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  1. #21
    Veteran Member Jay4200's Avatar
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    Nov 2005
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    Hudson/Weare, NH
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    L4200GST w/ LA680 & BX2200D w/ LA211

    Default Re: Using a Harley Rake after a mulcher tears up my forest....

    Quote Originally Posted by Piston View Post
    I have read a lot about Harley rakes and can rent one for 200 per day. Will a Harley rake be able to take virgin forest land that has never been lawn, and was just mulched, to get ready for seed?
    I was all hopped up about Harley rakes, and ultimately hired a guy with one to do the finish surface work on my yard after spending way too much time with my FEL spreading and grading 100 yards of loam. I expected a groomed finish, and really was trying to avoid hand-raking a half-acre. To make a long story short, he basically ruined my whole job, and I ended up having to hand rake the whole thing (twice) anyway.

    A Harley rake is a finish tool - it only dresses an inch or two at best. There is nothing a Harley rake can do that a good old-fashioned york rake can't. Save the rental dough, and spend a grand on a quality york rake with gauge wheels. You'll need one anyway to maintain your gravel driveway that you're going to eventually put in. You'll be buying a bunch of loam too, so save for that, at least if your soil is anything like mine up north - my area has NO organics in the soil, so using the natural soil was out of the question.

    Money well spent would be hiring someone with a rock bucket to clear the big stuff, or get a backhoe (every man needs a backhoe). If you can get someone else to pull stumps, do it. Rocks are easy with a 'hoe. Get all of the stumps and rocks out of there, then rough grade it out with your FEL and a york rake. Then, buy a whole bunch of organic loam (has poo in it), and cover the surface with 4" of the stuff. York rake again, seed, then kick back and watch it grow.

    I recently reclaimed some rough areas at my camp using nothing more than my FEL and a york rake - I'll attach a before, during, and after pic for your entertainment. Dirt work was done over the summer (I made a rock pile the size of a pickup truck - also re-ran my well line just to abuse myself), I seeded in the fall, and the finished pic is the following spring (2 months ago).

    JayC

    PS - notice how cool my L4200 looks?
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -img_0077-jpg   -img_0262-jpg   -img_0278-jpg   -img_0293-jpg   -img_0210-jpg  

    Last edited by Jay4200; 07-07-2011 at 12:54 AM.

  2. #22
    Veteran Member Jay4200's Avatar
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    L4200GST w/ LA680 & BX2200D w/ LA211

    Default Re: Using a Harley Rake after a mulcher tears up my forest....

    Quote Originally Posted by Piston View Post
    It'll be interesting to see what starts popping up after I clear enough for the sunlight to get through, I'm sure I'll have all sorts of new hardwood sprouts and probably a lot of random brush/weeds. I'll keep it mowed good with the brush hog as well.
    I'll also warn you that woods have a LOT of trees on them. I cleared an area next to my pond that was all of 30'x50'. Two hours in with a chainsaw, and I was up to my eyeballs in trees. After bucking and stacking (the brush is the worst), I cut some more until I couldn't move. A half dozen iterations later, I was done. It took 3 days straight to burn it all. I can't imagine clearing an acre, much less 4 or 5. There are lot prep companies out there that will clear and stump land for amazingly cheap money. That's what I'd do.

    JayC

  3. #23
    Elite Member
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    ChuckinNH's Avatar
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    NH
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    (B2620, had BX22) Simplicity Legacy w/48" mmm

    Default Re: Using a Harley Rake after a mulcher tears up my forest....

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay4200 View Post
    I'll also warn you that woods have a LOT of trees on them. I cleared an area next to my pond that was all of 30'x50'. Two hours in with a chainsaw, and I was up to my eyeballs in trees. After bucking and stacking (the brush is the worst), I cut some more until I couldn't move. A half dozen iterations later, I was done. It took 3 days straight to burn it all. I can't imagine clearing an acre, much less 4 or 5. There are lot prep companies out there that will clear and stump land for amazingly cheap money. That's what I'd do.

    JayC
    Aw, don't go injecting practical experience here. Where is your sense of adventure, or watching his adventure anyway. Like you, I couldn't imagine tackling the amount of land the OP is talking about in anything less than years here in NH. There just is too much time, and work between knocking trees over, and field. I have a neighbor who is doing a couple of acres with his excavator, etc. He has been at it for a couple of years now, and just did his first seeding, but that is more to hold the soil in place since there is still a lot of "finish" work to be done.
    B2620,Loaded R-4's , Wallenstein BX42 chipper, Bush Hog SQ148 RC, 4' x 8' chain harrow, Blizzard 54" 3PT snowblower, Tirechains. com v-bar duo grip chains (hate them), Simplicity Legacy with 48"mmm, turbo collector, Country Line carry all, Countryline Middlebuster, Woods 48" BB, Kubota QA for loader, Kubota forks, Kuhn EL23 rototiller, and more to come...

  4. #24
    Veteran Member Carl_NH's Avatar
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    Coastal NH
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    01 Kubota B21TLB, 2010 Ferris 52" ZTR, Cub Cadet 1811, Gravely Super8

    Default Re: Using a Harley Rake after a mulcher tears up my forest....

    ChuckinNH, & Jayc,

    Agreed - its years of work when doing alone - so last year a landscaper friend had an employee that wanted some addl weekend work. Well he showed up the first Saturday and we picked rocks and roots all day.. the next weekend he had "other things to do" and the weekend after that the same. It was too much like hard work I guess, so I ended up doing it slowly weekend at a time.

    I did find another helper this spring that worked out much better - we got all the rocks picked into "farmers walls", planted 25 spruce trees over the course of 3 weekends as I wanted to get the loam down before mid summer.

    Having a helper made the job go more than 2X faster IMO, just loading branches and rocks saves a lot of time not having get on/off the tractor. As I get older I would rather pay a little bit and save time and my back for these larger projects..

  5. #25
    Veteran Member Gordon Gould's Avatar
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    NorthEastern, VT
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    Kubota L3010DT, Dresser TD7G Dozer

    Default Re: Using a Harley Rake after a mulcher tears up my forest....

    I agree with you NH guys 100%. I can't imagine clearing 7 or 8 acres by myself. But being from VT I might be stubborn enough to try. The key is in knowing when to throw in the towel and go to plan B.
    "If you're not making any mistakes then you're not doing anything"

    L3010DT, Farmi JL290 Winch, ATI Grapple, BearCat 5" Chipper, 6' Rear Blade,
    7' Sickle Bar, 5' Land Plane Grading Scraper, Dresser TD7G Dozer

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