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Author Topic: Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?  (Read 1321 times)

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Online btulloh

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Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?
« on: May 13, 2023, 04:48:24 PM »
Stopped in at the Kubota dealer the other day just to see what was going on. Iíve been thinking about getting a land plane to dress the driveway and gravel areas and I see thaey had some in stock.  Got to talking with a salesman that I have worked with for sometime and he brought up pulverizers  as a possible alternative. Sounded like a good tool with more capabilities (did I mention that heís a salesman? lol). Anyway, he is actually a good guy and uses all this stuff himself, so usually heís a pretty good reference. (And a pretty good salesman.)



 

This is the Landpride SP30-72 pulverizer. Sounds like it might be a good tool for bringing my gravel roads back to shape.  Get the grass out, loosen it up and bring the gravel to the top, etc.  I think Iíd need to run over with the scraper blade as a final step.

I have some rough field areas at the new place I need to rework and smooth out a bit (or get beat up every time I bush hog) and he was saying the pulverizer could work for that, just starting as is sod and all. (Hmmmm . . . selling or informing?).  Sounds good but I havenít ever done such a thing without turning, disking, dragging, grading, etc.  ???

Has anybody used one of these pulverizers?  Any feedback would be welcome!
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Offline Tom King

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Re: Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?
« Reply #1 on: May 13, 2023, 06:14:16 PM »
I have one.  It's good for loosening up dirt and smoothing it out to get ready for planting grass, but I wouldn't use it on gravel.  It suffers some wear just from dragging the teeth through dirt.  

It also doesn't do so good with a lot of grass.  It just bunches it up in front of the teeth.

The pins on the rollers are just to make sure the rollers turn rather than pushing dirt up in front of them.  I'm pretty sure you would lose pins dragging it on gravel.

There are better things to use on gravel roads.

Offline JD Guy

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Re: Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?
« Reply #2 on: May 13, 2023, 06:28:13 PM »
IMO You would be better off with a box blade for your gravel drive. I use the bucket on tractor front end loader, best alternative if you have a FEL. For smoothing pasture areas disc up with a heavy disc is the best alternative but would need to be done with grass cut short and some moisture in the ground. I canít see that tool you have pictured working very well for either of your needs. YMMV  :) That tool looks like better used to finish preparing a seed bed for new lawn.

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Re: Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2023, 03:24:31 AM »
Dressed a lot of drive way and yard areas in front of the buildings here with a tractor and bucket. For lawn soil, spread the piles some with the tractor and run a SxS or 4-wheeler with a hardwood pallet behind, with an old tire strapped on and put some rocks inside for weight (30 lbs or so). That way you don't compact the soil with heavy equipment and you get a smooth lawn. 8)
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Offline stavebuyer

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Re: Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2023, 05:17:10 AM »
A rock rake and a chain drag work wonders. Low cost and maintenance free. 

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Re: Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2023, 08:39:03 AM »
I think the tool you might like much better is a "Harley Rake" which is very similar to the soil pulverizer but is designed for resurfacing miles of old gravel roads, landscapes, etc.  Pretty much every rental store around here carries them and they are supposedly the best way to surface packed gravel roads, at least to the guys I haver talked to.  There are used ones out there, in pretty good shape.

 
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Offline Tom King

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Re: Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?
« Reply #6 on: May 14, 2023, 11:28:47 AM »
I used the Pulverizer when I was building new houses on wooded lake lots.  After clearing what trees that needed to be removed, getting the stumps up, filling stump holes with whatever machine we were using to clear with, and dragging the surface clean with a landscape rake, the pulverizer drug the little roots out of the surface and smoothed everything off good enough to plant grass, or shrubbery.

I think that's the best use for it.  It's not much good for smoothing other than almost bare dirt, and it won't do much grading.  It does leave a nice smooth surface, ready for grass seed, on bare dirt.

When I was getting up the little roots, I'd drag up a pile on the lot somewhere, and then move them away.  That had to be done before the final multiple passes with the pulverizer.

It does not get rocks out of the surface like a Harley Rake will.

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Re: Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?
« Reply #7 on: May 14, 2023, 11:38:48 AM »
I think it's worth considering what the exact definition of "gravel road" is where you are.  In that video, it looks like it's mostly dirt with some gravel in it.  Nice point, by the way wherever it is.

Some might have a pure Crusher Run surface that they call a "gravel road".

I wouldn't want to use a Harley Rake, at least not my Harley Rake, on a Crusher Run gravel road.  The teeth would get quickly worn down to nubs.

I would be more inclined to use a Land Leveler.

