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  1. #1
    Platinum Member Spiveyman's Avatar
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    Central KY
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    Ford 6610 II

    Default Is it unwise to buy a BB narrower than your tractor??

    I know there are several BB threads out there, I've posted in a couple of them, but they are old and may not draw the traffic. I'm planning to buy a BB Monday, so I'm hoping to get some thoughts before then.

    Here's the deal, I have a Ford 6610, wheels are out wide, 8'. My farm has gently rolling hills so I want them out there to help me keep from field testing my ROPS. Assume narrowing my tractor is not an option.

    I started out looking at a TSC 6' BB (~$469), but have been wisely steered towards a more heafty unit. Problem is, more heafty = more $$$. I found a very well made BB, made by a guy in TN. I can get a 72" for around $775, which is a better price than the comparable Bush Hog or Woods version, but that's already an extra ~$300

    My question, is it a big mistake to get the 72" BB to pull behind a 84" wide tractor? To get one made wide enough to cover my tracks will cost >$1.000. Is anyone running a BB narrower than their tractor? Does is cause real problems that would warrant ANOTHER $300?
    "Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance."

    "No one but cattle know why they stampede... and they ain't talkin'."

    "It doesn't matter how big a ranch ya' own, or how many cows ya' brand, the size of your funeral is still gonna to depend on the weather."

  2. #2
    Gold Member
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    Northern West Virginia
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    JD

    Default Re: Is it unwise to buy a BB narrower than your tractor??

    Yes, I think it's unwise to buy a back blade narrower than your tractor.

    Some back blades can be shifted to one side on their 3 point hitch mount (unbolt and rebolt the blade). So if you shifted your 6' blade to one side or the other, you might cover one of your tracks.

    But a 6' blade is really too short for a tractor with wheels set 8' wide. If you use the blade at a 22.5 degree angle, you will be cutting only a 5'-6" swath, and if you use it at 45 degrees, you'll be cutting only a 4'-3" swath.

    I have my wheels set just over 5' wide, and I use a 7' blade. I think you should be able to find a used heavy-duty 7' blade for less than $1000. I see used blades for sale pretty often in the local "want ads" bulletin board paper and also our local "Market Bulletin" put out by the state Dept. of Agriculture.

    My blade is a John Deere brand which is pretty heavy duty, but over the years the blade has developed a slight curve. If you're only doing light work, a light duty (like the TSC model) might work for you. But I'd recommend checking around for a used heavy duty blade. You might get a heavy duty used blade for the price of a new light duty blade.

  3. #3
    Platinum Member Spiveyman's Avatar
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    Ford 6610 II

    Default Re: Is it unwise to buy a BB narrower than your tractor??

    Thanks for your thoughts. Just to clarify, I'm looking at a box blade, although I suspect the sentiments would be the same for either. I do have a very sturdy Land Pride rear blade but am looking to get a heavy duty box blade for a couple of impending projects. I had thought about the possibility of shifting the box blade off center, but I don't think the one I'm looking at is set up to do that.

    I can get a great 7' box blade in my budget, just not sure if another foot is worth the extra $300+.
    "Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance."

    "No one but cattle know why they stampede... and they ain't talkin'."

    "It doesn't matter how big a ranch ya' own, or how many cows ya' brand, the size of your funeral is still gonna to depend on the weather."

  4. #4
    Gold Member
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    Northern West Virginia
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    JD

    Default Re: Is it unwise to buy a BB narrower than your tractor??

    Oops... BB is ambiguous. Sorry. For a box blade, a narrower width is pretty much normal, isn't it?

  5. #5
    Platinum Member
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    Sep 2004
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    Arlington, TX
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    '51 ford 8N

    Default Re: Is it unwise to buy a BB narrower than your tractor??

    Well, an 8n can carry a 6' straight blade but only a 5' box blade and use them effectively. A kubota B2710 can drag a 6' box blade with no sweat and make a 5' BB due some obscene things.


    To me a BB should cover your rear tire width and modern tractors tend to pull bigger implements than you might at first expect.


    You can get one narrower than your tractor, but expect to routinely overwork it and require repetitive passes while working to accomplish the same job.

