My Tractor Forum banner

1 - 20 of 85 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
255 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Pics of areas


All I know for now is back blade or box blade. Can anyone link a thread or elaborate on the different kinds, pros and cons etc..I do have a sleeve hitch.

My guy thinks I may need to till the mulchbeds that im digging out. I have an x540 and that deere tiller is $1800. Im not going to purchase it for such a small area, I will check to see if dealer can rent one to me but im looking for alternatives.

I am also in the market for an aerator, so any suggestions there are welcome. Currently all I have is Johnny bucket JR and Johnny plow JR.

Im off to research and watch videos for a week but I always post here first as you guys usually give better advice than what I find elsewhere.

Thanks
 

·
Citizen of Earth
Joined
·
15,745 Posts
For an area that small, you can rent a rear tine tiller like a Troy Bilt or BCS to till up and loosen the soil in the bed I see in the photo. What is the plan for your landscape? Are you looking to make major changes in grade? Terraces? Fish pond? Just smooth it out for lawn?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
9,780 Posts
You should check some of the posts by @Steve Urquell and what he has done recently with his Cub Cadets to tame down his property...it may even pay for you to hire a contractor to do the part for which you are missing the necessary equipment
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
7,370 Posts
You should check some of the posts by @Steve Urquell and what he has done recently with his Cub Cadets to tame down his property...it may even pay for you to hire a contractor to do the part for which you are missing the necessary equipment
Thanks Mark. I did some leveling in my back yard with a cultivator to loosen soil, loader to scoop it, and box blade to level it.

I don't have any video of the back yard but here is where we were doing my coworkers project.

If you can't get multi tines to dig in you can always back up to a single one as a middlebuster as in the bottom vid or a subsoiler.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
Don't you have any equipment places near you that rent equipment?
After you get all the rocks, blocks, landscape lights and wood out of the way with a yard cart or truck as step 1.
Then a skid steer with a hydraulic tiller would have that all chewed up and level in less than a day.


Where I am the skid steer (Bobcat S550 or S570) 185 dollars for 8 hours and hydraulic tiller 150 dollars for 8 hours.
That tiller is 6 feet wide and can till up to 4" deep.
If I rented that off my local Bobcat dealer it would get me the skid steer and bucket, plus the tiller for those prices.
Taxes, delivery and pickup charges and fuel would be over and above those prices.
That is why you want everything out of the way before you bring one home, when it get there you start chewing up dirt instead of paying rent while you are moving stuff out of the way.


This takes a little longer, but if you know what you are doing you can have a nice finish rather quickly. Also 6 feet wide per pass.
Harley rake or landscape rake, 150 dollars a day at Bobcat.
And if you would rather tracks instead of tires T550 Bobcat is 275 dollars a day.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,173 Posts
So, Dave55, is that Bobcat (or similar) just as easy to operate without training as you imply? Or is there a learning curve?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
Any more the learning curve is rather short.
Different manufacturers have different control patterns, many of them are switchable these days.
Most skid steer and compact track loaders you drive with your left hand, hydrostatic drive.
Bucket is controlled with your right hand.
Auxiliary hydraulics are controlled with buttons or switches on the joysticks.
And most even have a throttle pedal and a throttle lever or dial for when you are using the auxiliary hydraulics and need constant high engine speeds.

The old days when left hand controlled left tires, right hand controlled right tires, left foot controlled the main boom and right foot controlled bucket curl are gone, those did have a rather stiff learning curve.
Someone that knew what they were doing should be able to knock that out in three or four hours from what I remember of the original pictures that showed the whole yard.
So 8 hours should allow for getting a feel for the machine and still having time to do the yard.
That said I have also seen people get on and look like they had been running one for a long time in an hour.
I have also seen people get on one and look like they had never seen one after a month running one.
Actually the biggest thing about running one in my opinion is the limited visibility to the rear and rear sides, easy to run over stuff.
Many have back up cameras now days, but sun and reflections can make the screen hard to see.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,173 Posts
Thank you for that description, It is a bit more involved than just turning the key and grabbing the steering wheel and stomping on the gas pedal.

The OP has a garden tractor that he wants to use to modify his backyard. Yes, he could get some professional construction equipment and have it done yesterday. But he really wants to use the garden tractor that he has, kinda the reason why he bought that in the first place. He wants to know which garden tractor implements will perform the tasks needed. This is a project that he would like to do over a fairly long time period.

A tiller would work well for loosening the soil in and around the flowerbeds, but he doesn't want to drop the big bucks for one that attaches to the garden tractor and would see limited use after. He could use a moldboard plow or a middlebuster to loosen it up then use the JP bucket to remove the soil for possible other use like filling in low spots. A rear mounted blade is a bit easier to level the area than a front blade as you can see what you are doing easier. A lawn roller would be nice to help compact the soil that is distributed to other places. A plug or spike aerator could be used after the area is grassed over.

