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View Full Version : Grading New Pasture


cddva
10-18-2007, 02:08 PM
I know there's lots of discussion on grading and technique here but I'm not quite finding what I'm looking for, so..........I need to bid on a job to grade 3.5 acres that have been cleared and stumped (stumps removed). He wants to turn it into "pasture" for future "grazer's". The general condition is pretty good but it does need some cut and fill and some rock/weed clearing. Then he wants to seed it. The area does have a few smaller tree's left but mostly pretty open area with slight rolling terrain. I think a big Ag tractor with a disc would make short work of it but I don't own one. I have an L39 Kubota TLB and an ASV RC50. I have a Harley Rake, land leveler w/ scarifiers, 4n1 bucket. Would rather not rent or buy an attachment for this but just wondering what others would use for grading/clean-up of an area like this? I haven't dealt with an area quite this size and don't want it to be more than a weekend to grade/clean-up. I would probably rent a pre-seeder to run off the L39 pto for the seeding. I'm just looking for economic-efficiency recommendations without pricing myself out of competition.

JB1
10-18-2007, 02:15 PM
around here I would use a tractor and disk with a harrow behind it, then go to the local ASCS office and rent there pasture drill.

rguetter
10-18-2007, 03:57 PM
I agree with JP1 even though I'm not a contractor. I live on a hobby farm and have some equipment. Personally I'm partial to the plow which if plowed in the fall and harrowed in the spring will leave a very nice seed bed and it will be nice and level.

p.s. I'm looking at buying an ASV SR70. Do you know anything about the machine or have any comments regarding ASV? I am going with the SR70 over the RC60(or PT60 which is the new version) because of the size and high-flow.

Thanks in advance.

cddva
10-18-2007, 05:10 PM
Thanks for the reply's. I think the job is well suited for a tractor but ideally a full size tractor. I'll see what happens and what others here may offer. I think the Harley Rake will give a nice finish and clean-up but the soil needs to be "scarified" before hand. We've been under drought conditions for a couple month's now. The dust will be real bad for who ever gets the job if we don't start getting some rainfall! I figure even if I don't have the "ideal" equipment for this job, I don't know that anyone else bidding does either. I'd just like to be as efficient as possible if I do it.

ASV - I would recommend ASV. I think being one of the few purpose built CTL'S they are very well balanced machines and deliver on their "promises". You'll find alot of discussion here about under carriage cost's with ctl's. ASV's are meant to be used in the dirt for long track life. If you use them otherwise it shortens the life increasing the cost's of ownership. I was considering upgrading to an SR70 from the RC50 in a year or two. I don't think it got all the design enhancements of the SR80. I did see one post here from a guy who demo'd the SR70 and said it was a dog (lacked power) in his opinion. Demo it and see if it satisfy's your needs. Good luck!

AWJ Services
10-18-2007, 05:51 PM
If the ground is really hard (like ours here) I would try too find a bottom plow or a good shank plow and break the ground up with it.
Then Harley rake smooth.
Maybe 3 to 4days max with what you own.
The Harrows will need too be really heavy too cut our hard soil here.

You know your equipment the best but you will need something too roll the soil rather than scratch it.

Fieldman12
10-18-2007, 06:13 PM
Once you get it half way leveled out maybe you could find a farmer to bring a tractor in and work it down. You won't need a very big tractor for no more acres than you got. Plowing it and then working it down with a disk and a harrow is idea. If it is a farmer that comes in with a big tractor a big disk and harrow would be all you need since it has plenty of weight to dig in. A good finish tool such as a Landoll Tilloll does an excellent job.

RockSet N' Grade
10-18-2007, 06:40 PM
I just did two one acre pastures that were side by side. I shot grades with a laser from side to side to the top of each pasture to see exactly where I was and then graded them out with a Kubota 4330 with a box blade/roller combo. I spent a day grading on each 1 acre part. The ground was soft enough after grading to get a preseeder and we planted seed just before the storms. The extra time spent figuring out grades with the laser was well worth it.....they are both flat as a pancake and will flood irrigate evenly come spring. If you disc or harrow or till, it will be spring before you can plant.......you will work the ground too deep, grass seed doesn't need more than 1/2" to 1" of loose soil to take.

Fieldman12
10-18-2007, 09:03 PM
The biggest thing I have seen planting seed this late is eroision issues. It has allot to do with what RockSet N' Grade says. I have even seen it when the grass was not planted deep. Personally I would wait till spring. Seems like by far we have our best luck in the spring. I have planted late in the year and for the most part it does okay but seems like you always get some type of eroision no matter how little you work it.

Construct'O
10-18-2007, 09:22 PM
If you absolutely want to use what you have.I'd use your 4 +1 bucket to cut and fill and get the rocks and small trees cleaned up first.Since your talking rolling hill ground i wouldn't worry about grade that much unless there are low place where the grass or weeds drowned out ,then you might want to check for drainage problems.

What is your landleveler scarifer like.Mine is like flat blades with ripper teeth at the back.If yours is like mine.By the way, mine is 84",or is your like a boxscraper with ripper teeth(scarifer).I would use that to tear the ground up first.Mine will rip about 6"deep.Don't know about yours.

