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  1. #1
    New Member
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    May 2012
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    Grass Valley, CA
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    Kubota B21 TLB

    Default How to Use a Box Scraper for Gravel Driveway

    I've looked but having a hard time finding much information on how to use my Gearmore box scraper (54"). I have about 1/5 mile of gravel driveway I am hoping to rework. I've watched the informative video at Everything Attachments.com, and have gleaned a few other hints from this forum.

    Any other videos, information or perhaps a book available on this?

  2. #2
    Elite Member /pine's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Use a Box Scraper for Gravel Driveway

    Quote Originally Posted by johntlyon View Post
    I've looked but having a hard time finding much information on how to use my Gearmore box scraper (54"). I have about 1/5 mile of gravel driveway I am hoping to rework. I've watched the informative video at Everything Attachments.com, and have gleaned a few other hints from this forum.

    Any other videos, information or perhaps a book available on this?
    Actual working experience is going to be your best teacher...

    Don't expect to get everything perfect...there will always be a little minor (manual) rake work to make it look "perfect...

    If you don't have at least a hydraulic top link...you will spend a lot of time getting on and off the machine learning to adjust the aggressiveness of the blade...a tilt cylinder is almost as important for making things easy but neither are absolutely necessary...

    To be effective on packed down gravel the first step is to "rip it up"...you will need to disturb the drive down through the base material (it is much easier to work when wet)...use the scarifiers and stir it all up good then work on moving high spots and ridges into the lows and pot holes with just the blade...

    A landscape rake is the ticket for really getting things smoothed out ...but again...either implement will leave (box) end trails of gravel that are best spread with a (manual) rake to get the "perfect" appearance...
    Slash Pine
    blunt and succinct but sincere...in the immortal words of Popeye..."I yam what I yam"

  3. #3
    Super Member 94BULLITT's Avatar
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    Frederick County, VA
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    Kubota BX2360 & L4240 HSTC

    Default Re: How to Use a Box Scraper for Gravel Driveway

    What do you want to do with the boxbalde, crown the driveway, spread gravel, or dress it up?

  4. #4
    Member Kapnfriday's Avatar
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    Nov 2011
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    47
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    Raleigh, NC and Lansing, NC
    Tractor
    Kubota B7610

    Default Re: How to Use a Box Scraper for Gravel Driveway

    Check out the Wilson Outdoor youtube videos: Wilson Outdoor Productions - YouTube

    I'm not an expert but gravel driveway maintenance is one of the main uses of my tractor. As Slash Pine noted actual time spent with the implement is the best teacher. In case you don't already know this - shortening the top link causes the front blade to dig more aggressively, lengthening the top link has the opposite effect. Be careful if you do use your scarifiers - you can get down deep pretty quickly with them. Do you know how thick the gravel is on your driveway? I would want to have a good sense of that before dropping the scarifiers. Good luck.

  5. #5
    Silver Member
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    Sep 2010
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    208
    Tractor
    Yanmar YM186D

    Default Re: How to Use a Box Scraper for Gravel Driveway

    First things first, the BB is not necessarily the ideal tool for gravel drive maintenance, you can read a lot here on grading scrapers/land planes, or the landscape rake for maintenance. However the BB can be very useful, here's my best advice when it's what you have available (as is my current situation).

    Scarifiers/ripper teeth down all the way, tilt the box all the way back with the top link so it rides on the rear blade (assuming you have one) and collects little material when you float the 3ph. Float the 3ph unless it pulls too much gravel with you and use the scarifiers to stir up everything as pine said. With a 54" blade a few passes may be required. You have to get to the bottom of pot holes with the scarifiers. Next, if you need to crown, do your best by tilting the box to the side with the adjustable lift link. Since a BB has no angle this can tend to bring along more material than you intend, so you may have to dump in every once in a while and distribute later. And rear blade or rake would be better than the BB here, but it can be done. Level and tilt the BB forward as necessary to do any major rework of the drive (scarifiers up at this point). Then tilt BB so you can ride on rear blade but collect high spots with front blade, or slightly more aggressive to collect material with front blade for filling lows (should be able to float 3ph hitch here as well). Finally, tilt back again on rear blade, float 3ph, and just drag to knock down any small windrows. Guessing your tractor is smallish like mine, use your heaviest vehicle to pack it down by driving back and forth, covering as much as you can.

    Key to all of this is being able to float the BB. You will never achieve a smooth drive without very very careful attention to the 3ph controls with a BB unless you can float it. The "major repair" section is the only place where this is not true.

  6. #6
    New Member
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    Grass Valley, CA
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    Kubota B21 TLB

    Default Re: How to Use a Box Scraper for Gravel Driveway

    Well, I suppose I'm trying to even out the low and high spots, and even up the gravel. Dressing it up would be nice. I don't know if I will need more gravel or not.
    Thanks!

