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Discussion Starter #1
My plan has been to do my gravel driveway maintainence with a box blade and smooth with a backwards turned rear blade. Then I started thinking about a landscape rake. Money just won't stay in my pocket. Do I need the rake? Will the box and rear do a good job with a clean finish?
 
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Depends on what you want to do and how fine of a finish you really want. If you really feather a box blade you can go from ripping up potholes to putting a nice finish down. If you want something that will make a nice final finish without much effort than a rake is the way to go. It's harder to get a decent finish with a rear blade.
 

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Hands down the best implement for gravel driveways is a land lever.










That’s typical results with my 60” frontier land leveler pulled behind my 1025r and zero gravel added to any of those driveways.

I’m not saying a box blade or rake won’t help a driveway, but the best implement for gravel drive maintenance is the land leveler. I own all three implements.

Jason


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Fit Rite Hydraulics
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Depends on what you want to do and how fine of a finish you really want. If you really feather a box blade you can go from ripping up potholes to putting a nice finish down. If you want something that will make a nice final finish without much effort than a rake is the way to go. It's harder to get a decent finish with a rear blade.
A rear blade is quite easy to get a GREAT finish with. Just use the back side of the blade. :good2:
 

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Discussion Starter #6
The driveway is about 7 or 8 foot wide and it is steep. Turning the blade backwards was my plan after using the box blade to the best of my ability. The rake, like everything else, is expensive, especially with the wheels. Just making the sure I have the tools to do the job.
 
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I have a land scape rake and a land plane. I have also used a box blade and actually own one for use with my Garden Tractor. For my skill level the land plane works the best because you just drop it on the ground and go. No need to feather or think about it, it does all the work for you and makes a novice look like a pro. I have also had good results with a land scape rake (no wheels). You need to pay attention to what brand you get because some are more durable than others. I have a tartar brand one and it has held up to the work I have thrown at it, which is significant.

Any one of them will do the job and if you work it long enough, will do a good job. So it comes down to preference and budget. The cheapest implement (usually) is the back blade, then box blade, land scrape rake and land plane. I will say you get your money's worth with the land plane just be prepared to spend $1k or more on it depending on size. You can use that land plane for more than just driveway maintenance. I used mine yesterday to level out an area I want (well the wife wants...) to build a pergola. Took about 5 minutes mostly because I am teaching my 15 year old how to use my tractor without killing himself. :greentractorride:
 

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Put a crown on it

The driveway is about 7 or 8 foot wide and it is steep. Turning the blade backwards was my plan after using the box blade to the best of my ability. The rake, like everything else, is expensive, especially with the wheels. Just making the sure I have the tools to do the job.
I think you can keep the money in your pocket unless it's burning a hole in your pants. You can certainly get a good job with the box blade and rear blade. Since your drive is steep, be sure and leave a crown on it so that water runs off and not down the drive.

I know that others really like the rakes but I had one for about six months and found that I didn't use it that much. I traded it for a box blade and have been happy with the trade. But usually if I'm working on a road, the rear blade is my choice. I'm not knocking a land leveler, I'd love to try one but haven't been able to justify the cost. If one showed up, I'd certainly use it on the flat roads. For a steep slope, I'd stick with the rear blade to make sure I got the crown right.

Treefarmer
 
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An inexpensive option for the final grooming is a tine dethatcher. Before I got the Deere, I used that for the driveway behind the Craftsman. Tines forward to bring gravel back to the surface, then I would reverse the drawbar so tines faced backwards for final groom.

Now with the Deere, since I have a sleeve hitch, I have a rear blade for moving the gravel back in place. Then with the blade reversed, I smooth everything out. Final grooming with the dethatcher with tines facing backwards. This is on a moderately sloped driveway, 250 feet long. Drive is 9 years old and still on original gravel.
Driveway1.jpg
 

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Fit Rite Hydraulics
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The driveway is about 7 or 8 foot wide and it is steep. Turning the blade backwards was my plan after using the box blade to the best of my ability. The rake, like everything else, is expensive, especially with the wheels. Just making the sure I have the tools to do the job.
I agree that a land plane grading scraper is the easiest fastest way to "maintain" a natural surfaced drive. I have 4 different implements to work with. Box blade, rear blade, LPGS and a landscape rake.

Landscape rake gets used to dress up the drive, don't use it all that often.

Rear blade is used to build and shape the road how I want-need it.

Box blade gets used if large amounts of earth need to be moved.

LPGS is my go to implement to maintain the over mile long drive.

I can get the same finished "maintained" results with either the BB, RB or LPGS. But those same results are obtained in less than half the time using the LPGS.

So if time is at all important to you, a LPGS is a valuable implement to have.

As with any and all grading implements, weight is your friend, get as heavy as you can afford and that your tractor will handle.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks, guys. It sounds like that I can get it done with the box blade and finish it off with a backwards turned rear blade. Just trying not to waste money on multiple implements when you could get by with one. The prior owner of my house and property let everything go, including the driveway. I have 20 ton of crusher run coming this week. He suggested I run over that all winter and put another 20 ton on in the spring. After that I will never let that driveway get in the shape it is now.
 

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Up until a couple weeks ago I have used an angle blade mainly and a box scraper a little. I only use the box scraper for a few passes at the beginning to try and cut out any potholes that might have formed. Then I used the angle blade to do the rest. I will make several passes angled toward the middle, then a pass or two down the middle with the blade straight. Once I have done that I will turn the blade around and make a couple passes back dragging to smooth it out. The way I explained keeps a crown in the road for me. The reason I said used to at the beginning is because I finally talked myself into getting a land plane and it was definitely worth the money, because it cut my time in half since I didn't have to switch implements and cut the number of passes needed overall down and no need to get off the tractor several times to adjust the blade angle (no hydraulic angle). The final product with the land plane was just as good with no real need to go back over and smooth it. In your case I would use the box blade sparingly depending on the condition of your road then do the majority of the work with the angle blade.
 
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