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Forums > Active Threads > General Tractor Discussions > Operating and Attachments

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Landscape rake

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mobilus
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 171 Clay County, TX
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2007-10-29          147528


Sometimes my bank account makes too many decisions for me, and here's a chance for me to eat my words on Chinese implements. Tell me what you guys think.

Last Saturday, I bush hogged a lake property that had overgrown probably ten years. Left quite a mess. Found about a half ton of scap iron in the process...and I actually watched the owner walk over it as I got started. Well, the mess that was left behind consists of stuff up to a foot long.

The owner wants me to rake it up. I don't have a landscape rake yet, and Atwoods has a 6 foot rake made in China for $229, on sale now. Tractor Supply has a King Kutter version of the same (I guess) for $399. I haven't checked with my beloved Land Pride dealer yet.

Anyway, do you think that I'm just throwing away any profits I may make from cleaning up the place by buying cheap? I used a makeshift rake growing up, made out of an old bemuda grass scratcher if I remember correctly, but never a factory made one. So I need your thoughts.

Thanks,
Mark

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candoarms
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1932 North Dakota
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2007-10-29          147531


Mark,

Just my opinion here......

There isn't much that can go wrong with a landscape rake. It's a fairly simple device, with no moving parts. ANY rake will do ya.

Now I'm not so sure that I'd want to drive my tractor over any scrap iron.....and I don't. Picking up the scrap iron, even if I'd have to do it at no charge, would be well worth my time and effort......just to save my tractor and tires.

Joel ....

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Landscape rake

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-10-30          147533


There's plenty that can go wrong on a rake.

I have a TSC 5' (garbage) and a 6' LandPride. I bent the TSC one after minutes of use. I bent the LP but that was from extreme abuse on my part.

The cross beam the tines attach to is the biggie. Ones made from a single piece of angle and are easily twisted---read: permanently.

The tine design themselves are a key to longevity in that some have a bent tang that helps holds them on the bar before the clamp bar gets tightened. Some don't have the tang so if the clamp bar comes loose you lose the tine. Some have a hole in the tine for a single bolt which can come loose. Then there's the kind of steel they're made of--the cheap ones don't hold their shape or are brittle.

The clamps or clamp bars are somtimes made of thin steel. When stressed they collapse and the tine falls out.

The pivot point is also prone to wallowing-out (wear) due to a poor fit from the start.

The LP has an optional fold down grader/scraper blade and gage wheels which make a perfect thing for grading and raking all in one.

Oh yeah, as far as being handy, consider installing a hydraulic cylinder on the rake beam. It's a great time and back saver being able to change direction on the fly. Be sure to make it removable so that you can spin the rake beam 180 degrees and reattach the cylinder. That way you can push backward too.

Also, the hydraulic top link is a handy option too in that you can adjust the "bite" or agressiveness of the attack of the tines, which is good for removing certain items and not others since it will bounce over them and not drag everything.

Expect to pay 3 times the TSC for the LP. But you'll get 10 times the life too. And like they say "It's only money" ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5223 South Carolina
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2007-10-30          147538


I agree with Joel running over metal with tires often cost you.

I agree with EW on plenty can go wrong with a rake also. If you must go with a lower quality rake, then take the load with it easy.

You may find you can rent a rake for the job and possibly a large magnetic even to pick up the metal. If possible you may wish to burn off what you cut before putting your tractor back on it to help you see the metal. kt

....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2007-10-30          147542


I've had an LP for years, can't seem to hurt it. I've leveled lots of crushed limestone and loose soil with it. Frank. ....

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greg_g
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1816 Western Kentucky
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2007-10-30          147555


I second the pivot point comment. I snapped one of those cheapie six footers right in half at the pivot point. I suggest you select a rake that supports the pivot at no less than two points. Tangled tines are another problem. Look for a rake that employs two bolts per tine, or a single bolt system with spacers between the tines.

If your tractor doesn't have draft control, you might also want to consider gauge wheels.

//greg// ....

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mobilus
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 171 Clay County, TX
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2007-10-30          147566


Thanks for the input...now to come up with a few extra bucks...

kt,I like your idea of burning it off before doing anything else. That might just work.