Check out the implements at any number of manufacturers or dealers like:
Agri-Fab
John Deere
DR Power
Brinly
Impact Implements
and more.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
552 Posts
Currently all I have is Johnny bucket JR and Johnny plow JR.
snow/light-dirt plows and buckets are not very efficient implements for grading and leveling. The problem is keeping the blade on a level plane - the geometry just doesn't work well. Based on your pics you will be dealing with mulch, sod, base rock, tree roots and misc leftover stuff. You can do some gross digging and hauling with the Johnny bucket, but need some type of ripper or tiller to break up the sod and work through roots, etc. Also a back blade and some type of drag to smooth things out. You can build a simple drag out of lumber and chain-link fencing. If you have the time and enjoy doing this type of thing you can get it done, but expect to take a lot of time with a GT and tiller.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
255 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
For an area that small, you can rent a rear tine tiller like a Troy Bilt or BCS to till up and loosen the soil in the bed I see in the photo. What is the plan for your landscape? Are you looking to make major changes in grade? Terraces? Fish pond? Just smooth it out for lawn?
So plan is to dig out and level most of the beds you see and get grass. The pond is staying (for now) but Im going to redesign it, some new stone etc..The big bed connected to the pond will have to slope down to level. There are also some low points in the yard that need to be leveled. Im prepared to purchase any implements that would help.
Are the tillers you mentioned electric or gas? Im sure lowes or HD has rentals but I haven't looked into it yet. I will have to play for them to deliver it and pick it up so if there was a cheaper option than the JD official I can BUY I may be interested in that, whatever makes the most sense.
 

·
Citizen of Earth
Joined
·
15,745 Posts
The rear tine tillers I mentioned are 300 pound plus machines that are gas powered and you walk behind. They are capable of loosening soil over 6" deep after 6 to 8 passes.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
16,830 Posts
So, Dave55, is that Bobcat (or similar) just as easy to operate without training as you imply? Or is there a learning curve?
...............................................

A'track' machine--as you call it--requires a little learning curve-because it 'steers' by reversing the treads on one side--You have multiple things going on at one time--feet work the bucket or attachments on front--hands on the joysticks control the movement-back/fourth/turn--just takes a while you get everything working together......A wheeled machine is easier at first--I think. Just a slight leaning curve...

glenn
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
255 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you for that description, It is a bit more involved than just turning the key and grabbing the steering wheel and stomping on the gas pedal.

The OP has a garden tractor that he wants to use to modify his backyard. Yes, he could get some professional construction equipment and have it done yesterday. But he really wants to use the garden tractor that he has, kinda the reason why he bought that in the first place. He wants to know which garden tractor implements will perform the tasks needed. This is a project that he would like to do over a fairly long time period.

A tiller would work well for loosening the soil in and around the flowerbeds, but he doesn't want to drop the big bucks for one that attaches to the garden tractor and would see limited use after. He could use a moldboard plow or a middlebuster to loosen it up then use the JP bucket to remove the soil for possible other use like filling in low spots. A rear mounted blade is a bit easier to level the area than a front blade as you can see what you are doing easier. A lawn roller would be nice to help compact the soil that is distributed to other places. A plug or spike aerator could be used after the area is grassed over.

Check out the implements at any number of manufacturers or dealers like:
Agri-Fab
John Deere
DR Power
Brinly
Impact Implements
and more.

Yup you nailed it. I have no problem renting if it makes more sense but if can buy a few implements for the same price as renting...(remember i have to pay for delivery and pickup as Im out a truck). So it will come down to finances more than time. I can spend 3 days rather than one day to save $400. Off to google "middlebuster" cause I have no idea what that is LOL. Aerator is happening as it will be needed at least twice a year. I was hoping a cultivator may do the trick to loosen the beds, but they lanscaping guy really pushed tilling as the weed and plant growth in those areas are insane during the warm seasons. Plants/weeds grow 6ft high if not cut down. Still weighing the options, will post more here for details.

Also if were to rent I wouldnt think the Johnny products are a waste. Yes Id like to use them for this project but with my yard size and the amount of vegatation/trees I'll get plenty of use out of them.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
16,830 Posts
...............................................

A'track' machine--as you call it--requires a little learning curve-because it 'steers' by reversing the treads on one side--You have multiple things going on at one time--feet work the bucket or attachments on front--hands on the joysticks control the movement-back/fourth/turn--just takes a while you get everything working together......A wheeled machine is easier at first--I think. Just a slight leaning curve...

glenn
.....................................

Let mesay=what I described above is an older type machine, as noted by another poster--but all have similar features...again--biggest drawback to a skid steer is rear and side visibility--and they absoulutely STOP as soon as you realease the movement handle (s)--so you may get neck-lash at first ...
 
