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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So I had this cheap tow behind core aerator. I was never happy with how deep the plugs went with cinder blocks for weight. So I thought I was being really smart putting all my suitcase weights on it. Turns out the cheap Chinese tinfoil couldn't handle that. It collapsed while in use, jamming the rotating pluggers and self-destructing. I had to ratchet strap it to the three point just to get it up off the ground and back to the shed in shame.

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I of course said "screw this junk, I'll get a real three point aerator". The less than $1000 ones from Northern Tool and Amazon look like cheap Chinese tin foil with three point hitch pins. And the reviews seem to reflect that, so not wasting my time on those. The Everything Attachments ones look bomb proof, but are just too heavy. And Frontier ones also look fantastic, but not for $2000+. If I was doing this commercially, yes. But not for my yard.

So I used the front end load to bend the piece of junk back into mostly the correct shape. Got some angle iron stock and a receiver hitch shank from tractor supply. Welded steel around the the perimeter of the aerator to reinforce it. So maybe now it won't fold itself in half. Then welded the receiver shank to the top of it. Rattle can of rustolium paint to make it look a little less like it just fell off a truck.

And voila. The heavy hitch weight bracket provides the three point hookup, and also provides the weight. No need to lug weights on and off the aerator. Just slap it on the receiver and 560lbs of weight push those cheap pluggers all the way down. It needs a center axle support with a bushing that I'll probably make this summer sometime, but it worked impressively well.

When I was making this, it finally clicked how to make a not-total-garbage weld. Everything I've welded so far in the last year has been totally useless and falls apart. This I was shocked because it just went correctly and didn't totally completely suck. It's far from perfect, but it thusfar hasn't fallen apart.

Phase 2, I'm going to use the other end of that receiver shank to attach a frame for the drag harrow. I usually pull a harrow behind the aerator to break up the plugs and clumps. Putting a frame it onto that will let me lift the harrow up with the aerator.

782974
 

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Hey PP,
Buy yourself some 2" square tube. Then the next time you want to convert an old attachment all you need is to weld a section to the attachment and drill a hole for the pin. That's how I do mine and it works wicked pissa.
 

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That’s a really clean setup.
I am planning to do a full 3 point bracket modifications to a similar pull type aerator (Agri-fab 48” aerator).

Your system is nice because you don’t have to remove the heavy hitch and you can use the same suitcase weight you already use on it.

The only thing I worry about is the stability side to side since it is only attached in the centre via the hitch. Can you comment on that? Worse that can happen in my opinion is riding on uneven ground and it puts torque on the hitch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey PP,
Buy yourself some 2" square tube. Then the next time you want to convert an old attachment all you need is to weld a section to the attachment and drill a hole for the pin. That's how I do mine and it works wicked pissa.
Oh that's what I wanted to do. But the metal stock rack at TSC was virtually empty except for a few pieces of angle iron and rusted flat stock. I wanted to use 1/2" box channel for the reinforcing as well but angle was it. I was very annoyed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The only thing I worry about is the stability side to side since it is only attached in the centre via the hitch. Can you comment on that? Worse that can happen in my opinion is riding on uneven ground and it puts torque on the hitch.
Two things seem to make this not a problem. First the three-point hitch can float up unevenly left and right. So it has some wiggle room for being uneven. And on all of my uneven terrain, which is like half the yard, the tractor is on the same ground as the aerator so the entire machine and aerator are on the same plane and level to themselves.
 

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Two things seem to make this not a problem. First the three-point hitch can float up unevenly left and right. So it has some wiggle room for being uneven. And on all of my uneven terrain, which is like half the yard, the tractor is on the same ground as the aerator so the entire machine and aerator are on the same plane and level to themselves.
Ok thanks, sorry to ask again, but do you feel like it’s quite sturdy and that you can add even more weight on the heavy hitch than what pictured?

Its also quite a bit of force on the hitch because on one side the heavy hitch is pushing down with all the weight you add on top and on the aerator side the tines are pushing back up.

Thanks for your time
 

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So I had this cheap tow behind core aerator. I was never happy with how deep the plugs went with cinder blocks for weight. So I thought I was being really smart putting all my suitcase weights on it. Turns out the cheap Chinese tinfoil couldn't handle that. It collapsed while in use, jamming the rotating pluggers and self-destructing. I had to ratchet strap it to the three point just to get it up off the ground and back to the shed in shame.