And I didn't run over the metal by choice...and I know that if I had punctured a tire I would have been in the hole at the end of the day. I was careful, and pulled most of the stuff out when I heard the first clank in the area. I guess the neighbors thought it was a dump. I found the metal frame of a trampoline (dismantled, of course), old bed springs, pipe, etc.

When I talked with the owner, he said that the reason they suspect the land went unleased for so many years was that the people on either side had cut the grass so far into the lot that the narrow strip left looked like a drainage area. Whatever the case, they lucked out.

Land Pride rake = around $650. King Kutter rake = $399. Cheap Chinese made Topro rake = $229

Decisions, decisions...money, money. ....

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Landscape rake

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mobilus
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 171 Clay County, TX
TractorPoint Premium Member -- 5 Tractors = Very Frequent Poster  View my Photos  Pics

2007-10-30          147567


Thanks for the input...now to come up with a few extra bucks...

kt,I like your idea of burning it off before doing anything else. That might just work.

And I didn't run over the metal by choice...and I know that if I had punctured a tire I would have been in the hole at the end of the day. I was careful, and pulled most of the stuff out when I heard the first clank in the area. I guess the neighbors thought it was a dump. I found the metal frame of a trampoline (dismantled, of course), old bed springs, pipe, etc.

When I talked with the owner, he said that the reason they suspect the land went unleased for so many years was that the people on either side had cut the grass so far into the lot that the narrow strip left looked like a drainage area. Whatever the case, they lucked out.

Oh, the mess I was speaking of wan't metal, it was mesquite. That's what needs to be raked up and disposed of.

Land Pride rake = around $650. King Kutter rake = $399. Cheap Chinese made Topro rake = $229

Decisions, decisions...money, money. ....

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bvance
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 280 The Great Pacific NorthWet, Olympia, WA
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2007-10-31          147572


Mobilus,

I'm not clear as to what you want to do with the rake. Rake up the iron pieces or rake up the plant debris or both. If it is the iron, I don't think it will effectively handle the larger or flat pieces.
If you raking up woody plant debris, you will get a lot of dirt with it and then the piles will be hard to burn.

Brian ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5223 South Carolina
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2007-10-31          147574


Mobilus, if you find the rake is piling up a lot of dirt,you may find removing like every other tooth will let the dirt flow though (of course some fine trash also).

If there is a lot of large scrap metal (not sure what you describe would do it) may find a scrap metal person who will pick it up are at least haul it off.

I can very much understand what you are facing, same thing happened to where we live. Funny how neighbors think you want their scrap.

Be careful running back over any trees you cut off with cutter, they can puncture a tire very quickly. I know. kt ....

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Landscape rake

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-10-31          147580


Kenny wasn't you that said,"one man's junk is another man's treasure"?


....

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mobilus
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 171 Clay County, TX
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2007-10-31          147584


I need the rake to clean up the plant debris. I thought that they were going to let the place sit over the winter, but they're wanting it cleaned up ASAP. I have already piled up the trash I found. I'll haul it away when I go back. As for the raked up plant debris, I'll probabbly haul it to my place and add it to a burn pile. I let them sit for 7 or 8 months before I burn them. They make good small animal habitat over the winter.

I really like those scarifer implements that are basically like a box blade without the box. I think that'd be great for pulling up small root balls and opening the ground at the same time. I might build one, because I could use the ripper shanks from the box blade.

No more than there is to them, it would be nice to build a rake, but there's no way I could do it in the time I have, and the spring tines would be impossible to do.

Anyway, I'll go back out this Saturday to finish up. I'll take a few pix and get your opinions.

....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5223 South Carolina
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2007-10-31          147602


Mobilus, spring tines are sold by Agri Supply at decent price to me. If you want something to pull up root balls look around for a old subsoiler. Price should be good and much stronger than the shanks from a box blade. They also have replacement points. Just be sure you can get points as some brands are gone. kt ....

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mobilus
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 171 Clay County, TX
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2007-10-31          147607


Thanks, kthompson. There's a farm equipment auction about an hour south of me tomorrow morning. I think I'm feeling a little sick, will probably be really sick by tomorrow morning...I might have to take a trip to see Doctor Auction before I feel better.

