Turf Magazine - June, 2012

PRODUCT FOCUS

Aerators & Turf Cultivators

By Amy Hill

When you're faced with soil compaction, a soil aerator is your tool of choice to loosen up a troubled lawn.

What contractors need to know is that today's turfgrass aerators are not the same bulky, heavy, hard-to-use units that they were in the past.

Bob Brophy, director of lawn products at Turfco, says that even though aerators may look the same as they always have, most people don't realize that many units now feature hydrostatic transmissions that makes them easy for operators to use - and it will help reduce workers' comp claims because they're lighter and not so hard on an operator's body.

Who better to talk about soil aerators than the man who has been there since aerators became a popular piece of turf maintenance equipment?

Brophy worked for Cushman/Ryan that manufactured the first really popular turfgrass aerator. Now, 36 years later, the industry is using and appreciating a new, more productive, easier-to-use generation of aeration equipment. He says that newer machines are starting to get as easy to operate as a commercial mower, making aerating an easy service for most business to offer.

So, what should you be looking for in your next turf aerator?

Brophy says to look for a machine that will give you a good core and more than 10 holes per square foot in a couple of passes on the lawn.

Nathan Antons, sales manager for SourceOne Outdoor Power Equipment, adds, "Some of the best features to look for in an aerator are ease of use for the operator, safety and the quality of the job it is supposed to be performing. Operators are continually looking for easier ways to create a higher amount of revenue at a lower investment cost and also do a job that is superior to their competitors."

So, if you're thinking of offering this service to your clients, and you don't know where to start, or you're looking for a newer unit that's easier on you and your employees, take a look at the products we have for you here.

Antons also suggests, "Read the reviews on chat forums and find out which product best suits your needs."

Also, you can find additional information about the companies highlighted in blue by visiting their advertisements in this issue.

BlueBird

The 530 has a 19-inch aerating width, free-wheeling tine system, folding handle, lift handles, semipneumatic front tire and removable side weights.

www.bluebirdintl.com

Brinly-Hardy

The SAT-40BH perforates the soil up to 2 inches deep. A fully enclosed, 14-gauge steel, 100-pound capacity weight tray provides a stable platform for additional weight.

www.brinly.com

Classen

The SA-25 Stand-Aer features a 24-inch operational turning radius, 36 tines, core depth up to 3 inches, hydrostatic drive and maximum speed of 4.7 mph.

www.classenturfcare.com

Echo

The TC-210 has a 21.2cc engine, electronic ignition, water-resistant stop switch, kickstand, worm gear-type transmission and four 10-tooth tines that dig 6 inches deep.

www.echo-usa.com

FFC

The Preparator has a rotating, bidirectional drum that can till up to 2.5 inches deep. The perforated bucket allows dirt to sift through while retaining rock and debris.

www.paladinconstructiongroup.com

First Products

The AERA-vator has vibrating tines that loosen the soil all around and underneath each tine, fracturing the soil with nine holes per square foot.

www.1stproducts.com

Grasshopper

The PTO-driven AERA-vator with vibrating tines works without slicing or cutting, improving turf development and water absorption with little surface disruption.

www.grasshoppermower.com

Husqvarna

The DRT900 offers the advantages of a forward-rotating cultivator and counter-rotating deep soil tiller. It has a sealed transmission for long life and a sturdy frame.

www.husqvarna.com

JRCO

The Hooker's tine rotors use the forward force of the mower to make holes up to 3 inches deep. It pulls loose plugs of soil, eliminating messy hard cores.

www.jrcoinc.com

Kuhns Power Equipment

The Power Dog is a hydraulic-powered tiller featuring instant forward and reverse, dual rotating tines, variable speed on the go and a 9 or 13 hp engine.

L.T. Rich Products

The Z-Plug stand-on, zero-turn aerator can be used with attachments such as a slice seeder, snow blade, spiker, dethatching rake, sprayer system and spreader.

www.zspray.com

Land Pride

The RTR20 Series has a 64 or 72-inch cutting width, 17-inch rotor swing diameter for deep tillage action, adjustable skid shoes and adjustable offset up to 18 inches.

www.landpride.com

Mantis

Tiller/cultivators feature patented serpentine tines that spin at 240 RPM, tilling depths of up to 10 inches, single-piece transmission and fold-down handles.

www.mantis.com

Ryan

Lawnaire walk-behind aerators offer Honda or B&S engines, fold-down handle, coring depths up to 2.75 inches and aerating widths of 19, 26.5 and 28 inches.

www.ryanturf.com

SourceOne Outdoor Power Equipment

The PL855 PRO HD is especially effective on grasses and soils that are soft or spongy, where self-propulsion keeps the aerator moving at an appropriate aeration speed.

www.sourceoneope.com

STEC Equipment

The Stecavator features reverse tilling action, screening rods, leveling bar, packer roller and numerous working widths. It creates a well-aerated seedbed in one pass.

www.stecequipment.com


UTECO

The ZRATOR is a steerable, front-mount core plug aerator designed to allow aeration in all directions without raising the tines. No additional weights needed.

www.zrator.com


Next month will feature Product Focuses on Irrigation Products and Hydroseeders, Topdressers & Seeders.