Your Machine Is IN...

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Rick13, Mar 24, 2012.

  1. adam.neusbaum

    adam.neusbaum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    Found it in the owners manual- It seems things are always so busy that I'm getting to try out a new piece of equipment at the jobsite without any opportunity beforehand. The same day I picked up the Turfco I was uncrating it 45 minutes before my first job was scheduled, I'd at least like a half an hour in my own yard ya know. Ready, set go!
  2. corey4671

    corey4671 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,931

    Yes. There's a small bracket with one pin you have to pull out. My dealer had already pulled it on mine.
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  3. Rick13

    Rick13 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 408

    Ive got an acre to do on Wednesday and another acre to do on Thursday.

    So how do you guys like your new riding aerators????
  4. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    I guess i like it..i think if the walkbehind version had been out I would have bought it first..more versatile. It doesn't like going across steep hills. I know the manual says 15 degrees or so max but I tried it on something steep that you would have to walk and it wasn't easy. Part of what happened (that I may go under unit and grind or cut out ) is a gusset that happens to line up with a row of tines and because of a little play in the spacing, the tine will hit the gusset . Initially I thought it was a chain binding. I have my spreader mounted (will get pics rick) that works fine, still haven't worked out the sprayer . I don't like the small rear tires , there isn't alot of clearance going up steep curbs. I may re-work the fenders and try bigger tires...I am trying to find out the reason for the smaller tires in the first place but haven't gotten anywhere. Maybe it's a speed or gearing thing?? FWIW if you happen to want to remove the 2" reciever be aware that it is welded to a steel weight plate. There is no way you will hold it up by just reaching will need 2 people or a floor jack. The reason i mention this is because when I mounted my spreader I had to remove and cut the "brush" bar that protects the muffler. The parking brake cable is mounted under the plate and mine bent when the plate dropped. ( I didn't know there was a weight plate attached)
    I also don't think my pressure guage works correctly but it does aerate very nice..and deep !!! Mine drives very nice and smooth.
    If I can figure a nice "trick" way, I hope to mount finger switches to the handle bars so that if I am walking a steep hill I can still get the tines to drop...I have been using a brick :dizzy:
    PS It sounds like I'm down on the unit but not really..for most places it will be awesome. Just wanted to be honest about what i have experienced for prospective buyers
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2012
  5. adam.neusbaum

    adam.neusbaum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    On my first use ever this morning I was at 400 psi when I ripped out a large patch of turf on my 3 pass. I figured SA would require it but I turned it down to 220 for a smooth 2" plug operation. Had to go back this evening with Compost to fill/fix, customer was really pleased I kept my word & got his neighbor to go with me also.
    Even on a ztr I prefer to simply back-up & start a new track, by the time u get turned around & all its just as fast & no wheel spin.
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  6. corey4671

    corey4671 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,931

    I have found that it does have a tendency to rip up big patches of crabgrass. And yes, it's best to do three point turns instead of true zero turns.
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  7. adam.neusbaum

    adam.neusbaum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    I think I'd love to have the Tine Down Switch on the stationary handle or maybe i'll learn to like it as is. I can't comb my hair & brush my teeth in different directions. My thumbs could hold the directional handles while my index flips the switch. Probably doesn't help that i've never been on a standing unit before now.
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  8. jfoxtrot9

    jfoxtrot9 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 290

    I am really happy with mine. I have now done 90 aerations with it and I think it is worth every penny that I paid for it. There is definately a learning curve. The more I use it and get used to it, the more I like it. I too at first was using too much pressure which was causing me to occasionally tear up turf. I now am usually between 200 and 300 psi and pull nice 2"-4" plugs depending on soil moisture. I have had several comments from many happy customers at the size of plugs that this thing pulls. Most are very surprised.

    Here are a few more tips:

    1.Don't try try and aerate bone dry lawns and just increase pressure. This will only cause the machine to lift itself and you up off the ground with all the weight on the tines. This pressure on that system is what will cause the pushing of hydro oil up through the resevoir cap. This is the suposed fluid leak issues that some may have heard about.The rear wheels need to be on the ground. This will prevent that issue.

    2.For zero turns, I have grown to prefer to just lift the tines, do a zero turn and then engage again. I feel it is faster with less chance to tear turf and not put any pressure on the chain system. Which brings me to my second point. If you hear clicking, stop doing whatever your doing. I believe the problems anyone has had with the drive or tine chains has been due to they really think they can drive this thing any way they want with the tines down. That is just too much pressure on the chains.

    3. Make adjustments early before the chains get too loose (this will only increase their chance of breaking once they get loose).They are going to stretch in the first 25-35 hours pretty significantly. I had to adjust the drive belt and all chains in this time frame. This machine ran even stronger once I made these adjustments.

    4. #3 has really helped with hills. This will climb steep hills, but first reduce pressure and reduce speed. I will sometimes also feather the tine engagement up down a little if I feel the pressure on the chains is getting too high. Down is no problem at all and sideways is real nice as long as not too steep to throw off your center of gravity.I have learned to take hills pretty well. Alot of it is just getting comfortable on the machine on hills.

    I was out all morning and into the afternoon moving leaves and mowing. I was feeling a little fatigued and went and did some aerating before heading home. It was a real break from the days earlier work! How many times has aerating lawns been the days easy work?!!!:laugh:

    I have a soccer field that I just picked up scheduled for aeration and fertilizing friday. 2 1/4 acres. And looking forward to it!

    Now I only wish I could do this all year.
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2012
  9. adam.neusbaum

    adam.neusbaum LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 641

    Excellent advice:
    Today with the tines up I heard the loud popping sound from the chain maybe. Was just turning but on an awkward angle.
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  10. GW Andy

    GW Andy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    I bought a Toro this fall. The machine is so nimble and maneuverable. I love it. I learned today that you can aerate shady thin grass. I lowered the pressure to about 180 psi and it didn't rip the grass.
    I tightened the chains already, couldn't believe how much they stretched.
    I asked the Exmark rep at the GIE and he told me that the Toro and the Exmark 30" ride on aerators are identical.
    I was cruising on my last job of the day today and I broke the drive wheel hydro belt. I took a good look at everything under the machine.
    1). The 2 hydro pulleys do not look like they are in the same plane. They look like they tip inward. The looks like it was ripped. I'm not sure if it just broke or if it was thrown and got mangled in the process. I bent the belt backwards and it looks like all the rubber nobs on the inside of the belt are cracking and delaminating from the back of the belt. I only have 17 hrs on the machine and I don't turn with the tines in the ground.
    2). Does anyone know were the hydro release is? I couldn't find one and the dealer didn't know.

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