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Welcome to the forum! Thanks for starting an interesting discussion.

I haven't used any Agri-Fab products, but I have the Brinly 40" core aerator, I've been happy with it.

It sounds like, as people have said that ground conditions (how dry) also impact when exactly you should aerate. I'd say full throttle (for the most cooling air from the tranny fan), and drive slowly. Check the tranny periodically. I've heard the oil will degrade around 180F. If you can hold your hand indefinitely on the tranny body, it's a safe temperature. Mine is a GT, but the most I've ever felt is my tranny being warm to the touch. An infrared thermometer (~$20) can be a helpful tool if you want to quantify how the tranny is doing.

So far I'm not being very good with using my aerator, in the sense of not really monitoring conditions and planning ahead. It's more like "Oops, I probably should have done this already", then grab it.

Like I recently used it on areas that are stripped bare, and I am seeding from scratch. I'm in MA, so fairly similar weather to you, I'm guessing. Maybe I should take this chance to go over the entire yard with it, vs doing it in the spring.

For adding weight, I have cinder blocks, but if you want the ability to add more weight, you might look at getting solid concrete blocks instead. You'll have higher density, allowing more weight on the same available frame space.

Edit- I have a Scotts walk behind broadcast spreader, which has been good. It's not a big yard, so it's worked well. Except last year when I was putting down like 800 pounds or so of lime. Then, shoving the heavily-loaded spreader up and down our inclines was no fun, and I was wishing for a tow-behind. That should be a nice addition!
 

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I ended up grabbing the agri-fab 48" because Lowe's for some reason has them for sale for $188 which seems to be about $100 cheaper than they go for everywhere else right now.
Looks like an end of season close out. Your mileage may vary, depends on stock a availability near you. But, a good deal is you find one.
 

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I have an Ohio Steel 42" spring assisted aerator that I love and got through Sears 15 years ago. It was still available in 2019 but appears it is no longer being produced but you might still be able to find it. They still make a 48" version. Here is a link to their archive listing of the 42" unit.

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I have been using this unit for the last eleven years, twice a year. Has worked great on one acre with 100 pounds of plates.
I use it after rolling in the spring and prior to overseeding in the fall.
I have seen them at Tractor Supply a couple of years ago.

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Mac, that looks great! And I'll bet the tractor is a beast. Can someone help me understand what a spring loaded aerator is? I'm not familiar with a spring loaded aspect for these.

And I do like the idea of using weight plates. I always use concrete blocks, but iron plates would likely be gentler on the paint. I've kind of accepted that this paint on my implements will get torn up, but I should probably try and be gentler on them :)
 

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Wow!! That looks serious! Those tractors with the big wheels always look very cool to me. I sometimes see them for sale around here and I'm always intrigued :)

With no wheels on the aerator to keep it level, it is an issue with going over bumps, or anything like that? Like going deeper or shallower? I'm used to them riding on the ground, I guess, which sort of controls the depth even as the surface changes.
 

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Bumps don't really seem to affect it. The 3 point has down pressure, but because of that, you have to be careful not to push it down, and lose traction, so I just use it in "float", so it just uses the weight to determine depth. This will be the last season I'll be using it for this, as it is my mowing tractor, and I hate swapping the deck out. I'm getting a Simplicity Pow'rmax 4041 in a couple of weeks, and that will help with things like this, although it is probably a little big for what I need....
 

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Kioti SCUT
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Bumps don't really seem to affect it. The 3 point has down pressure, but because of that, you have to be careful not to push it down, and lose traction, so I just use it in "float", so it just uses the weight to determine depth.
Most 3 point hitches have no down pressure at all, unless you have the electric actuator on a sleeve hitch. I have a 3PH on my SCUT. When there's no implement, it won't even lower unless I put my foot on it and lean it down. I have the exact same Yard Tuff core aerator, but mine is 60" and loaded to the max with concrete blocks.

I also run it in float. The important things to remember are to run it in a straight line, with no or little turns. And mark all your buried or protruding rocks with flags in advance. I don't want 500 lbs plus forward momentum crashing a core tube into a buried rock. Also, it works much better when the ground is damp to wet. Not so good when the ground is really dry. Cal

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The Case has down pressure. It is a completely hydraulic tractor, so no electric actuator. - - - - - Metalguy
 
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Welcome to the forum. I have a three quarters of an acre. I have the AgriFab 100 pound tow behind spiker-seeder-spreader. I built up the box area to accommodate 70 pounds of weight. It doesn't penetrate the earth when the ground is dry. You have to use it when the ground is wet, other wise I feel its totally useless. I have a Brinly 175 pound tow behind spreader which is good but leaves about 10 pounds of contents in the bottom that won't come out. Its basically poorly design. The funnel at the bottom is flat.
I wouldn't buy either one again, But I'm stuck with them.

