Tips for Grading Your Yard With a Skid Steer

Tips for Grading Your Yard With a Skid Steer

Having uneven areas and slopes in your yard can be unsightly and increase the risk of soil erosion. Grading with a skid steer may be necessary to achieve a smooth and level yard. Grading involves leveling the ground by removing excess soil, filling in low areas, and creating a slight slope away from your home for proper drainage. Delve into expert tips for grading your yard with a skid steer. 

Assess the Work Site

Before starting any grading project, identify any obstacles, such as large rocks, tree stumps, or utility lines, that you may need to address. Remove these obstructions from the work area to ensure safe operation and prevent damage to the skid steer. If there are utility lines, flag them to ensure you avoid those areas, as you cannot remove them from the property.

During your evaluation, you should also check for any slope or uneven areas, as this can affect the grading process by causing water to pool or flow in the wrong direction. Additionally, note any soft or wet spots that could cause the skid steer to become stuck.

Purchase the Right Attachment

There are many types of skid steer attachments on the market, and you’ll need a bucket attachment for grading tasks. Look for a material bucket for skid steers that has a wide enough bucket to handle the area you are grading but is not so large that it makes maneuvering difficult in smaller spaces. The bucket should be heavy-duty and capable of cutting through soil and lifting debris without issue. 

Begin Grading the Area

The next tip for grading your yard with a skid steer is to rough grade the area. The goal is to create a gentle slope that allows water to drain away from buildings and into designated areas.

Start by clearing the surface of any topsoil or debris and setting it aside in a pile. Then, beginning at the highest point of your yard, work down, using the skid steer to push soil toward the lower areas. 

Pro Tip

Keep all excess soil in a designated area so that you can fill low areas as needed. 

Back Drag the Area

After the initial pass, use the back of the bucket to drag over the graded area. This technique helps smooth the soil, eliminating ridges and filling low spots. Additionally, back dragging allows you to flatten the ground. When doing this, allow the bucket attachment to drag across the soil as you operate the skid steer.

Make Final Adjustments

As you near completion of the grading project, take the time to make final adjustments. Walk the area, looking for any slope inconsistencies or areas you may have missed. Use the skid steer to make small corrections, paying close attention to the ground's contour and ensuring the slope remains consistent throughout the yard. Test whether the ground is level by spraying the area with water; if you notice water pooling, there are low sections you still need to level. 

Shop at Stout Buckets

Stout Buckets sells the best quality skid steer attachments for all users, from homeowners to professional contractors. Browse our website to learn more about our products and services, or contact us directly for personalized assistance in choosing the right attachment for your project.