Utility of a box blade
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    Utility of a box blade

    I am putting in a driveway. Had to dig out the topsoil/roots. I didn't have a box blade (and have never used one before) but had a single ripping tooth which worked OK to tear up the roots and get everything nice and loosened up. I wanted a box blade - thought it was one of those essential implements - but had a hard time finding one. Online was all back -ordered. Used ones, what few there were, were ridiculously priced almost as much as new ones for rusty old hulks. Finally I went to my JD dealer and he had a 48" sitting out back for a descent price so I brought it home. And I have been thoroughly disappointed. I'm sorry I bought it. I wanted it to smooth out the dirt/sand to level prior to putting gravel and pavers down. But it does not work well. It digs in when you don't want it to or comes up too high. You can't put any down force if needed, only gravity. I tried it twice now and quickly reverted to using my FEL bucket. I quickly became a master with that and smoothed that driveway out nicely. You can really fine-tune with that by varying the bucket angle and down force. Now I think my box blade will sit out back and not get used. Wondering if anyone else feels the same.
    I guess it would work for smoothing out an old gravel driveway, but can't think of much else, and certainly not this project. Thought it would be more useful.
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    rtgt's Avatar
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    Is this the first time you have used a box blade?
    Taking the easy way is what makes rivers and men crooked.

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    Yes it is.

    Quote Originally Posted by Obiwan View Post
    (and have never used one before)
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    I was a newbie to the box blade when i got my 1025r. My experience is thus:


    Adjust the top link length to get the box blade to dig/cut in (make it shorter) or smooth (make it longer)

    You can also adjust the side buckles to add any desired “tilt” to the blade

    Additionally, adjust the position of the 3pt hitch controller to change amount of depth(effort) you are asking of the box blade

    Using the FEL is handy for general smoothing/pushing the dirt around, but the Box Blade can do the same job faster once you have the technique down


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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    ttazzman's Avatar
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    yep....gotta learn the adjustments.....the big adjustment is in the toplink

    to start just set your tractor on flat ground

    and set it up level side to side

    then i usually start with the toplink adjusted to where the blade is neutral...this is usually level frount to back with it sitting on the ground with no tractor up or down influence depending on how tight or sloppy your linkagess are this can be a very fine adjustement

    then from the neutral set in all directions ....you shorten the toplink to make the box more agressive (ie pick up more material) ....or lengthen the toplink to have it not pickup up material but just carry and spread material

    then once you get that mastered ...you can think about side to side tilt

    a box blade blade is not a digging instrument it is a smoothing leveling material moving unit ..it will pick up lose material or scrape up some material but its not a agressive digger ......using the rippers on the frount of the box blade provides the initial digging if required (any digging of virgin ground is best done with some form of toothed implement)

    adding weight to your boxblade will give it a more agressive ,positive and consistant engagement with the ground ....but adjusting and getting the settings right is where its at

    with a little bit of patience and learning you will wonder how you ever worked without one

    Last edited by ttazzman; 05-27-2019 at 01:44 PM.
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    yes, I tried adjusting the angle with the top link. But if you want to go forward and backward, you have to adjust it each time which is silly. And no, my point was I didn't want to use it to dig; I wanted to use it to level/even out. But it was just so much easier better (for me) to use the FEL.
    If it was a really long driveway, then maybe. This is fairly small and curved.

    If I had the tooling, I would make some little skids to bolt on the bottom of the side plates to keep it from sinking so much in the dirt.

    I think part of the problem is just the geometry of the SCUTs - it sits so far back from the rear wheels (of my 1025R) compared to the overall wheel base that every bump I go over magnifies the issues.

    Here's another option - put a hydraulic piston in place of the top link. Then you could adjust the angle on the fly. OK, now we'er getting complicated, I know.

    Maybe when I lay the gravel down it will prove its utility.
    Last edited by Obiwan; 05-27-2019 at 01:53 PM.
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    ttazzman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Obiwan View Post
    yes, I tried adjusting the angle with the top link. But if you want to go forward and backward, you have to adjust it each time which is silly. And no, my point was I didn't want to use it to dig; I wanted to use it to level/even out. But it was just so much easier better (for me) to use the FEL.
    If it was a really long driveway, then maybe. This is fairly small and curved.

