The right tool/attachment for the job - land grading
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    The right tool/attachment for the job - land grading

    I've been reading through the posts about box blades, and it seems there are a lot of opinions on what size, brand, etc. I've seen a bit about land planes and tillers as well. Here's what I need to do:

    • Regrade dirt around the foundation of my house to fix water drainage issues.
    • Smooth out a slightly rolling 1.5 acres of cleared land. There are a lot of tree roots, saplings, and brush to contend with.
    • Maintain a 3" base gravel driveway that is about 500ft long.
    • Till an area for a small garden.


    Here's what I'm thinking to do:

    • Buy and use a King Kutter 48" tiller for the garden area AND to till/break up the soil in the 1.5 acres.
    • Buy and use a Everything Attachments 54" box blade to go over the tilled land to level it, do the dirt grading, and maintain the driveway.


    Seem like a good plan, or are there better ways to skin this cat? I'm in MO, and my soil is clay only about a foot down or so. Top soil is pretty soft in most spots. I am still pretty new to cleaning up land and using my 1025R to do it. As always, thanks for all the input!

    Oh, and I'm having a hard time finding a definite answer on if both of these attachments are JD iMatch compatible. Also, I read on one post, but lost where I found it, where there was some sort of hydraulic top link for the 3 point? Should I get one of these, and who was the vendor that has it? Is it the Fit Rite Top 'n Tilt kit?
    Last edited by jkohnz; 03-15-2018 at 10:05 PM.
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    ddinham's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jkohnz View Post
    I've been reading through the posts about box blades, and it seems there are a lot of opinions on what size, brand, etc. I've seen a bit about land planes and tillers as well. Here's what I need to do:

    • Regrade dirt around the foundation of my house to fix water drainage issues.
    • Smooth out a slightly rolling 1.5 acres of cleared land. There are a lot of tree roots, saplings, and brush to contend with.
    • Maintain a 3" base gravel driveway that is about 500ft long.
    • Till an area for a small garden.


    Here's what I'm thinking to do:

    • Buy and use a King Kutter 48" tiller for the garden area AND to till/break up the soil in the 1.5 acres.
    • Buy and use a Everything Attachments 54" box blade to go over the tilled land to level it, do the dirt grading, and maintain the driveway.


    Seem like a good plan, or are there better ways to skin this cat? I'm in MO, and my soil is clay only about a foot down or so. Top soil is pretty soft in most spots. I am still pretty new to cleaning up land and using my 1025R to do it. As always, thanks for all the input!

    Oh, and I'm having a hard time finding a definite answer on if both of these attachments are JD iMatch compatible. Also, I read on one post, but lost where I found it, where there was some sort of hydraulic top link for the 3 point? Should I get one of these, and who was the vendor that has it? Is it the Fit Rite Top 'n Tilt kit?
    I find that my rock rake works best for a smooth finish on a gravel driveway. You can also use it to clean up the debris that you will have when cleaning up the property. I do have a box blade, but I have only used it one time for just a little bit. I am sure I will find a use for it at some time. I have a dirt project coming up soon that I might be able to use it on. Another attachment that could be useful for the driveway is a drag harrow. As to whether the attachments are iMatch compatible, that would depend on the particular attachment. Most nowadays are iMatch compatible. My Land Pride rock rake is older and I had to drill a hole for the top pin to make it iMatch compatible. I do have the Fit Rite hyd top link which is very useful when using the rock rake as I have rear wheels on it and I can vary how much it digs just by adjusting the hyd top link. However, to use a hyd top link, you will need a rear hyd remote outlet, unless you want to run long hoses back to the rear of the tractor from your FEL connections, assuming you have a FEL.

    Dave

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    This is really about how much money you want to spend. What I have learned about attachments is generally the more you spend the more capability you get. Not always but generally. Also your decision will be based on how much time you have to do this project as some attachments seem to get the job done faster than others.


    I have a land scape rake and a land plane. I also have a Cat 0 box blade I have used with my garden tractor and tiller for the same tractor.

    If you still have lots of roots and debris to get up on your land then I recommend a land scape. It is really good at getting debris up and leaving the dirt. You can also use it to smooth your driveway.

