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So last year I rented a 3 point aerator and did my yard in the fall as well as about 6 neighbors houses. All have small lots of about 1/2 acre. Mine is the largest at just over 2 acres. Instead of renting year after year I was thinking of buying. I've been scouring craigslist but they don't seem to show up used all that often. I've resorted to buying new. I've been searching but all I have found is some that are in the 1500-2000 dollar range which is steep.

Then I stumbled upon this. https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/yard-tuff-48-in-3-point-plug-aerator?cm_vc=IOPDP1

I like the 48" width and the stands that this has. My only worry is the weight but that can always be pouring some small concrete slabs and putting them on the rack. Anyone have an experience with this model. I'm sure its not built to the standard that the 2000 dollar model is but I can see spending that much coin on something that will get used once or twice a year. I will be using my 1023e to hike it around

Thanks for the input in advance
 

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As you probably already know, to aerate sufficiently with a plugger, you need weight. The link doesn't say how heavy this aerator is, although it does say you can put 200 lb. on the weight tray.

How heavy was the aerator that you rented last year? That may give you an idea what weight aerator you need. I see you are in PA so you are most likely in the same situation I am. It takes some weight to aerate in this part of the country.

I have a 48" EA plugger aerator..... https://www.everythingattachments.com/Drum-Lawn-Aerator-p/eta-pluggerv2.htm This aerator weighs 520 lb. by itself and I have put two 80 lb. solid cement blocks on it to add weight. With my 1025R, you have to run a front weight bar loaded with weights or have the FEL attached with this kind of weight on the 3 point.

That said, with the 520 lb. EA aerator plus 160 additional lbs., this aerator will pull some nice plugs.

I cannot comment directly concerning how the TSC aerator will work. Depending on the weight, maybe OK. :dunno:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
As you probably already know, to aerate sufficiently with a plugger, you need weight. The link doesn't say how heavy this aerator is, although it does say you can put 200 lb. on the weight tray.

How heavy was the aerator that you rented last year? That may give you an idea what weight aerator you need. I see you are in PA so you are most likely in the same situation I am. It takes some weight to aerate in this part of the country.

I have a 48" EA plugger aerator..... https://www.everythingattachments.com/Drum-Lawn-Aerator-p/eta-pluggerv2.htm This aerator weighs 520 lb. by itself and I have put two 80 lb. solid cement blocks on it to add weight. With my 1025R, you have to run a front weight bar loaded with weights or have the FEL attached with this kind of weight on the 3 point.

That said, with the 520 lb. EA aerator plus 160 additional lbs., this aerator will pull some nice plugs.

I cannot comment directly concerning how the TSC aerator will work. Depending on the weight, maybe OK. :dunno:
Thanks for the reply. I found the same one on Northern Tool. States there that it has about 200 pounds to it, which is right at or maybe a little lighter than the one i rented last year. Went I aerated last year it was dry. I stacked a couple of heavy unsplit oak logs on there from the firewood pile and it pulled plugs after i did that. Not sure how much weight it was but the tractor didnt seem to have an issue lifting it. I did have the FEL attached when i was aerating.

I'm just wondering if this will do the job or if I have to step up to a heavier piece of equipment. I would prefer the ole' "Buy once cry once" method so I will probably start looking for some other units. Thanks to for the info. With all the rain we got in PA in the last two week aerating would be a breeze right now...:lol:
 

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Thanks for the reply. I found the same one on Northern Tool. States there that it has about 200 pounds to it, which is right at or maybe a little lighter than the one i rented last year. Went I aerated last year it was dry. I stacked a couple of heavy unsplit oak logs on there from the firewood pile and it pulled plugs after i did that. Not sure how much weight it was but the tractor didnt seem to have an issue lifting it. I did have the FEL attached when i was aerating.

I'm just wondering if this will do the job or if I have to step up to a heavier piece of equipment. I would prefer the ole' "Buy once cry once" method so I will probably start looking for some other units. Thanks to for the info. With all the rain we got in PA in the last two week aerating would be a breeze right now...:lol:
Considering what quite a few people use to aerate, it will certainly do the job.
I actually looked a building 3 point aerators for a while, but never got around to it.
The best ones use at least two separate rotating assemblies so that when making slight turns you dont need to lift it. Otherwise, anything but a straight run is hard on the shaft and tines.
I also prefer more tines. I patterned mine (yes, I have all my drawings for it, I was that close) after the tine assemblies on the walk behind, because in my experience, they do the best job for the lawn. They use about 7 tines per rotor. Some use 6. This isnt anything special, just personal preference.
The tines themselves though, or spoons, should be curved and not straight. I cant tell from the pictures if these are or not.
This too may not make that much difference but I know the ones Ive used with straight spoons have a hard time penetrating as far as the curved.

