john deere golf equipment aercore 800 top
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The standard bearers for quality aeration

Simplicity meets superior performance. In short, that sums up the John Deere line of Aercore Aerators. These ground-breaking walk-behind and tractor-mounted aerators have consistently delivered high productivity without sacrificing hole quality, durability, or ease of service.

The Aercore design is rooted in common sense and logic. Easily accessible belts, instead of chains, power the systems, making them quieter and more durable in high-shock conditions like hardpan or rocky terrain.

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john deere golf equipment aercore 800

Features and Specs

  • 31.5-in. (80-cm) coring
  • Lightweight design
  • Drive tire core deflectors

Transmission: 3.5 mph (5.6 km/hr)
Coring Patterns: 1.4 x 1.4 in w/mini tines
Productivity: 11,025 sq ft/hr

john deere golf turf equipment specs


 Aercore™ 800 Key Features

All operating controls located within operator's reach for efficient operation and increased productivity

john deere golf equipment aercore 800 operator control
Operator control locations

No operator wants to spend time moving away from the operator station to locate controls necessary to do the job. On the John Deere Aercore™ 800, location of operator controls is simple – all of them are located within the reach of the operator:

  • Key switch, throttle, and choke for starting the machine
  • Operator-presence system
  • Manual/automatic switch for service or normal operation
  • Parking brake
  • Gear selector and traction clutch for direction and speed control
  • Lift/lower plate for raising and lowering the coring head

Engagement or disengagement of any of these controls can be done without leaving the operator station.  This ultimately leads to more efficient operation as operators do not have to hunt for controls. All operating controls are conveniently located within their reach, saving time and effort.

The Aercore 800 also features a standard operator-presence system, integrated into the traction and lift/lower systems of the aerator. If the operator has a situation in which they need to quickly bring the machine to a stop, all that is required is to release the operator-presence bail and the machine will come to a stop and lift the coring head out of the ground.


Lightweight design and 9-psi (62.1 kPa) operating tire pressure minimizes turf compaction

john deere golf equipment aercore 800 light weight
Aercore 800

The Aercore™ 800 was designed to be turf friendly. From adjustable turf guard pressure, to the Flexi-Link design, to the hydraulic-free mechanical transmission, the Aercore 800 is a market leader in turf friendliness.

But the design goes much further than just its key product features. The Aercore 800, including its innovative components, weighs only 1367 lb (620 kg), very lightweight for a very productive aerator. The next closest competitor in terms of productivity weighs 1590 lb (721 kg). The goal of aeration is to relieve compaction from everyday machine use, and John Deere has limited the compaction of the aerator itself by keeping the weight of the machine under control.

Even when you add the industry-exclusive verticutter attachment to the Aercore 800, it only weighs 1442 lb (654 kg), still nearly 150 lb (68 kg) lighter than the most-productive competitor.

Not only does the Aercore 800 offer a lightweight design, it also has a very low operating tire pressure to further spread out the footprint of the machine and minimize turf compaction. The Aercore 800 utilizes a tire pressure of 9 psi (62.1 kPa), where the closest competitor in its class in terms of productivity uses 12 psi (82.7 kPa) of tire pressure.


Tight turning radius with minimal turning effort to increase productivity

john deere golf equipment aercore 800 tight turning radius
A need for tight turning radius

Productivity is more than just measuring the width of an aerator and its aerating ground speed to determine how much turf is aerated in an hour. Turning radius plays a large role in productivity, and the Aercore™ 800 Walk-Behind Aerator excels in turning radius.

The productivity of a wider aerator lessens when factoring in the turning radius of a more maneuverable machine. The down-row productivity of a wider aerator is compensated by the difficulty of turning the machine at the end of the pass, an area where shorter, narrower machines excel.

The Aercore 800 uses a mechanical transmission with a differential, meaning that in a tight turn, the inside wheel turns slower than the outside wheel. This tightens the turning radius.

In addition, the Aercore 800 uses a 2WD system. A 3WD system is more difficult to turn sharply because the front wheel is powered. All three wheels are pushing the aerator, causing the front wheel to slide and scuff in a tight turn.

And because the Aercore 800 has no front-wheel weights or drive motors, its steering effort is much easier compared to 3WD competitors.

The Aercore 800 is a narrow 84 in. (213 cm) from the handlebar to the rear of the coring head. This gives the machine more maneuverability and versatility in tight areas around greens, such as greenside bunkers and nearby lakes and ponds. Longer aerators may have difficulty making a normal teardrop turn in such areas.


Belt drive system means smooth and quiet operation, minimal maintenance, and no chains to grease

john deere golf equipment aercore 800 belt drive 1john deere golf equipment aercore 800 belt drive 2



The Aercore™ 800 and its optional verticutter attachment feature a belt-driven design, providing quiet and smooth operation that does not require any lubrication. Belts require very minimal maintenance compared to traditional chain drive systems.

