How do you final grade your lots?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Tropical Trim, Jun 13, 2001.

  1. Tropical Trim

    Tropical Trim LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    Just wondering how you lanscapers put a final grade on residential lots before coming in to seed or sprig. I tried something and it really works. I found a heavy duty wooden skip and tied it to my Honda lawn tractor. I put a couple of 15-20lb. rocks on it and dragged it around the lot in a crossing pattern. It filled in all the low spots and cut all the high spots. Onced I got it quite level, I then took the rocks off and dragged it again in a crossing pattern..this really put a final touch to it. Looked like a whole crew had been using lanscape rakes for hours. Now to find a way to add a screen to that skip for stone removal. Just thought I'd share a great thought! How do you guy's do it?
  2. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    I've seen it done a bunch of different ways from hand raking to a small dozer finishing it with top soil.

    The way I think is most popular is after its "rough" graded, you can go in with a bobcat or utility tractor and fill in any seriously large holes and knock down any huge hills you may have. Then most people use a powerake attatchment. It grooms the soil to a finish like you made, plus it takes the rocks out and spits them back into your bucket. Its a good deal this way, saves a lot of time and hard labor. It all depends if your going to plant on the soil thats there or you have to add clean top soil.

    Hope this helps!
  3. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    Grading or prep for seed or sod. It all depends on the size of the area. Smaller areas might be better done by hand, if you don't own equipment. A cu. yd or two of topsoil and rake and shovel might be all thats needed. On the other hand larger sites might need a large farm tractor with a disc and drag will get it in to shape faster. In-between then you have a stid steer with a soil prep attachment or a small 50Hp tractor with a box blade or harley rake. Job size matters!
  4. EarthWorks

    EarthWorks LawnSite Member
    Messages: 135

    We use a power rake to fine grade. I also use a drag behind a 4 wheeler to take it one step further. The power rake is a real time saver and I get a lot of compliments on what a nice piece of equipment I have. One word of caution to power rake users. Couple weeks ago I developed and oil leak by the drum. Took it to the dealer (warranty) and he told me construction string had gotten wound in there and bent the seal. I thought we did a good job of keeping it off there. He didn't charge me and I took it as a cheap lesson learned. Check and double check to keep wire and string out of the bearings. By the way it is a land Pride Rake. Does the harley rake have anything to prevent this from happening?
  5. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Using a tractor with a rear 6-way blade and roto-tiller. Works great. I used this setup last weekend for prep work on a small area that is eventually going to be lawn. The guy wants me to help him lay sod so I went from just doing prep work to installing all of it. He has some irrigation lines to install too. I might make some serious money in the next few weeks ;).
  6. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    Just a thought: You might want to consider laying the irrigaion lines after you have the soil prepped but before the sod is put down.
  7. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Lanelle-I'm not sure if the guy is going to put in irrigation lines in the new lawn, but I know he's going to on his existing lawn for new circuits because his lawn is drying out. If he does put irrigation in the new lawn, I'll make sure he puts them in BEFORE he lays sod. Thanks for the tip!
  8. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    I have a friend who drags an old piece of chain link fence behind his tractor to do the final grading. He has a piece of pipe run through the front and back.

  9. Highpoint

    Highpoint LawnSite Member
    Messages: 153

    Back drag with our Bobcat, minor hand raking, install sod, hydro mulch, or seed/straw.
  10. KD'sLawns

    KD'sLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160

    SCAG, if he is not going to irrigate the area that you will be sodding then I would make sure that he knows that it is a bad idea to sod without irrigation. Also, let him know that no warranty can be made without an irrigation system as you do not know if proper watering will be done. If you can, talk the H.O. into irrigating before you sod. Also, be leary of a H.O. wanting to help as if something goes wrong after the job and it was their fault, they will blame you for letting them do it(because you are supposed to be the professional). I am sure that you will do a quality job but I would still push for the irrigation. Just my opinion! Good Luck.

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