From the price of this one, I dont know that Id go $1000 more for just a little better performance.
You could, if you want to save some money and arent in a hurry, see if you can find a tow behind Ryan or Bluebird aerator and convert it to 3-point.
 

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Thanks for the reply. I found the same one on Northern Tool. States there that it has about 200 pounds to it, which is right at or maybe a little lighter than the one i rented last year. Went I aerated last year it was dry. I stacked a couple of heavy unsplit oak logs on there from the firewood pile and it pulled plugs after i did that. Not sure how much weight it was but the tractor didnt seem to have an issue lifting it. I did have the FEL attached when i was aerating.

I'm just wondering if this will do the job or if I have to step up to a heavier piece of equipment. I would prefer the ole' "Buy once cry once" method so I will probably start looking for some other units. Thanks to for the info. With all the rain we got in PA in the last two week aerating would be a breeze right now...:lol:
Yea, I hear you concerning the "Buy once cry once" deal. That is what I did. I knew I needed to aerate and thought maybe I would rent one since you only aerate once, maybe twice, a year, but I couldn't find a rental place that rented an aerator that a 1 series could handle. Everything was gigantic.

So, I bit the bullet and bought one. I looked at quite a few. Several GTT members have an aerator from EA and liked them so that is what I went with. EA does have three models, the one that I got is a solid drum. EA does make one that has independent rotors so each set of spoons rotates independent of the other. This is probably a better set up but I decided on the solid drum model and am not disappointed. It does a great job.

Overall the EA aerator is a pretty good piece. The parking stands are a little shaky, but would't allow the aerator to tip. The way they latch down allows the unit to wobble from side to side a few inches if pushed. I have been thinking about modifying them but haven't gotten to it yet.

And yes, if I aerated my yard now, the entire spoon would sink in.
 

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Don't know what your mounting it on but I would go with the 60",48 barely covers the wheels.I have a 54" on a x595.
 

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Ditto the prior comments. I picked up a 63" Millcreek Aerator at an auction last year. I quickly learned that you need a fair amount of weight to pull a good plug. The unit itself is 410 lbs and I added four small suitcase weights. I really need a couple more or a few concrete blocks. A lot of this has to do with the hardness of the soil when you aerate. I found that a couple days after a rain worked really well. Good luck.
 

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So last year I rented a 3 point aerator and did my yard in the fall as well as about 6 neighbors houses. All have small lots of about 1/2 acre. Mine is the largest at just over 2 acres. Instead of renting year after year I was thinking of buying. I've been scouring craigslist but they don't seem to show up used all that often. I've resorted to buying new. I've been searching but all I have found is some that are in the 1500-2000 dollar range which is steep.

Then I stumbled upon this. https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/product/yard-tuff-48-in-3-point-plug-aerator?cm_vc=IOPDP1

I like the 48" width and the stands that this has. My only worry is the weight but that can always be pouring some small concrete slabs and putting them on the rack. Anyone have an experience with this model. I'm sure its not built to the standard that the 2000 dollar model is but I can see spending that much coin on something that will get used once or twice a year. I will be using my 1023e to hike it around

Thanks for the input in advance
I found that once my neighbors say my core aerator, several of them wanted their lawns done. If they call someone out to do it, it's a minimum of $350 and frankly, the cowboy's who run the machines simply want to get in and get out. They don't bother to call Miss Digg and they don't worry about marking sprinkler heads. They drop, throw cores, collect the money and leave. In fact, they wiped out internet service to the house they were working at recently plus 3 of the neighbors by hitting everyone's lines near the junction box. I tried to warn the guy running the machine about the cables because I had called Miss Digg when I did the neighbors property and there were cables barely below the surface in that entire area, but he didn't speak English and just kept shrugging his shoulders at me.:dunno:

