Soil Reliever SR54

If you reckon deep aeration is limited to those with big tractors, be sure to take a look at the SR54. This is a deep aerator, relieving pressure-packed soil down to 25cm, yet it will work off a 20hp tractor. In fact, it will work off a Cushman Turf-Truckster with a PTO and lift system.

New technology has enabled the manufacturer, US-based Southern Green, to build a lighter machine without sacrificing the heavy-duty construction for which the Soil Reliever is known.
This is a machine designed by contractors and they have put a lot of strength into all the areas that are important. The mainframe is rugged. The crank is driven from both sides by strong chains. All components are robust.
It’s also designed to go fast — at least in aeration terms. This unit will aerate at 3.2km/h and still give a close spacing without surface damage. All the disruption is at the bottom of the hole.
We test the aerator on the cricket pitch and, as with most aerator demonstrations, the event quickly attracts an audience — walking in the wake of the machine and staring at the ground.
“It’s doing a really good job,” notes one tester. “You can see the soil moving, yet the surface disruption is zero.”
We are using 12mm solid tines at 65mm spacing. Options include needle, micro, hollow and solid tines. Just two bolts need removing to change the tine head and give spacing of 100mm.
An adapter gives spacing of 38mm.
The other tester tries the SR54 on the college’s par-three golf course, on a green where the grass is weak because of the shading of trees. Despite the shallow rooting in this location and the sandy nature of the green’s construction, the SR54 still gives a star performance with almost no surface disruption.
The principle behind the Soil Reliever is based on an angled mainframe. Ultimately, this gives the machine its “stomping action”. Two arcs of movement are created — one follows the movement of the crank arms, while the other follows the movement of the angled mainframe. This makes it possible to adjust the tine depth using a hydraulic cylinder in place of the top link — in effect a hydraulic link. Neither the angle of the tine nor heave is altered. This means changes in penetration are at the operator’s fingertips.
The angled mainframe of the Soil Reliever also allows the major portion of the weight of the machine to be moved over the top of the working area and lets the lightweight machine do a heavyweight job. A third benefit is that the forces generated by deep tine penetration are absorbed within the frame, rather than being transmitted back to the tractor.
“It looks complex, but actually this machine is straightforward and easy to use,” says one tester. The results speak for themselves. Excellent.


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