Cutting sod with a PTB

   / Cutting sod with a PTB #1  


Platinum Member
Nov 12, 2020
Pageland, SC
BX 1880 with FEL and canopy
I have a section of front yard that, now that I'll have a tractor, I'd like to cut down and level it out better than it is. The problem is, I already have well established sod there that I'd hate to ruin and need to go buy another pallet or two to replace.


You can't tell in the pictures but there is a hump in this section that slopes down toward the driveway sharply enough in the last 6 feet or so it's difficult for me to cut without scalping the grass. And Centipede does not like being scalped. Aside from the scalping, it would just look better without the knoll there.

It should have been taken care of before I laid the sod, but I actually laid some of the sod before the driveway was installed. I underestimated how much was going to need to be cut down for the driveway. It's done now.

I will purchase a Piranha Tooth Bar for the tractor once it decides to arrive (14 weeks in now). I know that it's possible, but I'm curious about whether I can successfully cut the sod such that I can lay it back down again with the bucket and PTB.

Keeping in mind that I have not used a front end loader on a tractor much, but that I'm generally a quick learner and very determined, would it be an exercise in futility to try to cut the sod with a PTB?

I'm aware I could rent a sod cutter, and that may be an option but I can see myself having a need for this semi often over time, I'd love to have my own solution.

Another idea is building a sod cutter from my forks, sort of like this.


My idea is similar, but involves using a blade for a "real" sod cutter. I've seen a 24" blade.


However, if I can learn to cut it decently with just the bucket, no need to jump through any other hoops.

It sounds like keeping the depth semi consistent is challenging. I can work with it not being perfect, but there are limits!
   / Cutting sod with a PTB #2  
A problem I see with trying to cut large, even sections with a bucket on ground that you describe as uneven means as you move along, your tractor is going to move up and down, and so it your bucket. Without any sort of depth gauge to control the thickness of the cut material, you'll be getting strips that sometimes have 4" of dirt on the back and sometimes 0" of dirt on the back. Then when you go to lay them down on level dirt, you'll have the same problem.

Rent a sod cutter. Remove the sod you want to keep. Level the area with your tractor. Put the sod back. Done in a day.
   / Cutting sod with a PTB
  • Thread Starter
Like I said, I'm aware I could rent a sod cutter. I have more to do with it than just this. I have that option in mind and under consideration, but here I want to explore ways to do it with my tractor that will work for me for years to come.

I wish there was some sort of depth guide that could be used. Sort of like the end tamers or whatever they are called, but that mount on the side with a ski that's adjustable for cutting depth. Maybe that wouldn't work worth a hoot and that's why it doesn't exist.
   / Cutting sod with a PTB #4  
That was the ONLY thing my old 4 in 1 bucket was good for. You could open it up, tilt it forward and back up. The problem was the sod was so wide (6') you couldn't handle it.
   / Cutting sod with a PTB
  • Thread Starter
If I cut it 4' wide I'd definitely have to cut it into smaller strips before I tried to handle it by hand for sure.
   / Cutting sod with a PTB #6  
You will get bad results with bucket, rent sod cutter
   / Cutting sod with a PTB #7  
Maybe this will give you some ideas.

You really need a depth control system. You won't be able to do it well with just your hand on the joystick of the FEL controls. Also, your view of the front of the FEL on a tractor is poor.

   / Cutting sod with a PTB
  • Thread Starter
Sounds like I need to keep thinking about a blade I can bolt to the forks like the fella above. The forks act like skis to keep the depth consistent. I *think* I found that on here.
   / Cutting sod with a PTB #9  
Sounds like I need to keep thinking about a blade I can bolt to the forks like the fella above. The forks act like skis to keep the depth consistent. I *think* I found that on here.
That might just work. Pretty inexpensive if you already have the forks. (y)
   / Cutting sod with a PTB
  • Thread Starter
I do, which is why I'm willing to give it a shot! All I'd have in it if it failed was the cost of the blade. My boss would let me swipe the stock from the scrap metal bin to build my mounting system. I'm figuring some square stock that slides over each fork, with a bolt on each one to act as a set screw and tighten them into place.

I just figured if there was a snowball's chance in heck of the PTB doing it for me there was no need to fool with it. If there is not a snowball's chance, I think I'll go ahead and order my sod cutter blade. I also have the forks, I can start working out exactly how I'll build it.