Power Box Rake / Ireland

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Airwave, Mar 1, 2007.

  1. Airwave

    Airwave LawnSite Member
    from Ireland
    Posts: 97

    Hi all,

    Long time viewer first time poster. I am based in Ireland and in our business we do a lot of new lawns. We currently use a Blec Stonerake to take out most of the stones (of which there is many here in Ireland) and then fine rake out the lawn by hand. We us a power harrow before we start job where necessary. I have been looking at the Harley Rake or something similar to run behind our mini tractor to hopefully speed up our process saving time and manpower. This would be a big investment for us and i do not know how usefull these power box rakes really are. I have read some of the responses on this site in other posts and seen the dvd send over by Harley but I want to know if someone uses is this all pring/summer long on pretty rocky soil and how the product has faired. Thank you all for your help in advance. Oh yes we are moving into maintenance and grass cutting too and will need to purchase a ride on shortly shame we dont have the same mowers over here as there so I could use some of the information on the boards as this exmark seems like a great machine.

    ps: Love the site!


    Darren
    Longfield Landscaping
     
  2. wurkn with amish

    wurkn with amish LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 662

    you might want to discard the harley rake idea, once you start bringing up rocks they seem to never stop. There is an implement that will actually bury stones with a layer of fine soil. I think its called a Rotodarian. Don't get me wrong I love using the harley rake( its all we use). I think the rotodarian would be a better fit for my company also.
     
  3. Airwave

    Airwave LawnSite Member
    from Ireland
    Posts: 97

    We have been doing lawns this way in Ireland for the past 4 years raking of stone rather then burying it. The closest i have come to a Harley is on a dvd that was sent me from US. On that it looks good but not a true representation. I would just like an honest answer of whether it will speed up our current process of using the Blec Walkbehind Stonerake. Will the quality be the same or better. What type of compact (mini) tractor should I use with it?

    Thanks again

    Darren
     
  4. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,034

    I use the Harley Rake exclusively and it is rocky here as well, with the fill being 99% shail.

    What I do is go through the yard once, deep get the rock up and windrow it. Once the rock is mostly off, I just skim the surface lightly for the second go around, windrowing the surface rock off to the same piles as the first go around.

    Then once I remove all rock I seed.

    Just skimming the surface lightely will eliminate most of the issue of new rock surfacing all the time. But, If you are not careful and float the rake too deep, you will indeed not get away from rock always coming to the surface.

    I have thought of the Rock Hound, but am afraid that most of the ground around here is just too hard for it. CE attachments also has what looks like a cross between a fork lift and a comb for the front loader, and you sift the dirt from the rock or visa versa. It seems like it might be a thing to have also.

    I am not sure about burying the rock under a layer of top soil. It would seem that you would run into the same issue of rock coming to the surface as you try to cover the rest, but I don't know.

    What ever you buy, become an expert with it and you will do fine and it will pay for itself.

    Tim
     
  5. Airwave

    Airwave LawnSite Member
    from Ireland
    Posts: 97

    Thanks Tim,

    Sound advice we use our Blec Rake in exactly that manner as you use your Harley. Just wondering if there is a compact tractor that you would recommend using with the Harley. Am leaning to a Kubota as we currently have a mini Kubota but is only 20hp and quite old too but has and still is very reliable.

    Darren
     
  6. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,034

    Darren,

    I have the New Holland TC35DA which is a 35 HP tractor with the front loader. The Harley Rake that I use is the T-6 which = 6ft in width. The tractor is a compact, not a sub-compact. I wish I had the 45 HP on the same frame, but the 35 does OK. So I would go with a compact 45 HP tractor or so.
    On inclines a track loader would be much better than the tractor, but you are talking a lot more money.

    With a 20 HP Kubota, yo would not want to go larger than the T-5. I cannot say for sure but I would guess that it would be the same no matter who made the rake, such as Land Pride, etc. The more horse power in the smaller compact size the better. Also I prefer the Hydrodrive rather than manual gears.

    Around here, you have to have a specific drop from the house out 2-3ft and that is where you get into the most time. I get near the house by hand. I cannot image raking out an entire yard with out a Harley Rake or Rock Hound.

    I probably did not answer your question efficiently, but hopefully helped a little bit.

    Tim
     
  7. Airwave

    Airwave LawnSite Member
    from Ireland
    Posts: 97

    Thanks Tim,

    Do you have any idea on how the Harley works on a skidsteer. To be honest this is going to be a big investment for us being a smallish company. I am selling our Bobcat mini digger to hopefully finance the purchase of the Harley rake and prob go for leasing on the compact tractor. Before I go ahead I just wonder about the skidsteer option except I have never used one so would be interesting to hear an opinion.

    Darren
     
  8. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,034

    No I do not, except that you don't cover your own tracks which is one reason I went with a tractor.

    I think that the SS will get into tighter places though and do a little better on steep inclines. But if you know what you are doing on a tractor these things are a non issue.

    I would not lease a tractor either. Get the rake and the tractor under one loan or two seperate loans with the same institution.

    With a lease you may be limited by the number of hours you can run the tractor, the penalties for damages, etc.

    A sufficiently powered tractor will most likely be a long term piece of equipment, and leases are not written for long term relationships.

    Another piece of equipment to consider is a walk behind power rake. You can get closer to the houses with these for the grades away from the foundation. I would like to get one myself eventually.

    This year it is a new truck, another mower or two, a new trailer and that is enough spending for me.

    Tim
     
  9. Airwave

    Airwave LawnSite Member
    from Ireland
    Posts: 97

    We already have the Blec walk Behind Rake currently it is our only rake so you can imagine it takes quite some time to do an acre or half acre job. Have to say it is very good takes sometime to get the settings as all lawns we do are on slopes etc never just a flat bed. Will talk to leasing company and see what they say but sounds like good advice. Guess the only reason I was interedted in the ss as we could use it for other jobs especially as we will have to sell the mini digger not that we use that much except for taking out trees at our nursery over the winter. As you said we have many purchases to make also am branching out into full maintenance cutting lawns have one big customer in pocket hope to get a few smaller ones and pay for a guy to service them full time. Means getting a ride on mower too prob just start small and work up as I see fit if it goes well in the first year.
     
  10. Tim Wright

    Tim Wright LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,034

    Well if you are getting into other things, the SS is well adapted to many different tasks. You could be licensed to dig basements, septics, driveways and many other things that you could not do with a tractor. If this is a direction that you are considering, then perhaps a larger loan is in order right from the start.

    Here my landscape license will not allow such earth removal. However with an escavating test, I could get into all of that, and a TRACK skid steer is what I would get. Probably the ASV.

    Tim
     

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