.

  1. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Who is doing double pass core aerations?...and how much more are you charging vs. a single pass?
  2. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    I use a plugr and it pulls plenty of cores so don't need to double pass and customers are very happy.
  3. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Do you have a 800, 850HD or the newest 855HD Plugr ? If yes.... you are correct it pulls a ton of plugs and that is what I have run for several years. Essentially a double pass in just one pass. Far too many people think an aeration is just an aeration.....it's plugged or it's not. Even some members here on Lawnsite think this way as well. 6 plugs per square foot is just as good as 12.... people won't care.....why try so hard?

    I also have Lawn Solutions WB and I have had several disappointed reactions from my regular customers.....Hey!....where's all the plugs like last time with your other machine? :(

    Basically what I'm getting at ....at the purpose of this thread is the added value of running a reciprocating tine aerator such as a Plugr 850 Hydro or a Ryan 28 which does deliver a very dense pattern with one pass vs. running a common rolling tine unit of the ground twice. It takes less time to run a Plugr 850 over the ground once than another similar sized unit twice.

    Plugr 850, 855 and especially Ryan 28's also cost way more than rolling tine units.

    So the value of the service should be higher or cost more.....am I correct?
  4. americanlawn

    americanlawn LawnSite Fanatic
    from midwest
    Messages: 5,954

    Great questions. Not sure, but I figure most folks that hire professional lawn companies nowadays are more knowledgeable compared to 30/40 years ago. It's also difficult to notice "plugs on a lawn" after it's been aerated unless one looks closely.

    Bottom line: Most folks feel they get their "money's worth" when they see "lots of plugs" on their lawn when they get home from work, go to their front door, & see a bill that warrants the amount of money they have to write a check for.

    Then there is the quality/depth of plugs. Seems most homeowners may be satisfied with the number of plugs -- cuz depth seldom matters to most. To me, this is like going to Firestone to change the oil in a car, "We changed your oil". Problem is, they used cheap/conventional oil instead of high quality synthetic oil.

    Shoot me if I'm wrong, but I think this is the jest of this thread.

    rscvp, thanks
  5. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Ok....I'll try to cut to the chase. There is dramatic difference in the amount of visible plugs on a lawn when I'm done aerating with my Plugr 850HD [pretty much a double pass] vs. the neighbors lawn right next to it who just had it aerated with a rolling tine Classen, Blue Bird, or Ryan [a single pass]. It is not a subtle difference but rather dramatic.

    I own a Lawn Solutions 2010 WB and I run the full weight kit on. Front bar weight and the 3 weights in the back. Even though we have patches of rocky and pea gravely soil here, the plugs I pull with the Lawn Solutions WB are a tad longer on average than the ones pulled by my Plugr 850HD. I do have plans to add additional weights to the back of the Lawn Solutions unit for the deepest possible plugs.

    The Plugr pulls dramatically more visible plugs than the Lawn Solutions WB. As the tines wear on the Plugr 850 - I let air out of the back tires to regain plug depth. Because of the design of the tines the Plugrs tend to pop the cores onto the top of the lawn - for even greater visual effect. Rolling tine aerators are more passive penetrate the turf slowly.

    New Plugr 855's are well over $4,295 shipped

    Ryan 28 [12 per square foot not just 6] are $5595 shipped

    So my point is why continue to deliver extra plugs with my Plugr 850HD when the cost to deliver more plugs is higher for me? Expensive to purchase the machine and keep running and operate and frankly I have a slower forward speed than many rolling tine units on the market? Especially if a customer doesn't care that you are delivering more plugs....why bother running a reciprocating aerator unless your customers are willing to pay for the extra plugs?

    So yes.... more plugs is better. Less plugs not as good.

    So who is making a double pass and not getting paid extra for it? The issue of doing a perceived good job is relative unless they are presented with facts of more plugs or less plugs. When I have showed up to aerate a number of lawns with my rolling tine unit several customers said after I was done, "where's the beef" sure seemed like more plugs last time.

    So why not charge for more plugs generated with a Plugr 800, 850 or 855 or Ryan 28 than a standard one pass aeration with a rolling tine aerator? And if you are doing a double rolling tine pass to match what a Plugr 800, 850 or 855 is doing or a Ryan 28?......How much more are you charging?

    ps. Plugr 600's and 400 & 410's pull fewer plugs per square foot than the 800's
    Last edited: Jan 17, 2011
  6. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,280

    I overlap my passes by 1/3 to 1/2 to get more plugs out. Generally rent a Ryan to do the jobs. Takes forever to get done with a lawn this way, though.
  7. a plus bob

    a plus bob LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 1,160

    I charge 1/2 over a single pass.So if its $50 single pass or $75 double pass.I use a Turfco tow behind so it really doesnt take much longer.
  8. august

    august LawnSite Member
    Messages: 23

    Why would anyone only do a single pass on a lawn and expect good results? Lawns need to be core aerated in all directions to get coverage.

    If it were a very nice lawn I could see minimal passes but still...

    Do your customers right. It won't take that much longer to make another couple of passes on an average lawn and seed it accordingly.

    You want your customer's lawn looking good!
  9. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378


    I've been plotting aeration patterns on graph paper and the winner of most plugs per square foot is the Ryan 28 reciprocating at 12 per square foot followed by the Plugr 800, 850 & 855 at 12 plugs per square foot but that requires the square to titled to attain that density.

    The traditional 4" x 7" pattern of rolling tine units is as low as 5 plugs per square foot but not over 6.

    To get proper perspective it really needs to be zoomed out to plugs per square yard.

    Theoretically speaking a double pass can and will result in holes in holes. SO a single pass with a Ryan 28 or a Plugr 800, 850 or 855 is more ideal and takes less time.....maybe? The Ryan 28 also pulls a fatter 3/4 inch plug.
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2011
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,082

    I'm not a big machine head type guy. I only rent the aerator so I make the best of what's available.
    All lawns are not equal, neither are all parts of a lawn equal... I run around until I'm satisfied that the lawn has been handled as best as possible, then decide what it was worth to me, and what is was worth to the client... I find the cost, after I a happy with the results... :)

    Doing the entire lawn once, twice, or thrice only promotes the silly idea that: 'One size fits All'.
    Of course professionals don't do, the one size fits all as expressed in gardening books... :)

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