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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    386
    Location
    NW CT
    Tractor
    Kubota B2410HSD

    Default Landscaping implements

    I will be buying a tractor (TC21D or B2410) soon and am looking for some opinions on the best implements to get some Spring landscaping jobs done. The tractor will have a FEL and turf tires (for mowing). The jobs I have lined up so far: convert an area of existing lawn to a bed for about 8-12 small trees, plant trees, put in a 4' wide brick walkway (about 50' long) in another area of existing lawn, and put in topsoil and seed for new lawn in a couple of small areas. My main question is: how much sod removal and digging should I expect to be able to do with the loader? Also, does dragging the bucket work OK for grading and leveling. I expect that the loader should be able to handle the weight of a 6-8' tree with root ball, but I'm not sure how much they will weigh.

    I live in CT and I would not call our soil overly 'hard'. I can definitely put a spade into it, and I've hand-dug quite a few holes for fence posts. There are definitely a few rocks, but digging can be done.

    I realize that I will need to have some ballast on the 3-pt. for the loader work, and I would like to have an implement do double-duty as ballast (rear tires won't be filled). Maybe I'm just repeating one of the box scraper v. rear blade threads here, but I'd like to hear what some of you more experienced landscapers think.



  2. #2

    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    160
    Location
    TEXAS, CROSBY
    Tractor
    CASE 580 BACHOE JOHN DEERE 920 AND 820 FARM-ALL CUB

    Default Re: Landscaping implements

    Hi wheeldog, not sure about your soil. But around here we got something called gumbo and its pretty hard soil.. With such a light rig it might be easier and come out more uniformed if you were to run a disc where you want your path, then use your fel to remove the grass and soil. Grass and soil do not spread very easily together no matter who you are. The grass balls up and makes it a pain, but it can be done with time. The front end loader works great for spreading and leveling, but again its gonna depend on your level of experience.. I would think a nice box blade would perform very well for you and possible be a little easier to master. Hope this helps..


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    176
    Location
    North County San Diego
    Tractor
    Kubota B2910

    Default Re: Landscaping implements

    Wheeldog,
    I have to agree with John. A box blade would make your life much easier and your tractor learning experience much more plesant. Trying to do what you describe with the FEL requires a lot of experience gained by lots of frustration. As has been noted often in this forum, the FEL isn't really meant for digging, but rather for moving already broken up soil (and a thousand other things). I would highly recommend the box blade. Then, of course, rear hydraulic controls (tip and tilt) would make it even better. For a few dollars more..........

    Larry...

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    597
    Location
    Edgewood, New Mexico
    Tractor
    JD4100

    Default Re: Landscaping implements

    If you want to be completely equipped for this type of work, I would get all 3 of these: boxscraper, rake, and rototiller.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    610
    Location
    Ontario
    Tractor
    Ford 1710: Loader, Hoe, Snowblower, Box scrapper & 3ph Forks

    Default Re: Landscaping implements

    Grading is something of an art. I never found a FEL very useful, although maybe I didn't stick with it long enough to become artful. I bought a box scraper pretty fast, because the results I was getting with the FEL weren’t great. I think a scraper is the best landscaping tool, if the choice is one implement and not too expensive. I also bought a hydraulic top link soon after I got the scraper. The scraper without a hydraulic link wasn't that great.

    Even so, grading is an art, and plan to spend some time getting the hang of it. Also, don't forget the loader. I use the scraper for smoothing and compacting, but I also do the same by back-dragging with the loader. I can't really say why I use one or the other in a particular spot. It's part of becoming artful I guess.

    A couple of comments: I cut sod with the scraper's scarifiers, but the operation takes a lot of traction, which I don't have with my turfs. A loader bucket of gravel adds traction. Holding the scraper up with the 3ph to keep the scraper's weight on the rear wheels also helps with traction. For final smoothing and cleaning, a rake is nice, but a drag improves what a scraper will do. A drag can be made from channel iron and chain link fencing.



  6. #6
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    1,975
    Location
    Southern VT, Southern ME
    Tractor
    John Deere 4100 HST /410 FEL, R4s

    Default Re: Landscaping implements

    Wheeldog, with the type of projects you have lined up you could put a box scraper to good use for sure. It looks like your main objectives are to dig, scrape, and spread. That's what they're made to do. A tiller and blade along with your loader bucket would work well too.


  7. #7
    Super Star Member Thomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    12,682
    Location
    Lebanon,NH.
    Tractor
    Kubota L2800HST w/Frontloader & CC LTX1046

    Default Re: Landscaping implements

    Wheeldog,
    Have you consider a good rake attachment for the finishing of your projects.
    Plus the rake in years to come can be most handy.

    Hope the storm doesn't hit you to hard down there.


    Thomas..NH [img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img]

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    Posts
    386
    Location
    NW CT
    Tractor
    Kubota B2410HSD

    Default Re: Landscaping implements

    Sounds good. Thanks to everyone for their input.

    My biggest concern is how well I'll be able to break through and remove the existing sod, given traction concerns, etc. I'm starting to think I may just go with a 50" tiller - I think I should be able to set the depth to just skin off the sod, or go deeper if need be, and I was toying with the idea of a vegetable garden anyway. That size tiller looks to weigh about 400+ lb, so hopefully that will be enough ballast for most FEL lifting situations. I had originally been set on a box scraper, but there have been a few threads that have talked about how they just don't seem to get used much in the Northeast. It may be that a smallish box scraper won't really dent the soil here. I'll get the dealer's opinion too, but it seems like the tiller may be the first implement of choice.


  9. #9
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    38,008
    Location
    Texas

    Default Re: Landscaping implements

    Wheeldog, tillers are expensive (as compared to things like box blades), but almost a necessity for a vegetable garden, and you can certainly use it to remove the sod from the surface. Mine has adjustable skids for depth control and I usually leave it set for maximum depth, but I got the tiller before I got a box blade, and set it shallow several times to loosen up the surface of the ground, then scoop up the loose dirt and/or sod with the front end loader, or back drag with the loader to smooth and level some places.

    Bird

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Posts
    134
    Location
    N.E. Ohio
    Tractor
    TC21D

    Default Re: Landscaping implements

    I agree with Bird,I have found for the size of my tractor a tiller comes in handy for alot of things.It has worked out well in combination with the loader and backblade.I regraded an area in my yard by first using the tiller to break up the sod and top soil a good 6" then used my rear blade and loader to level it out.Sure beats doing the yard with manual labor.Tom


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