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Discussion Starter #1
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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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


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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

:thumbup1gif:
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
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.
 

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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.
:) ...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!
 

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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.
 

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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.....
 

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What kind of SCUT do you have? Does it have height/position control?

What the others have posted about using a box blade is spot on. My experience with box blades is similar to yours and that's due to not using one enough and the fact I was using my JD 400 GT which doesn't have any form of position control. It takes a bit of time to become competent with a box blade. I became ok with the CAT 0 blade I used on my GT but I am no where close to what I see some folks do on here.

I use a land plane because it's stupid simple and makes me look like I know what I am doing. Just drop it on the ground and go. You can turn the top link to make it dig a little bit more aggressively but it moves less dirt per pass than a box blade.

You three point doesn't have any downward force other than gravity so that is not the box blade's fault, it's just is what it is. I would continue to play with it and work your skill level, it will get better with time. A land plane will work really well too on a yard.
 

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last fall i box bladed a 5 acre grass field after having disced it up i like my hay fields to be smooth and flat
Running a BB takes time /trial& error

You my friend are clearly the winner in BB's for dummy's

That is what I want my field to look like.....but its kinda sloped...I'll work on it .


Awesum job on yours
 

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Like others have said, it just takes practice.

Sometimes you have to "fix" a screw up :hide: (I have been known to carry a rake on the box blade for this.....)

One bit of advice is to go slow. Both tractor speed and your intended project timeline.

Especially being new, you can't just go out, hook it up and go get-r-dun in one pass.

Unless you are really aggressively moving material, the front sides of the box blade should be up off of the ground.

Yes, adjusting the top link is a pain. A hydraulic link is very beneficial, but not cheap. Learning it manual will help you understand how to use the hydraulic later if you get on. For now, work on feathering the 3 point to pull and release material smoothly. A little bit goes a long way. Close down the rockshaft valve so it moves slowly.

The trial and error method can be frustrating but effective. This worked, do more of that. This didn't, don't do THAT again... Pretty soon you'll be able to recognize the difference and then you'll find the third factor, "I knew better than to do that!".

Once you get the drive in better shape, keep it that way.

My Dad could grade a drive smooth with an old worn out 8N and a crappy old box blade on a hitch that was looser than......well, it was loose. I had brand new good quality equipment and couldn't hold a candle to his finished product.

Time and patience was his advice. Take your time and be patient. He also reminded me that he had more time in a jobsite porta-john than I had on a tractor.....:hide:
 

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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.
I have the same box blade, it’s good just learning curve on using it. With that and my fel which stay on my 1026r i smooth my 500’ gravel drive pretty good. I want a grater blade for mine.



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I also like both my 6 ft Box blade, 8 ft Rear Blade and both can do a great job together you can do anything. Would not be without either one but the rear blade gets the most work once roads are looking good. 100_0853.JPG 100_0854.JPG Before Picture; 100_0590.JPG 100_0561.JPG 100_0562.JPG One thing the Box Blade can do is in mud like this in 4x4 "A" Range chained up. Floored it will go thru skid plate on the mud, dug in with my tires 19" into the mud and at the other end back on good solid ground look back and it is flat and smooth!! Now if I tried that with my rear blade it would have dug in and stalled the tractor and just made a big mess.
 

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Box blades have a fairly significant learning curve. They will move dirt like no tomorrow, weather you like it or not.

Your shoe idea isn't bad, basically that is what a land plane is.
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
OK, I stand corrected. I am finding my box blade very useful in grading the back yard for a patio. It's not that I didn't know how to use it (it's pretty simple - anyone should be able to figure it out in a few minutes in my opinion). As I suspected, it was the fact that I was using it on a very short, very curved driveway. If you don't have much of a run, it's not much better than the FEL. Also the smoother it is, the smoother you can make it. In other words, if you are working on very uneven ground (which I was with the driveway) it was better, for me anyway, to start with the FEL (at least with the sand we have around here).
I suppose with hard ground, you wouldn't be able to do much with the FEL.
 

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We have had a 9/10 wore out 6' rear blade for a number of years, and got by. We recently bought a 5' box blade, China brand, from our local farm, auto store. We bought it cheaper than the price of steel to home build and much cheaper than any other alternative in our area. Key words being, in our area.

It works well for what it is intended for, and the uses we need of it. I put angle iron skids on both sides to make the blade "0" engagement. With the skids, and adjustments to the top link it work OK as a land, driveway plane. Not great maybe, but OK. I'm satisfied with it.

Using these 2 implements together has worked well for us for the investment in both.
 

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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.
Do your sidelinks have the little square doodads that you can use to adjust up-down play? Mine has these little things so that if I want, I can set it so everything is 'locked together' and moves like you describe. If I place it in the 'unlocked' mode, it allows the blade to float and gets the tractor to absorb some of those bumps without affecting the blade as much.

Skip to 6:50 for a visual:

Don't lose heart- it takes lots of practice. A box blade can and will work for smoothing dirt if you do it right. Also keep in mind that it need not be completely perfect- a few tiny dips and bumps won't hurt anything. Once you have the gravel down, grade it to your satisfaction.
 
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