How long does it take a person (on average) to lay a pallet of sod?

How long does it take a person (on average) to lay a pallet of sod?

martins – posted 04 June 2004 13:10


ted – posted 04 June 2004 14:03

actually an interesting question. i timed some laborers the other day! took a group of 3 about 5 minutes.

jody Boo – posted 04 June 2004 15:02

My men will average about 1 and a half pallets per hour over an 8 hour day,including breaks,moving empty pallets,raking,cutting around bushes,etc.I have some men who can lay 18 pallets a day each,no sweat.Depends largely also on distance from pallet to area to lay.I advise people laying their own for first time,with two people laying ,order no more than ten pallets the first day.You will be tired.

martins – posted 04 June 2004 15:39

We’re going to have about 3-4 people to lay out the 18 pallets of sod (bermuda Tif419) in a lawn that is square and with no trees/bushes to work around.

The truck is due to deliver the sod at around 3 pm next Friday afternoon. I am hoping to get it all put out that night (there is good lighting to work with after dark).

We’re in Athens, GA.

martins – posted 04 June 2004 15:41

Also, the person delivering the sod will place the pallets in the yard every 500/1000 feet so we won’t have to walk so far. Hopefully this will elimiate some of the time required to lay the sod out.

seed – posted 04 June 2004 20:04

In Florida, pallets of slabbed sod typically hold either 400 square feet (sand grown) or 500 square feet (muck grown), the difference due to weight (sand heavier than muck) and truck weight restrictions. Bermudagrass would normally only be sand grown. I have seen it rolled in small rolls, but it is normally slabbed. Besides square feet per roll, there might be some differences in time required to install slabbed versus rolled sod, also slabs are typically 16 inches X 24 inches, though I have seen 12-inch wide sod (don’t remember the length). We may all be talking about the same thing, maybe not.

You also need to consider whether the truck has a piggyback fork lift, and if so, whether it is limited to hard surfaces. If so, it may be impossible to place the pallets deep within the landscape, and considerable sod may have to be carried by hand. Also, what is the terrain? Does the ground slope?


cohiba – posted 05 June 2004 07:52

to all, This past spring we made a steel, low cost device that goes on the three point hitch of a tractor. Three men laid 13,000 sq.ft of sod in under 8 hours. We now purchase sod rolls. Bluegrass and bluegrass/fescue mix, 60 feet long, 4’wide. No carrying, no pallets, no broken backs. I am convinced that the labor savings offsets the added cost per sq.ft.( .03 per sq.ft.).The sod knitted extremely well due to alot less seams.I’m not sure if your southern farms are able to do this. If they can, they will surely have a rolling device to rent out. Our farms in NJ often lend these out at no cost. For a pallet of bluegrass, one man working his tail off: 1 hour 15 min. and at least 45 min recouping time…..(I know it was me)Hopefully there will be no more pallets of sod coming on to my property.

For what it is worth……..

seed – posted 05 June 2004 13:33

Good information, Cohiba. What is the size of your pallets?


cohiba – posted 05 June 2004 18:54

Normally about 250 sq.ft. depending on thinkness of sod cut.

Get this: when we buy bentgrass sod the soil is washed off the sod and a roll wieghs a few ounces. I can fit about 2000 sq.ft in my pick up. Sometimes our local guy delivers to Augusta and takes it down in a refrigerated trailer.

I love my job……

ted – posted 05 June 2004 21:33

with all due respect, i think the average sod job is more what they’re looking for. the average homeowner isn’t going to be dealing with rolls of sod and refrigerated trucks. most sod jobs in residential landscapes are pretty poor, and since they’re spending extra money on the tif, they’re probably looking for a little more quality than normal. i’ve seen average (crappy) sod jobs take about 5 minutes a pallet for a work crew. maybe we’re talking about different labor sources and techniques.

cohiba – posted 07 June 2004 13:57

I think their original question was answered early on and I thought that it would be nice to share other experiences.

I’ve seen people buy sod from roadside stands with “SOD” spray painted on a piece of plywood. Never going near a farm.

I’ve seen them buy rolls of sod, for five times what the farm sells it for, at Home Depot and load it into the truck of a caddy.

Most people don’t know there is a difference between grasses. They think once you put sod down you never have to do anything else but mow and water. How many time have you seen a lawn go south and the owner says “I put that sod down two years ago!” I was just trying to point out that there are other ways of purchasing and installing sod, possibly to the benefit of someone seeking to install sod on thier own property.

There is no reason to do a crappy job just because you are a homeowner. You need not be a professiuonal to get professional results. Also there are not too many people that can get 10-12 friends to “crew” a load of sod.

I bet if you got 150 people to do your yard you could probaly get a few thousand sq.ft down in under five minutes. But who really cares as long as the job is done right….

just my opinion……..

ted – posted 07 June 2004 20:27

yeah, i just think they’re going to have a rough time getting that many pallets down in one day. rolls are not that accessible in the south, particularly in Athens, GA. there’s just a wide gamut of labor sources and techniques, and i dont’ think we need to push them in the direction of 5 minutes per pallet or in the roll direction. if they could find some decent labor, i would guess around 15 minutes per pallet would be reasonable. remember to prep the soil and smooth out the rough dirt first, of course. Also rolling afterward would be essential. proper placement of the sod pallets also is helpful. i can’t imagine taking an hour to install a pallet….

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