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Old 01-13-2010, 07:01 PM   #16
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easy and fun to operate it's the skill of grading thats difficult

PS the neighbor tried to collect for his time.
His time or the hours on the equipment? If he showed you how everything works, then you had the opportunity to play on it for two weeks, I don't understand your complaint. Two weeks rent-free plus training.


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Old 01-13-2010, 07:07 PM   #17
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2 weeks of using one is worth close to $3k
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Old 01-13-2010, 07:43 PM   #18
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Is it really a good idea for a blind guy to be operating equipment?
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:47 AM   #19
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renting one is $400 a day, and running it yourself, unless you are a good operator and have lots of experience running one, you will not get your moneys worth.

hire an experienced o/o for $85 hour and you will get the job done much quicker ,cheaper and better final results.

PS I have operated every piece of equipment for over 20 years and the skidsteer aka "bobcat" is the hardest piece of equipment to run well.
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Old 01-16-2010, 01:27 PM   #20
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I rented one 2 years ago to re grade my yard. Cost was 180 for the day. I had driven one before but not to grade. Also have driven off road telescoping boom forklifts and off road boom lifts. It took sometime behind the seat to get the hang of grading. I just used the bucket attachment. The biggest things you will need to learn is how much down pressure to put on the bucket and what angle to have the bucket at.

I started out by putting dirt where I thought it was needed, close to the house and low spots. Then I held the bucket perpendicular to the ground and not a lot of down pressure, this spread the piles of dirt out pretty evenly and showed where I needed more dirt. Then I held the bucket at about a 45 degree angle and put some down pressure on it, this really smoothed things out and packed the dirt down a little. Kept doing this till I was pretty happy with things. Then I put the bucket almost flat and put down pressure on it till the front wheels were just slightly off the ground, this really leveled and smoothed things out and packed it down pretty good. Not sure if this is the right way to grade a yard but it worked really good for me. After 2 years the grade is still good and have a beautiful lawn of grass now.

After I was done grading I borrowed a rototiller from a friend, it was a forward rotating tine machine and really sucked for working up the packed ground. I went out and bought a nice troybilt counter rotating tine model and it worked great. Spend many hours tilling the yard and getting as many rocks out that I could. Then planted grass. It took 2 years to get a nice thick layer of grass but it looks really nice now.

Hope this helps a little bit. It is a fun machine to operate but you need to respect it's limits. If you are not familiar with driving them they can take you for a ride. It's pretty easy to tip one of these over(forward or backwards) if you are carrying dirt and jerk the throttle. Like mentioned take it slow and play with it till you get the hang of things, and also like mentioned watch behind you because it's hard to see what's behind you and how close you are to things.
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Old 01-16-2010, 03:18 PM   #21
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My vote would be for a tractor with bucket and back blade.`Skid Loaders while fun to operate can really take a toll on your lawn if not careful. I think someone with no experience would be better off with the tractor, it is not as large as learning curve.

Heck buy an old tractor of CL, use it all summer then sell it if you no longer have a need for it. You should be able to pick one up for 3 or 4 grand. In this economy I have even seen pretty decent skid loaders on CL for around 6k

Leah Frances; I don't think clasact meant that to be a sexist jab, just a spousal jab. After all it did sound like she did have a "little" mishap.
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Last edited by brokenknee; 01-16-2010 at 03:23 PM.
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Old 01-16-2010, 03:37 PM   #22
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Just Make Sure you Call Your Local Utility Companies and Check For Underground lines!!!

Those things will rip apart anything they touch!

But they are fun to operate.
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Old 01-19-2010, 12:32 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Paul Gettis View Post
Just Make Sure you Call Your Local Utility Companies and Check For Underground lines!!!

Those things will rip apart anything they touch!

But they are fun to operate.
Yes, Yes, Yes. Call them, we call them USA out here but they will mark everything. That can be a true money saver.

Not that anyone has asked - my vote is still for the skip loader.
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Old 01-30-2010, 11:31 PM   #24
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As an operator, I am going to have to agree with Larry as well. Hire someone. It will be cheaper and less labor on your part in the long run. We have a number of machines and a number of operators, only a few of the skilled operators are good enough to grade out a lawn with a Bobcat. As a matter of fact we would never attempt to grade a lawn with a wheeled Bobcat as it will create too much manual labor (even with a skilled operator). Grading with a tracked Bobcat is 5 times easier and the best tool in this case.

Then again if you enjoy raking for hours, give it a try. If you do not enjoy raking then money well spent to bring someone in. What would take you 8 hours would take a good operator less then two.


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