Ryan Lawnaire IV Plus aerator

With a frame of heavy-gauge steel, the Ryan Lawnaire IV Plus is a solid looking unit and one that should survive life in the hire market as well as taking the knocks of transport between contracts.

RYAN LAWNAIRE IV PLUS  Image: HW
RYAN LAWNAIRE IV PLUS Image: HW

Aeration and scarification are important operations in the provision and maintenance of healthy turf. In this test we look at a wide range of machines to break compaction and reduce thatch to improve gaseous exchange and water percolation.

We start in the Walled Garden at the Cannington Campus, where we ask David Green to blast air and seaweed into the lawn and the area around the tree planted three years ago by the Earl of Wessex.

Then we move onto the golf course at Cannington Golf Club, part of the college, and put the ATT cassette system through its paces.

The latest Verti-Drain, Toro ProCore and John Deere Aercore are used on the greens. We undertake some hollow coring with the Ryan Lawnaire before using the tractor-mounted ProCore SR.

Finally, we look at two dedicated scarifiers - the pedestrian Charterhouse Pro and tractor-mounted Trilo VCU.

TESTED THIS WEEK

Terrain Aeration Scamper

ATT (Advanced Turf Technology) TMSystem

Verti-Drain 215.013SP + Carrier

John Deere Aercore 800

Toro ProCore 648

Ryan Lawnaire IV Plus

Toro ProCore SR70-S

Charterhouse Pro Scarifier

Trilo VCU 120 Scarifier

THE REVIEW PANEL

Andre Gardner, grounds manager, Bridgwater College, Cannington Campus

Hugh Murray, head greenkeeper, Cannington Golf Club

Ryan Lawnaire IV Plus

The Ryan Lawnaire IV Plus sufficiently narrow to slip through gates into back gardens or other areas of limited access.

Built by Ryan and supplied in the UK by Ransomes, the Lawnaire IV is a drum-type aerator that pulls itself along as it cores. The roller at the front is water ballasted for stability. Transport wheels allow the machine to be easily raised and lowered for manoeuvrability in tight areas and for crossing walkways or drives.

"It's a basic, simple hollow corer," says Murray. "It's quick and easy to put in and out of operation. The thing I didn't particularly like was the plate at the back. Some cores were dragged and smeared."

The hand brake took a bit of working out, but should prove useful when loading and unloading the unit from a trailer.

SPECIFICATIONS

Working width: 48.3cm

Coring depth: Down to 70mm

Holes: 81 per square metre

Engine: 4hp Honda recoil start

Weight: 91kg dry, 127kg with water and weights

List price: £2,920 + VAT

Contact: Ransomes Jacobsen - 01473 270000


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