Deep Ripping and Heavy Equipment Contractor

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Deep ripping contracting services, vineyard removals, field preparation for replacement, reservoir enlargements and all other vineyard related earthwork.

A&L Services, Inc. has the deep ripping equipment you need to support your Northern California vineyard removal and replacement. Our fleet includes five bulldozer D8s, one dozer D7, one dozer D6, and one dozer D5 fitted with front blades, custom vine removal attachments and rear ripping shanks with slip plows. Excavating contractors have all the big toys to make your life easier when it comes time to removing and replacing your vineyard.

Northern California Deep Ripping Contracting and Excavating Contractor

Our fleet of large CAT dozers are equipped with specialized farming accessories for efficient vineyard removal and effective deep ripping. We have experience in all types of dirt work and soil preparation including:

  • Vineyard removal;
  • Vineyard site preparation;
  • Deep ripping;
  • Reservoir enlargement;
  • Pond building;
  • Reshaping fields;
  • Dirt moving;
  • Discing;
  • Tri-plane work.

A&L Services, Inc. serves most of Northern California. We easily serve Yolo, Solano, Napa, Lake, Sacramento, and other counties north of Stockton, CA.

Vineyard Removal

Over the years, A&L Services, Inc has fine-tuned the process needed for fast and efficient vineyard removal. Here is additional information on the steps required to remove a vineyard. We have designed and built custom accessories for our bulldozers to remove vineyards much faster than any other vineyard removal contractor we know of. Our process allows us to minimize cost by getting the project done fast.

Vineyard Creation

Vineyards need adequate drainage to prevent the roots from sitting in a pool of water and rotting. Deep ripping will shatter your hardpan layers. Building a vineyard requires a deep soil ripping process to break up compacted soil layers that can block proper drainage or prevent root access to deep moisture. Deep ripping provides an ideal environment for deep root development. Over thousands of years, soils were formed with different strata layers at different depths composed of soil, clay, sand and rock materials. These hardpan layers are an obstacle to proper moisture management and optimal root development in vineyards and orchards.

Deep ripping the soil is necessary to allow the water and roots to penetrate the hardpan layers in Northern California. Preparing a site to build an orchard or vineyard requires specially equipped heavy equipment. Local hardpan layers are usually located two to six feet below the surface in ground that has not been ripped in the past. A&L Services, Inc. uses dozers equipped with 3’ to 7’ shanks to break through the hardpan layers. The most common practice when breaking through the CA hardpan layers is to deep rip the soil in two directions with a deep ripping shank equipped with a slip plow to bring soil to the surface. A two-direction rip usually provides the optimal balance between cost and benefit. The two-direction rip process shatters the ground and brings deep soil to the top of the field. Additional passes can be beneficial, but in most situations, the additional cost involved is not warranted.

Preparing for Optimal Growing Conditions

Testing helps determine the depth of the hardpan layer and to select the best equipment and attachments for the job. A backhoe is used to dig into the soil in various locations and determine the depth of the hardpan layers. The grower usually has a desired depth to which they would like to rip the field in preparation for their orchard or vineyard. By knowing the terrain and understanding the grower’s requirements, we can provide the right equipment and help prepare the soil for its optimal growing environment.

Timing the project for the optimum moisture content in the fields is an important factor.  Deep ripping overly wet fields will merely cut trenches and not achieve the desired fracturing and mixing of the hardpan layers. With the right equipment in place, we can begin the deep ripping process to shatter the hardpan layers and blend the soil to provide a uniform consistency. Deep ripping also mitigates the normal soil compaction that occurs over time or from land being used as pastures or farming.  Ripping the soil produces the uniform soil composition and drainage conditions that will allow the vineyard to thrive because optimum conditions allows development of healthy deep root systems. The deep ripping process is monitored to ensure the desired result is being produced. Adjustments to shank length can be made as necessary based upon conditions of the field and desired growing conditions.


Once deep ripping is complete, the soil amendments are applied, however, they can also be spread on the field before the soil ripping process. Soil amendments generally consist of pot ash, fertilizer, compost, gypsum and lime.  The additions of the selected supplements for soil remediation takes place to adjust pH and increase the supplemental nutrients. These soil enhancements improve the physical characteristics of the soil and are applied based upon the grower’s evaluation of the condition of the soil. The soil is then disced a few times, breaking the large dirt clods down as well as mixing the additives in with the soil.

The final step before creating planting berms is to tri-plane the field. A large tri-plane is pulled behind a dozer, smoothing and leveling the soil in preparation for adding planting berms, irrigation and vines or trees. A properly prepared field assists with uniform production by directing water run-off and preventing the pooling of water around grapevines and orchard trees. The site is now ready for the trellis, planting and irrigation crews to start the last phase of the project. Now that the field is now prepared with optimum drainage and soil conditions, the vineyard manager will work with their crews and other subcontractors to layout and plant a new stronger and healthier high-quality vineyard.

Free Deep Ripping Estimates

For a free estimate on your next deep ripping or vineyard replacement project, call or email Jim Lamont at:

Earthmoving Equipment from Timeline Deep Ripping

Earthmoving equipment prepared for maintenance and service.

For more information, visit the A&L Services website at:

or email