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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 600' driveway graded on a hill with shale and item #4 that is always in need of a little TLC. It has drainage ditches on the sides but it always wears in the tire treads and loses it's crown over time. Having recently purchased a 1026R I'm looking at the best tool to keep the driveway in shape. I also have a Ratchet Rake that I've found useful for many chores and I can accomplish this job with the Ratchet Rake but I have to do a lot back and forth to pull the material from the sides to the center, then grade.

I'm very used to operating an FEL but never used a three point hitch. Is an adjustable landscape or York rake a more efficient tool for this job? What brands, models, and sizes do people like for this size tractor? Is a 6' a bit too big to grade item 4 or is 5' better for the 1026?

JD claims their tines are of a more hardened steel than the comparable but less expensive models from TSC and others. The salesman said the tines will stay straight on the JD and the cheaper ones will bend over time. Is it worth spending more on a JD or York for such a attachment? Of course I want the best bang for my buck but I prefer quality over cheapness. I'll probably use it two or three times a year on my driveway and a few neighbors. I don't see too many on Craigslist in my area and I'm wary of all the Cat 1 fits for the subcompact. Any suggestions? Thanks.
 

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I was able to bend a 5' cat.1 TSC landscape take with my lawn tractor last summer. I took a picture of it and emailed to customer service, ten days later the local store called and said they had a new rake for me. I would rate their rake as fair, and service as excellent. Maybe I just got a bad one as I've not been able to bend the second one with my much stronger R. I've no idea what item 4 is, but I'd guess that a rear blade would be more effective on a gravel type road than a rake when trying to smooth tire ruts. Yes the York, Land Pride, and Frontier are of better quality, but if you have a problem with county line, TSC will make it right.
 

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Box Blade

Sounds to me like the best implement for your needs is a box blade.

 

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Discussion Starter #4
I initially thought of a box blade (and watched that same video) but the adjustment of the angle on the rake may make it easier to put the material in the center of the driveway where I want it. Others tractor owners I have spoke to locally have recommended the rake over the box blade for this purpose. The item #4 is crushed gravel with stone dust in it to harden it up for driveways and make it less susceptible to runoff but the material on the sides of the driveway is usually looser and more easily moved because it hasn't been packed as much. From my understanding the box blade may be overkill for this use and, in addition, the rake can more finely groom the driveway.
 

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I don't see how a rake will do what you want to do efficiently, especially a 6 ft rake. I have use a land scape rake a considerable amount of time and although I have never used a box blade I would be inclined to think that is what you want. A 6 ft rake, IMO, will be too big, you have the power but will lack traction (weight of your tractor).

I don't understand your statement "I'm wary of all the Cat 1 fits for the subcompact."????
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I added the CAT1 statement in because the JD dealer I spoke to yesterday several times mentioned the 1026R hitch is a CAT 1L. L for limited because the width is not as wide as some older CAT 1's is what i gathered from his statement. So in looking for used rakes or box blades I'm wary of all listed as CAT1 hitches and will have to measure them to verify the width of the hitch.

As for the 6' width rake you're probably right and that's one of the concerns I was getting at here. It may be too much to pull at 6' on the 1026. If I go back to considering a box blade I might as well keep doing the job with the FEL Ratchet Rake for all the time involved. Maybe I'm wrong but it's been my impression the box blade doesn't have the angle capacity a rake has so I'd be pulling material in the same fashion as the FEL Ratchet Rake. That is, 45-90 degrees into the center of the driveway. It would seem to me that driving the length of the driveway with an angled 3 point rake to gather material into the center for crowning would be the easiest method. But maybe I'm overestimating the use of the 3 point rake. As I said, I have no 3 point experience and am looking for all the advice you guys have to offer. Thanks.
 

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I think what you really need is a Back Blade. Rake is good for leveling, not so good for displacing materials.
 

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I personally use a 48" box blade for my driveway and 4 or 5 of my neighbors. It does this task very well. The only bad part is you have to constantly get off the tractor to adjust tilt and angle. I've redone several driveways and maintain these same driveways with sweeping turns that are on considerable inclines. Some 1 series owners have said they can pull a 5' BB without an issue. I do think I could pull a 54" most if not all the time. I think a 60" would be too much for the turns and inclines I deal with though. With the 48", I can load it up full of material and power is never an issue.

IMG_1494.JPG

I don't have a rake and have never used one with a tractor. I can't give you any good advice about one from personal experience. XSKIER has one and has posted a video of him using it but I can't seem to locate it. Maybe he will see this thread and chime in. Or you could PM him...
 

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Thanks! Funny how you found it moments after I couldn't. :lol::lol::lol:

I must be having one these moments.
 