  • Like
Reactions: Rarefish383

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,173 Posts
A middlebuster is essentially a hook that attaches to the sleeve hitch that when you drop it into the soil and move forward, it digs down and breaks up the compacted soil. It will break small roots and move smaller stones. I have one from Impact Implements ($110) that I got off Amazon.

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
255 Posts
Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The rear tine tillers I mentioned are 300 pound plus machines that are gas powered and you walk behind. They are capable of loosening soil over 6" deep after 6 to 8 passes.
Upon briefly reading about tillers its seems I may need a front or mid tine as they are easier to maneuver in smaller spaces where a rear is good for an open swath. Thoughts?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
255 Posts
Discussion Starter · #17 ·
A middlebuster is essentially a hook that attaches to the sleeve hitch that when you drop it into the soil and move forward, it digs down and breaks up the compacted soil. It will break small roots and move smaller stones. I have one from Impact Implements ($110) that I got off Amazon.

Yea I saw these now. Though most i saw (from TSC) were 3pt on a SCUT. Can my JD handle one of these for a sleeve hitch? If so what is your thought process? Since its a small implement meant to create rows are you thinking i just go over the area in rows to loosen? I also may need a french drain installed so if this would work for trenching then i may be interested. Looks like it destroy more earth than necessary to trench some PVC though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
Modern track machines or even tired machines do not have to stop a track or tires to turn.
One joystick, push it straight forward, machine moves forward, want to go slow, move it a little bit, fast then move it more forward normally this will be your left hand.
Want to turn slightly right, while pushing lever forward move it slightly to the right of center.
Want hard right turn, pull it completely right center, left track or tires turn forward, right track or tires turn in reverse and the machine will turn around in it's own length.
Want to reverse, pull it back, once again a little is slow, more is faster.
Turns in reverse work just like they did going forward.
Bucket control will be your right hand.
Pull it back, main boom goes up.
Push it forward, main boom comes down.
Cat machines, right hand to left curls the bucket, right hand to right dumps bucket.
Last Bobcat I was on had curl and dump reversed compared to Cat, which I hated since I was used to Cat.
Case, Kubota, New Holland, Takahuchi, Geihl all are like the Cat controls.

Yes if you find an old machine, you may still be able to find two levers and foot controls, but those will be OLD machines.

As for the middle buster, I would call that a ripper.
Can be found normally with 3 shanks that take some power to drag through the ground.
So take the two outer shanks off and you have one shank in the center left that takes 1/3 the power to pull through the ground.
If you want to install a french drain, you could use the ripper to loosen the ground, but you will have to shovel the loose dirt out.
And you should refill the french drain ditch with gravel instead of dirt.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
281 Posts
2489659


I built this to level my driveway.Rear tractor tires to back edge of I beam (what I am using as a cutting edge), 5 feet.
Back edge of I beam to tires on drag, 1 foot.
Tractor tires drive over a 5" hump, blade moves up 1 inch.
Tractor drives through 5" deep hole, blade drops 1 inch.
Tires on drag run on leveled ground, so no humps or holes.
Each pass cuts holes and humps down by a factor of 5.
A couple passes and all humps and pot holes are gone.

Now remove the tires on the drag and support the rear mounted blade with the tractor.
Front tractor tires go over bump, blade digs hole.
Front tires go into hole, blade makes a hump.
The relationship of the size of the hump/ hole compared to the original depends on wheel base of tractor and distance from rear tires to cutting edge on blade.
Next pass the hump and hole get bigger, but you try to correct with your controls and one hump and dip turns into 2 or 3.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,924 Posts
Ripping things up is easier than putting them back together. But, even ripping things up can be challenging, depending on conditions.

I recently bought a ripper/middle buster from Heavy Hitch. It is very nice, but I have not used it yet. It is designed to go into a 2" receiver. You can get an adapter for a sleeve hitch.

The difference between a ripper and a middle buster is the size of the hole/rip/trench it makes. The ripper is very narrow (2" or less). The middle buster adds a wider "plow" (maybe 5-6").

I am sure you can do the job with an X590, but it will take a lot of time and technique. Getting things smooth and level is really hard. I use a combination of tools and techniques, but I have CUT for most of the work.

Look up food lot and you will find things like this

For smoothing I use a chain harrow. My X534 can easily pull my 4x4 harrow. My X300 struggled with it until I just used half of it. An X590 should be able to handle a 6x4 one. Some people use old bed springs and cinder blocks. You have a big enough area that any of these would probably work well for final smoothing.

Many people say a box blade is great for first pass smoothing. I am in awe of people who can do that successfully. When I used one, it made things worse. Instead of investing the hundreds of hours of practice it probably requires to get enough to do positive work, I got a grading scraper. Instantly, I was making things better. After 10s of hours, I was pretty quick and good with it. But, they don't make a sleeve hitch version and it would be too heavy for an X590.

I suppose it will be a "fun" project for you, but practice the process on a small part of your lawn to see if you really want to spend the time it will take.
 
1 - 20 of 85 Posts
Top