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Best machine for sod installs

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Classified, May 24, 2009.

  1. Classified

    Classified LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 988

    I may have an oppertunity to get into new lawn installs. I am just renting a skid for now and using a harley rake to till everything and level the ground. Then I would just lay small sod.

    My question is, if you bought a machine that was used say 90% of the time for lawn tilling, grading, and isntalling, what machine would you want?

    The only option I see are a wheeled skid, a tracked skid, or a tractor. I would think a tractor would be ideal since it would have less ground psi and it steers instead of skids so it wont tear up the grade.

    I also see a tractor being more usefull beause I can use tow attachments like a aerator abd PTO driven attachements istead of having to buy all hydro drive attachments or attachments with power units built on.

    But them again a skid steer could be more usefull because it requires less space to manuver. Most lawns will be in the 4000-10000 sq foot range with hopes to get some larger ones later on. I am thinking of reshaping my business and getting out of weekly maintenance.

    Let me know what you think.
  2. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,776

    The problem with the tractor is maneuvering and getting into smaller spaces. I used one out west for a landscaper and hated every minute of it.
  3. Classified

    Classified LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 988

    Yeah thats the main drawback i see with the tractor. For small stuff the tractor would be real tough to manuver.

    Thats why I am curious to see what you all think and what others use.
  4. Summit L & D

    Summit L & D LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    Bobcat S220 or equivalent. You'll have enough lifting capacity to actually move the sod around and still be able to get into the harder to access yards.
  5. Swampy

    Swampy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,435

    Its a horse a piece between a skid and tractor. A skid is better for small area's but for what you want to do a tractor will run a harley rake or a preseeder a better job then a skid will ever do. But a skid will have more break out force and higher lift capacity than a tractor will. In my eyes its better to just run both instead of one or the other, go with a 40ish horse tractor and a larger skid like a New Holland 180. Both will service you well.
  6. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,776

    Also remember that you have a long distance from the bucket to end of a tractor (or rear attachment and bucket), so it is very hard to grade or rake on a lot of smaller sites.

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