11 Best Rock Rakes For Skid Steers: Full Rock Rake Comparison Guide

If you’re on the market for a rock rake for a skid steer you may realize pretty fast that there are a lot of options. You might find Harley Rakes and start looking at those and then York rakes could be next and maybe you’ll come across Rock Pickers and before you know it you’re not sure what your best option is?

It can be really confusing trying to understand what all the different rock rake skid steer attachments are designed to do, how they’re similar, and how they’re different. We’ve put together this guide to outline the 11 best rock rakes for skid steers to help you make the right decision. In this article we’ll talk about the following types of skid loader rock attachments:

The Problem with Rock Rakes For Skid Steers:

The problem with rock rakes is that when you search google with terms like “rock rake”, “landscaping rock rake”, "skid steer rock rake", "rock rake for skid steer" etc. you get a really mixed bag of results from Google. So, how do you know what you need to get the work done you’re trying to get done? We’ll break down each skid loader attachment and what it’s meant to do so you can know which one or ones you need for your job site or company! 

Table of Contents

  • rock-rake-for-skid-steer-york-landscaping-rake
    York Rakes
  • rock-rake-for-skid-steer-harley-rake-skid-steer-attachment
    Harley Rakes
  • rock-rakes-for-skid-steers-soil-pullverizer-skid-steer-attachment
    Soil Pulverizers
  • Rockhound-Landscape-Rake-72B-rock-rake-for-skid-steer
    Rockhound Rock Rakes
  • rock-rake-for-skid-steer-ideal-rockaway-rock-rake
    Rockaway Rock Rake
  • best-rock-rake-for-skid-steer-traditional-rock-bucket
    Rock Buckets
  • rock-rake-skid-steer-attachments-root-rake-for-debris-and-stumps
    Root Rakes
  • rock-rakes-for-skid-steers-skid-steer-rock-skeleton
    Rock Skeletons
  • rock-rake-for-skid-steer-rock-grapple-attachment
    Rock Grapples
  • rock-rake-variations-for-skid-steers-NT78-rock-picker-highline
    Rock Pickers
  • rock-rake-for-skid-steer-rock-rollers-for-large-rocks
    Rock Rollers

York Rakes

York Rakes are one of the most common search results when you search for a rock rake for skid steer. York Rakes are pull-behind land rakes that are equipped with rake tongs that condition the soil and drag along rocks and debris. They function like a literal rake but are designed to be pulled by tractors most commonly. They are not designed for use with actual skid steers.

York Rakes also come equipped with a drop-down blade that can help with some grading finish work after debris and small rocks have been raked up. York Rakes are rated to remove rocks up to 3” in diameter. In comparison Rockhounds and Rockaway Rock Rakes are rated to remove rocks up to 8” in diameter. It really depends on what you’re trying to accomplish with your attachment that determines what you should buy.

York Rakes are set up for 3-point tractor attachments. They are not really for skid steers so that is another important consideration. They may be great for yards and fields but when it comes to more advanced finishing work, leveling, grading, and actually removing larger rocks the York Rake may not be your best bet.

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Harley Rakes

Harley Rakes operate more like soil pulverizers than actual rock rakes. But again, they show up in search results right beside landscaping rock rakes. Harley rakes are best for leveling and grading. They do a good job of softening and breaking up tough earth but they do not actually pick up rocks.

This is a prime example of how your application needs factor into your rock rake selection. If you need to actually remove rocks from the soil to prepare for new seeding or finish a new excavation like a septic installation or sewer lateral install then you will want to go with a piece of equipment that will actually pull rocks out for you.

Harley rakes are an excellent choice if you want to work over a large piece of land or level or grade a yard or property. If removing rocks is not your main concern then a Harley Rake or Soil Pulverizer may be the way to go.

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Soil Pulverizers

Soil Pulverizers, another variation of attachment in this loose category of “rock rakes”. They aren’t even rakes! But they do work the soil and are very good for certain types of soil preparation.

Soil pulverizers are mostly tractor attachments and not so much for skid steers. They have a two-phase process. Their tongs break up the soil as they are dragged behind a 1, 2, or 3-point tractor hookup and then their roller portion serves to level out the broken-up soil.