    If I had the tooling, I would make some little skids to bolt on the bottom of the side plates to keep it from sinking so much in the dirt.

    I think part of the problem is just the geometry of the SCUTs - it sits so far back from the rear wheels (of my 1025R) compared to the overall wheel base that every bump I go over magnifies the issues.

    Here's another option - put a hydraulic piston in place of the top link. Then you could adjust the angle on the fly. OK, now we'er getting complicated, I know.

    Maybe when I lay the gravel down it will prove its utility.
    ...its called a hydraulic top link...and a very common adder to tractors that use a boxblade a lot

    forget about pushing in reverse thats that the loader bucket if for

    set the box blade to spread (very level) ......then take you first pass real slow controling the box blade height to get one level pass where your wheels are not going up n down all the time keep doing it till you get at least one level pass .......then your next passes run with one side of your tractor wheels on the smooth taking half passes till you get things fairly level then you can work from there

    just from what you describe you have the box blade set way way to agressive .....if set all the way back (long top link) it should never dig in and work like back dragging with a frount bucket

    really think your not adjusted correctly for your purpose..

    good luck sir
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    You mentioned going backwards with it, which is from what I have gleaned on here is not a great idea. The problem is that since it isn't designed to go backwards, you can bend 3 point hitch lift arms, or maybe break turnbuckles.

    And as others have said, it's all in the adjustment. The top link is key. I have really started liking my box blade after getting some experience with it. I always start out with the top link set so it is slightly tilted back, scarifiers up. This makes it smooth, instead of cutting into the ground. I make several passes and get things smoothed out, then figure out where I need to cut and where the extra needs to go. I tip it slightly forward for those spots (and I adjust manually - hydraulic tip and tilt sounds great, but it's not cheap!). If the ground is particularly hard at that stage I may put down the scarifiers a notch and rip it up a bit. But I rarely need to do that.

    It can be a great tool, but can also be frustrating. But the more experience you get, the better you will be with it (assuming you can put in that much practice!). And in my experience, making multiple passes is key. It has never done what I wanted with just one pass.

    If you REALLY don't like it, you may want to look into a land plane. I have never used one, but from what I have read, they work really well without jumping through a lot of hoops. Again, not cheap!
    Last edited by Oscar Leroy; 05-27-2019 at 05:15 PM.
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    Watch This!

    This Video shows you what to do and what you can do with a box blade which can do a better job blading then a loader can once you know how. How to Use a Box Blade - YouTube

    There are lots of YouTube's on using the Box Blade and other tools. That way you can see the screw ups for when you try using yours. Personally I run my Box Blade with the Rippers up and backwards so my box fills and empty's better. If I need to rip I then lower them.
    Last edited by JD4044M; 05-27-2019 at 05:44 PM.

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    Here are two pictures which I graded with the box blade, I will admit it took some getting used to and I do NOT push backwards with my box blade as the 3 point system on these SCUTS really is meant to pull, not push........I raised the grade along the house by pulling soil from further from the house and also cut a taper in the area to direct the rain away from the house. The last two years water has been leaking into the basement and since this effort, the basement has been dry.

    Practice makes perfect, and scarifiers make the process difficult at best as I have had more roots stop the entire machine's forward momentum.......scarifiers work well in "clean soil" but where there are roots, its simply not enough tractor to rip the roots out in many instances. But it takes small movements in the 3 ph and the adjustments.

    Also, I have hung up to (6) of the 42# Deere suitcase weights on the frame of the box blade to create more down force. They hang on there very well and easily and make a big difference in moving material.

    I will tell you what works great for spreading gravel, is a landscape rake. .......I have one of those also. I can't upgrade my signature to actually list all the attachments as I have reached the systems capacity on the website.....
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_20190505_125306983_HDR.jpg   IMG_20190505_125346714.jpg  
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