Learning how to use a sod cutter is very important if you have never used a sod cutter before. Not knowing how to use a sod cutter could be dangerous. Also, if you do not know how to use a sod cutter, it is likely that you are going to end up cutting crooked lines and also decapitating your sprinkler heads. The instructions that I can give you on how to use a sod cutter are as follows:
One, make sure that you know how to turn the machine on and off. Typically, they are pole starts. To turn them on, you’re going to want to have the choke on and then after it starts turning, you’re going to want to move the choke to run. You’re probably going to want to have the machine turned on to get into your truck. You are probably also going to want to have it turned on and in reverse gear to take it out. Make sure before you move a sod cutter on pavement or in and out of your truck, that the blades are up.
When you start cutting the lawn, it is a good idea to start on one edge, and slowly work your way to the other edge as you make long passes over your lawn. Plan out your route with a sod cutter, before you start heading with it. Make sure to mark your sprinkler heads, so that you do not tear them out.
Once you have the sod cutter into position, lower the blade. As you lower them, they will start to engage and they will start to cut away at the sod. It is a really good idea to go slow, especially for the first two or three passes. Most sod cutter rentals allow you to shift gears. You can go forward slow, forward medium, or forward fast. You can also go backwards slow. When you get to the end of a row, you should pop the blades out of the lawn, and turn the machine around and reposition it, before putting the blades back down. The height on your blades, should be ½ to ¾ inches. If you are planning on reusing the sod that you are removing, then you should try for a depth of 1 to 1 ½ inches. Please note that different types of grass need different depths. It is probably best to test out an area of 3 feet, to see whether or not you are shallow enough. The advantage of going shallow, is that it makes it a lot lighter when you start having to haul it away.
I like to use the 18 inch sod cutter much better than the 12 inch cutter. I think that it makes the cuts a lot more level, and I think the 18 inch cutter is easier when your are trying to learn how to use a sod cutter.