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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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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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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.
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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