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How to minimize lawn wear with skid?

Discussion in 'Heavy Equipment & Pavement' started by IHI, May 27, 2007.

  1. IHI

    IHI LawnSite Member
    Messages: 68

    I am now starting to get skid jobs and on this last one I had to remove some decorative rock so they could lay sod. I had to take it from the back yard to the front and go over some other sod. To say the least it tore it to *&^%. Are you guys laying plywood or how are you managing to not tear up sod?
  2. turboawd

    turboawd LawnSite Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 236

    get a track machine :)
  3. Scag48

    Scag48 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,067

    Track machine will actually do more damage than a wheeled machine if you're turning on the grass. This is a common misconception, tracked machines running over grass are only better if you go straight across. Are you having issues where you turn or just general compaction?
  4. RockSet N' Grade

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

    Make sure the lawn is dry and not wet. Plan your route before you even start to minimize turns, turning around. Do Y turns instead of spinning the machine in place to turn around. Plywood in the turn around area. Travel not in the same tracks when going straight so you don't create ruts. Use turf tires. Give the homeowners heads up that there will be some turf damage before you start. Keep both sets of wheels moving when turning.
  5. ksss

    ksss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,162

    Rocksets points are everything that I try to do as well. The biggest thing is try to plan these jobs in advance and let the homeowner know to shut off the irrigation and let them know that some damage may occur. Plywood is effective as long as it is heavy 3/4 or 1 inch. There are rubber mats available such as Alturamats. Never used them, they are expensive but so is plywood.
  6. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    We try to make the least amount of turns as possible. As others have said in a straight line or at a Y direction. I been filling some low spots in a yard this past spring and had to do a bunch of this. As far as the CTL if you turn them sharp like Scagg said they will berm up the grass/dirt. This is one reason we never went with a tracked machine to plant corn or beans. They can really mess up the end rows if your not carefull.
  7. Fieldman12

    Fieldman12 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    The tracked machine really just gives you the light foot print.
  8. tallrick

    tallrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    It's been a while since i have done a job for someone with a skid steer but you expect turf damage when using one. In my own yard most work I do is with a skid steer, but there isn't any grass so it doesn't matter. When I take it to my parent's home which is all lawn, I follow a few steps. Never use a wheeled loader on a wet or very dry lawn, wet soil ruts and dry grass will be flattened and die from the weight of the loader. Don't turn with a load, if you can turn before scooping up the load is makes a difference. Use your baldest tires or tracks- I have a set of rims/tires that I keep for lawn use. They are the 16 inch wide sand tires with no tread left, those tires don't leave ruts and won't rip out the grass from the roots. maybe just tear off the surface, it grows back fast. Also have used a set of worn-out over the tire rubber tracks, if you're careful they won't rip things up. Any machine will destroy grass, even workers walking on their feet can. As for plywood, I have had bad luck with it. The ground here is often uneven with rocks and some dirt. Plywood crushes and splinters and is a pain to store. I prefer the tarp and dirt method. I lay and tie a tarp over the turning or pathway and pile dirt on it. When the work is done I push off the dirt and lift the tarp to slide off the rest. Crazy but it works for me. Another trick for those critical areas is to use discarded quarry conveyor belt. It's hard to handle but foolproof.

    I can't see how a tracked machine could do more damage than a wheeled skid steer though, unless it has deep treads or grousers.
  9. dozerman21

    dozerman21 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    Good call, Rick!:drinkup: I thought I was the only one who used old conveyor belts.:laugh: I use them when I need to unload my dozer in the street, and not chew up asphalt.

    CTL's and wheeled skids will both tear up grass. It depends on the conditions as far as to which one does the most damage.

    The worn out OTT rubber tracks is also a good idea that I see some guys using.

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