I feel the in the fall is the best time to aerate and seed. After all, the spring and summer you are fighting the weeds so September, October, November is the best time because temperatures are still mild where I live in Maryland and I've had good results.

The next time I go to aerate I'm going to rent a walk behind Classen aerator from Home Depot. They are a block away and the machine does a much better job than any tow behind and it doesn't cost a lot.

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JD X585 owner
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I have been using this unit for the last eleven years, twice a year. Has worked great on one acre with 100 pounds of plates.
I use it after rolling in the spring and prior to overseeding in the fall.
I have seen them at Tractor Supply a couple of years ago.

View attachment 2523621
Yup, that's the one I have. I'm going to convert mine to a 3pt hitch connection so I can pick up when I pass rocks or have to run across the driveway.
 

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I hired a local aerator guy that did my .75 acre lot for $120 around October 1. I then overseeded lucky 31 tall fescue 50lbs and spread starter fertilizer on the former creeping bent grass areas( used tenacity to kill) and Scott’s step 4 over rest of lawn. The grass started in about a week and us doing great
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Wow, it's looking great, nice job!

If you have the storage space, and want to do it more often, you might be able to buy a used core aerator for a similar price. I think I got my Brinly for $80 on CL. I don't know how it compares to professional aeration, but it's seemed OK to me.

I've heard people mention Tenacity a bunch with regards to seeding, but I haven't read up on what exactly that is. I usually put down starter fertilizer when I'm putting seed down, but that's all I've done in terms of treatments.
 
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I always use certified grass seed. Its usually $220 for a 50 pound bag I buy from a seed company.

That garbage seed Home Depot, Lowes, Tractor Supply and ACE Hardware is not certified. They all have a percentage of weed seed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #35 ·
Kipsy that's one insanely nice lawn.

Folks, I spent all of last night putting together my new agri-fab 48" aerator. **** that son of a ***** is huge. I definitely could have gotten away with something half the size on my lawn, but I snagged it for a song and dance. It must have taken me 4 hours all told to get it assembled right (I was engaged in some moderate to heavy drinking during the process though, and only had to re-do two small things this morning to finish the job right ;).

There's a nice rain storm today, and tomorrow is supposed to dry up.

I'll take some picture of the new gear (aerator & spreader) hitched up to the x350 tomorrow.
I plan on aerating, then over-seeding. Then I need to procure some fertilizer and get that thrown down soon after.
I know I missed the golden window, but its been unseasonably warm here for October, and I figure anything is better than nothing for next year. We'll see.
I'm excited to log some butt on the tractor time too.

Thanks for all the great discussion and tips in this thread!
 

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Discussion Starter · #37 ·
OK well I'd say success! I didn't destroy anything, the x350 seemed to pull the stuff without any trouble, and I took it slow with lots of breaks while aerating.

The spreader was finicky... Took a while to find a good setting. At first I was oscillating between a tiny drip and a deluge. After a bit of fussing I found a good setting to spread the grass seed with.

Here are a few shots:

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Cool, looking good! And good thinking with the cardboard under the blocks. I bought mine used, so they were already kinda beat up, but I didn't think about using cardboard. My paint has taken more of a beating than needed :)

I've heard that tranny oil will degrade around 180F. If someone has an infrared thermometer, they can check the tranny housing temperature accurately. But even without that, you can put your hand on it, to gauge how hot it is. If you can keep your hand on it, it's definitely fine, for instance.

When taking breaks, make sure to keep the engine running, preferably at full speed, so the cooling fan on it can draw heat out of the transmission. And run the engine at full speed when pulling a heavy load, like aerating, again, for more cooling.
 

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I have that spreader too. Did you grease the transmission in the spreader? It will fail if you run it dry. Also, I run a light duty bungee cord on the flow lever to stop it from partially shutting off the flow.
 

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Discussion Starter · #40 ·
I have that spreader too. Did you grease the transmission in the spreader? It will fail if you run it dry. Also, I run a light duty bungee cord on the flow lever to stop it from partially shutting off the flow.
Good idea on the bunjee cord. Maybe that's why the settings were so erratic.

And crap, no I didn't grease the gearbox. I hope it came with some snot in there already. I'll do that now before I spread the chicken poop later this week (thanks!!!)
 
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