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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    281
    Location
    Fredericksburg, TX
    Tractor
    John Deere Model 670

    Default Box blade

    It's confession time... I'm about to go against advice that I've read in this discussion group and buy a Howse box blade. I've been doing research on the Internet and examining dealers' propaganda for some time and have come to the conclusion that a Howse is the best buy for me. Here's my justification. I want a 4-foot box blade for use with my John Deere Model 670 (18 HP). I have quotes of $580 for a LandPride and $500 for a Bush Hog. I can't find a Monroe dealer in the general area where I live. The no-names that every dealer seems to carry seem to be uniformly priced at $325. A small dealer near me has a Howse for $325. I have carefully examined all of the box blades available and the the welding on the Howse seems to be carefully done (this was a concern in some discussions). The end plates are 1/4 inch steel (those on the LandPride and the no-names are 3/16 inch). For $325 the Howse also has a hinged back blade to provide a smoother finish. I have read (and the dealer confirmed) that the 3-point A-frame was too weak on previous models and the welds would fail and the metal bars would bend. The 3-point frame has been redesigned and now consists of metal plates. In fact, the design is quite similar to that on the larger Bush Hog models. All in all, I was impressed and felt that it was an excellent buy at $325. Please realize that the Howse isn't going to be stressed as heavily with my small tractor as it would with most tractors. Anyway, if I have trouble with it I am quite prepared to eat copious amounts of crow and to admit that "You told me so." Or "A fool and his money are soon parted" or possibly "Penny wise--pound foolish" might also apply. We'll see...


  2. #2
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Posts
    6,737
    Tractor
    JD 8320 MFWD, JD 6415 MFWD, FEL, and cab, John Deere MFWD 4600, John Deere 4020, John Deere 4430, John Deere 455 mower, Deutz, and Gehl 4610 perkins skidsteer

    Default Re: Box blade

    Glenn,
    For an 18hp tractor you will probably have no problem at all with that boxblade. I wouldn't worry about that boxblade at all.

    Richard


  3. #3

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    271
    Location
    Alabama
    Tractor
    JD 5210, JD 521 Loader, JD MX6 Rotary Cutter, TufLine 6' Disk, TufLine 6' Grader Blade, TufLine 6' Box Blade

    Default Re: Box blade

    Glenn,
    Did you email Monroe Tufline http://www.monroetufline.com to see if there is a dealer near you or one near enough that the shipping would not be too expensive? Tufline is one of the best buys for the money IMHO.


  4. #4
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    444
    Location
    Central Arkansas
    Tractor
    Kubota /L2650/ LA450/B4690 -- John Deere 450 Dozer

    Default Re: Box blade

    I agree that tufline is a best by.


  5. #5

    Default Re: Box blade

    I have a 6' Howse box blade with the hinged rear cutting edge and the plates to support the top link. I have beaten on it, digging ash stumps and rocks, and never busted it. I couldn't see spending 50% more for the Bush Hog box blade for the amount I expected to use it. So far, I haven't regretted it.



  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jul 2000
    Posts
    76
    Location
    Alabama
    Tractor
    JD 2240 2wd, (50 pto hp)

    Default Re: Box blade

    Glenn,

    I'm sure that blade will do you a good job.

    For those that might be interested, my tractor came with an old rusty John Deere 6' Box Blade, and it is very heavily built. I have no idea what the previous owner paid for it, but other than rust, and some missing points on the rippers, it looks like new (no welds or bends). It does have two bent Cat 2 pins so I guess it's been abused, but only these pins appear to have suffered. I guess I'll repaint it and use it for another 20 years like the first owner.

    Take Care,
    Boots


  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    281
    Location
    Fredericksburg, TX
    Tractor
    John Deere Model 670

    Default Re: Box blade

    Thank you for the advice. I reviewed my situation, revisited a couple of dealers, and then decided to buy the Howse box blade anyway. You may be interested why. In my judgement, the 4-foot Howse blade is actually overengineered in comparison with most of the other box blades that I looked at. Howse uses the same A frame, end plates, back shell, blades, and scarifiers in all of its box blades, regardless of the size of the implement. In other words, the construction of the larger box blades (5-foot, 6-foot, 8-foot) is the same as that of the 4-foot blade. This results in a 4-foot blade that is overengineered in comparison with Howse's larger box blades and with box blades from a number of other manufacturers. This is confirmed by the weight of Howse's 4-foot blades--387 pounds for the rigid-back blade and 417 pounds for the implement with the hinged back blade. However, I would be very reluctant to order a Howse implement sight unseen. I was able to carefully examine a number of box blades at the dealer and to select what I felt was the best one. The welding on my implement is quite satisfactory; however, the welding on some of the others was horrible. It looked like someone without experience walked in off of the street, put on a welding helmet and went to work. This was not true with the LandPride and BushHog box blades that I examined or, for that matter, with most of the no-name blades; the welding on those blades was rather consistently good. Anyway, at this point I am convinced that I will never have trouble with my 4-foot Howse box blade on the back of my 18 HP tractor. The blade sitting in my shed is a heavy-duty, well-constructed implement (notice how carefully I limit the scope of my statement?). By the way, I paid $325; supposedly a "special deal" marked down from $395. Suggested retail prices on Howse's home page are $289 for the implement with the rigid back blade and $307 for the one with the hinged back blade. The box blade with the hinged back blade is also the one shown in the Northern Tool catalog for $249.99; however, freight would increase the cost considerably, depending on where you live. The weight for the box blade with the hinged rear blade is stated incorrectly in the Northern Tool catalog; it should be 417 pounds. In summary, I feel that Howse implements merit consideration, but they should be examined on an item-by-item basis, with careful consideration of durability and quality of construction as well as price. Thanks again for the comments in reply to my posting and for the information in the archives that has been so helpful.


  8. #8
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    37,443
    Location
    Texas

    Default Re: Box blade

    GlennT, I have a 5' Howse blade, as does Harv. They're not quite up to Monroe Tufline quality, but plenty good enough for my use. And I also have a 5' Howse rotary cutter. I've only had them a little over a year, but have been quite satisfied with them so far.

    Bird

  9. #9
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    293
    Location
    Apex, NC
    Tractor
    MF 35 BX 2200 1952 Farmall H

    Default Re: Box blade

    Several people have mentioned hinged backs and rigid backs on box blades. I don't understand this terminology. Can someone explain this along with the advantages/disadvantages of each; what they are for, etc? Thanks.


  10. #10

    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    281
    Location
    Fredericksburg, TX
    Tractor
    John Deere Model 670

    Default Re: Box blade

    I'm certainly no authority on box blades, but I'll give it a whirl and perhaps others will fill in what I miss. A box blade has two blades--one mounted on the INSIDE of the box for use when the implement is pulled forward and the other on the OUTSIDE of the box (and facing backwards) for use when the implement is pushed backwards. When the rear-facing blade is hinged, it floats on top of the ground while the implement is pulled forward and this leaves a smoother finish than when the rear blade is bolted firmly to the implement. If there are other advantages, I sure would like to hear about them.


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