Use Rototiller or Harley Rake, Or Sod Cutter?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Blmtlandscapes, Aug 12, 2009.

  1. Blmtlandscapes

    Blmtlandscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    I've got a sod job coming up, approx 4,000 s/f. There is a decent amount of lawn in the area but the guy wants to start over and have the whole thing redone. My question is what is the best method to get rid of the exsisting grass? The customer was saying something like they make a rototiller that is really good at recycling the material and preventing clumps. Have you heard of such a thing? What would be the best way to do this job. I've made the mistake of rototilling an entire yard with a normal rototiller and was left with a ton of raking. I definitely dont want to do that again. thanks

    WALKER LANDSCAPE LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,413

    It depends on your equipment are you renting, do you have help? I would sod cut it out and remove with a dingo or bobcat. If it is very little grass then a dingo or bobcat with a lawn rejuvenator (SP). It is a rototiller with a wheeled thing that fluffs the dirt dehind it. Actually there is all kinds of different ways to do this.
  3. DiyDave

    DiyDave LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,695

    If I were doing the job, I would spray out existing vegetation with Roundup, respray any stragglers, then after being sure that its all dead, hit the lawn with my Harley rake/ASV-RC30 combo. After raking the debris into pile(s), I would pick it up and haul out the dead debris. The unknown variable here is how much debris there is, No knowing without experience!:waving:
  4. Blmtlandscapes

    Blmtlandscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    Thanks for the replies. Actually I was thinking about it today and came up with the exact idea as walkerlandscape. I will have a skidsteer on site so i think the best bet is to rent a sod cutter, roll up the turf and load it in the bucket, than dump in the woods.
  5. GreenmanCT

    GreenmanCT LawnSite Senior Member
    from ct
    Messages: 557

    dont bother with the sodcutter, harley rake all the way. use the bucket to clean it up, then harley rake it again.
  6. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    A dingo with a soil cultivator would till and bury the existing turf.

    I would still try to kill the yard off first to help shred the turf.
  7. unkownfl

    unkownfl LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,837

    I will tell you right now don't expect the sod to just roll up.
  8. sven1277

    sven1277 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 658

    I think the quickest way to remove existing sod is a tooth bucket. Run the skid backwards with the teeth scarifying the ground. Repeat a couple times in different directions. Then, take a harley rake to finish prep. I do have a rotadarion too, that rototills and buries the sod in one step. My tractor is on the low end of the power requirements so it is slow. But provided the soil is free of large stones, it does a great job. Some rental yards have a small one for the dingo.
  9. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,210

    ive never actually used or rented a harley power rake... that being said.. id still buy one and use it over the tiller to save time.

    A tiller works A LOT of ground generally and a power rake doesnt, just the surface areas.

    If the ground is real hard, the tiller helps. Yet power rakes can go deeper and tillers can go shallower.. they both bridge the gap between any other equipment for this purpose.

    Ive done one lot that had a lot of roots, never again. A power rake was the ONLY way to go on that lot, and a tiny one, like 24-36" wide, walk behind at most

    Ive wanted a 48" harley for our small 27hp diesel simplicity garden tractor, but they freking weigh a ton... like 700lbs so its too heavy. On the flipside, a real 84-96" wide model for our deere cab tractor is too big, i wouldnt bother hooking it up for anything under 2 acres worth.

    The tiller works pretty good though, grinds through fast even when hard or compacted and makes it pretty smooth for the new sod. It wasnt cheap though, expect to pay for a good reverse rotation deere, landpride etc. brand 48" around 3k and 4k ish for anything 5/6 or 7ft wide for a bigger tractor. And of course you need the tractor. Anything walk behind better be a pretty heavy/mean machine just so it doesnt vibrate or bump like heck... like our walk behind 7hp tiller :/
  10. Blmtlandscapes

    Blmtlandscapes LawnSite Member
    Messages: 116

    I should specify that I'm trying to figure out the best method to take advantage of the equipment I will have for free. The customer has a construction company and he will be providing me with a skidsteer with a normal bucket. It does not have a harley rake attatchment so I'm wondering if there is anyway I can take advantage of this setup. However, I'd be willing to rent a rotodairon, sod cutter, tiller, etc if that works best. I just dont see the since in renting a whole other machine with a harley rake attatchment.

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