Since the aerator operator didn't call Miss Digg, they were billed to fix the damage they caused and it was late on Friday of Memorial Day weekend. $$$$ Turns out the guys also wiped out 6 of the neighbors sprinkler heads, so that cost $185 to repair. I just don't get why they do things the way they do....:dunno:

I bought the Frontier 60" Aerator. I really like it and I have a total of 8 neighbors who now are paying me to core their lawns at $150 to $250 per lawn (our lawns are 40,000 to 65,000 sq feet on average of actual lawn). So, between the lawns done last fall and others this spring, I have collected just under $2,000 towards the cost of my aerator, which means it's nearly fully paid for itself in one year. I do hang (6) of the 42# suitcase weights on it and they hang nicely on the frame and don't move and improve the coring result.

I looked at this as I would rather have a nice quality tool that will last me the rest of my life and I like the one source for parts from Deere down the road. With the new Ken's I Match Hook, it hooks and unhooks like a dream.

When doing the work for the neighbors, I have a short agreement that they sign and I sign and we both get a copy. Basically is states that

1. I will only aerate after Miss Digg has marked the utilities, which I put in the web request and coordinate with Miss Digg.

2. It's up to the homeowner to mark their sprinkler heads and I loan them the flags to do it (I bought 100 pink flags which are reused). If I have to mark the sprinkler heads, it costs another $50 and I need access to their irrigation controller box.

3. If I strike any sprinkler heads which are marked, they are my responsibility to replace. If I strike any which aren't marked, they aren't my problem. Any lines which are punctured away from the sprinkler heads are the responsibility of the homeowner. Same with any valves, controls, etc. which are not marked.

4. It's up to the home owner to advise me of any other buried risks they might be aware of. Failure to do so and mark the item means it's on them.

5. Payment is due immediately upon completion.

While I frequently will help people out with various tasks, I don't feel it's reasonable for anyone to expect their neighbor to invest the money into a piece of equipment like these tractors and implements and expect work for free. If they are willing to pay someone else to aerate their lawn, then why wouldn't paying me for the same service be reasonable? After all, I charge less and do a much more thorough and careful job.

Many people have never had their lawn truly "Core Aerated". Many use the slit pull behind machines which aren't even in the same category. For the lawns with a lot of thatch, I have a thatcher for the front of my zero turn and then my Wheel Blower to remove the thatch. But adding the steps moves the cost up quite a bit over simply aerating. It takes triple the time to do a lawn with thatching it, removing the thatch and then aerating it.

You may want to take the same approach with your neighbors. It can help offset the cost and ownership of the equipment. This is another reason why buying a near commercial grade piece of equipment is important because when you start to use it often, you will want it to last and do a good job.

I did get approached by a guy just down the road who has a 7 acre lawn for aerating his lawn. In his case, I told him it would be $600 to core aerate it. He doesn't have any irrigation so that cuts down on the time and trouble. Truth is he can go out and rent the tractor and aerator and do it himself for a little less and I really don't care if he does. He tends to hire out most tasks so I expect to be doing his lawn this fall.
 

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One thing with the "get in and get out guys" - they probably aren't giving the proper core coverage. I don't remember the spec, but you're supposed to get "x cores per square foot" or "x cores per square yard". The normal core aerator that you rent requires that you go over the property twice to get the recommended coverage. Of course the average joe smoes out there only go over the yard once.

At some point, Sully, you're going to want to buy an A/C unit for that cab! :laugh: I know I'd want one!!
 

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I really want to get one of the EA pluggers, but like you just can't quite dish out that $$$.
Neighbor has a tow behind JD plugger that can be swapped to an thatcher, which I have used.
This spring when it was damp I used it with over 200 lbs added and pulled ~ 1.5" plugs. I believe this is all the more the machine is capable of.

I know it is better than nothing, but I feel getting a deeper penetration and larger plug will be more beneficial overall.

Someday...

Good call on the 811 though Sulley, I never would have thought that any cables would be in the top 3".
 

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I'm also with the green with envy crowd as I choked at the price of a 3-point. I fell into a great deal on a walk behind and with the number of trees I have to go around, it works out pretty good for me and it doesn't take much "man-handling". I paid $600 for it on Craig's List about 8 years ago.