If you have particularly tough, packed-down ground a soil pulverizer may be just right for you. The way we could see a soil pulverizer and a rock rake for skid steer working together would be to run your rock rake after your soil pulverizer. The pulverizer would loosen up the soil and rocks and then your rock rake would be able to easily pull out all the exposed rocks. They are definitely not doing exactly the same function but there does seem to be some crossover application.

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Actual Landscaping Rock Rakes For Skid Steers

Let’s talk about actual Landscaping Rock Rakes. True rock rakes are specifically designed to be dragged over the ground and remove rocks from the soil. This is the primary use of actual rock rakes . They are a replacement for picking rocks by hand or using hand-held rakes to rake rocks out of the dirt you want to prepare for seeding or planting. If you’ve ever had to use a hand rake for this task you know how tedious it can be.

There are many versions of actual rock rakes for skid steers but we will detail two of them in this comparison guide. The Rockhound 72b rock rake and the Ideal Rockaway Landscaping Rock Rake. They exist to serve the same purpose but they have some distinct differences in design and maintenance. Let’s check them out.

Rockhound Rock Rakes

We couldn’t write a true guide about rock rakes for skid steers without featuring the best-known landscaping rock rake, the Rockhound. The Rockhound is a very popular skid steer attachment. It is rated to remove rocks from the soil while also conditioning the soil to get it ready for new seed. It will pull rocks as small as ¾” in diameter all the way up to 8” in diameter. More than 40 years old, this is a great choice for preparing for sod or new grass seed.

Rockhounds will simultaneously level the ground you are working while removing rocks and debris as well as condition the soil. There is no denying that the Rockhound is one of the best rock rakes available on the market today.

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Ideal Rockaway Landscaping Rock Rakes

Although not as old as the Rockhound, the Ideal Rockaway Landscaping Rock Rake is a reliable and durable rock rake attachment for skid steers. It differs from the Rockhound in that it is a lower profile attachment that offers better visibility for the operator and with fewer moving parts it is simple and quick to maintain. The Rockaway rock rakes will pick up rocks between 2” in diameter and 8” in diameter.

Rockaway rock rakes remove rocks and debris, condition the soil, and level as they work. The front grill on a Rockaway is also designed to push piles of earth making them useful and versatile.


Rock Buckets

Rock Buckets are kind of like rock grapples without the grapple part. They are basically just a skid-steer rock bucket attachment designed for scooping up rocks and debris. Now, the clever operator will be able to use these buckets in lots of different ways. They do come in a variation of sizes as well which allows for different applications.

You can see that the bucket itself isn’t solid. This allows the operator to pry out big and little rocks from the ground and shake out the excess dirt that they also pick up. The points on the front of the bucket allow for better prying and tearing as well. These are very simple but very good tools for the right applications.

One thing to note is that the spaces on these particular rock buckets are 3” apart which means these rock buckets won’t hold any rocks that are smaller than 3”. And like the rock grapples, they are meant for targeting one area or rock or group of debris at a time. True rock rakes for skid steers are designed to treat an entire area. These rock buckets are skid steer attachments you might use to prep an area to be ready for a rock rake or Harley rake but they obviously serve different functions.

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Root Rakes

Root rakes also come up when searching skid steer rock rake related terms on Google. These aren’t even for rocks necessarily. Root rakes are really great for tearing out troublesome roots and other debris in an area before you run a rock rake to pull out rocks. Root rakes can be used to dig out some stumps as well. If you happen to have really large boulders that are too large to pick up by hand you could loosen them up and move them with a root rake if you are an exceptionally skilled operator.

You can see from the image they don’t typically have any moving parts and are pretty straightforward in their usage. Just be careful not to tear up any water, gas, or power lines while you’re pulling out roots and branches from your job site. Always call ahead and get all the utilities marked out!

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Rock Skeletons

Rock Skeletons are interesting because they are somewhere between a Rock Grapple and a Rock Bucket. They have hydraulic teeth on the front of the bucket for grabbing rocks, roots, and other debris like branches and they have part of their bucket that allows excess dirt to shake out after you’ve collected some stuff. They do require hydraulics to operate the grabbing teeth on the front but they are rated to pick up rocks as small as 2” in diameter up to 24” in diameter. So that’s a respectable range.