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I don't know if this is worth a thought but I'd be inclined to get the landscape rake and service the driveway more often. Maybe get someone to come in and loosen it up one time, and then take the rake over a little more often so it doesn't have a chance to set up solid. Just a thought...
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I understand the point of view for using the box blade for grading but this past week I just loosened up and graded the driveway pretty well with the ratchet rake on the FEL. However, the material is rather loose and there is some washboarding. A rake may finely level that out better. I'm also thinking if I maintain it enough with a rake it would mean not having to grade as often as suggested by saxamc2.

On another note, after grading I did manage to dislodge enough larger rocks that need to cleaned up before I use the snowblower this winter. Again, I'm thinking of a 5' rake may be the right tool for the job. It would also clean up the considerable amount of leaves and needles that accumulate on this part of the driveway.

As for pricing my dealer is suggesting a Woods stone rake w/wheels for around $1150. Any thoughts?
 

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IMO you definitely want gauge wheels even if you don't use them all the time but they are costly. Make sure it has a stand, can be a real PITA to hook up without it. I had to add a stand to ours.
 

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I have the TSC 60" box blade and York rake. I recently regraded a 1,500 foot gravel driveway for a friend, and was absolutely blown away by how well the box blade worked. He had many deep, wide potholes that the box blade with rippers down simply obliterated with one pass. While I love the York rake for other jobs, it would never have done what the box blade did.

Wish I made some video to share...

If I could only have one, I'd start with the box blade.
 

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my first post

Hi guys....I have 2 acres that I cleared trees off last fall. Now I am planning to purchase my dream machine tomorrow. A 1026r! I am on a budget so have decided to get a get a GM1060E
grooming mower instead of the very costly deck mower. I have also decided to get a ratchet rake instead of a box blade. From what I have seen, the ratchet rake is a great "all in one tool". My lil rig will have lots of work to do....i spent all winter on this computer researching and I am confident that I have the right agenda. Time will tell...I will post pics! Also, can anyone enlighten me on the advantages of the quick connect loader other than the obvious?.....I dont think I will have any reason to take the loader off...so am opting for the standard issue.

Thanks and Happy Grooming!
LJ
 

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Hi guys....I have 2 acres that I cleared trees off last fall. Now I am planning to purchase my dream machine tomorrow. A 1026r! I am on a budget so have decided to get a get a GM1060E
grooming mower instead of the very costly deck mower. I have also decided to get a ratchet rake instead of a box blade. From what I have seen, the ratchet rake is a great "all in one tool". My lil rig will have lots of work to do....i spent all winter on this computer researching and I am confident that I have the right agenda. Time will tell...I will post pics! Also, can anyone enlighten me on the advantages of the quick connect loader other than the obvious?.....I dont think I will have any reason to take the loader off...so am opting for the standard issue.

Thanks and Happy Grooming!
LJ
I think most people think the same thing and most have been proven wrong.
 

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Hi guys....I have 2 acres that I cleared trees off last fall. Now I am planning to purchase my dream machine tomorrow. A 1026r! I am on a budget so have decided to get a get a GM1060E
grooming mower instead of the very costly deck mower. I have also decided to get a ratchet rake instead of a box blade. From what I have seen, the ratchet rake is a great "all in one tool". My lil rig will have lots of work to do....i spent all winter on this computer researching and I am confident that I have the right agenda. Time will tell...I will post pics! Also, can anyone enlighten me on the advantages of the quick connect loader other than the obvious?.....I dont think I will have any reason to take the loader off...so am opting for the standard issue.

Thanks and Happy Grooming!
LJ
Welcome LJ, Like Gizmo wrote-you'll probably regret that decision later. Just being able to take the bucket off to get it out of your way-or add forks later to your arsenal of tools will make it seam cheap in the future. One member here regretted recently and did the conversion-lots of work and money to do it later, here are his three threads:

http://www.greentractortalk.com/forums/sub-compact-utility-tractors-scut/6753-h120-loader-pics-needed.html

http://www.greentractortalk.com/forums/implements-attachments/6609-d120-quick-attach-conversion.html

http://www.greentractortalk.com/forums/sub-compact-utility-tractors-scut/6777-quick-attach-bucket-conversion-complete.html
 

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If I recall correctly, both loaders will disconnect from the tractor with relative ease. (One has a built in stand, the other you have to pull out manually)
The difference is in the attachment of the bucket. If you don't plan on pallet forks in the future then you should be ok with out it.

I know you said budget was an issue, but I really would look at getting the 1026r, especially if you are getting the rear mower, the 1026 has the position control of the 3 point hitch where the 1023e does not.
 

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The D120 loader does have the JDQA option. That being said, I'd get the H120 again. It's really nice to have the quick change options. It makes reconfiguring so much easier and faster. That way there's no need to compromise for the job at hand.:good2:
 
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