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You find skid steer loaders on every type of jobsite because, with dozens of different attachments available, that single piece of equipment digs, grades, mows, and more. And, when it comes to site prep, few tools beat a skid steer power rake attachment.
Also known as Harley rakes and power box rakes, these attachments have a variety of applications, including landscaping, road work, property maintenance, and general construction.
There are different types of power rakes, each designed to perform a specific function. Pricing varies by type, size, make, and more, but in general falls between around $5,000 and $12,000.
Look carefully at the rake's capabilities, features, and size to determine whether it's the right tool for your needs. Although they all perform the same basic function, there are significant differences. For example, grader rakes are great at soil prep unless you're getting ready to seed. Their tines create striations that result in a striped lawn, which is a landscaping no-no. Understanding these nuances helps you choose the right attachment.
Also, look carefully at the attachment's requirements and compare them to the specs of your loader to ensure compatibility and that your rake doesn't overpower (and overwork) your skid steer. Many contractors choose universal attachments as they work on any skid steer and don't have to be replaced when it's time to buy a new loader.
When you need to clear coarse materials – bricks, rocks, roots, sticks – away from a jobsite, adding a grader rake attachment to your skid steer gets the job done. Strong, evenly spaced tines let you scarify and level the ground during site prep and separate debris during cleanup. They're also effective for road work. As mentioned above, though, do not use a grader rake when prepping for grass seeding.
Operation is simple thanks to floating, which allows the rake to follow the ground's contours. Select a grader rake whose width matches that of your loader. Most attachment widths range between 82" and 116", with cutting widths between 72" and 105". Average grader rake pricing falls between $5,000 and $12,000.
Auto rakes remove smaller rocks and debris via a bucket and toothed bar or chain. While they aren't the best choice for early site prep (as the grader rake is), they're great for doing the finish work necessary to prepare the area for seed or sod.
Thanks to the bar and bucket, auto rakes make collecting, transporting, and dumping debris easy. Before using this attachment, though, clear the site of large obstructions and items that may wrap around the rake chain. This includes rocks larger than 6" in diameter, wires, lumber, logs, and large tree branches. You also want a relatively loose soil, with compacted ground tilled to at least 2" before using an auto rake.
Expect to pay between $6,000 and $10,000 for a complete unit that includes couplers, hose, and mounting.
The preparator rake combines the best features of the grader rake and auto rake. It features a bi-directional, rotating drum that deposits debris and rock into a bucket, allowing it to sift, till, and fluff the ground.
Common applications for your preparator rake include rock removal, soil tillage, foliage removal, scarifying, and filling. Expect to pay between $6,500 and $10,000 on average.
The power box is even more versatile than the preparator rake, with the power to grade, level, rake, clear, and prepare the way for seed or sod. They're also used in renovations for dethatching and even removing lawns.
Power box rake attachments feature rollers lined with carbide teeth. These tines create an ideal seedbed by releasing just the right amount of moisture from the soil.
It's also easy for the operator thanks to an adjustable barrier that allows him or her to control the size of the workable loom as well as how much material to leave in the seedbed. The operator adjusts the barrier according to whether the ground is dry or wet and muddy. That barrier also allows the passage of typically dangerous materials, such as tree limbs and roots, without damaging the attachment.
Use the versatile power box rake for the following applications:
- Ballpark maintenance
- Condition soil
- Dethatch lawns
- Drainage grades
- Ground prep for sodding and seeding
- Maintain dirt and gravel roads
- Mill backfill materials
- Remove debris, rocks, tree limbs, and weeks
- Turf renovation
The average price for a power box rake ranges between $8,000 and $12,000.
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