Servicing AET 48/72 Towable Aerators

If you’re used to walk-behinds and towable drum aerators, using the AET 48/72 aerator is a revelation. Its simple design, which separates the weight from the tines holder, makes it easy to tow, and even easier to turn, thanks to its swiveling tines. However, even the simplest machine needs repairs and maintenance. Here’s what you need to know to keep your aerator working consistently and reliably.

Replacing Single Tines

Tines are self-scouring, becoming dull near the end of their service life, or after heavy impacts. Dull and bent tines should be replaced as soon as possible.

  1. Lift the tines and chock the wheels.
  2. Loosen the outermost nut and carriage bolt holding in the tine, then the innermost nut and bolt.
  3. Use a pry bar to push the tine plates apart. You can now pull the tine off of the reel.
  4. Slide the new tine in place and tighten down the nuts and bolts.

Removing the Tine Reel for Better Access

While it’s difficult to remove individual tine stars, removing the entire tine reel lets you replace multiple tines as well as any other worn or damaged parts.

  1. Lift the tines and chock the wheels.
  2. Put something under the reel to support it.
  3. Remove the nuts and bolts on the reel bearings.
  4. Lift the reel and tilt it to slide it off of the chain.
  5. Remove the cotter pin and nut on the end of the shaft.
  6. Slide the tines and spacers off of the reel. Keep everything in order for reassembly.
  7. After swapping out any damaged or worn parts, follow the previous steps in reverse to reassemble and fit the reel.

Bearing Service

Billy Goat recommends lubricating the pillow bearings at least once per season. They should also be regreased after washing the aerator to force out any water inside the bearing. Use an NLGI #2 lithium grease. The tines should be in the raised position before you use a grease gun on the zerk fittings.


If you notice abnormal vibrations, stop using the aerator immediately. Inspect the AET 48/72 for loose and damaged parts. Tighten down and replace parts as needed.

To get good penetration, you need to start with moist soil. Water the area you’re aerating the day before. Don’t forget to add weight to your aerator. Each module of the AET 48/72 supports up to 80 lbs. of deck weight, and a maximum of 425 lbs. when fully assembled. To reach this weight, make sure every water jug is full, and have two jugs on each module. If you don’t have water jugs, place cement blocks or pieces of steel on the plates, being sure not to exceed the weight limit.

Need Something for Your Aerator?

Billy Goat Parts is an authorized dealer for Billy Goat and their manufacturing partners, so we carry everything from engine parts to debris loader accessories. If you need tines or other parts for your towable aerator, visit us at Our search engine has built-in factory parts diagrams, so you can see exactly what you’re buying. We can ship your order to any address in the United States or Canada.

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