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3pt Hitch Aerator

11853 Views 16 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  johnH123
Anyone have a recommendation about 3pt hitch aerators? My concern is what happens out back when you turn the wheels out front? I would think it would leave a heck of a mess unless you pick it up when turning much at all.

We currently have a tow behind from our old 318 but I've never been impressed as it only punches about 2 inches into the soil, even with maximum weight plus on the tray.

I'm looking at this one right now:


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So I went and looked at the aerator and couldn't resist. She's a beaut. It's not perfect, but seems to be built very solidly. After getting it home, I realized that the 3 point drag pins are 3/4" instead of the standard 7/8", strangely. I was fixing to chop them off and add the right one's, but I decided to just try some bushings first to make sure the machine works well for me and my land.

Also, I'm going to have to add some counterweights for down pressure. As you can see, there are holders for three 18 x 4 x 8" blocks. I might see if I can just grab something adequate at a masonry supply place, again, just to try the machine out to see if it's going to work on my soil. If I like it, I'll pour some robust concrete slabs or adapt it for some JD suitcases.

The spindles are tandem so there are 4 separate drums rotating on a single massive shaft, about 1-1/2" dia. The separate spindles may help just a little in gradual cornering as opposed to the single drum type.

The plug teeth are a little rusty, but it's just light surface rust from sitting unused for a while. At least they are replaceable, held on nicely by two simple bolts. All in all, I CAN'T WAIT to put it to work! When I do, I'll circle back with some more photos and maybe a video if I can manage it safely.


I thought the same thing but CAT 0 uses a 5/8" pin. I don't have a clue where the 3/4" came from.

The 3pt frame width is 26" (pin root to pin root), just like CAT 1.

The coverage width from center to center is 49". You guessed it right.
Re: Moisture

Yes, I've noticed that there is a fine line between riding over the surface and slinging mud glops. It has been a while since I did it last, so thanks for the reminder!

Re: Growing Grass

In my case, grass is the only thing that keeps our soil from washing away due to highly graded land. In heavy rain storms of years past, and especially last year, yards of topsoil have gotten washed away. The thinnest grass areas are affected first, eroding away and flooding over the healthier grass, killing it. It is a compounding problem which I have to battle constantly to keep in check.

I notice our soil is quite compacted, though it seems to be an 'ok' mix of loam, clay, and sand. The Ph also seems correct so I don't think lime is going to help. The roots don't grow very deeply at all so my I'm hoping is that more/better aeration will avoid a total renovation. (If it isn't completely obvious, lawncare isn't my specialty, try as I might)
Yes, they are Toro 686 "spoons", readily available.

I don't have underground wiring to worry about nearly as much as large rocks which lie just visible or invisible throughout. They have beat the heck out of our tow behind aerator. At least with this 3 pt version I can lift it up when I know one is coming.

Thanks for the advice!
Hey all,

After a quick trial run using some suitcase weights, I decided it would be better to make some dedicated concrete weights for this aerator. I finally got a little window of time to whip up the blocks a week or so ago. I've since had a little time to make one sample drag and this aerator works great! I was pulling up nice 2-3" plugs, at least 5/8" diameter. And with the 180 lb of ballast it is giving the tractor a good workout. You can really feel it holding the machine back, which tells me that it's plunging in well. Also, I am surprised at the radius of turning I can do. I tried making a reasonable turn, around a 30 ft diameter, and had no problem.

That was the extent of the trial runs. Now I'm just waiting for a moderate rainstorm to moisten up the soil a bit and it'll be time to put it to work once and for all.


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Hey Randy,

I sold it off last fall. I found that our property is too convoluted for a 2520 to be stomping around with a rigid 3ph aerator. I'd probably have kept it and used it anyway but we're slowly eliminating lawn in favor of shrubs and gardens so it's getting even more and more diced up. If/when I should ever get some time to actually USE a tractor again, I'm planning to completely renovate our scape altogether and put in some retaining walls to create some plateaus. Given that, aerating the existing lawn makes about as much sense as giving filet mignon for a death row inmate's last meal.

Oh, and our constant supply of heaving rocks really did a number on the spoons too. Our soil here is very difficult. Yours is probably much the same if you are within the glacial soil region.
So Chris, have you seen an improvement in the lawn? Is an aerator worth the time and money? I am seriously considering one.
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