View Full Version : rock removal for new lawn

07-12-2002, 08:18 PM
I am a new homeowner. I am trying to prepare approx. 7000 sq. ft of property for topsoil and hydroseeding. I have been hand raking this area for awhile, removing all rocks that are bigger than a golf ball. Needless to say, it's been a serious chore. Is this necessary? Secondly, I plan on purchasing topsoil soon for approx. 4-5 inches of coverage for this area. How do you figure how many yards of topsoil are necessary? I realize this is a professional forum, and the easy answer is "get a pro" but I still would like more feedback from other pro's so I can know if I'm getting "quality" professional service. I have digital pics of my yard to send via email to help visualize what I'm talking about, if that helps. Thanks

07-12-2002, 11:33 PM
If you are going to top the area with compost @ 4" you will need about 87 yards of soil. Break out the shovel j/k One tandem truck will hold approx. 18 yds./ that is about 5 trucks. You need professional help. Loader work usually runs about $70 per hour where I am(I don't know your market) with a 5 hour min. I do recomend toppping if you are going to seed, or you can have your loader operater rake it. He will know what you are talking about. That might actually be your best bet. Good luck Atlanta,GA.

07-13-2002, 01:42 PM
My calculation came up with 85.33 cu. yds. of soil. Same ballpark. This is a ton of work to move by hand. You need help! I know you did not want to hire a pro so here is an alternative. Go to your local rental yards and inquire into the rental of a tracktor with a front end loader and box scraper or Harley rake. They can deliver this to your home. Tracktors are realitively easy to drive, especially with hydrostatic transmissions. It will take you more than one day to move and spread this much dirt with a tractor! Maybe two to three days since you have a learning curve on that tractor. So plan on a two or three day rental. In fact, a weekly rental may be cheaper than a three day rental. Just depends on the rental yard pricing. Good luck!


07-13-2002, 04:01 PM
Dittio the above. It will depend on what your time is worth. If your time is valuable hire someone that can do the job, you will have alot of time in travel, learning equipment, and returining along with the charges involved.

Getting the ground flat will also be a chore if you are not familuar with the equipment. I would not worry about the rock seeing how much soil you are bringing in.

07-14-2002, 12:04 PM
If you're putting 5 inches of topsoil over your yard, I don't see the need for raking what you have now. Just pick out the rocks that are bigger than a softball, and then rake out the topsoil after it's spread. If I were doing this job, I'd specify screened topsoil, a bit more costly up front, but it eliminates the need for raking.

Someone recommended renting a machine for grading which is OK if you have an idea about its operation. If you don't know what you're doing, you can lose a lot of material and you'll end up with a bigger mess than what you started with. A good machine operator could do your job in a few hours and with screened topsoil, you'd only need to drag a rake over the seams.

07-15-2002, 02:34 PM
thanks to all for your responses!! i have decided to have the topsoil brought in and spread by a professional, since i don't know if i can operate the machinery efficently enough. what is a fair charge that i could expect for this service? thanks in advance


07-15-2002, 08:16 PM
Prices will vary by region, but in my area screened topsoil is $25/yard delivered and a D3 dozer is $75/hour with a 4 hour minimum. If your initial grade is OK, you should get away with the minimum charge on the dozer.

07-15-2002, 11:23 PM

07-16-2002, 01:06 AM
I think anything larger than a skid steer(Bobcat) would be over kill$$. My reason for mentioning the landscape rake or rock hound was for the final touch. I usually rough it with a bucket then put the final grade using the rake, but this means more clocked hours. The only other thing I can tell you is get references. Oh yeh, one more thing. You can't grade mud, so make sure weather permits.