    If you have significant low areas you need to fill in then a box blade and your FEL is probably the thing to use. A box blade is good for moving significant amounts of dirt and putting in low spots. However, being really good at using a box blade takes a fair amount of practice. For me I have hard time leaving a very smooth area with a box blade. Others on here are real pros at it.

    I like my land plane. It does an excellent job of smoothing out the dirt parts of my lot and an even better job on a gravel driveway. Very simple to use, drop it and go. A land plane though will only move about an inch or two at a time so if you are trying to fill in a hole it's probably not the best tool to use. If you are trying to re-arrange the drainage away from your house you might be better off using your FEL to bring in dirt and then back drag it with the bucket. Once you have it roughed in then you can use a land plane or land scape rake to get it smooth enough to plant seed.

    When I did my side yard(about an 3/4 acre), which is nothing but clay and rock, I tilled the day lights out it trying to get the rocks up and then I would use my land scape rake to collect the rocks in windrows which I would then use my bucket to scoop up. It worked great except for the fact there is an endless supply of rocks in this property. I ended up bringing in the North Carolina Sandhills Region version of topsoil and mixed in chicken manure. Once I spread it out with my bucket I used my land plane to smooth it out and then planted seed. So if you want to till it to break up the dirt some I do not see any harm in that, just do not make a career out of it. If you are not going to use the tiller for other jobs, I would consider renting it.

    Bottom line, any of the attachments you mentioned will do the job but some are more precise than others or faster. It comes down to cost and time available, at least it did for me.
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    A box blade is a very versatile implement, for dressing a gravel driveway you extend the top link a bunch and put the rockshaft control lever in float. Does a beautiful job. You can also move material with a box blade.

    I ordered a top and tilt kit from Brian at Fit Right, it will be a huge time saver when grooming my roads.
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    Quote Originally Posted by 69project View Post
    This is really about how much money you want to spend. What I have learned about attachments is generally the more you spend the more capability you get. Not always but generally. Also your decision will be based on how much time you have to do this project as some attachments seem to get the job done faster than others.


    I have a land scape rake and a land plane. I also have a Cat 0 box blade I have used with my garden tractor and tiller for the same tractor.

    If you still have lots of roots and debris to get up on your land then I recommend a land scape. It is really good at getting debris up and leaving the dirt. You can also use it to smooth your driveway.

    If you have significant low areas you need to fill in then a box blade and your FEL is probably the thing to use. A box blade is good for moving significant amounts of dirt and putting in low spots. However, being really good at using a box blade takes a fair amount of practice. For me I have hard time leaving a very smooth area with a box blade. Others on here are real pros at it.

    I like my land plane. It does an excellent job of smoothing out the dirt parts of my lot and an even better job on a gravel driveway. Very simple to use, drop it and go. A land plane though will only move about an inch or two at a time so if you are trying to fill in a hole it's probably not the best tool to use. If you are trying to re-arrange the drainage away from your house you might be better off using your FEL to bring in dirt and then back drag it with the bucket. Once you have it roughed in then you can use a land plane or land scape rake to get it smooth enough to plant seed.

    When I did my side yard(about an 3/4 acre), which is nothing but clay and rock, I tilled the day lights out it trying to get the rocks up and then I would use my land scape rake to collect the rocks in windrows which I would then use my bucket to scoop up. It worked great except for the fact there is an endless supply of rocks in this property. I ended up bringing in the North Carolina Sandhills Region version of topsoil and mixed in chicken manure. Once I spread it out with my bucket I used my land plane to smooth it out and then planted seed. So if you want to till it to break up the dirt some I do not see any harm in that, just do not make a career out of it. If you are not going to use the tiller for other jobs, I would consider renting it.

    Bottom line, any of the attachments you mentioned will do the job but some are more precise than others or faster. It comes down to cost and time available, at least it did for me.
    Thanks a bunch! Time I have plenty of. Cash for attachments... not as much as I'd like! I want to get the 1.5 acres leveled out and the drainage/grading done this spring yet, and then we'll be seeding the cleaned up areas with grass in the fall. So, it sounds like my first attachment to get will be the box blade. The tiller, like you said, I probably won't use as often, so not sure I truly need it. We are wanting to put in a garden at some point, but the other jobs are the higher priority. The rake would come in handy also.

    I'm thinking 60" rake for my 1025R. Not sure if it can handle larger, or if I need it. That gravel drive, once I have it redone, will be at least 12' to 15' wide, and I am doing 3" base gravel, not the tiny stuff.

