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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I finally got busy and modified my JD 40" plug aerator. I converted it to 3pt. hitch while at the same time still left if so that the original tow arms can be attached. I did not weld and used galvanized angle and box tubing that was readily available to me. I tested it tonight and it worked excellent without weights in the tray. I was able to get 3 inch plugs with the Bolen's down pressure. I also took the design from a turfvent aerator that I found online. Pretty simple conversion actually. Enjoy the pictures.


 

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Awesome.... just one question... what happens when you turn the wheel somewhat sharp?.... does the aerator push the tractor straight, or do you tear up the grass at all?.... i've been thinking of doing the same thing, but with the left-right pivot point gone (when using 3PH) I can see the aerator doing a lot of tearing of the sod in tight turns..... could you try it out if you can, and let us all know if it's an issue / how it works out?.....

cheers!
 

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AKA Moses Lawnagan
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Awesome.... just one question... what happens when you turn the wheel somewhat sharp?.... does the aerator push the tractor straight, or do you tear up the grass at all?....
I can answer those, the answer is yes to both. I've used a larger 3-pt aerator behind my old Yanmar. Once you take up whatever play there is in the hitch in a turn, the plugs begin to make rips in the ground instead of holes, because the pluggers are forced sideways some, and the tractor tends to skid the front wheels. This really isn't an issue, as you just lift the aerator when you want to turn around, this is why you have a 3-point hitch and lift. I was able to make very shallow turns without any problems, and if you leave the sway braces fairly loose, it gives you more leeway.

Given the size of this aerator, I might worry about bending the pluggers if you put it in much of a bind in turns, especially if you have much weight on it. Experiment with the setup in loose dirt and varying amounts of weight to see what happens.

Justin, that's a nice arrangement. Are you going to take the wheels off the aerator? How much weight can you put on and still lift the implement with the leverage you have, and do you have the capability to add counterweight to the front of your tractor?
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I have thought about the turning and decided for my uses it would be straight shots with minor wiggling. If I really planned on turning a lot, I would put the tow bars back on. It really is solid the way I have it set up, surprisingly. I haven't tried to load it up simply because the Bolens 1250 doesn't have a float setting (dang it!). If I had a three point on the HT-18 I would definitely load some weight on it and let it float with the terrain. I will put some weight on it and see how it does this weekend. Also, I may put some angles on that go from the top link to the corners if I need more support. Regarding the tires, I like them on for depth control, but If I need to get into tighter spaces, they will come off. I'm planning on aerating yards on the side, so to fit in back gates, they made need to come off.
 

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AKA Moses Lawnagan
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You'll need at least 100 lb. on it to get the pluggers to bury in damp soil or to penetrate thatch. With compacted soil or clay, even more. The 3-pt. aerator I was using weighed 550 lb. by itself (60"wide) and I had another 250 lb. on it, and it still wouldn't bury the pluggers in hard soil. This is one of the reasons that most GT aerators are pull-behinds, even when made for the GT's that you can put a lift on. If you're going to do this for $$$, you need to get them deep.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You'll need at least 100 lb. on it to get the pluggers to bury in damp soil or to penetrate thatch. With compacted soil or clay, even more. The 3-pt. aerator I was using weighed 550 lb. by itself (60"wide) and I had another 250 lb. on it, and it still wouldn't bury the pluggers in hard soil. This is one of the reasons that most GT aerators are pull-behinds, even when made for the GT's that you can put a lift on. If you're going to do this for $$$, you need to get them deep.
Well, how deep is deep enough for aeration? As is, in my yard which is pretty hard, I can get 3" plugs. Mind you, my plugs on the aerator are not closed and are spaced about 6 inches apart. I would think that if they are closer together, thicker guaged, more plugs per set and a wider aearator, the floatation factor would go way up and thus the need for more weight? I could probably use a little weight but the rear end of these Bolens are not light either, especially with wheel weights and if I want, liquid in the tires. There are some instances though where you do have a point, the soil is just rock solid. In that case, I wouldn't waste my time and would offer to till it for them.
 

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Very nice job!!! I really need to do that to mine as well. :thanku:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·

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AKA Moses Lawnagan
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I've used their tow-behind 40" model, the farm & garden down the road from my house rents them. They work pretty good, but you still have to weight them some. Doesn't matter how much weight is on the tractor tires, the weight has to be above the pluggers, whether the lift "floats" or not. Give it a shot, it will probably do a good job. The way you put a diagonal brace from the top link to the back of the weight tray is much better than the single vertical piece on the one you linked to. Over time, the added weights will bend the front rail.
 

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I did the same for my homemade aerator a couple of years ago. But mine is a sleeve hitch conversion and not the plug style. It is an old rotary hoe made into the spike style. I have added weight just so see how it does but doesn't really need any. It weighs 175 lbs without additional weight. Just like yours leave slack in the hitch and it works fine. Try to make straight runs but can make some shallow turns. Sure works well in tight areas. Did the same for the dethatcher. I use this with a John Deere 102 with a modified electric lift sleeve hitch and a 3pt. to sleeve hitch adapter on my John Deere 420.
 

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Great job, thanks for the pics.
 
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