View attachment 782973

I of course said "screw this junk, I'll get a real three point aerator". The less than $1000 ones from Northern Tool and Amazon look like cheap Chinese tin foil with three point hitch pins. And the reviews seem to reflect that, so not wasting my time on those. The Everything Attachments ones look bomb proof, but are just too heavy. And Frontier ones also look fantastic, but not for $2000+. If I was doing this commercially, yes. But not for my yard.

So I used the front end load to bend the piece of junk back into mostly the correct shape. Got some angle iron stock and a receiver hitch shank from tractor supply. Welded steel around the the perimeter of the aerator to reinforce it. So maybe now it won't fold itself in half. Then welded the receiver shank to the top of it. Rattle can of rustolium paint to make it look a little less like it just fell off a truck.

And voila. The heavy hitch weight bracket provides the three point hookup, and also provides the weight. No need to lug weights on and off the aerator. Just slap it on the receiver and 560lbs of weight push those cheap pluggers all the way down. It needs a center axle support with a bushing that I'll probably make this summer sometime, but it worked impressively well.

When I was making this, it finally clicked how to make a not-total-garbage weld. Everything I've welded so far in the last year has been totally useless and falls apart. This I was shocked because it just went correctly and didn't totally completely suck. It's far from perfect, but it thusfar hasn't fallen apart.

Phase 2, I'm going to use the other end of that receiver shank to attach a frame for the drag harrow. I usually pull a harrow behind the aerator to break up the plugs and clumps. Putting a frame it onto that will let me lift the harrow up with the aerator.

View attachment 782974
I like how you had pictures of the carnage.
 

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Good work...

Yes.. It seems we rarely see a before picture with an after picture.. Nice to see that..
 

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Ok thanks, sorry to ask again, but do you feel like it’s quite sturdy and that you can add even more weight on the heavy hitch than what pictured?

Its also quite a bit of force on the hitch because on one side the heavy hitch is pushing down with all the weight you add on top and on the aerator side the tines are pushing back up.

Thanks for your time
2" square steel tube is pretty tough. When used as a connecting point rotation and bending is generally not an issue. I think 4-500lbs of weight would be fine based on my experience. My aerator wasn't Imatch compatible until I welded a piece of 2" square to the lower connecting points and then welded pins into the end. I don't know how I could bend it. Super strong. I also took an old 4' landscape rake and converted it using 2" square. Great ways to save money. Nice job OP. Oh, I buy my letal off the web. Made in the USA and fast service. I think I've been using the link below, but don't remember. I'll confirm tomorrow.

2" X 2" X .188 WALL SQUARE TUBE ASTM A500 GR B (fastmetals.com)

783056
783057
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok thanks, sorry to ask again, but do you feel like it’s quite sturdy and that you can add even more weight on the heavy hitch than what pictured?

Its also quite a bit of force on the hitch because on one side the heavy hitch is pushing down with all the weight you add on top and on the aerator side the tines are pushing back up.

Thanks for your time
With the weight it has on it now (roughly 500lbs) has the tines all the way in. More weight would not be needed. It is as strong as my amateur welding quality is.
 

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With the weight it has on it now (roughly 500lbs) has the tines all the way in. More weight would not be needed. It is as strong as my amateur welding quality is.
Ok thanks for the answer, I might lean towards doing one like yours, I am a big fan of not having to add weight on top and simply using my suitcase weights that are already on the heavy hitch.

Cheers!
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
That's my favorite part about this. The aerator I can shove anywhere in the shed and hooks up in seconds. No time/effort spent messing around with weights.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
As with any 3 point aerator, you cannot make turns with it in the ground. This has nothing to with indecently rolling tines, which is non-sense salesman talk. The reason you can't turn is something attached to the back of the machine has to swing sideways in the opposite direction of the turn. With the tines in the ground, it can't swing sideways. You will either tear up the lawn or tear up the aerator, which ever fails first. You can make gentle course corrections, or very wide sweeping turns (like B52 traffic pattern turns). But you can't turn corners.

This makes the time spent aerating take longer. I have to run straight lines and turn around like I'm mowing stripes. And I can't weave around obstacles. Where the tow behind you could just drive non-stop in circles and around obstacles. The added time running straight lines is roughly the same or less than all the screwing around trying to load and secure weights to the tow behind, picking the weights up when they fall off, etc. I call it a wash time wise, a major reduction of effort, and it does a way better job.
 

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Wow your welds look like garbage. They're totally useless and that core aerator will fall apart.

Just kidding, they actually look pretty decent. Good job on converting the cheap POS into a functional unit. (y)

Try practicing your welding on like 3/16" or thicker steel. Welding thin sheet metal is not easy and I wouldn't recommend it for someone just starting out with welding.
 
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