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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Jan 2009
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    Default techniques for basic box scraper

    Hi,

    The photos with fancy box scrapers and big tractors are a bit intimidating, but I can tell that there's a wealth of knowledge here, so I'm going to give it a try.

    I have a basic John Deer box scraper: 4 or 5' across, 4 scarifiers (actually 3 'cuz I broke one), only adjustment I can make from the seat is to raise and lower with the 3pt hitch. I can pull it with my little 30-something HP John Deere.

    I've only tried to use it a couple times, because the scarifiers make the box immediately dig straight down. Based on what I'm reading here, it sounds like the issue is the angle, right? Would I lengthen or shorten the top bar to get rid of this issue?

    I was thinking about trying to use the box scraper this spring to try to 'aerate' my little 2-acre horse pasture. The grass roots have no depth because they're on top of hard pan. Since this is the only pasture I've got, I can't have it out of commission for a year, so radical renovation is out of the question. I'm hoping just to break things up a bit. Will this work?

    FYI I do have a harrow, but, without cinder blocks it does nothing (and with cinder blocks, I have to stop every two minutes to put them back on).



    Many thanks!

  2. #2
    Veteran Member MJPetersen's Avatar
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    Feb 2007
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    Location
    Warsaw, Poland
    Tractor
    YM 1510-D

    Default Re: techniques for basic box scraper

    I would like to be the first to welcome you to TBN. You are right that there is a multitude of people here who really know their stuff.

    The Basic Box Blade can be quite intimidating, but can also be very rewarding in what it can do for you. What you should do regarding the box digging in is somewhat dependent on what kind of box you have. If your rear blade is fixed in position (It does not move like a flap behind the blade) then you should be able to lengthen the top link to get the box to ride on this blade. the disadvantage of that is that it pulls the scarifiers up also.

    If your box has a hinged back blade then drastically shorting the top link will lower the front of the box and make it ride more on the side plates and cause the cutting edge to more easily ride over the dirt. This helps the scarifiers dig in but the box will be less likely to take too big of a bite.

    I have a 4 foot roll over box on a 18 hp Yanmar. Experiment and see what works for you. Post a pic of your set up from the side and from the back and someone can help you get the job done.

    There is a very interesting thread about the use of a BBB by the king of Boxes, Rob of 3RRL fame.

    Mike
    "In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths." Solomon
    YM1510D, YM 1202 tiller, The following home made tools: Quick Hitch, KK copy dirt scoop, imitation Gannon rollover box blade, Forks on 3pt, a Rear Blade with gauge wheels and a 1.5 yd dump trailer.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member gerard's Avatar
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    Syracuse NY
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    Kubota L2500DT w/FEL

    Default Re: techniques for basic box scraper

    You have a few options besides adjusting the top link. If you don't want to dig too deep don't let the 3 pt down all the way. Figure out how far to let it down to get to the ripper depth you're looking for and let the 3 pt hold it there. As far as aerating a horse pasture - The rippers are a little thick for that and are going to tear up the grass and leave big clumps, not really what you want for aerating grass. You'd be better off with a set of straight discs with some weight or an actual aerator (spiked roller). This cuts through the thatch and allows rain and nutrients to get down to the roots without disturbing the root system too much. The rippers will tear up the roots and all, exposing them to air and killing that portion of grass in the process.
    Experience is something you get right after you need it!

    Kubota L2500 DT w/ 5 foot FEL and Pat's easy change system
    5ft box blade, 5ft bushhog, 6ft york rake w/ guage wheels, 7ft backblade w/skid shoes , post hole digger, 5 foot snowblower, dual axel 16 foot landscape trailer, 330 gal water tank, Ford 250 diesel, 6 wheel drive polaris ranger, bale spears for loader

  4. #4
    Bronze Member
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    Feb 2008
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    Location
    Windham Co. CT
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    Kubota L345DT, Yanmar 1500D,

    Default Re: techniques for basic box scraper

    Ty the cinder blocks on.

  5. #5
    Super Member
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    6,595

    Default Re: techniques for basic box scraper

    Tip 1. Lower the scarifiers to break up the ground, but don't lower the box all the way down. Just scarifier contact. Cross hatch the area with the scarifiers that way. Then retract them and use the box.

    Tip 2. Shorter top link means more digging. Longer top link means less digging.

    Tip 3. Start out on level ground and adjust the top link so the front of the box is 1-2" lower than the back. This is for forward dragging and digging.

    Tip 4. On level ground raise the front of the box 1-2" higher than the back to smooth out the ground while dragging.

    Tip 5. Spend more time on the tractor.

    Enjoy!

    jb

  6. #6
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    Jan 2009
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    Default Re: techniques for basic box scraper

    Wow, already so much helpful advice! I'll take a picture of my set-up tomorrow. It sounds like my top bar on the 3-point hitch is too short, and that's why it's digging in. I'll play with the options listed here (adjusting top bar, lowering the 3pt hitch part way) to see if I can something that works. Meanwhile (DOH), I'll try tying down the cinderblocks on the harrow as that has 2-3" tines that are a lot narrower than the scarifiers.