Chains require lubrication to keep them running efficiently, and no golf course wants to have the opportunity of dropping excess grease on golf course playing surfaces. Belt drive systems only require proper belt tension and regular cleaning to limit debris buildup.

To further enhance serviceability, the Aercore 800 features sealed bearings throughout the entire coring head system. This simplifies maintenance and, once again, ensures excess grease is not dropped onto playing surfaces.

The belt drive system uses a cogged belt and cogged pulley. This makes it possible to time the coring head, limiting machine vibration and ensuring a perfect hole pattern.

Timing the Aercore 800 is simple. Loosen both coring head idler pulleys so the belts can be moved away from the cogged pulleys. Use the bottom of the turf guards or a reference point on the frame to line up the outside two arms with one another. Naturally, the inside arms should be closely lined up as well. Slip the belts back on and tighten up the idler pulleys at the proper belt tension. The Aercore 800 is now in time.

The matched pair of cog belts provides long life and requires minimal adjustments. Even the occasional belt replacement is made easy by having all the belt drive components located on top of the machine where they are easily accessible.


Coring head located between the drive tires for maximum contour-following capabilities without any additional linkages

john deere golf equipment aercore 800 light weight
Aercore 800

The Aercore™ 800 is designed around simplicity, and that definitely applies to the ground-following system. In fact, it doesn't need a ground-following system at all.

If the coring head on any aerator were located anywhere other than precisely between the rear tires, a complex linkage system would be required in order to allow the coring head to float and follow undulations.

Take a tractor-mounted aerator for example. The aerator is located behind the rear tires. A float system is required to allow the aerator to follow the contours. As the tractor crests a hill, the natural tendency is to lift the aerator out of the ground. However, the three-point linkage and hydraulic floating system allows the aerator to follow the contours.

No such system is required on the Aercore 800. By locating the coring head precisely between the tires, the tining action perfectly follows the ground that is in contact with the rear tires. No complex linkages are required to enable the coring head to follow the contour. This also promotes consistency of hole depth across undulations.


Industry-exclusive verticutter attachment gives the Aercore™ 800 more versatility than any other walk-behind aerator in the industry

john deere golf equipment aercore 800 verticutter underneath
Verticutter attachment

The verticutter attachment may be fitted to any Aercore 800 machine equipped with the 25-hp Kohler® Command Series engine.

The verticutter utilizes carbide-tipped blades and may be operated to a maximum depth of 1-3/4 in. (44.5 mm) in any of the Aercore 800’s four operating gears. Soil conditions will determine whether or not maximum depth can be achieved. A 31.5-in. (80-cm) width matches the aeration width of the Aercore 800. The standard blade spacing from the factory is 1 in. (25.4 mm), but it can be increased or decreased using spacers in increments of 1/4 in. (6.4 mm).

Featuring a precise, no-tool depth adjustment, the verticutter attachment allows superintendents to operate at virtually any depth up to 1-3/4 in. (44.5 mm). A convenient handle and transport bracket allows the operator to lift the verticutter to a higher position for transporting.

The verticutter utilizes a belt drive system that engages when the coring head is lowered and disengages when the coring head is raised. By utilizing the same electrohydraulic lift/lower system currently on the Aercore 800, an operator may raise the verticutter without the engine running.

Standard tire scrapers for the verticutter eliminate any debris buildup to maintain a consistent verticutting depth.

Once installed, the versatility of the verticutter attachment allows the operator to aerate only, verticut only, or simultaneously aerate and verticut. To aerate only requires simply disengaging the verticutter belt drive, located underneath the belt drive cover. Superintendents choosing to verticut only may do so by simply disengaging the two coring head belts and securing them with the provided belt latches.

john deere golf equipment aercore 800 verticutter 2

Simultaneous application in process

john deere golf equipment aercore 800 verticutter completed green

Completed green

For golf courses that aerate and verticut as part of the same practice, the Aercore 800 equipped with the verticutter attachment allows both aerating and verticutting operations to be performed at exactly the same time. The simultaneous operation yields time and labor savings compared to traditional methods.


Easily accessible positive battery post and no-tool chain tensioners further enhance serviceability and performance

john deere golf equipment aercore 800 chain tensioner

No-tool chain tensioner

john deere golf equipment aercore 800 battery

Positive battery post

To provide positive engagement between the transmission and drive tires, the Aercore™ 800 features standard drive chain tensioners. The tensioner itself is a metal sprocket to ensure proper and full engagement, minimizing any opportunities for wheel and chain slippage. Maintaining the proper chain tension is the key to maintaining a consistent down-row hole spacing.

When an adjustment is needed, no tools are required to make the adjustment. Simply turn the black knob clockwise to increase chain tension and counterclockwise to reduce chain tension.