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Re: Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?
« Reply #8 on: May 14, 2023, 03:32:50 PM »
Did you ever meet a salesman that wasn't a new 'friend'? 
@btulloh "selling or informing?' as you said, it sounds like he was up-selling you. 
This is what we use for gravel roads;
 
The land plane is a bit wider than the rear tires and is tipped a bit higher on the left side, so as to leave a slight crown in the road. We have about four or five kms. of crushed granite topped gravel roads, that I dress up a few times per year. It is simple to operate and does a fantastic job.
If you buy one, get the heaviest one for the width, and it'll be a bunch of $$$ cheaper than a mechanical marvel.
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Online btulloh

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Re: Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?
« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2023, 07:05:36 PM »
 Thanks for the responses. Some good info as usual here from the FF members. Just a little background about my looking at some new ways of doing the same old chores. Iím sort of ďtaking steps to save stepsĒ and exploring new ways to take care of the gravel in the future. Tom Kingís post a while back about his use of the land plane is what started me off on this path to begin with, so I appreciate Tom checking in with his pulverizer experiences. (Thatís also how I always thought about puliverizers until the guy at Kubota was telling me heíd been using one on drivewayís Ė sort of a poor manís harley rake.)


At the new place I have a 1500 ft driveway, plus some auxillary gravel roads and Iím also adding a couple sizable gravel parking areas. Iím want to improve my old routine with box blades, scraper blades, back dragging the bucket etc. Once I get the existing driveway and roads put back in shape, something like a land plane and/or chain drag will make short work of all this provided I do it at appropriate intervals. Here at my old place (1500 ft driveway, auxillary roads and parking areas Ė hmmmmÖ..) things stay in good shape as long as I hit them in early spring and again in the fall. Missing a few intervals really makes it much more work to bring things back to shape. Both here and the new place, the driveway/roads are hard packed clay, good base, good layer of 57ís on top. (The clay sets up like concrete and is very hard to loosen up to work if a lot of reshaping is needed.)


To loosen up the hard pack prior to grading a run my heavy (1300lb) box blade just off the surface with only the scarifiers doing any work. To cut deep enough in that hard stuff with the actual blade edge I end up not only loosening the hard pack, but moving material Ė and it really doesnít need to moved at this stage. When I get it loosened enough I can then reshape the road easily, usually with the scraper blade, sometimes with a box blade Ė just depends whether I want to switch implements or not that day.


Anyway, that all works fine as long as Iíve kept the grass out, which I normally do.


At the new place, the grass has been allowed to get a good crop going in the middle on the sides. I missed spraying it last fall cause I only had a couple weeks before it went dormant, and havenít sprayed it yet this spring. I donít really care to wait for it to burn down after spraying before I get this drive shaped up. Iíve got a lot of traffic out there right now with all the work Iíve got going on and I really need to shape it up before the low-boys, material delivery truck, etc. really start to pound it further out of shape.



The straight road in the foreground is my driveway - this stretch is representative of the rest of the drive.



 
Spur road from the barn - even more grass, but shows I've got a good amount of 57's to work with.



 
New parking area to the left, new drive going back to the new garage on the right.  The gravel you see in the picture will actually go away, but I'll have a fair amount of gravel to keep in shape when it's all done.  (The perspective thouws the proportions off, but .  .)


YH, the harley rake is really the right tool to loosen this up and kick the grass (sod) to the top where I can get rid of it and then shape up the drive. (Iíve had a harley rake on my list of ďthings Iíd like to have but canít justify the expenseĒ for a long time.) Thatís why the conversation about the pulverizer (poor manís harley rake lol) got my attention the other day. But Iím not convinced, especially after Tom Kingís report. I never checked on the rental places though, so thatís a great idea. Iím sure that Sunbelt will have them. Sunbelt sort of fell off my radar when they closed a couple locations on my side of town and consolodated their operation here. Hopefully my favorite rental place will have them, but if not Iíll have to deal with Sunbelt. Then I guess Iím back to buying the land plane, but Iím seeing that as worthwhile addition to the fleet. ďspending bucks to save steps (and time)Ē


Thanks to all for the feedback, and thanks to Tom King for his post that inspired me to look for new solutions. (Tom I do realize that neither the harley rake or the pulverizer can do my leveling and shaping chores, but thanks for pointing that out.)

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Re: Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?
« Reply #10 on: May 14, 2023, 07:35:37 PM »
A good tow behind sprayer in addition to a box scrape/land plane/ scrape blade (you choose) will be the ticket.  