It wouldn't take long to rip it up good.See what it looks like, then touch up places with the Harley or prepare the whole job.Seed then harrow.

You might even grade,rip, and harrow to see what you have before Harley.You will be surprised how much an old harrow with the teeth standing up will level and smooth things off.

Around here you can find old harrow for a little of nothing(auction).Just need a couple sections and pull with your L39.Might have to make a bar to connect them togather with which isn't hard.It won't pull very hard.

After getting things leveled mabe light rain:rolleyes: ,seed and harrow with the teeth set just part way down,just need to move enough dirt to get the seed covered if you plan on using the pto seeder.I have a electric seeder i use all the time on the back of ,pickup,tractor, or four wheeler.

That will give you some options at least,or just go get bigger tractor and disk and been done with it,like the other suggested.Price around and see what they rent for,or call your good buddy to bring his over and trade work.

Good luck:usflag:

Construct'O
10-18-2007, 09:33 PM
Since the others mention eroision,add winter wheat for a cover crop.It grow fast this time of the year is tough and will stop a lot erision before spring.This time is usually better then spring because usually smaller,less rain.:confused:

Plus next year he can cut and hay the wheat, or just turn the moooo's in and let them eat it off.Also mowing will get the weed cleaned off for grass to get going better.

The wheat also helps keep the weeds from taking over,as far as i'm concerned! before the grasses get started good.

I said usually,but doesn't matter what time you do it if you have a gually washer!!!!!:usflag:

cddva
10-18-2007, 10:06 PM
Thanks for all your suggestions and points to consider. They all have merit and I'll use some combination of the bunch to 'get er done' (assuming I get the job). Hearing all the options available is what I needed so if plan A doesn't work as well as I hoped I'll have a plan B and not lose time trying to figure out "what now". Plus I need to be able to give some description of what I plan to do just for bidding purposes, although I don't think I want to give alot of detail in this case.

Fieldman12
10-18-2007, 10:31 PM
Yeah we use the wheat around here. Just in the spring you have plenty of time to work with it if needed through the summer if needed. For us if we do it in the winter we have tons of water and then again in the spring. Usually by the end of summer we have a real strong stand.

Construct'O
10-18-2007, 10:37 PM
Thanks for all your suggestions and points to consider. They all have merit and I'll use some combination of the bunch to 'get er done' (assuming I get the job). Hearing all the options available is what I needed so if plan A doesn't work as well as I hoped I'll have a plan B and not lose time trying to figure out "what now". Plus I need to be able to give some description of what I plan to do just for bidding purposes, although I don't think I want to give alot of detail in this case.

I'm with you to a curtain extent about details.I have went to bids on jobs,told them how i planned to do it.They used it against me to get better bid from competition,plus used my ideas.:rolleyes:

Somedays you win and somedays you lose! That's what makes the world go around tho.Just don't give out all your secrects.

I just hate it when they ask for the right way if doing it then the other guy comes in and they let them short cut the job and only does half of what they asked you to do.

Life goes on.Good luck.:usflag:

RockSet N' Grade
10-19-2007, 07:45 AM
Constructo has a good point there. I run into that alot around here. I used to draw a sketch and give a quote with my process in the bid. That got used more times than not as a shopping tool, and I usually did not get the job. Now, I give a "rough estimate" bid and if the folks want me to do the job, I will give them my little plan and detailed quote when they sign the deal and give me a deposit.

rguetter
10-19-2007, 09:17 AM
ASV - I would recommend ASV. I think being one of the few purpose built CTL'S they are very well balanced machines and deliver on their "promises". You'll find alot of discussion here about under carriage cost's with ctl's. ASV's are meant to be used in the dirt for long track life. If you use them otherwise it shortens the life increasing the cost's of ownership. I was considering upgrading to an SR70 from the RC50 in a year or two. I don't think it got all the design enhancements of the SR80. I did see one post here from a guy who demo'd the SR70 and said it was a dog (lacked power) in his opinion. Demo it and see if it satisfy's your needs. Good luck![/QUOTE]

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Thanks. I demo'd both the RC60 and the SR70. I thought the 70 had quite a bit more power than the 60 and was happy with the results. I thought about the 80, but I would prefer a few more years of testing on a new track design. THe 70 track system is based off the 60.

For portability I also was a little leary of going with bigger machines. "Power" is in the eyes of the beholder, right, and what you want to do with the machine. I tried to balance power with size/weight of the machine. Only downside is no 2 speed on the 70, but I'm not a contractor so speed is not necessarily high priority. I realize I'll never find exactly what I want so it comes down to what gives me most bang for the buck yet accomplishes what I need to.

Right now there are huge discounts(they are trying to clear to '07 machines to make way for '08) on both the 70 and the 80 along with 3 year 0% financing on the 70 which also helped me down that path. Hopefully there's no hidden agenda on 0% financing on the 70's? Net cost, it's cheaper to buy a 70 than it is a 60. If I really don't like the machine I can trade in a couple of years and should get my money out of the existing machine.