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John Deere Aerator 3pt. Conversion

8049 Views 10 Replies 6 Participants Last post by  BAMA10
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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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.
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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