Seems like scraping just ďcultivatesĒ the grass and weeds.  

Itís better to keep the vegetation killed and use the tractor and implement of your choice to keep the gravel dressed. 
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Re: Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?
« Reply #11 on: May 14, 2023, 07:59:56 PM »
I have had very good luck just using my box blade. For the crown on the driveway I just move the lift arm pin from the highest hole to the lowest hole. Works very well to keep or improve the crown.

I have been looking at a land plane, still may end up building one but for now the box works well. And since I put a delivery box at the end of the driveway the UPS guy doesn't have to spin his tires all the way up anymore.

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Re: Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?
« Reply #12 on: May 14, 2023, 08:07:33 PM »
Roger that, Ted and then some on keeping the vegetation out!  Iíll pass that along to the previous owner retroactively!  I inherited that wonderful grass in the road last October when I bought the new place.  Seems she had ďlearnedĒ that Roundup was more dangerous than smoking cigarettes in an asbestos mine.

Iíve got everything I need except a flux capacitor and a harley rake.  lol  No way to just scrape that grass out of the hard pack road but Iíll be using my boom sprayer on it in the future.  And finding me a harley to rent!

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Re: Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?
« Reply #13 on: May 14, 2023, 08:08:10 PM »
Grass in the driveway is going to be a fight most any kind of way.  I'd kill it and add a little stone here and there if it's needed, and wait until next Spring when it's all dead and gone to finish if off nicely so you can maintain it with a land plane.  That's just me though.  I wouldn't have time to fight that grass.

I'm no pro though.  I just try to keep up the Ponderosa here, and we have a total of about 100' of gravel driveway.  I've been tempted to pave it several times, but it's bordered by very large Oak trees, and the roots would always win.  I just grade it with the bucket whenever it has to be worked with.  It's not even enough to bother to change to a blade.

You may have seen my sprayer before.  I keep a spray rig on a 7' twin rear wheeled rotary cutter.  We have miles of trails that get clipped with that cutter.  I have two pumps. One will spray a 30 foot swath from a single nozzle, and the other pump operates a wand that I can operate from that tractor seat.  Switches for either pump are right at hand.

I changed the tank to the Chapin 25 gallon rig that you can swap concentrate tanks on, and never have a complete tank mixed.  The 25 gallon tank just holds water.

This is an old picture before I changed the tank type and "boom" on the rear.  Now there is a single pipe going to one nozzle.  

Front switch is wand pump.  Rear switch is boom.  The middle two switches turn night into day. The boom folds forward for when I need to protect it, which is not that often.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Re: Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?
« Reply #14 on: May 14, 2023, 08:10:06 PM »
the grass is not higher than the gravel? My parents driveway has the grass strip I always figure I could run the box down it peeling the high dirt spot with the sod off then use the ripper to tear everything up and resurface.

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Re: Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?
« Reply #15 on: May 14, 2023, 08:38:50 PM »
Thereís no peeling with stuff Cru - roots are deep, dirt is hard. Besides like I mentioned before, sometimes I just like to find new ways of doing the same old thing!

Tom, I remember the hog-mounted sprayer and thought it was clever and useful. May have to try it that way when I get back to having some spare time to fabricate stuff again. 

Iíve had my eye on those Chapin sprayers since they came out.  Work well?  Any difficulty getting the mix ratio right?  I really like the concept of clean water mixed on exit.  Sure could make switching chemicals and cleanup a lot easier. 
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Re: Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?
« Reply #16 on: May 14, 2023, 10:49:01 PM »
There is some guesswork with the mix ratio.  The lower rates don't mix well.  If I need a low mix ratio, I dilute the concentrate in the concentrate tank.

With the hose going from the tank to the pumps, I sometimes have trouble with losing prime if the water gets low and I'm going up and down hills.  It's not much trouble to prime it again though, since there is nothing but clean water in the big tank, so I just pull out the pickup hose and spray some water in it with a water hose.

It's Way better than having something left in the forty gallon tank already mixed up to have to deal with.

It would probably work better if I had the pumps up where the stock pump is designed to go, but I'm used to it like it is, and can deal with it easier than taking time I don't have to redo something.

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Re: Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?
« Reply #17 on: May 14, 2023, 11:25:42 PM »
Hmmmm. . . Losing prime doesnít sound appealing.  Never had that happen on the Fimco, and those pumps should self prime anyway.  I see thatís a common complaint with the Chapin.

Low mix ratio - 2oz/gal or so?  Would that be a problem area?

