Land Plane, how wide should I go?
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Thread: Land Plane, how wide should I go?

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    Land Plane, how wide should I go?

    I'm gathering materials to build a land plane, the type with two long runners and two diagonal cutting edges, like a Woods GS72C or Land Pride GS1572. It will be used to maintain 1/2 mile of stone/gravel/dirt road. I have a 4120 (43hp) and my rear tread width is right around 73". I had been planning on making the grader 72" wide, plus the width of the runners. Now I'm wondering if I should go 84". I'm looking for input from anyone who has used one, is the extra width really necessary to cover the tread, and will 84" be too much for the tractor to pull? I'm just thinking it may be nice to have a few extra inches sticking out the sides to work the edge of the road. Would it be a bad idea to offset the hitch 6" to one side?
    2000 355D, 54C MMM
    2008 4120, 400CX FEL

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    LT_JD's Avatar
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    If you have a crown on your driveway, and you should, the width should be no more than half the width of your driveway so you don't take the crown out.

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    jenkinsph's Avatar
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    Interceptor,
    I built mine 8' wide plus the runners, works out to 8'5" oaw. If your drive is narrow you would be better off with the 6' wide you mention, you could pull either one imo. I have built two planes for smoothing lawn areas and finish grading, mine use a straight blade setup. For driveway work as your primary use the angled blades will aid in crowning the middle. Here's the 8' and 4' landplane scraper blades I have made, I have a thread here for building the smaller one.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails landplane 001.JPG   landplane 002 triple weights.jpg   Butch W  new lawn work 002.JPG   Butch W  new lawn work 003.JPG   Butch W  new lawn work 004.JPG  

    Butch W  new lawn work 001.JPG  
    Steve,


    4520, 110tlb, 820, X749
    Enough attachments. Why don't I realize this?

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    Fit Rite Hydraulics MtnViewRanch's Avatar
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    I would say to get 84" blades, build the unit with the blades angled so that your width is between 74" and 78". You want the unit to weigh NO LESS THAN 1000LBS. Side runners should be between 60" and 72" long and IMO no less that 18" tall. Here are some pics of my 60" wide & 84" wide units.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails P4260025.JPG   P4260026.JPG   P3290005.JPG   P4190015.JPG  

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    It's a typical single lane driveway winding through the woods with a few wider areas for passing, one branch, several turns and very steep hills. There is currently no crown, no slope, no ditch... it's a mess. The hills are full of washout and the flats are full of pot holes. It's going to take a lot of time and material to make it right. Until then I really don't mind working it every few weeks, it gives me an excuse to get out on the tractor.

    I hadn't thought about needing a narrower grader to maintain a crown, that's a good point. A 72" blade at 15 degrees is 69.5" wide and an 84" blade is just over 81". I'll have to get some actual measurements from the driveway before I make a decision. If anyone has a suggestion on where to get the center drilled reversible cutting edges please let me know. Deere's are over $200 a piece. The cheapest I've found so far are King Kutter at just over $100 each for 72".
    2000 355D, 54C MMM
    2008 4120, 400CX FEL

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    jenkinsph's Avatar
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    From my experience shopping for the blades they run about $25/ft of length. I have bought two different times and have purchased the 6"x8'x5/8" center bolted blades (reversible) for a bout $200 each. When building the 4' landplane this year I bought an 8' and cut it into two equal 4' pieces.

    You might shop for a single 12' or 14' blade and cut it in to as I did, might be cheaper this way. These wider blades are easier to find in the 5/8" thickness and these will last alot longer than the thin blades. Also in order to work well as intended the blades, angle iron and runners need to be heavy and ridgid without any flexing or twisting. You can't plane effectively if it doesn't stay flat.


    Brian (Mtnviewranch) and I agree on most things but differ a little on our approach to using the landplane grading scrapers. Brian is using his primarily for road use in sandy soil as evidenced by his pictures and has his blades running below the skids to churn up more material. This works well for bringing the gravel to the surface on roadways. I suspect this setup is best for those who do driveways and roads primarily.

    I use my landplane grading scrapers to finish plane primarily and set my blades flush with the skids. I use mine most of the time to plane lawn and pastures flat and smooth. When running my planes across the ground I typically only wan't to shave off the high spots and deposit the material in the low spots. Working on lawn areas as I do the last thing I wan't to do is bring the rocks to the surface, rather I wan't them below the surface. I prefer the blades set straight for lawn and pasture work as I don't want the material to be migrating to one side all the time. Just depends on your own primary needs which is the best way to go.

    Both methods will do a good job of smoothing out a road or field and both will cut suprizingly fast when you shorten the top link a little. I would think both of us are more inclined to use a rearblade with tnt to restore placement of material for crowns and cleaning out the ditches. For the landplanes I think we both agree they need to be heavy and ridgid with long running surfaces to get the best results.
    Steve,


    4520, 110tlb, 820, X749
    Enough attachments. Why don't I realize this?

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    Fit Rite Hydraulics MtnViewRanch's Avatar
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    I would like to point out that while some cutting edges are $100 and others are $200 for what look like the same thing, that the $200 edges are actually a LOT cheaper in the long run. I kid you not when I say that a good cutting edge will out last the cheap cutting edge a minimum of 3 to 1. Unless all you're plowing is air, forget about the cheaper cutting edge.

    As far as Steve's and my methods, being different, honestly I would defer to Steve's advice. He works professionally with all types of ground and terrain while I for the most part only work on our 120 acres and 2 & 3/8 miles of roads and drives. My point being that 99% of what I work with is all the same type of material and while I am VERY GOOD with my conditions, I in no way have the vast experience that Steve has.

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    I have TnT on the tractor. I recently picked up an 8' JD 95 rear blade that weighs 635 pounds. It's heavy enough to do some serious cutting and shaping, but with my limited operating skill I have a hard time making anything smooth with it. Sometimes I feel like I'm doing more harm than good with it. I also have a York model RA tow behind rock rake that the local township used to maintain dirt roads, it does a great job smoothing loose stuff, but doesn't touch hard pack. It seems like the land plane would be the perfect in-between tool. I'm going to make the blade height adjustable.
    2000 355D, 54C MMM
    2008 4120, 400CX FEL

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    Fit Rite Hydraulics MtnViewRanch's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Interceptor View Post
    I have TnT on the tractor. I recently picked up an 8' JD 95 rear blade that weighs 635 pounds. It's heavy enough to do some serious cutting and shaping, but with my limited operating skill I have a hard time making anything smooth with it. Sometimes I feel like I'm doing more harm than good with it. I also have a York model RA tow behind rock rake that the local township used to maintain dirt roads, it does a great job smoothing loose stuff, but doesn't touch hard pack. It seems like the land plane would be the perfect in-between tool. I'm going to make the blade height adjustable.
    Does your rear blade have skid shoes? They can make a world of difference with your grading.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_0181.JPG   P5080012.JPG  

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    It doesn't have shoes, but I can add them. I need to add cylinders for offset and angle too.
    2000 355D, 54C MMM
    2008 4120, 400CX FEL

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