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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I'm gathering up the materials to build a land plane similar to what everything attachments sells. $1000+ is just too much to spend on a few welded beams IMO. My gravel is realitivly loose so I'm not going to put any ripping teeth on it. I have a pair of old cutting edges from a county snow plow and I'll build the rest out of channel and angle iron.

My head scratcher right now is how wide to make it. I'm planning on pulling it with my M (20hp or a 2-10/1-16 plow), but my driveway is a only single lane wide and it badly needs a crown. I guess this is both a power and a practicality question.

Thanks in advance!
 

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I do not think a land plane is the "go to" tool for crowning a driveway,,, ? :dunno:

The land plane (from the videos I have watched) is best at removing ripples, and filling minor low spots.

I JUST crowned my driveway for the winter,,, a regular blade is the best tool I have for that,,, right now.



I have 2 four foot cutting edge takeoffs, also.
If I build one, the frame will be a couple pieces of "I" beam,,,

To me,, weight will be an important feature,,, LOTS of weight.
 

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A land plane can do a fine job of crowning a road, if you can tilt it. I'm guessing your M has an adjustable lift link, might even have a gearbox with a crank handle. :good2:

I would think your M would be comfortable with a 5 or a 6 foot land plane. It really won't move a lot of material over a distance, but it will redistribute it. Since it's not pulling a big load like you would be with a box blade, they pull a little easier.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
I'll probably have to have and least one truckload of topping gravel brought in because the drive at our new house is pretty sunken in some spots. I'll have to start with a back blade to get it spread out and crowned. When I do the final grade with the plane, I'll crank up the left lifting arm up just a little bit to help the crown along.

I think it should be at least as wide as my wheels (about 55"), but is there any benefit to going wider beyond covering more ground? I know longer is better, and heavier is better too. Good thing that nothing I build is light. :good2:

I have a 60" rear blade and I only spin my wheels when it gets completely buried. A land plane doesn't bite as hard so I think my M should be able to handle a 60" plane. I haven't been able to find any data on power-per-foot of land plane though.
 
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I would think that your M would handle every bit of 60" probably 72" with out rippers. I do not own one and I've never been around them or even seen one in person, but now that I have moved this past summer I want to try one out on my 1000' gravel drive. I too want to build one and have been gathering materials, I'll be following your thread with great interest. That said, from my limited knowledge and research, it might be nice to be a little wider to pull the material that rolls to the outside or into the ditch with out having to drive down in there. Although you already have a back blade to accomplish that. How wide is your driveway? It would be nice to only have to make one pass for half width to keep the crown in it. One pass down and the other back. A little bit of overlap wouldn't hurt. Just so you weren't taking the crown off or having to adjust the tilt often.

There are a couple of good threads on here of some neat builds.

Couple of other things to consider ( or questions I have that may be relevant)

Are you going to make the cutting depth adjustable or fixed, if so how what's the proper depth of cut?

Are you going to angle the cutting edges or leave them square to the frame? If you angle them would you keep them parallel or oppose the angles ( //, \/, or ll)?
You see them with all of these cofifgurations, I wonder what works best or for different applications.

From what I've read, longer is better as well as heavy. I'm excited to hear your plan!
 

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The way a land plane is typically built,, I think it would be virtually impossible to crown a driveway by adjusting the three point hitch arms,
there is just WAY too much end weight involved.
When the land plane gets to operating height,,, both skids will be touching,,, IMHO,,,

Adjustable blade depth would be a necessity. Each (or at least one) side needs to be raised to get the desired effect to crown using a land plane.

If I build one,, the skid/runner on one side will be able to be lowered (or raised,,, :dunno:)

As far as width,,, the land plane may be like a shovel.
A little narrow shovel can accurately cut, whereas a big honkin' grain scoop can not be controlled.

I may build mine only 4 feet wide, so as to suit the weight of my 650,,,
(and,,, my cutting edges are only 4 feet long,,, LOL!!)

I can not conceive of a situation where the blades would need to cut more than one inch deep.
I think that would be my build dimension.
If I need more than 1 inch, some other attachment will be used.

I may opt for bolting on flat steel bars under the side runners for adjustment of height,, I have the bars.
Extra weigh is added at the same time.
 

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The way a land plane is typically built,, I think it would be virtually impossible to crown a driveway by adjusting the three point hitch arms,
there is just WAY too much end weight involved.
When the land plane gets to operating height,,, both skids will be touching,,, IMHO,,,

Adjustable blade depth would be a necessity. Each (or at least one) side needs to be raised to get the desired effect to crown using a land plane.

If I build one,, the skid/runner on one side will be able to be lowered (or raised,,, :dunno:)

As far as width,,, the land plane may be like a shovel.
A little narrow shovel can accurately cut, whereas a big honkin' grain scoop can not be controlled.

I may build mine only 4 feet wide, so as to suit the weight of my 650,,,
(and,,, my cutting edges are only 4 feet long,,, LOL!!)

I can not conceive of a situation where the blades would need to cut more than one inch deep.
I think that would be my build dimension.
If I need more than 1 inch, some other attachment will be used.

I may opt for bolting on flat steel bars under the side runners for adjustment of height,, I have the bars.
Extra weigh is added at the same time.


I thought the crown was created by the material moving towards one side of the box, and spilling out there, and positioning that part of the plane towards the center of the drive?
 

