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rock hound vs. preparator?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by brocksdiesel, Feb 12, 2007.

  1. brocksdiesel

    brocksdiesel LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    hey all need some help. In my neck of the woods the natural ground is rock, known here as the hill country. For landscaping purposes we have to bring all the topsoil in. Topsoil is either sandy loam or black soil. The black soil is full of clods. My question is does anyone know how the preparator will do vs. the rock hound in these conditions? have you used both? which has the best results? Thanks BW
  2. brocksdiesel

    brocksdiesel LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    any ideas?
  3. tnmtn

    tnmtn LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NE Tn.
    Posts: 1,019

    if you are talking about the FFC preparator it looks pretty much to me like a rockhound. so if both brands are of equal quality i guess they would work the same. for breaking clods they may work. rockhounds leave a good finish however, they don't go very deep only a couple inches. there may be better attachments to do your job. unless the topsoil you are getting is full of rock.
    good luck.
  4. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    I have owned both. I have gone to the Preparator exclusively. It is much more heavy duty. The attachment is also physically heavier so it tends to bounce much less. It does a better job seperating rock and soil. It also has a perferated bottom to allow soil in the bucket to fall back to the ground. The only issue is it runs on skids which leaves skid marks. We go through and rake those out. The Rock Hound leaves a smaller footprint that way but in real loose ground it also left grooves that we ended up raking out. You could probably rent both and decide for yourself. Either of these are not the type of attachments that you run for five minutes and look like a pro. They take time to master. I am reminded of that each time I hire someone new.
  5. brocksdiesel

    brocksdiesel LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    hey guys thanks for the info. I have a couple of good operators. THe reason i'm struggling so much with the decision is no landscapers around here use them. No rental yards carry them. I'm just trying to find something that will reduce the amount of men it takes with rakes. Right now we have to have three guys per skid steer to get a quality job. If either of these work enough to reduce three quarters of the raking it would be well worth it.
  6. Bob E G

    Bob E G LawnSite Member
    from 53717
    Posts: 128

    Have you ever used a Harley Rake? We are just sold on them. You can do so much more with them--A Rock Hound cannot grade, but merely pick up the debris, once the grade is complete. The downside of the Harley Rake is that you can't get the really small lumps and stones as well as the Rock Hound or Preparator. The upside is that you can grade, push soil like box blade, tear out weeds and sod, etc--very versatile. It will save you a load of time. It would be nice to have them both (a Harley and a Rock Hound). Hope this helps.
  7. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,129

    You can grade with them. Typically I will loosen the soil with a scarfier then, take any major deviations out with the bucket and the rest is done with the Preparator. The key to making it smooth is to have loose soil (not rototilled loose however) enough that it can move. That is why we use a scarifier. The Harley will be quicker and I agree they would work on weedy areas better. I also like the ability to pick the debris up rather than windrow it especially if your cleaning up after a sprinkler install. Like already said having one of each would be ideal. I think both have their place. Rock Set and Grade who is on this forum has a brand new Preparator he would sell. You may try and PM him for pictures and specifics. Either of them will save you tons of time, but better yet is the quality of the job that is left behind. You can't duplicate that with a guy and a rake.
  8. brocksdiesel

    brocksdiesel LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    I appreciate the help. We are almost always doing new installs which means we bring all the topsoil in. So the soil will be only as packed as we make it while spreading. yall know a good operator can lay it and spread it pretty well but is limited and has to be carefull not to pack it so guys can't rake it out. This is where the rockhound, preparator, harley rake would come in. I'm to the point i just wish someone would make the desision for me. We did try a rock hound a few yrs. ago but i think like kaiser said we made the mistake of thinking it was like a lawn mower and is all you did was put it down go backwards and it did all the rest. What about size. I have a JD320 and a 270 the 270 is a larger machine. does a 72' make more sense? or is a 66" fine? I know a guy about 6hrs. away that is selling a 66" harley in great shape for $3800 what do you think? does the brush need to be replaced periodically? Thanks again any advise is greatly appreciated.
  9. RockSet N' Grade

    RockSet N' Grade LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,454

    Brocksdiesel....I'll make a decision for ya :) I have a FFC Prep that I have used twice. My business focus switched, so I have no real need. I am running primarily track-hoe's now, so my FFC sits in one of my barns.
  10. brocksdiesel

    brocksdiesel LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    why don't you use it? ya wanta sell it?

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