DSCF1524.JPG

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks for all the input guys. Much appreciated. Me neighbors do actually pay me to aerate their yard. Not near as much as Sully, but 50 bucks here and there and a few cases a beer is a win for me:yahoo:

I think I'm gonna keep looking around and see if I can get something built a little heavier than what I was looking at. Oh, and the reason for the 48" is some of my neighbors have fences with gates. Last time I had a 60" model I could get in the backyard of two of the guys. I don't mind a little more tractor seat time if it allows for a little bit better maneuverability.

If anyone knows for a decent model around 1K let me know. I'm not the best at searching the interwebs:banghead:
 

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Thanks for all the input guys. Much appreciated. Me neighbors do actually pay me to aerate their yard. Not near as much as Sully, but 50 bucks here and there and a few cases a beer is a win for me:yahoo:

I think I'm gonna keep looking around and see if I can get something built a little heavier than what I was looking at. Oh, and the reason for the 48" is some of my neighbors have fences with gates. Last time I had a 60" model I could get in the backyard of two of the guys. I don't mind a little more tractor seat time if it allows for a little bit better maneuverability.

If anyone knows for a decent model around 1K let me know. I'm not the best at searching the interwebs:banghead:
I bought the model in your original post, but I got the 60" from Northern Tool. I picked it up Saturday and I've spent a few hours here and there since making it Quick-hitch compatible. Last night, I finally got that worked out using items bought at Tractor Supply and I was able to take it around the yard for a few minutes. It was muddy, I didn't add any weight so it wasn't a real test of the aerator, just the connection (quick-hitch compatibility I mentioned).

I'm going to put together a more detailed review and instruction about my quick-hitch compatibilty when I get chance.
 

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I bought the model in your original post, but I got the 60" from Northern Tool. I picked it up Saturday and I've spent a few hours here and there since making it Quick-hitch compatible. Last night, I finally got that worked out using items bought at Tractor Supply and I was able to take it around the yard for a few minutes. It was muddy, I didn't add any weight so it wasn't a real test of the aerator, just the connection (quick-hitch compatibility I mentioned).

I'm going to put together a more detailed review and instruction about my quick-hitch compatibilty when I get chance.
Very nice. I look forward to hearing what you have to say about it and curious how much weight you will need to add to get it to work.
 

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I still haven't put weight on it and used it, but I took some pictures last night and here's the modifications made for the quick hitch.

20180807_184506.jpg

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Looks like a nice unit. Congrats. Is the iMatch that far offset on their three point set up? Looks like you needed a bit of engineering.
 

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Looks like a nice unit. Congrats. Is the iMatch that far offset on their three point set up? Looks like you needed a bit of engineering.
Enginneering might be a little overstated, but I'll take inginuity or just plain old "figurin' out."

Yea, the bottom two hooks on the iMatch are impossible to get in both thier mounting points and if you try to put the top-hook in you can't get either of the two bottom points in. Even as I have it, the left and top point are prett far to the left on the links.

I contimplated even bothering with it since I'm probably only going to aerate my lawn twice a year, but I wanted to make it easier to move and get out of the way. The only time my i-Match comes off the tractor is when I attach the backhoe and even then I leave the arms attached to the i-Match.
 

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Enginneering might be a little overstated, but I'll take inginuity or just plain old "figurin' out."

Yea, the bottom two hooks on the iMatch are impossible to get in both thier mounting points and if you try to put the top-hook in you can't get either of the two bottom points in. Even as I have it, the left and top point are prett far to the left on the links.

I contimplated even bothering with it since I'm probably only going to aerate my lawn twice a year, but I wanted to make it easier to move and get out of the way. The only time my i-Match comes off the tractor is when I attach the backhoe and even then I leave the arms attached to the i-Match.
You say the top and left are very far left.
Wondering, if you hooked the top hook in the factory location, could you put pins to the outside of both of the lowers links? Would the iMatch line up then?
 

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You say the top and left are very far left.
Wondering, if you hooked the top hook in the factory location, could you put pins to the outside of both of the lowers links? Would the iMatch line up then?
The i-Match hooks are about an inch wide, maybe wider? When you try to hook just the top link the two bottom links of the i-Match both hit the outer mounts of the aerator's bottom 3-pt mounts. I tried a lot of different things before settling on this solution, but I'm sure someone with a cutting torch and some welding skills could do a lot better. That's not in my skill set.
 
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