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What is your preferred method of sod removal?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by tamo, Jan 15, 2008.

  1. tamo

    tamo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 213

    What do you guys find to be the most efficient and profitable way to remove and existing lawn?

    I have completed my first year in business and did about a dozen removal jobs. For the first few I sprayed and then rototilled. Then I discovered the sod cutter and switched to that method.

    I found the spray/till way obviously left me with a mess that I spent a lot of time having to rake out. I own a mini-tiller that worked great on the small jobs I used it for, but isn't efficient for bigger jobs.

    The sod cutter obviously left everything clean, but was more work. I rent a cutter for $30.00 and dump fee is between $20-$40 depending on size.

    I was thinking that for sod jobs maybe tilling would be a good idea because you can hide any scraps under the sod.

    Just trying to figure out which way I'll go in future. Any input on these two methods or anything you guys do that is better would be much appreciated.

    Also, what do you typically charge in labor (excluding rental ect.) to remove say 1000 sq/ft of existing sod with a sod cutter.

  2. DiyDave

    DiyDave LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,695

    and a 4n1 bucket to pick up the dead grass after harley raking. Of course you need the Asv Rc 30 to run the rake and bucket. Leaves a smooth as glass finish, ready for sod.:cool2::cool2:
  3. LawnScapers of Dayton

    LawnScapers of Dayton LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Dayton, OH
    Posts: 2,574

    what about a power rake........on a Dingo......
  4. DiyDave

    DiyDave LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,695

    Probably not a bad compromise, but the only thing I walk behind, anymore is a pretty woman!
  5. cutemhigh

    cutemhigh LawnSite Member
    from 44060
    Posts: 30

    I have done it both ways. I think that the spray/till method is inherently a bad idea. I mean, spraying that amount of killer for one, could be harmful in a variety of ways. Secondly, it just looks bad. It takes a few days, maybe a week to get to the point of raking and tilling..a lot of driveby's saying " what happened to THAT place? Whos their landscaper? OOPS!"
    But the sod cutter method is just as laborious. Anyone who's ever rolled up a yard, knows its no fun to load and get out of there..You should still till after rolling up the yard, but maybe not as extensively as with the spray method. I think it gives you a much better prep surface. It also helps the on lookers to understand whats happening. Their taking the yard up, and putting in a new one. Depending on size and sod delivery, this could be done in a day..Whereas, no matter what size the yard..the spray method is never done in a day.
    How about waiting for the seed to come up? Theres a few MORE weeks..I would cut it, roll it, rake it, seed it, and water it. There'll be grass on the yard, before you can cash the check.
  6. atv220chris

    atv220chris LawnSite Member
    Posts: 118

    the power box blade on a dingo you have to pay like 150 to rent it but it wont take long at all
  7. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    What is this for? Are you re-seeding or resodding, or what?
  8. tamo

    tamo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 213

    both seeding and sod. I've sprayed/tilled and sod cut in the past and I want to set up my plan of attack for this year and just do it the best way possible.

    just wondering if any of you have any tricks or tips.

    Maybe if the existing has a lot of weeds its better to spray so weeds don't show up in the new lawn -- things like that.

    Also what do you guys charge for sod cutting. right now I just figure how long it will take. anyone charge by the sq/ft? I know sod cutting is tough work, anyone charge a premium for the service?

  9. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,496

    Oh, man.....if you are seeding,...you can cut your time down about 70%. you cut it down way low (I don't care if it is weeds, grass, or the combo of the two), spray it, and use a good slit-seeder (I very highly recommend the Lawn Solutions Turf Revitalizer) and run your seed in (two passes - 45 degrees from one another). If you are pressed for time, or want to do it in one visit (that is what we do), then then cut it down low, drill your seed in first (of course, you also apply your starter fert.), then spray it with your glyphosate. We do it all the time with great success.

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