Rock Skeletons are not good for grading or leveling yards or soil conditioning. Rock Skeletons are not true landscaping rock rakes but they come up in the same Google searches. They are a great tool if you need to do some precision picking but still need the size and capacity of a traditional skid steer bucket.

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Rock Grapples

Rock Grapples do exactly what you would expect based on their name, they grapple rocks. And we’re not talking small rocks, we’re talking the big ones. Rock grapples are the perfect skid steer attachment for picking up rocks that are too big to handle manually.

Rock grapples are not about quantity rock removal but about removing those key rocks that would take multiple people to move and cost you time on the job site. Rock grapples are not for removing small rocks and pebbles and cannot work a large area quickly. They operate one or two rocks at a time based on where the big rocks are.

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Rock Pickers

Rock Pickers are built for clearing fields of large and small rocks. They are pull-behind tractor attachments that work well for scooping up large rocks and debris. They are not skid steer attachments. Rock Pickers are rated to grab rocks as small as 2” in diameter and up to rocks as large as 24” in diameter.

Rock Pickers only pull rocks and debris, they really don’t do any soil conditioning, grading, or leveling. So, if you’re a farmer and you have some big rocks in your field choosing a Rock Picker or a Rock Roller may be the way to go. For landscaping professionals, excavators, and other businesses you’re going to want to choose a different rock rake attachment to accomplish your goals.

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Rock Rollers

Rock rollers are pretty cool and unusual as far as rock rakes for skid steers go. This attachment takes rock removal in a different direction. Instead of a bucket you essentially get a giant barrel skeleton that allows you to pick up large rocks and small boulders and shake off excess dirt. It’s great for digging out larger, more impacted rocks and boulders. It is a great tool but it is not a soil prep attachment. Again, like the grapples and skeletons, it is more like a one-at-a-time piece that is better for handling large, troublesome things that something like a Rockhound or a Rockaway can’t take care of.

Honestly, these aren’t really skid steer attachments that compare because they are actually designed for different tasks. But in a Google Search they all come up together so we’re breaking it all down here for you so you can make the best selection possible based on your needs. If you have a field that you have to clear large boulders out of then this skid attachment will work better for you than a traditional rock rake. If you regularly get jobs or projects where you have to remove large rocks and debris as individual pieces you may want a rock roller over a rock rake.

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Which Rock Rake For Skid Steers Is Right For You?

At this point it’s clear that application is important. Depending on how you want to use a rock rake on your skid steer you may go in one direction with your attachment or a completely different one.

If you’re a farmer mainly concerned with tending and clearing your fields then attachments like Rock Rollers, Rock Grapples, Rock Buckets, York Rakes, or Rock Pickers will probably serve you best.

If you’re a contractor or own a business that does a lot of grading and excavation then attachments like Harley Rakes, Landscaping Rock Rakes, Rock Grapples, Rock Skeletons, and Root Rakes may be the best choices for you.

If your goal is to remove lots of small to medium sized rocks that would be too tedious and too labor intensive to rake out by hand then a true Landscaping Rock Rake is what you want to choose. You could be cleaning up a fresh excavation project like a sewer lateral or water line repair or you could be grading a yard or preparing for a new hardscape leveling out your project area and maybe you’re just getting ready to seed an area for new lawn growth. A true landscaping rock rake will remove the rocks that you would otherwise have to pull out with a hand rake and it will condition the soil and get it ready for seeding.


Need A Landscaping Rock Rake For Your Skid Steer?

If you’re interested in a true Landscaping Rock Rake for your skid steer feel free to contact us, we would be happy to get you a free quote and help you make a decision. Ideal Rockaway builds tough and durable landscaping skid steer rakes to make rock removal easy and reliable. Our machines are simple in design with few moving parts which cuts down on maintenance and limits the number of things that can go wrong.

We have a small skid steer rock rake for walk-behind and stand-on skid steers and we make two larger rock rake models for full sized skid steers. You can check out our landscaping rock rakes or just fill out a free quote form to start a conversation. Check out our dealer page to find a Rockaway dealer in your area where you could rent or buy closer to home. You can view many more images of Ideal Rockaway’s rock rakes for skid steers on our gallery page.

We hope this was a helpful guide for you and we hope that it has helped you in your search for the best rock rake for your skid steer.

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