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  1. #1
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    670
    Location
    Ontario, NY
    Tractor
    JD 790 (2001)

    Default Tiller or Box Scraper

    Let's get down to the real metaphysics of compact tractor owning. I am going to challege some of the fundemental beliefs of the TBN group philosophy.

    Here it is:

    If you have a FEL, you would be happier with tillers, than a box scaper

    1) Smoothing gravel: FEL in reverse.

    2) Culverts: Till, move with FEL, smooth with FEL in reverse. Repeat.

    3) Ruts: Till, smooth with FEL in reverse.

    Let me know why I am wrong... There are a lot of new tractor owners here that will be reading this. I wish I would have gone straight to a tiller and saved my $500 for a bush hog.

    Thanks,
    Buck

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    578
    Location
    Beach City, TX
    Tractor
    NH TC33D

    Default Re: Tiller or Box Scraper

    Buck,

    I will soon be putting in a 100' gravel driveway. I have a FEL but I do not have a box blade. I have been considering buying or renting a box blade to do the job when the time comes. I can't really afford to buy a box blade right now but I know if I do buy one that I will get my money's worth out of it over time, so buying one is not the issue. Just the timing.

    I have had my tractor for about a year and have put 100 hours on it, all FEL and mower work. I have no experience with a box blade whereas I am starting to get the hang of using my FEL.

    My question to you is this. When you say smoothing gravel do you mean as in doing a small job or do you think I could spread 100' of gravel using my FEL?

    Chris

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    670
    Location
    Ontario, NY
    Tractor
    JD 790 (2001)

    Default Re: Tiller or Box Scraper

    cstocks,

    If you were doing a 1000' feet, I'd get a scraper, rent or buy. 100' feet, well, I'd definitely use my FEL.

    I'd come back to this thread over the next couple of days-- my gut feel is that there will be more opinions on your matter.

    Buck

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Posts
    670
    Location
    Ontario, NY
    Tractor
    JD 790 (2001)

    Default Re: Tiller or Box Scraper

    cstocks,

    I should also say, that by using the FEL, I mean to level the bucket and pull the gravel backward, by going in reverse, using the back of the bucket as a smoothing device. Note that the excess gravel will pile up at the rear of the bucket in the same way the gravel will pile up inside the box scraper.

    In either technique, the excess gravel will "fill" holes when needed if the level is set reasonably.

    In either technique, you learn to raise or lower the implement when necessary.

    It is not obvious to me that one technique is easier than the other.

    The only exception is that the FEL technique requires traveling in reverse, something you probably don't care that much about for 100' of work.

    Buck

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    578
    Location
    Beach City, TX
    Tractor
    NH TC33D

    Default Re: Tiller or Box Scraper

    Yes, I have already done a lot of that reverse traveling using my Bush Hog. I keep my uncle's place mowed and he has a lot of fence rows and overhanging tree limbs that make for a lot of back and forth mowing.

    I assume that spreading gravel would be the same as spreading dirt. That is to say, keeping the FEL loaded and level and back dragging with the FEL in the float position. I don't know how many truck loads of gravel it would take to make 100' driveway but that does sound like a lot of traveling in reverse. I guess can deal with the stiff neck if I can save the cost of a box blade.

    Chris

  6. #6
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    5,657
    Location
    Cedartown, Ga and N. Ga mountains
    Tractor
    1998 Kubota B21, 2005 Kubota L39

    Default Re: Tiller or Box Scraper

    Buck,

    I understand your thinking and donít have a tiller but donít think it would work for what I use a boxblade for. I my case most of my box blading is on a mile of common hard packed gravel road that would do terrible things to your tiller. As it is I donít even try to work the roads unless we have had several days of rain. Back blading with the fell would not come close to cutting the surface of this road and cutting to the bottom of pot holes, which is the only way to get rid of them.

    Guess it is like most implements and depends on what your needs are. In my case I still would need the box blade.

    MarkV

  7. #7
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    3,310

    Default Re: Tiller or Box Scraper

    The main thing I can see is that you can buy a new 5' box scraper for half that price and that's about the starting price for a used tiller.

  8. #8
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Posts
    112

    Default Re: Tiller or Box Scraper

    Have the truck that delivers your gravel spread it by dumping the load while driving forward. I am sure they will be used to doing it that way and you will just need to move a small amount of gravel into some of the spots that were not covered. Front end loader will work fine for this.
    If I had a choice I would take the tiller over the box blade, overall I think it would be the most useful. I have a boxblade now, and can not work areas close to my house with it that I could with a tiller. The boxblade needs some distance to cut into the ground after you start going forward, but the tiller will go straight down. For me I always need to till up flower beds or gardens, and one day I plan on getting that elusive tiller.

  9. #9
    New Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Posts
    0

    Default Re: Tiller or Box Scraper

    If a tiller and FEL does everything you need, then you're all set.

    The box blade is probably not the best implement for anything, but it is pretty good for a lot of jobs. I've used the scarifiers on my box blade for hooking head-sized rocks and the stumps of 4" trees out of the ground. I don't usually consider using an FEL for those tasks, and I'll bet you wouldn't do it with your tiller either.

    The only people I see around here who use tillers are gardeners. Farmers seem to like plows, discs, and cultivators (rippers, hybrids, etc.). Landscapers here use loaders, blades, pulverizers and rakes. We mostly have medium to heavy clay or silt soils with a fair number of stones from pebbles to 4' (glacial till).

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    582
    Location
    Seattle area
    Tractor
    JD 855 4WD, HST

    Default Re: Tiller or Box Scraper

    Good question.

    I have a nice tiller (Maschio) - I got it when I purchased my used tractor as I am positive I wouldn't buy one. I only look at it and shake my head wondering if and when I'll ever find a use for it. My soil is all rocks/sand. No dirt at all, and I don't do any special gardening or things like that.

    I am, however, patiently awaiting my new First Choice Box scraper and I think it will do alot for me. I currently use the loader to "shape" areas where I'm working but it doesn't seem to work as well as I'd like. I am sure that is mostly due to operator problems - I'm still not sure I have figured out how the "float" is supposed to work. The FEL does do an adequate job even under the tutelage of my limited skills.


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