I'm not sure what small equipment they'll have, but even if it is bigger stuff that's cheap enough, I can cut it down to size. That might not help me with the rake, but a lot of posibilities exist. ....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-10-31          147611


Mobilus: Instead of making a scarifier, just drop the existing scarifiers on the box blade all the way down.

I pull smaller stumps using just one scarifier all the way down like a middle buster.

I do a lot of lot cleanups. I haven't used my rakes in years. All I use is my box blade for pushing brush into plies. (I have a bobcat too with a grapple bucket but that's for much bigger jobs.) The hyd. top link allows the rear of box to drop making it an effective dozer. If you get too much dirt then just pull the box over the pile and the brush will come to the top as the dirt falls out for the most part. Then tip the box like it's suppose to be and push the brush into a pile. I can sometimes push a pile 15-20' wide 6' tall and 8-10' deep depending on what it is and the soil conditions. And you kill two birds with one stone by using the brush to smooth the earth as you go. ....

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Landscape rake

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5223 South Carolina
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2007-11-01          147631


EW, I have pulled many small stumps (probably up to 6 inches) with box blade. Bump it one direction and then another and pull the blade into it and raising the lift at same time and up they pop.

I do agree with the ability to use box blade or scrape blad to push trash. Mobilus, you can also pull the trash with such. Just keep the blade out of the dirt or just touching it. kt ....

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mobilus
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 171 Clay County, TX
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2007-11-01          147636


Great! I will wait on the rake and see what I can do with the box blade on Saturday. I appreciate your advice. I guess you both have TnT on your tractors? Changing the angle of attack on the box blade using the regular method really sucks, hence my attempts to put TnT on mine. ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5223 South Carolina
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2007-11-01          147637


Mobilus, I do not have TNT on either of my tractors. I do have a cylinder which came with a dump bucket for the 3 pth that does the same. I prefer the fixed 3rd armed myself for pushing over that cylinder. It works well to tilt but I find I rather keep the angle the same and use my 3pt lift to adjust the clearance. Now I not tried it on a box blade and no longer use one. Use normal rear blade and rake. I just don't find the need for often angle adjustment that seems some do. kt ....

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7155 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-11-01          147640


I don't see any great need for TNT either, but the hydraulic top link is absolutely indispensable!!!

I even use it with one of the 3pth counter balances I have since it allows me to swivel it out on the lower link pins and shift my ballast backwards a few feet.

On things like a box blade or a rear blade a hydraulic top link makes the work go WAY faster and smoother!

Best of luck.
....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-11-01          147642


No TNT here just toplink.

Have considered the side link but don't use that feature to justify it. ....

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mobilus
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 171 Clay County, TX
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2007-11-02          147674


kt, the reason I want the TnT is that I have been called on a few times to cut drainage ditches and the adjustments to the lift arms gets old.

Oh, I picked up a 12' toolbar (solid 2x2ish) with three middle busters on it for $25 at the auction yesterday.



I also bought the lift gate from a delivery truck (tractor-trailer type)with the 12 volt motor and pump, and large hyd ram, for $80. I haven't messed with it yet, but if all I get is the steel, the joints, etc, then it is still worth the price. If the hydraulics work, I really made out. That'll become a dump trailer sometime in the future. I figure it weighs 12-1400 pounds. The trip to the auction was just what the doctor ordered.



....

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mobilus
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 171 Clay County, TX
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2007-11-05          147766


I went out this weekend and tried cleaning the lot with my box blade. Didn't do what I wanted it to, so I guess I'll spring for the landscape rake after all. Thanks again for all your input. ....

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bialecki
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 60 Southern Connecticut
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2007-12-05          148984


So a month has passed, did you get a rake? If so which brand. I bought a Midwest series 20 rake which is great.

http://www.midwestequipment.net/

They are an OEM for John Deere. The quality is right up there and the gage wheels are superb. ....

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mobilus
Join Date: Jul 2007
Posts: 171 Clay County, TX
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2007-12-08          149094


Well, after getting advice that I didn't need one if I knew how to use my box blade, I decided to go the cheapest route...seems to be a good decision so far. I bought a cheap $229 six-foot rake from Atwoods. Since I'm not using it much...I'd do it again. ....

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