  7. #7
    Super Member 94BULLITT's Avatar
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    Frederick County, VA
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    Kubota BX2360 & L4240 HSTC

    Default Re: How to Use a Box Scraper for Gravel Driveway

    I like to use the fel for leveling the gravel. You can put the loader into float (push the lever all the way forward) and curl the bucket out a little and back drag it. You can also do the same but instead of using float you can work the joystick yourself this work good for a real high spot. You can also curl the bucket in (have the front up a inch or so) and drive forward. You have to watch you do not have to much down pressure on the fel and make a mess. Don't pick your front wheels all the way off the ground. For using the box blade I just lengthen the top link to get the front cutting edge up some. You will have to play with it and see where it works best. Be careful because the box blade will cut in real fast especially if your gravel are not packed.

    Here are some videos on using the fel
    kubota SVL75 - YouTube
    Bobcat grading driveway - YouTube this video shows grading but the same technique applies.

  8. #8
    Super Star Member
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    Missouri
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    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: How to Use a Box Scraper for Gravel Driveway

    Pretty much what everyone said. I finally got a hydraulic top link a couple of years ago and that makes it so much easier. I got Top and Tilt on my last tractor and a new box blade, but haven't used it yet.

    Practice and skill is going to be your best asset. My brother can do as good or better than I can using his Ford 600 and no name box blade by getting off and adjusting manually.
    Thread on helpful tractor abbreviations: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/o...-acronyms.html

  9. #9
    Super Member
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    somewhere usa
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    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: How to Use a Box Scraper for Gravel Driveway

    I have been reading these threads on driveway maintenance for several years and have noticed a few things. Seems almost everyone thinks you need to rip the whole driveway up and rework it second, lots of people simply trying to figure out how to get a smooth surface. While I agree with ripping out the potholes fully and not just filling them I don't see the need to constantly rip up the entire driveway. I recommend shaping the driveway with proper drainage and crowning using a base course of 3/4 to fines for most applications. Before appling a THIN layer of clean gravel on top I have the loaded gravel truck drive up and down several times to pack the base course. The base course needs to be slightly damp when packing and any smoothing and planeing needs to be done prior to adding the top layer of clean gravel. You might need to schedule the clean rock for a different day if you need the extra time to shape the base. On a few occasions I have had to run the landplane again after the truck packs the base down because of soft spots. It is worth it to me to pay the driver to wait and for the extra service of packing. the driveways last waaaay longer without intervention. With the base properly shaped and packed I keep the scarifiers out of it for the most part.

    Learning to operate a boxblade, rearblade and landplane all require seat time, I don't think there is a good substitute for that. Topntilt controls make this work easier but don't make up for experience and seat time.

  10. #10
    Elite Member /pine's Avatar
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    Default Re: How to Use a Box Scraper for Gravel Driveway

    Quote Originally Posted by jenkinsph View Post
    I have been reading these threads on driveway maintenance for several years and have noticed a few things. Seems almost everyone thinks you need to rip the whole driveway up and rework it second, lots of people simply trying to figure out how to get a smooth surface. While I agree with ripping out the potholes fully and not just filling them I don't see the need to constantly rip up the entire driveway. I recommend shaping the driveway with proper drainage and crowning using a base course of 3/4 to fines for most applications. Before appling a THIN layer of clean gravel on top I have the loaded gravel truck drive up and down several times to pack the base course. The base course needs to be slightly damp when packing and any smoothing and planeing needs to be done prior to adding the top layer of clean gravel. You might need to schedule the clean rock for a different day if you need the extra time to shape the base. On a few occasions I have had to run the landplane again after the truck packs the base down because of soft spots. It is worth it to me to pay the driver to wait and for the extra service of packing. the driveways last waaaay longer without intervention. With the base properly shaped and packed I keep the scarifiers out of it for the most part.
    Materials and conditions vary by geographical areas...however the OP stated he has an existing drive....your method seems to be on creating a new drive.

    The purpose of "ripping" with scarifiers is to revive a drive without necessarily adding new gravel...the scarifiers allow you to redistribute the existing gravel (including fines) smoothly...over time, weather, gravity and traffic tends to push gravel into the earth regardless of the density of the base often creating muddy spots and potholes etc...scarifiers help bring the gravel back to the surface.

    I have been maintaining about a 1/2 mile drive for over 40 years and have rarely had to add new gravel (maybe 3 to 4 times in that time span) mostly due to extreme storm water damage...using scarifiers and redistributing the existing gravel every couple to three years keeps the drive very acceptable without the cost of constantly adding new gravel.
    Slash Pine
    blunt and succinct but sincere...in the immortal words of Popeye..."I yam what I yam"

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