lawn grading equipment

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Dandy Lion, Jul 15, 2008.

  1. Dandy Lion

    Dandy Lion LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    I am a small business and am looking to do more seeding and lawn installs. I can't afford a bobcat and power rake right now and was wondering if there were any cheaper alternatives??? Are there any smaller walk behind units maybe?? Or is it a shovel and a wheel barrow?? Any help appreciated.
  2. procut

    procut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,852

    I'd perfer a tractor vs. a bobcat for lawn installs. A landscape rake (york rake) is a much cheaper alternitve to power rake, but will not do nearly as good of a job of leveling and pulverising. If your willing to spend some time with one, you can get a pretty decent seed bed especially if your willing to do a little hand raking when your done.

    I have seen walk behind power rakes before and they are also avilable for mini skids like the dingo. Personally I wouldn't buy one, because they would have there limits.

    For just starting out, you can rent all the equiptment you will need. You should be able to rent a utiltiy tractor with a power rake for about $300 for a day. Good luck!
  3. Turboguy

    Turboguy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,972

    On one hand I could be the last one to give adice on this topic since all I do is hydroseeding. I do get to see more prep jobs done by different methods than most anybody so I will throw out my thoughts.

    As far as a good prep job done very efficiently it would be hard to beat a Harly rake or a rockhound. However some of the most beauiful prep jobs I have seen were done with a box scraper and a york rake. It just takes a lot more time but for someone starting in on a budget those are pretty economical tools.

    There are some walk behind soil prep tools but you could probably buy a used tractor, particularly an off brand and a box scraper and rake for the same money.

    I think Pro Cuts suggestion to rent equipment for a while was a great one. Good luck.
  4. larryinalabama

    larryinalabama LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 19,646

    Small yards can be done with a rototiller and a 36" aluninum manual rake. No telling how many sod and seed jobs Ive done like that.
  5. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Messages: 5,407

    Start w/ a dingo and harley rake... then upgrade later when the installs are getting bigger.
  6. KevinACrider

    KevinACrider LawnSite Member
    Messages: 237

    I prefer to use a skid steer w/ a rockhound. This allows you to scoop up and remove the rocks, I don't think you can do this with a rockhound on a tractor. I may be wrong.

    Either way, $300 - $400 a day will get you a nice sized skid steer and a rockhound and make your day easier, job nicer and time spent shorter.

    I'm actually picking up a skid steer w/ rockhound tomorrow for a job.
  7. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Messages: 5,407

    In my experience with grading, by the time you rent the equipment... you will be cutting your profits big time. We get $700-$1000 per day for a skid steer.... hard to make money if you rent it. But if the grading is only part of the job, it often makes sense to do it unless you have a great sub.
  8. Dandy Lion

    Dandy Lion LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Thanks for all the help. A skid steer and power rake are about 700 dollars a day at the rental place, so it makes it hard to justify renting.
  9. david shumaker

    david shumaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 721

    For small areas or lawns, I just use a tiller, roller and landscape rake. My next door neighbor had her yard graded and reseeded. It looks to me like the equipment they used made it worst, because it was too big for the yard. The mini equipment may have been more suitable for a small yard. If you just want to improve an existing yard with no grading, you can till the bare hard spots, aerate and reseed. Also, apply lime and starter fertilizer if needed.
  10. KevinACrider

    KevinACrider LawnSite Member
    Messages: 237

    Holy cow. I just rented a T180 w/ a B6 rake today for $261.

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