  6. #6
    Platinum Member Spiveyman's Avatar
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    Ford 6610 II

    Default Re: Is it unwise to buy a BB narrower than your tractor??

    Quote Originally Posted by TedLaRue
    Oops... BB is ambiguous. Sorry. For a box blade, a narrower width is pretty much normal, isn't it?

    No prob. I thought BB was widely used for box blade. There are so many short cut names it's hard to keep up.
    "Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance."

    "No one but cattle know why they stampede... and they ain't talkin'."

    "It doesn't matter how big a ranch ya' own, or how many cows ya' brand, the size of your funeral is still gonna to depend on the weather."

  7. #7
    Platinum Member Spiveyman's Avatar
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    Ford 6610 II

    Default Re: Is it unwise to buy a BB narrower than your tractor??

    Quote Originally Posted by JoeinTX
    Well, an 8n can carry a 6' straight blade but only a 5' box blade and use them effectively. A kubota B2710 can drag a 6' box blade with no sweat and make a 5' BB due some obscene things.


    To me a BB should cover your rear tire width and modern tractors tend to pull bigger implements than you might at first expect.


    You can get one narrower than your tractor, but expect to routinely overwork it and require repetitive passes while working to accomplish the same job.

    I'm not as worried about capacity. I'm sure my tractor could carry it and pull it. I'm not as worried about having to do multiple passes, though that is obviously a pain. What I want to try to avoid is getting in a situation where there's something that I can't do, a type of project, road work or something because I have a 7' BB and an 8' tractor. I just don't have the experience to see that far ahead. I've never used one before.

    Thanks.
    "Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a rain dance."

    "No one but cattle know why they stampede... and they ain't talkin'."

    "It doesn't matter how big a ranch ya' own, or how many cows ya' brand, the size of your funeral is still gonna to depend on the weather."

  8. #8
    Veteran Member jbrumberg's Avatar
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    Western MA
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    New Holland TC29DA, John Deere 455D

    Default Re: Is it unwise to buy a BB narrower than your tractor??

    Spiveyman:

    What do you want to do with the box blade? If you want to do road work or move any material with a 7' box blade on an 8' wide tractor you will always have tire rut/box blade edges that you could smooth out with a rear/back blade or backdrag with your FEL. I can only speak for myself, but I would suggest that you spend the extra $ and go with a box blade that will cover your tracks. It will save you a lot of aggravation and time in the long run. I have lost count of the number of times in the past that I saved myself a few bucks initially and was really unhappy with my "savings" in the long run. Jay
    NH TC29DA with 14LA and HD QA 60" bucket, weighted R-1's, FOPS, CCM M-160 (58") Tiller, Tebben MD 60" Rotary Cutter, Woods LR 108 (96") Landscape Rake, FEL cutting edge and tooth bar, Woods GB60 (60") Box Blade, Wallenstein BXM32

    1995 John Deere 455 Diesel with 48" mower, MC 519 Cart with PowerVac

  9. #9
    Super Member greg_g's Avatar
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    Western Kentucky
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    JD3720 Cab, 300X loader with 4-in-1 bucket

    Default Re: Is it unwise to buy a BB narrower than your tractor??

    I also subscribe to the philosophy that a boxblade should be at least wide enough to cover the tire tracks. I'm wondering if you're not being slightly over-cautious with that 8 foot rear track. Personally, I feel the most stable width for the type terrain you describe (sounds like mine) is when the front and rear tracks are identical. My KM454 for example; 66.5" overall width, both front and rear. Means a 6 foot box blade or 7 foot indexed rake (or scraper blade) won't leave any tire marks behind. Means also that a 6 foot rotary cutter will let me cut up close to buildings and fence lines.

    Point being, setting your rears in to match the front width might let you get that 7 footer AND cover the tire tracks.

    //greg//
    USN (Ret)
    Former Chinese tractor owner (x4)
    Current John Deere owner

  10. #10
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
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    Texas

    Default Re: Is it unwise to buy a BB narrower than your tractor??

    It seems we all agree. The only reason for a box blade narrower that the outside tread of your rear wheels is if you can't afford a bigger one, and that can certainly be understandable. But if you get a narrower one, you'll always wish you had the wider one.
    Bird

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