The AE 400: Frustration Free Aerating

The AE 400: Frustration Free AeratingDrum aerators are a pain to use, but you might not need all the features of Billy Goat’s reciprocating aerators. That’s where the AE 400 Aerator comes in. It uses tine stars to cut into soil, delivering the same compaction relief as a drum aerator. However, its low weight design, wheel positioning and easy tine disengagement make it easier to use and care for.

A Different Approach to Aerating

The AE 400 may look like a drum aerator, but it uses tine stars like Billy Goat’s towable aerators. The tines are fixed to these stars, rolling across and cutting into the soil. A water tank mounted above the reel pushes the tines into the ground. When full, this tank weighs 50 lbs. Once the job is done, this tank can be emptied, making the machine easier to move around. Shifting the weight from the tines to the deck gives the AE 400 the softest tine action in the industry. It creates holes that relieve compaction and open soil up to air and water with minimal damage to the surrounding turf.

Like a drum aerator, the tines on this machine must be lifted out of the ground before making a turn. The Lift-n-Lock system makes this easier while requiring less strength than a drum aerator.
Using a lever on the handle tilts the rear axle down, lifting the tines out of the ground. Once the aerator is in position for the next pass, the operator hits a second lever with their knee to raise the axle and drop the tines back into the soil. Through this process, the operator never has to take their hands off of the controls.

The tines leave behind a 4.5 x 7-inch hole pattern, covering a 29-inch wide strip with each pass. Billy Goat equips the AE 400 with hollow tines from the factory, and they offer compatible solid steel spikes for core free aerating.

Easy to Move and Maintain

Despite the number of controls on this machine, it still has the Fold-n-Go handle system found on other Billy Goat aerators. Just pull up on the two metal loops holding the handle in place, and the top section can be folded forward for transport or storage. Unlike drum aerators, the drive wheels are mounted outboard. With no center wheel to deal with, the AE 400 is easy to roll up ramps and load onto trailers.

This aerator is designed to flip forward onto its front bumper, providing easy access to the underside for maintenance. The tine stars hold a total of 24 tines. Each tine is held on by a single bolt, making them easy to replace. Greasable pillow block bearings hold the tine reel in place, while an O-ring chain connects the reel to the engine. These heavy-duty parts extend the aerator’s service life.


Billy Goat makes three versions of the AE 400, each with a different engine.

The AE 401 comes with a Briggs & Stratton 900 Series engine making 6.5 HP. This residential engine is a good choice if you only plan on using your aerator occasionally. Briggs guarantees the engine for 24 months of residential use, or three months of commercial use. This model weighs 242 lbs.

The AE 401H uses a 118 cc Honda GX120. While it only makes 4 HP, it’s a commercial-grade engine. That means longer lasting components, less noise and less vibration for serious work. The 401H weighs the same as the 401. Honda guarantees this engine for three years of residential or commercial use.

If you want reliability and power, consider the AE 402V. It comes with Vanguard’s new 203 cc engine, which makes 6.5 HP. This engine has features normally only seen on V-Twins, like a cyclonic air filter and an automatic fuel cutoff that keeps fuel from mixing with oil during transport. The AE 402V weighs 252 lbs. This engine is guaranteed for three years of residential or commercial use, plus one additional year once the engine is registered with Vanguard.

No matter which model you choose, Billy Goat will guarantees the rest of the AE 400 aerator for one year, aside from wear components.

Your Complete Source for Billy Goat Parts and Accessories

Billy Goat Parts is a certified dealer for Billy Goat, Briggs, Vanguard and Honda Engines. That means we carry everything you need for your Billy Goat equipment, as well as the engine that powers it. Check our popular parts sections for common maintenance items, or use our search engine to find parts for your specific model. We even have parts diagrams built into our search system, so you can see exactly what you’re ordering and where it fits on your machine. Visit us at We ship across the United States and Canada.

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