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Discussion Starter #9
The most recent design on my board consists of two c-channel runners (2x6 or taller) spanned by a pair of parallel angled knives mounted on angle irons. A couple pieces of angle will also run across the top to further connect the runners and add rigidity to the plane. Right now I'm planning on 60" as the internal width of the plane; roughly 69" knives at 30*.

==\\=:greentractorride:

It will have a cat 1 hitch with a chain for the top link rather than a rigid mount to allow for independent movement from the tractor and a smaller overall size for easier storage. I thought about adding a hitch so I could tow a roller at the same time, but that would put a tremendous side load on the plane's frame when turning so I don't think I'll do that.

Like I said, if you have seen the planes sold by everything attachments, you'll have a pretty good idea of what I'm going for.
 
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Just a bit of info for those that might be able to make use of it. This is based on my experience. I typically work with decomposed granite, so the absolute best time to work it is when it is damp, maybe a day or 2 after a decent rain.

Yes you want a heavy unit, but not so heavy that your tractor struggles with it. Ideal weight is between 150-200lbs per foot width. Lighter still works, just not as well. Pretty much the same as with any grading implement, weight is king.

The material that flows over the typical slopped-angled cutting edges of a manufactured LPGS (land plane grading scraper) only moves side ways about 1". So to rely on one of these implements to actually create a crown is going to take a lot of passes. Probably best to count on a rear blade for ditching and crowning a driveway.

Adjustable cutting edges, in my opinion a total waste. Why have them? Just something to get mis adjusted on it's own when things don't get tightened up properly. I've been using my LPGSers with stationary blades for about 10 years now and have never had to fool with them at all.

Same goes for skids. Bolt on skids are not needed. If these units are built with the proper materials, these things just don't wear out for the typical home owner type of use.

It has been mentioned that these pull easier than a box blade. My guess is, that was said by a person that has never used this type of implement. Why and how would 2 cutting edges be easier to pull than a single cutting edge on a box blade? Because the box blade pulls material along with it, so does a LPGS. The only time that it just flows over the cutting edges is if the ground is bone dry. Any dampness to the ground which there should be if you are grading, the ground will build up. If you don't understand how these work, and just put the 3pt lever all the way forward, you will be stopped in just a short distance.

There is actually a learning curve to this type of implement just as there is to most implements. Some easier than others, but you do not just drop it to the ground and drive like so many people like to say. If you can actually do that, then the conditions are not right for you to be using the implement or the implement is not set up right.

As far as the cutting edges being angled or straight. Every professionally manufactured unit that I have ever seen that I can think of has had angled cutting edges. Almost every home built unit has straight cutting edges. Why? I think the manufacturers feel that the angled edges work better, I'm not sure that is true or not. I think that the home built units get built straight because it is easier to build that way. The straight cutting edges seem to work just fine.

As far as a chain in place of a top link, I don't think that is going to work. I believe that the unit will simply roll forward and only the front cutting edge will be doing anything. Besides that, there are times when you want the front cutting edge to not cut quite as much as the back one and that is easily compensated for with the lengthening of the top link. But then I guess you could stop and adjust those adjustable cutting edges that you think that you might want. That shouldn't take all that much longer than adjusting the top link, right?

To give you an idea of the pictures, my 32hp tractor weighs in at 5000lbs, the 5' LPGS is about 800lbs and has 18" sides, 72" long. My 75hp tractor is 12,00lbs, the 7' LPGS is 1400lbs, has 22" sides, 84" long. If I get in a hurry and don't pay attention, either tractor can easily be stopped even in 4x4 mode by the LPGS.

The picture of the 5 footer doing a final pass was later in the day and the ground was actually dry, but it needed to be finished up and I am only a weekender and have to do things when I get a chance. You can see in one of the pictures with the larger tractor where the dirt had built up over 2' high to be able to be up above the cross beam supports. If the ground is just a bit damp for grading, it is easy to collect over 3 cubic yards of material back there. I once leveled out about an acre one morning after a rain a couple of days earlier using this to move about 100 yards of dirt cutting and filling areas. It made short work of that job.

I showed the rear blade simply because you are not going to do those things with a LPGS.

Sorry for the long post, just a few things that I felt needed to be said by an experienced person of this type of implement. :bye:
 

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MtnViewRanch ,,, where, in relation to the sides are the cutting edges set?

That is height wise,,,, I assume the cutting edges protrude below the channel sides?? :dunno:
 
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MtnViewRanch ,,, where, in relation to the sides are the cutting edges set?

That is height wise,,,, I assume the cutting edges protrude below the channel sides?? :dunno:
I knew that I was leaving something out. My cutting edges are down 1", I have seen and heard of others being even with the sides on home built units. Most of the manufactured units are 3/4"-1". I know of some home built units that are down on the leading edge and even on the trailing edge.

Sorry for this omission.

If you have or can get one, a hydraulic top link is a very valuable addition to this implement, just as it is with so many others.
 

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If you have or can get one, a hydraulic top link is a very valuable addition to this implement, just as it is with so many others.
IMG_5638.JPG

:thumbup1gif:
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I figured that a floating land plane would end up doing a better job than one whose fore/aft pitch was attached to the tractor... I certainly know it would be better than me trying to control it with my M's antique hydraulics!
 

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I figured that a floating land plane would end up doing a better job than one whose fore/aft pitch was attached to the tractor... I certainly know it would be better than me trying to control it with my M's antique hydraulics!
Try it and see what you think, but I think that there will be problems. :unknown:
 
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