sod install

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by BMFD92, Mar 5, 2005.

  1. BMFD92

    BMFD92 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    I am currently planning on renovating a two of my customers lawns. I plan on excavating the existing lawn with a john deere compact backhoe. The lawns are around and 2,500 and 5,000 square feet. I know I can bang out the excavation pretty quickly. I was thinking and hoping that I can get the job done in an 8 hour day with a three man crew. Can this be done. I am also probably renting a dump truck from a guy I know so I would load everything on the dump and haul it away. The dump is at my town and two of my part timers work there so the dumping is free. I figure I will be on the backhoe and then have my guys follow behind me with the sod. So can I excavate and install 5,000 square feet of sod in 8 hours with three guys?
  2. hosejockey2002

    hosejockey2002 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    I'm sure you and your guys can do it in a day. I wouldn't use a backhoe to dig up the old lawn. You will dig up a lot more material and make a mess with a backhoe, no matter how good you are. Just use a sod cutter to take out the old lawn. One guy runs the cutter, the other two roll and load. You'll be done in no time.
  3. WhohasHelios?

    WhohasHelios? LawnSite Member
    Messages: 233

    I agree..The sod cutter is the way to go. With the deere you would end up having to bring in a lot of new material and spend valuable time grading. On that note, how is the existing soil?
    I am the main contractor for the only sod supplier on the island I am on, so I laid about 90,000 square feet of sod last year. I tried alot of different methods, and sod cutting and then grading is by far the fastest. You will have a 5,000 square footer done in a 9 hour day with ease if you have a decent team. It's the dumping that eats up precious time, and if you can, get the product delivered to the site. Alot of guys think they can save the money by picking it up...Never been worth it for me.

    Good luck.

  4. BMFD92

    BMFD92 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    i think the soil would need some top soil mixed in
  5. cpel2004

    cpel2004 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    Why use a backhoe? i live in S Florida and we use Roundup and a weedeater. Extremely efficient
  6. hosejockey2002

    hosejockey2002 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    Tearing out 5,000 sf of sod with a weedeater? :dizzy: :dizzy: I think I'd rather excavate 100 feet of retaining wall base with a garden trowel....
  7. gil

    gil LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    What about rototiller? i thought that was much faster. Once you get rid of the old lawn you can also use the rototill to mix the fertilizer.
  8. desertrat

    desertrat LawnSite Member
    Messages: 86

    Tried Skidsteer, rototiller, hoes, weedeaters. took a lot of time and very hard work, and extra dirt in the case of the skid. Then, I had a job of installing irrigation to an existing lawn, used a sod cutter. I feel so stupid, the sod cutter is the only way to go. It cuts clean, basically level and cuts very fast, and this was a rented machine that was far from new. Before any irrigation guys ask why I didn't use a pipe laying machine, I am in Arizona and the ground is to hard for them here. I'm sure you could do the job in one day, but that would be one hell of a day. I think the dumping will slow you down. I figure you will cut the sod and the two guys will load it. They will wait for the truck to come back and start loading again. You will finish cutting and help loading, but I see three guys waiting on the truck, unless of course the truck is big enough to hold it all.
  9. hosejockey2002

    hosejockey2002 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    A rototiller won't get rid of the lawn, it will just chop it up into little clumps and make a mess that is impossible to get smooth again. Sod cut it, maybe run over it with an aereator to loosen the soil a bit, and lay the sod. payup
  10. Strawbridge Lawn

    Strawbridge Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 660

    I do not really understand the sod cutter approach. Kill the weeds and undesirable grasses, aerate (2X) then bring in top/soil or compost if needed then sod. Now if you are trying to get rid of some Bermuda I can see the need for a sod cutter cuz its still dormant and no amount of Roundup will kill it now. One benefit of unstalling Sod FEB through Mar is you can typically apply sod over existing turf providing it is cut low and not thick. Roots dig in and suffocate old Fescue grasses/weeds.

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