“It’s going back to basics,” says our tester. “Not a lot can go wrong. You just need to keep an eye on the tines and replace them when they are worn.”
The aerator is linked to Reco’s Kioti compact tractor. The flexible link should enable the machine to follow contours. There has been little or no rain for the past week so we load concrete slabs into the tray to ensure satisfactory penetration. The aerator is then put to work on the college rugby pitch.
The shape of the tine means that as it comes out of the ground, it levers the hole slightly. Driving at a good walking pace across the pitch, our tester finds the Airone leaves a round hole. At higher speeds, it is more elliptical. He speeds up again, but there is still no tearing.
Another tester is pleased with the results. “It’s going in well, removing the core and giving a nice, clear hole — two to three inches (five-7.5cm) deep,” he confirms. After four or five runs, he decides it can be used to aerate the whole pitch.
“This is a handy piece of kit, especially with the different tine options,” adds our tester. “The hollow coring tines are good for surface drainage and for getting air into the top few inches of soil. You could also use this set-up for incorporating just a little bit of top-dressing.”
The hollow tines can be combined with springs (£4 each) to minimise surface disturbance in dry conditions and to help break up the cores. Alternatively, 150mm open “C” tines could be fitted to penetrate and lever the ground without removing soil. Tine options include reversible 90mm or 150mm diamond-shaped slitting blades.
We reckon the AR110 is a real bargain. But if you have a few hundred pounds more to spend and want higher productivity levels, the AR180 is more likely to fit the bill.
The AR180 comes in a 1.6m working width and has the option of eight rotors at 240mm spacing or 14 rotors at 125mm spacing.
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