Best skid steer attachment for picking rocks? See Pics..

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by TXTom, Oct 22, 2005.

  1. TXTom

    TXTom LawnSite Member
    Messages: 74

    I have a fairly large project that involves cleaning up some rough acreage (<5). There are literally tons of small rocks sitting on the surface of the ground. The ground is relatively hard, and there are more underlying rocks. I would like to clean up as much as possible with an attachment, then hand rake the remainder around the base of trees. What do I need for this job? Here are some general pics of the terrain and tree spacing.



  2. Mowingman

    Mowingman LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 4,721

    Oh yes, the good old "limestone belt" down there in Austin. Someone actually makes an attachment for skidsteers that picks rocks out of the topsoil, but I can not remember what company it is. Check with a couple of companies that rent or sell skidsteers. I bet one of them can steer you in the right direction. Someone there probably has one of those attachments you can rent, also.
  3. TXTom

    TXTom LawnSite Member
    Messages: 74

    Definitely Limestone. It is like we are "growing" rocks. There are a couple of different rakes around, but I have never used one. The Bobcat Landscape Rake looks like a good option because of the built in bucket, but I would like some opinions.

  4. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 837

    If we are not working in the sand then its limestone, and plenty of it. I had a rake custom built but it is similar to this one:

    Also, if its fairly solid underneath I rip it first, either with a 8" tooth bucket on the excavator or just get a dozer.

    The rake then sorts out the larger rocks and the remaining can be levelled. Its better to work when the ground is reasonably dry.

  5. Gravel Rat

    Gravel Rat LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,544

    For that your best bet is a excavator with a clean up bucket and a hydraulic thumb is the best way of cleaning up those rocks you scrape them up into piles.

    You try clean that up with a skid steer you will have more of a mess than anything else. You will end up sinking the rocks deeper into the ground then you will end up removing more soil to get the rocks out.

    With a excavator you walk in scrape the radius the machine will reach then move scrape up some more and keep working at it. I don't know how much area you have to do but it wouldn't take long. Then you use the bobcat to move the piles of rocks load them into a truck or cart them to the edge of the property.

    If your good on a excavator you can scrape the ground the depth of the rocks. When I was running hoe I had jobs where I had to scrape 2 inches of mud off the surface of a gravel area.

    With a bucket and thumb you can pick up the decent size rocks or pick a rock out of a hole.

    When we get areas like that with lots of nuggets like that we usually cover it because you can keep scraping and the rocks keep popping up. If you really wanted to keep the soil is you dig 12"s off the surface and run the material through a topsoil screen plant and spread the screened material.

    The last job I was on we screened well over 5000 tons of topsoil the it was decent soil it was loaded full of nuggets. It was scraped up and screened it was days and days of screening.
  6. freddyc

    freddyc LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 578

    He's right--whatever you see on the surface you will also see underneath.

    If you're turning this into a decent lawn area, then a quick scrape of the top surface to get some of it up, then consider spreading another layer of new over it. The material cost will be higher, but you will save on labor and get a better job in the end.

    It appears that no matter how deep you dig, you're just going to expose more rocks. If you dig it deep and don't put someting over it, it will likely compact over time and expose more rocks.

    You could screen whats there as previously said, but that will take a long time... you said about 5 acres total right???
  7. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    We've got a skid steer guy who does prep work for landscapers around here, he uses the bobcat landscape rake. It picks those rocks right up, and finish grades all in one pass.

    Oh, and we have rocks like that up here.
  8. Squizzy246B

    Squizzy246B LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 837

    TXTom, was wondering if you started the job yet?

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