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  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2002
    Posts
    46
    Location
    Central Michigan
    Tractor
    Kubota BX22

    Default Box blade technique.

    Ordered my kubota 7548 48" box blade for my BX22 and it should be here the first of the week. My first job is fixing a buddies yard around a newly constructed garage. Basically I will need to haul in some black dirt and then regrade so he can plant grass. Any helpful hints for a guy thats never used one before? Thanks

  2. #2
    Super Member RobS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Posts
    6,242
    Location
    SW Michigan
    Tractor
    John Deere 790

    Default Re: Box blade technique.

    I hope lots of others chime in with tips 'cause I can always use more [img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img] The most important thing in my book is to go s l o w l y when using the box for grading work. If you go too fast you can't compensate the tph quickly enough and every little whoop in the terrain will be multiplied as the box digs in or dumps a load. If you go slowly (I'll use low-1 at low RPM if I need) you can keep an eye on the box and raise/lower it to ease the whoop-d-doos.

    Again, I hope others add to this, I'm hardly an expert with the mystical box blade [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    45
    Location
    Skiatook, Oklahoma (NE part of the state)
    Tractor
    Mahindra 2810 / 28hp

    Default Re: Box blade technique.

    I'd suggest experimenting some with the 3ph linkage before expecting too much, especially the top bar. The more you shorten the top link the more the blade will dig-in. When the front of the tractor goes up it pushes the box blade down, causing it to dig-in even more, and you end up with a wash board.

    Extending the top bar decreases the bite of the blade and allows you to drag and spread without cutting into the base, but doesn't allow you to shave humps in packed soil.

    Since it sounds like you will be spreading loose dirt, extend the top link to start with the box tilted back slightly, and then gradually shorten the bar as you get the feel of it.

    Kelly

  4. #4

    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    169
    Location
    North Idaho, USA
    Tractor
    2000 Kubota L4610

    Default Re: Box blade technique.

    First make an appointment with a chiropractor for the following day (your neck is going to need an adjustment.)
    Tell your friend and any other witnesses to plan a round of golf or some other diversion for that day.
    Take a dose of "darnitall" before starting and don't blame the box blade.
    Buy a good shovel and hand rake to finish the job.
    Sorry, couldn't help myself. That would have been unwelcome but realistic advise for me when I first got mine.
    It will take many hours of practice to get efficient with your equipment. Do not be discouraged, do not rush, be careful, and the next time you see a bonehead on a tractor making a job look easy you will have a new found respect for the operators skill and experience.

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Posts
    3,371
    Location
    California - S.F. East Bay & Sierra foothills
    Tractor
    Kubota L2500DT Standard Transmission

    Default Re: Box blade technique.

    <font color=blue>My first job is fixing a buddies yard</font color=blue>

    Hope he's a patient buddy.

    Actually, it sounds like an excellent project to begin the box blade learning process on. It's a seemingly simple tool to use, but it takes lots and lots o' practice to start getting the results you're looking for. Don't ask how I know.

    What kind of shape is the existing landscape in? If it's relatively flat to begin with, you should probably do fine. But if it has peaks and valleys and it is at all hard packed, you've got your work cut out for you. As others have already mentioned, the height of the blade will vary as the tractor itself climbs and drops over uneven surfaces. There are times when you'll do better, at least on the first pass, by using the FEL. Any time you can keep the tractor on the already-graded surface, the better chance you have of bringing the rest of it into line.

    Will your box blade have rippers? Often times you'll need to break up the high spots before you can begin the leveling process. That's when rippers (scarifiers) or a toothbar come in handy.

    Once you have the general terrain the way you want it, spreading the new black dirt should go fairly smoothly. Might be a tedious part of the learning curve, getting a feel for the angle and height of the blade just right, but if you take it slow enough you'll have hours of therapeutic seat time.

    Oh -- and you'll find that these things are much more satisfying if you take lots and lots of pictures to share with your TBN buddies. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/grin.gif[/img]

  6. #6
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    12,312
    Location
    Upper Midwest USA
    Tractor
    JD 4300, JD X485 JD 4x2 Gator, JD 425, JD455

    Default Re: Box blade technique.

    Glad you started this thread.

    I believe I have a box blade ordered (Frontier 60") and an iMatch to attach it too. Now, after renting a 60" tiller, I am having second guesses as to what to buy.

    I found out when renting a box blade (after I ordered one) that it wasn't as useful as I thought it might be. I was trying to scrape up some black dirt that was under sod, and move it to an area that I wanted to fill in. The chunks of sod, even though I used the rippers, were too large to move around easily. And the box blade didn't seem to work as well as my rear blade. That is when I rented the tiller. I tilled the sod and then used the FEL bucket to move and spread the tilled sod and dirt. It worked great. The tilled sod had some fresh grass roots that took off right away, along with grass seed on top.

    Now I am in a dilemna, and am not sure if I will go ahead and get the box blade (renting the tiller for future work), or just buy the tiller and use it in combination with the rear blade and bucket. Regardless, I will get the iMatch and convert the rest of my attachments to fit the iMatch.

    My expectation with a box blade is that it takes a lot of passes back and forth to end up with a finished job. IMO, trying to do a job quickly will be frustrating at best.

  7. #7
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    432
    Location
    Lampasas, Texas
    Tractor
    JD 4700

    Default Re: Box blade technique.

    I would add that if you drag it through any large rock with the scarifiers down be prepared for flying rock chips. In fact I would suggest wearing a hard hat and goggles unless you like your head pelted with rock. When the teeth break the rock it seems to explode and pieces go everywhere. In grading a ditch I had this happen a few times and was suprised to see the amount of rock chips that had accumilated on the back of the tractor. I also got a nice big bump on my head. This is a big eye hazzard.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Posts
    3,371
    Location
    California - S.F. East Bay & Sierra foothills
    Tractor
    Kubota L2500DT Standard Transmission

    Default Re: Box blade technique.

    <font color=blue>When the teeth break the rock it seems to explode </font color=blue>

    Now that's an interesting phenomenon.

    Guess it depends on what kind of rocks you have. I have plenty on my property. Enough so that working the soil is almost always a frustrating experience, but all that happens to me is that the rippers either break it loose or skip right over it. If the size and shape are just right, they can even bring my tractor to a rude and abrupt halt. Hate when that happens. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/tongue.gif[/img]

    Not exactly sure what you'd call the kind of rock I usually deal with. Lots of iron ore in them, and there's plenty of granite nearby (I don't even try to work the granite areas), but I don't ever recall having one "explode" or anything close to it. Never seen or heard anything hit the back of the tractor.

    When ripping, I'm always in the lowest one or two gears (manual shift) and going real slow. I assume that's the same for you?

  9. #9
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Posts
    2,630
    Location
    Kansas
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2200, Kubota B2410

    Default Re: Box blade technique.

    Because the kubota 7548 boxblade is the swing back type it works best to spread while in reverse with the top link shortened some. Operation of the fixed back and swing back type are slightly different. I would prefer a fixed back but alas I have the 7548 also. J

  10. #10
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Posts
    432
    Location
    Lampasas, Texas
    Tractor
    JD 4700

    Default Re: Box blade technique.

    Harv,

    I use the lowest speed range on my hydromatic transmission for ripping with the box blade and move at a very slow speed. I also sometimes catch on rocks that stop the tractor or rather cause the wheels to hop which is something I don't like to do. I am sure the type of rock has a lot to do with how it behaves when it breaks under pressure. It probably also is affected by the size of the tractor and the weight of the box blade. All I know is I got a few knots on my head from larger chunks of rock and lots of rock chip all over the back of the tractor when I graded one of my ditches.

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