About adding gravel - there really is plenty of gravel on it now. (Thatís the good news, cause I need to buy a lot of gravel for new stuff.)  The bed is just starting to to take on the W shape so I want to shape it up before it really goes south.  The dirt is so hard packed that the gravel doesnít get mashed into it much. Even after a good rain itís pretty much like concrete. The only time this stuff likes to be worked is during a spring thaw situation and we havenít had the right weather pattern in the last couple years to get a soft thaw.  I guess I shouldnít complain about that, but I usually plan the major road shaping around the right thawing conditions. 
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Re: Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?
« Reply #18 on: May 15, 2023, 12:54:30 AM »
 I look at shaping gravel a bit differently coming from a grading background. One thing you are always fighting when shaping gravel, especially final shaping, is what is called float up here, but could be called segregation as well. That is the tendency of larger aggregate to separate from the smaller aggregate. Now you add to the mix something like a Harley Rake, that is actually designed to segregate material, and you have a recipe for a mess, IMO. 

 The best time to work gravel (if you don't have a water truck😊) is after a shower. Not soaking wet and muddy, but not dry. If it is dusty, the material will segregate. Then you just end up pushing piles of rocks around. If you have the right moisture content, the material will compact and can be "sealed" by running it over with the tires on equipment or a vehicle. It will then both shed water and hold its shape better.
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Re: Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2023, 07:09:30 AM »
Several have been to my place. There is a good bit of crusher run that I have to maintain. I keep the box blade on the back of the tractor for the little touch up now and then. When it needs redone I use a land plane just like Andries. Here is a short video I did on my place a while back.


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Re: Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?
« Reply #20 on: May 15, 2023, 07:52:28 AM »
The boom pump at 60 psi and 4.5 gpm will self-prime.  The wand pump at 150 psi and 1.25 gpm will not.  It's always when the water or concentrate is low and I let air get over either pickup when I'm not paying close attention.

Offline DWyatt

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Re: Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?
« Reply #21 on: May 15, 2023, 10:47:04 AM »
My Dad just bought on the the ABI Attachments TR3 ďEĒ Property Edition. The thing looks gimicky to me, but I used it a couple weeks ago on my 1200' of gravel driveway and I was blown away at how well it did at resurfacing the packed gravel. Starting off, I set the tines to dig 3"-4" and made a few passes, ripping up the driveway. Then raise the tines back up and let the leveling bar and rake smooth things out. After spending about an hour and a half on the driveway, it looks much healthier and has a pretty even distribution of coarse and fine stone.

I definitely still think there is a need for a land plane, but mainly to pull the coarse stone from the edges of the driveway to the wheel lines. Since the leveling bar is perpendicular on the TR3 it doesn't do a great job at pulling gravel from the edge. 

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Re: Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?
« Reply #22 on: May 15, 2023, 01:12:11 PM »
A lot of people use those TR3's for riding rings.  That's one thing the pulverizer is great for.  It not only does a good job on the footing, but I like it because it stays up close to the tractor which makes getting in close to jumps easier.

My Pulveizer only has one roller on the back.   I've never felt like 2 would be much different, or felt like I wanted to add the other one.  It is a heavy duty 8' one with really heavy teeth.

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Re: Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?
« Reply #23 on: June 05, 2023, 05:33:46 PM »
So much for the grass that was in my road. Gone now, road reshaped, and good to go. Now I can maintain it easily with my scraper blade, box blade etc.  I was getting some cut and fill work done anyway and carried that over into reshaping the road and unnecessary deep ditches. Cat 853 track loader with a 4in1 bucket and a good operator got things in pretty good shape. 



 

 

Fine grading crew came by today and did a little microsurgery then power raked and put down grass seed and straw. 

Dry here now, so hoping for some rain.  

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Re: Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?
« Reply #24 on: June 05, 2023, 06:34:36 PM »
Looks great!

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Re: Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?
« Reply #25 on: June 05, 2023, 09:57:54 PM »
Nothing like letting the pros take care of it.  Looks great now!
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Re: Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?
« Reply #26 on: June 06, 2023, 06:48:28 AM »
we never see track loaders up this way...ever! Looks like you had a real good operator that did a fine job. Lookin good
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Re: Soil pulverizer - any experience or feedback on these?
« Reply #27 on: June 06, 2023, 07:33:18 AM »
It really looks good.  
YellowHammerisms:

Take steps to save steps.

If it wonít roll, its not a log; itís still a tree.  Sawmills cut logs, not trees.

Kiln drying wood: When the cookies are burned, theyíre burned, and you canít fix them.

Sawing is fun for the first couple million boards.

Be smarter than the sawdust


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