what to use for ripping up old grass

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by JML, Feb 26, 2002.

  1. JML

    JML LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    I have a new holland skid steer, one of our customers wanted us to rip up his old lawn and re sod, i was wondering what would be the best attatchment to use for the job. It is pretty well graded and all i have to do is just rip up the old grass.. please let me know.. thanks
  2. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    They make a Harley rake that fits your machine or you can use a tiller that fits too.
  3. JML

    JML LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 415

    but with a tiller won't i have to have my guys rake it all out? i am looking just to rip out the old grass and then lay the sod down. the back yard is like 10,000 sq. ft. so i really don't want to have to rake it. please let me know. thanks for the response..

  4. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,205

    you could also rent a sod cutter, but that could take awhile.
  5. PAPS

    PAPS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 404

    bucket with teeth... if your a good operator.. thats all you'll need.
  6. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    There really is no easy way to do this type of work. If you want to have minimal disturbance to the soil below the sod, then a sod cutter and hauling it off with wheelbarrows would probably be best.You could also use the sod cutter and fill the skidsteer bucket up working away from the freshly stripped areas being cautious to stay off the stripped soil with the skidsteer. If you want to hammer it out with the skidsteer bucket by scraping it, than you can expect some finishing work by hand. You start running the skidsteer over the stripped areas you are going to have ruts from moving, much less turning around and so forth. I don't care how hard or dry the ground is, it'll leave a mess. And if the ground is so dry and hard that the skidsteer doesn't do damage, then the ground will be crap for getting the sod to root anyways. I think I would do the first thing I suggested. Strip it with the sodcutter, it'll remove just what you need without tearing up the soil. Fill the skidsteer while working away from the open areas. A little handwork to fix any small areas and then it's sod time. Might not be a bad idea to aerate the exposed soil before laying the sod.

    Before I did any of this I would first figure out what went wrong with the lawn in the first place so that it doesn't happen again. The lawn obviously deteriorated for some reason. Check it out. Good luck!:)
  7. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    I guess the first question is why do you need to remove it?
    Second I'd till it under that way you'll be reliving compaction under the turf, putting in organic matter back into the soil improving it, and as far as the labor to rake out 10,000 sq ft it shouldn't take more than a couple of hrs. It not that big a deal, plus I know you don't want to cut corners.

    As far as cutting the sod out with a sod cutter, and hauling away, you'll be there a lot longer than tilling it under and raking it out, if you cut it out with a bucket you'll be fixing up low spots and high areas with little dirt to work with plus you still have to haul it away. Both will still leave you with compacted soil unless you haul it away by hand with the sod cutter.

    If you do decide to haul it away be prepared to have a couple of tandams truck to haul out thats 1111 sq yds. here that a semi load of sod that weighs around 35,000 to 45,000 lbs.
  8. Ric

    Ric LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,969

    We use a Ryan sod cutter to cut sod out. It does not tear up the yard and there is generally no need to regrade the yard. Once you take a skid steer on the yard you tear it up. We use a piggie back fork lift to place the sod and do very little damage.
  9. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,899

    I agree w/ Bryan. We use our sub to do it this way. This way the top 4" is scarified. Yes, you'll need laborers to rake out the grass, but you'll now be totally graded for the sod, and since the machine is there, its easy to load the debris into your dump.

    Go for it.

  10. hollywood

    hollywood LawnSite Member
    Messages: 93

    we generally use a sod cutter, haul the old turf out with wheelbarrels, then rake to scratch the soil and then lay the sod. we use a loader only if we will be grading areas also. if the grade is ok, the time spent manually picking up the old turf is made up in not having alot of extra prep to go ahead and lay the sod. the hauled out sod can be dumped from the barrel into the bucket and in turn dumped into the truck. one downside with the sod cutter is if you are on a slope, our ryan cutter tends to shut off because of the oil pressure safety feature on the engine.

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