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Discussion Starter #1
I want to cut sod (lawn) about 16" wide and 3" deep

I have about 1100 feet of trench to cut.

I would like to drag an implement behind my 1025r to cut the sod. After I dig the trench and then fill it back in, I want to replace the sod so everything is nice and clean afterwards.

I have the tools to build one myself, so building is an option.

Thanks in advance for the help

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People have built them.


I think a lot of it depends on your soil but you may find that in order to get it to work properly, you'll need to find a way to apply down pressure. A hydraulic toplink might solve that.
 

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People have built them.


I think a lot of it depends on your soil but you may find that in order to get it to work properly, you'll need to find a way to apply down pressure. A hydraulic toplink might solve that.
We didn’t have great results with our homemade sod cutter. (The video linked) Perhaps a loader mounted one might work better?
You could apply down pressure.

Also, I think our blade might have been too thick. I think a nearly horizontal / thin blade would work better.

Tim
 

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Discussion Starter #5
If you don't mind a wider swath our loader buckets make great sod cutters. Also then when a section is cut it is already in the bucket to move it.
We didn’t have great results with our homemade sod cutter. (The video linked) Perhaps a loader mounted one might work better?

You could apply down pressure.

Also, I think our blade might have been too thick. I think a nearly horizontal / thin blade would work better.

Tim
You combined ideas has resulted in a new idea that I love.

I am going to build a prototype and let you know how it works!

THANKS GUYS
 

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Just a thought (crazy idea) from an Engineer/Fabricator, but were I to build something, I think Id incorporate a coulter from a plow that could be adjusted for width, (or maybe not) and have one on each side, the width I wanted to cut. Or a width that would be useful for more than just one project. Id assume that it would be mostly for trenching and would plan accordingly, and you may have already done that.
After I had that, Id look at building something similar to a scoop tote, with no back on it, and with a thinner, or VERY gradually beveled edge to have an acute angle to make the cutting action easier/better. Id add a bar across the top somewhere to add suitcase weights.

Once done, I envision a sod cutter that would cut a strip of sod as long as you wanted, as it would just keep cutting the strip and laying it back down behind it. You would need to cut it across at your desired length, which could be bucket width, or longer if you want to roll it.


But whatever you come up with, let us know how it works!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Just a thought (crazy idea) from an Engineer/Fabricator, but were I to build something, I think Id incorporate a coulter from a plow that could be adjusted for width, (or maybe not) and have one on each side, the width I wanted to cut. Or a width that would be useful for more than just one project. Id assume that it would be mostly for trenching and would plan accordingly, and you may have already done that.
After I had that, Id look at building something similar to a scoop tote, with no back on it, and with a thinner, or VERY gradually beveled edge to have an acute angle to make the cutting action easier/better. Id add a bar across the top somewhere to add suitcase weights.

Once done, I envision a sod cutter that would cut a strip of sod as long as you wanted, as it would just keep cutting the strip and laying it back down behind it. You would need to cut it across at your desired length, which could be bucket width, or longer if you want to roll it.


But whatever you come up with, let us know how it works!
Very similar to what I was thinking. Thanks for the idea about adjustable width.
 

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We didn’t have great results with our homemade sod cutter. (The video linked) Perhaps a loader mounted one might work better?
You could apply down pressure.

Also, I think our blade might have been too thick. I think a nearly horizontal / thin blade would work better.

Tim
I think down pressure of some sort is an absolute necessity. I'd think the 3pt would work better than a loader mount though. Depth control with the loader would be a chore.

Many years ago I watched a guy cut sod from a HUGE sod farm field down in Oklahoma. They had a device on the 3pt of their tractor and the cutting blade that slid under the sod was mounted diagonally and was serrated like a steak knife. I assumed that was to make it easy for it to cut through the roots. I n=know some of the smaller units that landscapers use have a cutting blade that operates like a sickle bar mower but underground to do the same thing.
 

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I bet you could build one patterned after a scuffle/stirrup hoe and have good success with it as long as your soil isn't too hard or rocky. Seems like something with a blade that thin and narrow (16") wouldn't be hard to hold under with the 3pt on a 1025R.



Check out this thread:

Sod Cutter

Rob
 

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Just another crazy thought.... What about renting a sod cutter from the local tool place? As much as I like to use my tractor for various stuff, sometimes it's cheaper and easier to just rent a specialty tool and be done with it. Especially if you're not going to be using it on a regular basis.

The last time I rented one, I think it was $25 for 4 hours and $35 for the whole day. I cleared out several spots for my 4x8 and 4x12 raised beds in no time flat!

Tim's video was great, but I think it illustrated the "challenges" associated with trying to build something like this yourself. It was also a multi-person effort with Christy at the wheel and Tim providing ballast. They probably would have been ahead in terms of time, money and effort if they'd just used a walk behind sod cutter.

I would concur with Coaltrain that you could use your bucket to "flip" the sod once it's cut. Regardless of whether you use something on your 3PH or a rented sod cutter, you're probably still going to want to cut the sod into sections so you can handle it. You're not going to be able to flip the entire length of the sod, even with the bucket. Keep in mind that sod is HEAVY!!

Now, if you could come up with something that would cut the sod, cut it into 5' sections and then flip it over so you can trench, THAT would be something!! :good2:

You might be able to find some YouTube videos on commercial sod farm equipment that does this sort of thing. That could give you some ideas.
 

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Just another crazy thought.... What about renting a sod cutter from the local tool place? As much as I like to use my tractor for various stuff, sometimes it's cheaper and easier to just rent a specialty tool and be done with it. Especially if you're not going to be using it on a regular basis.

The last time I rented one, I think it was $25 for 4 hours and $35 for the whole day. I cleared out several spots for my 4x8 and 4x12 raised beds in no time flat!

Tim's video was great, but I think it illustrated the "challenges" associated with trying to build something like this yourself. It was also a multi-person effort with Christy at the wheel and Tim providing ballast. They probably would have been ahead in terms of time, money and effort if they'd just used a walk behind sod cutter.

I would concur with Coaltrain that you could use your bucket to "flip" the sod once it's cut. Regardless of whether you use something on your 3PH or a rented sod cutter, you're probably still going to want to cut the sod into sections so you can handle it. You're not going to be able to flip the entire length of the sod, even with the bucket. Keep in mind that sod is HEAVY!!

Now, if you could come up with something that would cut the sod, cut it into 5' sections and then flip it over so you can trench, THAT would be something!! :good2:

You might be able to find some YouTube videos on commercial sod farm equipment that does this sort of thing. That could give you some ideas.
$90 / day here. Have done it a couple of times.

Now that I have the ‘heavy hitch’, I would no longer need to provide cheeseburger ballast.

If I get time, I’ll get back into this. I KNOW it can work. I saw one last week. Don’t want to give it away, as I’ll be showing the one I saw in a video in a week or two :)
 

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$90 / day here. Have done it a couple of times.
I stand corrected - I just popped on to the site for the rental place I got the last one from and it's $40 for 4 hours and $80 for the day. Still worth it if this was the alternative!

:laugh:!


Now that I have the ‘heavy hitch’, I would no longer need to provide cheeseburger ballast.

If I get time, I’ll get back into this. I KNOW it can work. I saw one last week. Don’t want to give it away, as I’ll be showing the one I saw in a video in a week or two :)
Looking forward to seeing what you come up with. Be sure to post the video back here in this thread. :good2:
 

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For what it's worth, an Artillian front hoe bucket would remove that sod in about one minute flat by just lowering it into the ground at the proper angle and driving forward.

You'd have a little bit of clean up after the trench was dug however...
 
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