    Follow-up on adjusting the 3pt hitch. I played with the box scraper for a little while today (before I saw the advice here). How can I adjust the top bar? When the box scraper is on, I can't turn the top bar for the life of me, but, if it's off, I always need to adjust the top bar to whatever works to get it attached to the scraper. Can I just hammer the handles attached to the bar to turn it after I attach the scraoer. (BTW it's a *Rankin* scraper, not a JD. Since it's 'JD green', I guess I just made an assumption. The ONLY thing that it moves on it are the scarifiers; using a pin, I can move them up and down.)

    Second item: For a project I was was working on today, I would have loved to have been able to do like Rob showed in one of his pictures, and put my scraper at a side-angle (L-R). Same issue: trying to move the adjuster on the right hitch with the scraper attached.

  7. #7
    Elite Member Gittyup's Avatar
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    Oct 2007
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    Mid Atlantic
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    Kioti CK25 Shuttle Shift, loaded tires, JD X739

    Default Re: techniques for basic box scraper

    After you attach the box, try setting it down so that the weight is off the top link. Then crank it up. Set it down a little further and repeat. Same for the angle adjust. Might need something to set it on to do this.

  8. #8
    Super Member 3RRL's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    6,813
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    Foothills of the Giant Sequoia's, California
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    55HP 4WD KAMA 554 and 4 x 4 Jinma 284

    Default Re: techniques for basic box scraper

    Hi WAGIRL and welcome to TBN.
    You can certainly do what you wrote in your opening statements with your boxblade.
    I don't know if that will good for your horses or not since I don't have any. But nevertheless, you can do it and it should come out pretty good. Just be sure it's heavy enough to penetrate that tough soil you have. You can always add weight if you need it ... be creative. Also, you don't need to have those scarifiers down very much to disturb the soil. I usually set mine only 4" deep to get an even soil disturbance while using the box blade as a poor man's plow. I also use the position control to only let the box down so much. If you need to move some dirt around first, do that also using your position control so you don't dig in too much. Go over it several times and then smooth it out with the rear part of the blade.

    The guys have already told you to shorten the top link to make it dig and move soil and to lengthen the top link so the rear blade smooths nicely. It takes a little patience and practice of course, but I'm sure you'll get it soon.

    My wife's tractor has manual adjustable top and side links.
    To adjust hers, sometimes I place a 4 x 4 on the rear blade and lower the 3 pt to shorten it up. Lower it onto the wood a little at a time so the link is not under pressure. You can also use a pipe wrench to turn that turnbuckle. Do the same for the side link adjustment to tilt the boxblade. Put the wood under the side you want to shorten up.

    Does your JD have 2 adjustable side links or just one on the right and a fixed one on the left? You can always get another adjustable turnbuckle for that other side if it only has the one. That will give you some more side to side tilt adjustment.
    OK, good luck and keep us posted on how you do.
    Rob-
    ...The Older I get...the Better I Used to be...
    Member of the Month

  9. #9
    Elite Member teg's Avatar
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    Raleigh, NC Hillsville, VA
    Tractor
    L2800.

    Default Re: techniques for basic box scraper

    I put a small (6" to 12") piece of 4x4 lumber in the middle of the BB. I didn't have a photo of it but I drew in where I place it to tilt my BB. I'll lift the box and put it back down slowly... you will see when the slack in the top link happens, when the pressure is released, then you can turn it top link a couple of times before you have to repeat the raising and lower trick again.

    Also, ratcheting straps may be easier with the cinder blocks instead of tying them on with rope.

  10. #10
    Gold Member
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    Dec 2006
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    432
    Location
    Oakdale, TN
    Tractor
    Kubota M8540HD ROPS

    Default Re: techniques for basic box scraper

    I'm new to box blade use as well, I also have a standard manual adjust system.

    I can adjust the top link shorter or longer, this will control the front to back tilt on the box blade. So, with a short top link, the box blade will dig more when I pull. If I want to smooth, then I should lengthen the top link so that the front of the box blade is higher than the rear?

    The next adjustment I can make is with the lower links. The links can be adjusted so that one is longer than the other. What would this be used for with the box blade?

    The next adjustment I can make is to change the height of my lower links, level, right side lower, or left side lower. This will give a sideways tilt to the box blade. What is this used for?

    Do you ever just use the box blade completely level? What's the best setup for smoothing? What about for driveway work, crowning, or ditches?

    Does one generally just pull forward with the box blade or alternate between forward/reverse pushing/pulling?

    Finally, what about the position/draft controls? Does one pretty much just use position control?
    Last edited by piller; 02-01-2009 at 10:14 AM. Reason: forgot to mention position/draft control

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