Use a skidsteer or a rototiller?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Albery's Lawn & Tractor, Jun 21, 2008.

  1. Albery's Lawn & Tractor

    Albery's Lawn & Tractor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,674

    Just picked up an account where this old lady payed some wanna be landscaper to install sod at her new house. He was payed a total of $3800, of that he was suppose to use 14 pallets of centipede, 2 tandem axles loads of topsoil, level the yard, and apparently he told her he would put down pesticide/weed-n-feed on the new sod (and no he's not liscensed). Well the yard looks like $hit, unlevel as can be, sod is dying off in places, big gaps in between pieces, etc. So I am now suppose to fix this mess. My original plan was to rent a skid steer or a frontend loader tractor and just scrap it all up and order a trash container. But since the sod is already dying off I am wondering if I could just use a 5 foot tiller and just go over it several times, this way I don't remove what little soil is there (oh and he didn't bring in the amount of dirt he was suppose to, maybe 3-4 yards at most). Does this sound like a feesible plan? I feel so bad for this lady and am trying to save her as much as possible. Any other recommendations are appreciated.
  2. ATL Lawn

    ATL Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 318

    so none of the sod is salvageable?

    and you dont really put down ween-n-feed on new sod.. you do put a starter fert.
  3. LawnVet

    LawnVet LawnSite Member
    from SE MI
    Messages: 220

    I don't and neither should you/him if you aren't licensed. If you think it is absolutely necessary (which I typically don't) then figure in the cost to sub that out.

    I would think that the sod tilled up with the existing soil beneath should yield a decent topsoil substitute. I suppose it depends on the quality though. A tiller should also give you better results (i.e. less compaction, etc) than tearing up the entire thing with a skid steer and laying costly t.s. down.

    Some may bash me for this but I've laid quite a few sod yards down with little and no t.s. Most of the time you can get great results by tilling the existing (if it isn't all sand or clay) and laying a quality sod down. You just need to stress to the customer that the result is in their hands in the form of watering religiously and minimizing traffic for the first several weeks.

    My $.02
  4. LawnVet

    LawnVet LawnSite Member
    from SE MI
    Messages: 220

    I should add that I don't have any experience with centipede grass though.
  5. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    I don't know, you usually have sod chunks that don't go any where when you till sod, and if your anal, you'll want to rake them off before you lay sod.

    I like the idea of coming in with a sod cutter, salvaging what you can, strip the rest, till, grade, lay and be done with it. Raking sod chunks suck.
  6. mybowtie

    mybowtie LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 683

    Skid with a power rake....Leave whats there and rake it......:usflag:
  7. Albery's Lawn & Tractor

    Albery's Lawn & Tractor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,674

    Some of the sod is salvagable but I'm not willing to leave it in with the new sod. If I'm gonna do it, I'm gonna do it like it should have been in the first place. And hell no I'm not putting down any pesticides on new sod, thats what the old guy did. I know how to do the job right I was just wondering if I need to spend the extra money to rent a Bobcat and a dumpster container, or could I get just as good as a result with a 5' Tiller.
  8. JNyz

    JNyz LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,087

    Use a bobcat and a container and start from scratch.
  9. Grn Mtn

    Grn Mtn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 863

    Dingo TX425/525 wide track with soil culivator and sod roller. Lots of pictures of both attachments in action on this site in the tractor forum. heres a teaser.





  10. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Messages: 3,613

    he layed 14 pallets for $3800? wow, at least it was cheap...

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