What soil conditioner do you use?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by shovelracer, Apr 16, 2008.

  1. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,009

    Ive been looking around for a good used landscape rake, harley rake, rockhound, whatever you want to call it. Found a few different ones but dont know enough about them to make a decision. I just went from a rental slave to owning my own skid which has already created lots of new work for me. Problem is that I cant justify yet paying 8K for one of these, but at 2-3K for a used one I would cover the cost in a year or so over dealer rentals. So I was wondering what brand everyone uses and why they like or dont like it. What to look for and what to stay away from. Thanks
     
  2. Sunscaper

    Sunscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 306

    I prefer the harley rake. I bought mine form a dealer in GA last year for $4k with everything including shipping, putting a 7 pin wiring harness on my bobcat. It's an S-6 with hydraulic angle. I find it alot more useful than a rockhound or preprator. If you want a rockhound like attachment go with a preperator.

    BTW what are you doing mostly, new lawns etc.????
     
  3. crab

    crab LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 633

    if you buy used i would just say buy it dry.have all the oil flushed because who knows how Joe bobcat treats :canadaflag:his machine,i personally wouldn't run either for fine lawns,if you run a track machine maybe you can do it without compacting the hell out of the lawns,go with what works for you're situation.
     
  4. Digdeep

    Digdeep LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,840

    Nortec Manufacturing up here in Wisconsin makes a very good alternative to the Harley Rake. I have seen them do a good job and I know that they are very price competitive.

    For the unltimate in lawn prep take a look at the RotaDarion. Very expensive but I know they use them on golf courses. It preps, buries small rocks and even seeds,
     
  5. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,009

    Thanks for the suggestions. Main use is for new lawn installations. Sometimes for leveling rough lawns and reseeding, which essentially is a new lawn. 50% of the lawns get topsoil treatments so uber rock capabilities arent essential, but the other 50% are rock strewn areas. Just last week we did a 3/4 acre parcel that we pulled 30 yards of rock ranging from baseballs to basketballs. We used a Bobcat Soil Conditioner, stump bucket, and smooth bucket to get it done, but there has to be an easier way. So is a harley rake type attachment better than a rockhound type for my use?
     
  6. AWJ Services

    AWJ Services LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Ga
    Posts: 4,276

    A Harley rake is the same as a Soil conditioner.

    A Rock hound will make the job faster getting the rocks up.
    The Harley will allow you too move the rocks into piles but you will still have too pick them up.
    But a rock hound will not do major soil tilling like a Harley.
     
  7. RockSet N' Grade

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

    If you have baseballs to basketballs, I would consider hitting it first with a skeleton rock bucket and then either a harley rake or preperator. I think I learned that one from the school of hard knocks or "experience". The baseballs, footballs, and basketball sized rocks will chew up and spit out the harley and preperator.........I know that for fact because I did it. Run over it once with the skeleton and then use your choice of a finisher and you will be very happy and not swearing at the end of the day when you see the damage you have done to your implements. Skidsteersolutions.com has a nice skeleton bucket........anyone else wanna take a guess at this one or share "experience".
     
  8. YellowDogSVC

    YellowDogSVC LawnSite Gold Member
    from TX
    Posts: 3,759

    I have a rockhound 6b for sale that just needs chains and new bars. That would be a good deal if you can find one that needs work and you are handy. The rockhound body is tough and the hydro motors are tough and easy to replace. Only the chains and bars are the weak link, in my opinion. I'm selling mine because I don't feel like paying for new bars and chains for something I don't use much. You can probably find a similar setup in your neck of the woods since chains and bar problems are common with rockhounds but fairly easy to replace.
     
  9. ViceNut

    ViceNut LawnSite Member
    Posts: 134

    we run the harley rake and its the trick! Picked it up for a deal too, $1800 barely used. :cool2: I was doing some work with it today and it makes it so nice. I went along with the bucket and scraped the big stuff off the top, then dug down with the harley rake real good, went back and dropped the harley rake to the ground, drug it backwards, then one more time with the tires on the ground and the harley barely touching, leaving a beautiful, level, rockless foundation for the sod. ahhhh, never even got out of the A/C! :clapping:

    But, I do have to get a new connection on mine as well for the side-to-side hydraulic to work. Waiting on bobcat to get in a used machine with the hook-up and doing it the right way rather than the el cheapo harley rake make-shift attachment.
     
  10. tbi

    tbi LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Posts: 479

    I have a rockhound and a rotadarien. Both have a place and neither is perfect.
     

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