To further enhance serviceability of the Aercore 800, a jumper to the positive battery post is easily accessible. No matter if the machine is stored with the coring head in the up or down position, the positive battery post is easily accessible to recharge a dead battery.


Simple no-tool depth adjustment rests on coring head frame for consistent depth

john deere golf equipment aercore 800 depth adjustment

Aeration depth adjustment

john deere golf equipment aercore 800 verticut depth adjustment

Verticutter depth adjustment

The Aercore™ 800 utilizes a pin and spacer system to establish aeration depth. This provides a simple system that is both easy to use and requires no tools for adjustment.

Once adjusted, the depth adjustment rests on the Aercore 800 frame when the coring head is lowered. By resting the depth adjuster against the frame, this ensures the depth of the hole is consistent across the surface being aerated. There are no electronic sensors or linkages to rely on when establishing the depth on the Aercore 800.

The depth adjustment on the optional verticutter attachment also requires no tools for adjustment. Just loosen the locking nut using the attached lever, and move the wheel up or down until it lines up with the desired depth.

Because the verticutter counterrotates to the direction of travel, the blades are always being pulled into the turf. Therefore, you do not have to be concerned about the verticutter depth changing during operation.


Five-speed mechanical transmission eliminates hydraulic leak opportunities on playing surfaces

john deere golf equipment aercore 800 mechanical transmission
Mechanical transmission

Hydraulic leaks are a superintendent's worst nightmare. Not only do they have the potential to damage significant amounts of finely manicured turf, but in many cases, if the fluid is not biodegradable, the turf area must be dug up and replaced. Not to mention the dissatisfaction of the golfers who must play on unsightly turf that has been damaged by a hydraulic leak.

For that reason, the Aercore™ 800 Aerator features a mechanical transmission as opposed to a hydraulic traction drive system. A mechanical transmission eliminates hydraulic leak opportunities, providing confidence the aeration process will run smoothly.

The Aercore 800 uses a five-speed transmission—four aeration gears and one transport gear. The four aeration gears are as follows:

  • First gear = 1.4-in. x 1.4-in. (3.6-cm x 3.6-cm) spacing (mini tines)
  • Second gear = 2-in. x 2-in. (5.1-cm x 5.1-cm) spacing
  • Third gear = 2.6-in. x 2-in. (6.6-cm x 5.1-cm) spacing
  • Fourth gear = 2.9-in. x 2-in. (7.4-cm x 5.1-cm) spacing

A mechanical transmission ensures hole spacing will be consistent and precise across every aeration pass. The gear selector is conveniently located within the operator's reach for easy speed and spacing selections.

The transport gear on the Aercore 800 safely directs the machine away from the operator during transport at a speed of 3.5 mph (5.6 km/h). Some competitive units transport at a speed of 4 mph (6.4 km/h), with this speed coming directly toward the operator.

The integrated operator-presence bail system allows the operator to easily stop the machine by simply releasing the bail to bring the machine to a quick stop,should the need arise. In addition, the steering radius is limited in transport mode to provide even safer operation during transport.


Drive tire core deflectors eliminate running over cores from the previous pass

john deere golf equipment aercore 800 core deflector
Core deflectors

Standard drive tire core deflectors eliminate running over pulled cores from the previous aerification pass. The deflectors lift and lower with the coring head and push aside any cores that may lie in the path of the drive tires. They also float freely to follow even the most undulating greens.

By preventing the tires from running over pulled cores, the drive tire core deflectors improve the green cleanup process after aerification.

It is important to note it is not an issue to run over previously punched holes with a walk-behind aerator. All greens require a cleanup and topdressing process once aerification is complete. People and machines are used on the greens to pick up cores and distribute topdressing, so the newly punched holes will get run over several times before the topdressing is put down.

The key issue is to ensure cores are not mashed down into the turf, hurting the effectiveness of the cleanup process and filling holes with undesirable material. The drive tire core deflectors do an outstanding job of making sure your greens are ready for the cleanup process, ensuring a more effective topdressing application that fills the new holes with desirable amendments.


Electrohydraulic lift system allows lifting the coring head without the engine running

john deere golf equipment aercore 800 lift system
Electrohydraulic lift system

The Aercore™ 800 Aerator features an electrohydraulic lift and lower system. When looking at a typical hydraulic lift system alone, it means the engine must be running in order to lift and lower the coring head. The engine physically turns the pump that controls the hydraulic system.

Not on the Aercore 800. The Aercore 800 system goes beyond hydraulic — it also has an electrical component. Basically, this system features an electric motor that turns a hydraulic pump to engage a hydraulic cylinder for raising and lowering the coring head.

