Tilling

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by ron mexico75, Apr 8, 2011.

  1. ron mexico75

    ron mexico75 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,668

    I have a possible job coming up to till an area. It's approximately 9,000 sq feet. I have never used a tiller (in the link below) this large before due to never having to till an area this big. For any of you that have experience with this machine, about how long would you say I could get this done. I was planning on tilling to a depth of about 4 inches.


    http://www.visitrentalworks.com/files/itemdoc136.pdf
     
  2. ron mexico75

    ron mexico75 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,668

    Is this an out of the ordinary tiller or something? Without ever having used it, I am estimating 5 hours. Is that totally absurd?
     
  3. ron mexico75

    ron mexico75 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,668

    oh well screw it. I think for the job I'll just rent a Dingo with a Harley rake attachment. $340 versus $160 for the rental. I guess with the rake it will give a lot better results and the job will move along faster anyways.

    I just posted and responded to myself 2 times. :laugh: I must be a maniac.
     
  4. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    Ha! You are a maniac.

    I'd get the tiller, the harley rake isn't going to do anything for you in the way of releaving compaction, and thoroughly mixing the soil.

    If anything, rent the dingo with the soil cultivator. Those things are sweet!

    What's the conditions of the area you are going to till?
     
  5. ron mexico75

    ron mexico75 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,668

    Hey man. Yeah that dingo soil cultivator would be sweet. The damn rental place sold it! Used to rent it out and that's what I was thinking of using. The area is a large back yard. Mostly clay with minimal top soil left. New construction, house built I think within last 3 or 4 years. So you rally think tilling would be better? I just didn't want big clumps left over for the homeowner and leave it looking like crap. That's why I figured the Harley rake would leave a very fine seed bed. However, did you see the tiller link? Thing is a beast, maybe it will leave a fine soil too.

    Homeowner wants to plant grass even though we all know September is the time. I guess he's looking for someone to break up the hard ground and he's doing the rest.
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  6. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    Sounds like the yard is going to be extremely hard.

    Regardless of what till you use, it's going to be a nightmare to till the first time to break it open.

    I just don't feel a Harley rake relieves any compaction or even mix the soil together well. Ultimately in a year or two the HO will be calling back to want you to till it or find another guy to do it.

    So, with the hard soil, here is what I would do.

    1.) Rent a dingo and vibratory plow. Basically go through the whole yard and "rip" it thoroughly (with or without the vibrator on). I would spend all day doing this to break up the soil as much as possible, and go as many different directions as possible.

    2.) then take the tiller and till the crap out of it. The deeper you go, the more you'll bury the chunks.

    Last year I did a renovation on a lawn with my Vermeer S600TX and the Toro cultivator. I really wish I had used the vibratory plow first to break it open as it still took 10 hours to till 5k square feet of lawn. The cultivator wanted to bounce me around like no tomorrow.
     
  7. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    You haven't mentioned anything abou the thickness and depth of any possible sod that you are going to be tilling... Having clumps of sod left over in clay will be a nightmare... I your ground still soft and moist from the winter thaw???

    The rear tine tiller, you show, is just fine. I own an 8 HP reartine and bigger should be better in most cases with those things...

    I would consider a sandy compost ammendment to churn into the soil. Upsell a grade of at least 1"/10' and a drain if necessary... :)
     
  8. ron mexico75

    ron mexico75 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,668

    Well, the yard slopes down at a slight grade from the street all the way down to a wet woodline. So needless to say its soft due to water draing downhill. It's not swampy or mushy by any means. I would say if tilled the tiller would turn it over nicely without a lot of bouncing. The yard itself is mostly bare dirt with sporadic weeds.

    I don't know, homeowner seems like a cheapo but is in a half million dollar house. Kept calling me and calling me to come out. I leave an estimate yesterday morning and as of now haven't heard anything back. Hope he wasn't expecting me to till 5,550 square feet for $100. I had looked on google maps before going out and by looking estimated 8-9000 sq feet in my first post. Well after measuring it it's only 5500. Still large in my opinion and like I said, slopes down from back of house to woodline about 50-55 feet. Oh well, guess we'll see what happens.
     
  9. ron mexico75

    ron mexico75 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,668

    Just an update here as well..... A couple of weeks ago the person let me know he likes my price and wants me to do the job. Same thing here as another proposal I posted about.....wants to start in August. So with this and the other large total renovation job and all the aerating I do, it will be an awesome fall to look forward to. Im just excited to have been accepted to do the work, it's a good feeling.
     
  10. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,080

    May be a good time to invest in a large enough reartine tiller, to do this job, yet handy enough to do any job... It will last you for your entire carreer, if taken careof properly... Have fun... :)
     

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