    Maybe I can get a used one for a good deal. Haven't found any nearby on CL or FB yet.

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    49" H120 FEL
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    John Deere ballast box
    BXPanded Piranha Tooth Bar
    Harbor Freight quick hitch (it only cost $80!)
    Everything Attachments 54" XTreme Duty Compact Box Blade
    Titan Attachments 42" pallet forks

    Then there's my little ol 2008 x304

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    The grass seed is not down,, yet,, but, we just did this to my daughters house,,
    I have a 40HP and 60HP tractor,,, we hired a guy to do the regrading,,,

    That was the best $2,000 my SIL ever spent on that yard,,,

    Three huge trees came out,,
    then the guy re-graded the yard so that the land went from sloping towards the house,,,
    to sloping away from the house.

    Before, the land sloped towards the house,,



    The excavator took out 3 trees,,,



    The excavator and skidsteer changed the slope to away from the house,,



    Then, I ran over it with the landplane, and picked up some of the rocks with the rake,,,

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    Quote Originally Posted by jkohnz View Post
    Thanks a bunch! Time I have plenty of. Cash for attachments... not as much as I'd like! I want to get the 1.5 acres leveled out and the drainage/grading done this spring yet, and then we'll be seeding the cleaned up areas with grass in the fall. So, it sounds like my first attachment to get will be the box blade. The tiller, like you said, I probably won't use as often, so not sure I truly need it. We are wanting to put in a garden at some point, but the other jobs are the higher priority. The rake would come in handy also.

    I'm thinking 60" rake for my 1025R. Not sure if it can handle larger, or if I need it. That gravel drive, once I have it redone, will be at least 12' to 15' wide, and I am doing 3" base gravel, not the tiny stuff.

    Maybe I can get a used one for a good deal. Haven't found any nearby on CL or FB yet.
    I have a 60 inch rake, made by Tarter, without a wheel kit. It ran around $600 and it is heavy duty (which means I can't break it, even though I have tried ). I used it with my 2210, which is a SCUT so that size would work well with a 1 series and now I use it with my 3E series. If you want used tractor stuff, you need to be prepared to travel. Always make sure it's quick hitch compatible, even if you don't have a quick hitch (you never know when you might get one).

    CAD Plans has a good idea, might better (at least faster) to have someone do all the initial landscaping and then you get one implement to maintain your drive and yard. One of the hard things with tractor ownership is knowing when to contract out stuff as opposed to saying "hey I can do that with the tractor"...I have yet to figure that out.
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    They aren't cheap, but a power rake would do everything you want.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    I find my tiller is indispensable for landscaping. I'll typically run through the tiller through high areas that I want to knockdown. I then follow with Land Pride land scape rake to move what I've loosened up. Mine has the wide pneumatic gauge wheels, which are a plus as they don't sink in or make ruts. It also has the flip down blade, so I can move more earth with it when need be. The plus is, it is all in one attachment and it saves time from having to switch out attachments.

    Often, once I have the grade roughed in, I'll take another pass through it with the tiller. The soil needs to be very loose to get grass seed to root.

    I was going to acquire a box blade not so much for landscape work, but a gravel driveway maintenance. However, as I continue to read posts here, I'm moving towards a landplane now. I believe the landplane would be more user friendly as I just don't think I would utilize a box blade enough to become proficient at operating it and there would be too much time between each where I would continue to go through a re-learn curve. The downside is a landplane is just about twice the dollars of box blade.

    I always learn a lot from the folks here on the forum, but, no doubt, they are professionals at spending money on tractor items. I need to figure out how to get on the vendor kickback programs some of these guys must be on....

    I'll echo what CADplans & 69Project have stated, a good operator on a skid steer can do in a day what would take me several.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ortimber View Post
    They aren't cheap, but a power rake would do everything you want.

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    LOL Yeah, I can't justify $8K for something like that. But, that sure looks like a beast.

    2017 1025R-TLB
    49" H120 FEL
    60D MMM
    John Deere ballast box
    BXPanded Piranha Tooth Bar
    Harbor Freight quick hitch (it only cost $80!)
    Everything Attachments 54" XTreme Duty Compact Box Blade
    Titan Attachments 42" pallet forks

    Then there's my little ol 2008 x304

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