If the machine runs out of gas or there is an engine failure during aerification, raise the coring head out of the ground by simply leaving the key switch in the run position and pressing the lift switch. Or simply release the operator-presence bail and the head automatically raises out of the ground. No need to break out the tools and start removing tine holders and turning hydraulic dump valves to remove the machine from the green.

The coring head must be raised to start the engine on the Aercore 800. Therefore, an automatic feature has been built in that, if an operator tries to start the engine with the coring head in the down position, the electrical system raises the head as soon as the key is moved to the run position to prepare for starting. All of this is done electrically and does not require the engine to be running.

Aren't hydraulics bad for greens if they leak? Yes, but not on the Aercore 800. The hydraulic fluid on the Aercore 800 is biodegradable. If it leaks, it does not need to be removed from the turf. Plus, since the only function is to lift and lower the coring head, it is not constantly being used, keeping the oil cool and preventing any heat damage should the system leak.

The speed at which the electrohydraulic lift/lower system operates also optimizes entry and exit hole quality. The head raises and lowers very quickly, getting the tine perpendicular to the turf as quickly as possible.


Powerful 25-hp*(18.6-kW) gas engine provides plenty of power for aerating and verticutting simultaneously

john deere golf equipment aercore 800 engine
Gas engine

The Aercore™ 800 utilizes a 25-hp (18.6-kW) gas engine. Why this much power with a 31.5-in. (80-cm) walk-behind aerator? There are two primary benefits.

The first benefit is the increased horsepower allows the engine to turn at a much-slower rpm on entry and exit when the throttle-back solenoid is turned on. The throttle-back solenoid slows the engine down on both entry and exit to eliminate tufting of the turf as the coring head lifts and lowers.

Turning the engine as slowly as possible without stalling is key. The increased power provides sufficient power to the coring head at a reduced rpm to further improve entry and exit hole quality. This reduced rpm is preset from the factory and, in most cases, should not need further adjustment.

The second benefit is the Aercore 800 offers an optional verticutter attachment to provide an industry-exclusive aerating and verticutting combination. This tandem offers a productive and versatile option that no other competitor can do.

The 25-hp (18.6-kW) engine allows the verticutter alone to operate at a depth of up to 1.75 in. (4.4 cm). Also, the increased horsepower allows the aerator and verticutter to be run simultaneously to impact even more surface area and further reduce compaction as part of the aeration process. Course conditions will dictate how deep the verticutter can be run in combination with a maximum aeration depth.

*At 3600 rpm. Engine manufacturer gross power per SAE J1940. Tested in accordance with SAE J1995. The engine hp and torque information are provided by the engine manufacturer to be used for comparison purposes only. Actual operating hp and torque will be less. Refer to the engine manufacturer’s website for additional information.


Narrow, 80-cm (31.5-in.) coring width promotes consistent hole depth on undulating greens

Do you mow your greens with a 56-cm (22-in.) cutting unit, or do you mow them with a 76-cm (30-in.) cutting unit? Most will agree that greens are mowed with 56-cm (22-in.) cutting units, or maybe even 45.7-cm (18-in.) cutting units. The 76 cm (30-in) cutting units are not acceptable for mowing greens. Why do you mow greens with a narrower-width cutting unit? The answer is to eliminate opportunities for scalping, improving overall turf health and providing excellent cut quality. The narrower the cutting unit, the less risk there is of scalping the turf in an undulation.

The same principle applies during aeration. During aerification, you are looking to impact the top 3 in. to 4 in. (7.6 cm to 10.2 cm) of the soil profile. A narrow aerator is going to follow undulations much better than a wider one, keeping a more consistent depth throughout the aeration practice. A consistent depth means more compaction relief at the full depth of aeration and even more accurate topdressing applications.

john deere golf equipment aercore 800 depth comparison
Depth comparison

Look at the diagram above as an example. The picture to the left increases the width by 50 percent to 48 in. (123 cm), while the picture to the right shows the Aercore™ 800. Both are aerating on the exact same slope. As is shown, the wider aerator punches much shallower as you get to each end of the aerator.

Take particular note of the last two to three tines on each end of the 48-in. (123-cm) aerator that are significantly shallower than the outer tines on the Aercore 800. This means the top 3 in. to 4 in. (7.6 cm to 10.2 cm) you are trying to impact as part of the aeration process is now much less than that as you get farther from the aerator's center.

When calculating topdressing, this is significant. Now the calculation you have run at 3 in. to 4 in. (7.6 cm to 10.2 cm) of depth, based on square footage aerated, means you will have purchased excess topdressing, and more importantly, you will not have impacted as much of the soil profile as anticipated.

This diagram proves the John Deere Aercore 800 does a much better job of keeping depth consistent across the entire undulation. Just like a greens mower, a narrow walk-behind aerator provides greater consistency on undulating terrain in comparison to wider machines.