I love my job. I enjoy the green industry and owning my business (headaches and all). I even appreciate a nice 100-degree day out on a mower and the debilitating effects of a good backpack blower, but nowhere on my list of enjoyment is aerating. More times than I can remember, an aerator has worn me out beyond my daily routine. OK, so I’ve been in the industry 10 years and am not in the best shape, but still, I’d like to be able to offer that service without despising the task.
You can imagine my excitement when I was chosen by Lawn Solutions to demo their aerator and found that they boast automatic forward and reverse gears, ease on hills and slopes and (what?) one-handed maneuverability. I was promised the ability to do 10 average yards in a day’s time.
When David (Cook, founder of Lawn Solutions) arrived at my home with the aerator and reviewed the equipment operation, I was eager to try a piece of machinery that could be all that he said it was, and yet I was doubtful that it really could be. Once I got my hands on that sweet piece of metal I realized he was right, and I was pumped! After five minutes of using the machine, I wanted to aerate the neighbors’ yards, too!
When I field-tested the machine I could fully appreciate its features. With automatic reverse I could work myself into and out of very tight spots. Even in standard beauty strips between sidewalks and street curbs, the machine fits without any overlap. Its hydrostatic drive keeps it from bouncing on hard terrain and allowed me to keep traction, stability on slopes and allowed the tines to pull plugs instead of ripping turf. Even with the rear wheels off it was easy to operate forward and reverse. I didn’t have to raise the tines to turn it around and had an easy time turning the machine with only one hand (or three-point turn, depending on my aeration pattern). Going down slopes I eased into the throttle and didn’t have to chase it. Going up slopes, I let out the throttle and didn’t have to push it.
It pulled great plugs despite the hard Georgia clay, and I didn’t have to wrestle with it at any point. The simplified mechanics did all the work. None of us in the green industry look forward to aeration. It’s a pain to do with minimal profit (rental, time per job) and, with the machines of the past, labor fatigue increases labor hours and/or laborers. I, personally, was grateful I only had to offer it twice a year.
As the owner of a small business, it is imperative that I keep in balance my productivity, time management and profit. I can’t be profitable without efficiency and can’t be efficient with major fatigue. With the Lawn Solution aerator, I was able to single-handedly aerate 5.5 acres properly in half a day and still continue to my other jobs on schedule.
I have used every color of walk-behind aerator in my career, and at some point, probably have compromised quality, but none compare to what has been produced at Lawn Solutions. The only thing this machine lacks is a cup holder for my own personal hydration. At the rate the guys at Lawn Solutions are taking things, I’m sure that feature isn’t far away.
Think you’ve got what it takes to put some new gear through its paces? Can you write a complete sentence and craft a piece like this? Contact Editor Amy Hill ahill@MooseRiverMedia.com to get your name on our list of Turf magazine Field Test experts!