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  1. #1
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    upstate South Carolina, Greenville
    Kubota M6800, Massey Ferguson 240

    Default Tips on using a rear blade to grade a road

    Just bought an 8' Gill rear blade, heavy duty, weighing in at 600 lbs. I'll pull it with my 65 horse kubota. It has no hydraulics, but I do have a hydraulic top link that can be used. I've used a box blade a lot, but never a rear scrape blade. I plan to use it to maintain the dirt roads on my property, which is kinda rough. Lots of rolling hills, turns, clay, some rock but not bad, water drainage issues etc. my goal is to keep the roads reasonably smooth, try to control the runoff to minimize gullies that form, and to repair existing washed areas.
    I realize a fully hydraulic blade would be nice, but that's not what I have. My question is since I have one remote on the rear, would I be better off using it somewhere other than the top link? I guess I could put a cylinder on the offset linkage instead, but that doesn't seem like it helps much. Better yet, I can see how have hydraulic control over the horizontal tilt would be nice, but I would have to modify my blade . I'm looking for tips on using this blade . Is there a sequence to how I should begin, as far as setting the blade position and where to begin on the road? Today I used it for the first time just dragging it around with all settings at neutral. I suppose there's a better way. Any tips would be appreciated.

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  2. #2
    Super Member oosik's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Kubota M6040

    Default Re: Tips on using a rear blade to grade a road

    I've tried for years to use a rear blade to maintain my mile long gravel driveway in the summer. Being Norwegian and somewhat knot headed, it took a long time before I realized that my rear blade just was not meant for summer use. Worked fine for winter snow removal.

    Soooo --- I bought a much bigger tractor and a REALLY heavy rear blade. Same dam result. Then I bought a Land Plane Grading Scraper. What a joy. I can drag it behind the tractor - it stays down flat, does not bump, jump & flutter and smooths out the 'ol gravel driveway just fine.

    I also bought a hydraulic top link which has been another real joy, a time saver and has allowed fine tuning while on the fly.

    Anyhow - I'm not saying a rear blade will not work for you but a LPGS unit may do a much better job. My gravel driveway has just enough fines in the gravel that in the summer it will "set up" and become just like concrete. In this situation the rear blade actually will create rather than resolve problems, for me.
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  3. #3
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    SW WA
    Kubota BX2360

    Default Re: Tips on using a rear blade to grade a road

    A tailwheel would be a big help.

    Tips on using a rear blade to grade a road-rearbladetailwheel-jpg


  4. #4
    New Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Morgan County, WV
    Kubota B3300SU

    Default Re: Tips on using a rear blade to grade a road

    Hey HC, I parked my back blade a few years ago and went with the Land Plane. I have top N tilt on the rear and WOW what a difference! I put down "dirty crusher run" (75 tons) shoved it around with the FEL and laid the plane to it...................flat as a pancake.
    After digging stumps and rutting the yard up, I just drag the plane around, great tool!!!!

  5. #5
    Super Star Member LD1's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Central Ohio
    Kubota MX5100

    Default Re: Tips on using a rear blade to grade a road

    Start by setting it up so the hitching part is level. Which is adjusted with the toplink. You want it level so when you angle the blade, it stays level.

    Then how I work gravel drives is to angle the blade, and roll material to the center of the road. A pass down each side rolling to the middle. This is to build the crown.

    The spoil left I would feather back out with the blade spun in reverse. Dont know how well that will work for a dirt road though. May have to do that part with the blade forward, but playing with the height control.
    ".........there is only one way to find out."
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  6. #6
    Epic Contributor Egon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Tips on using a rear blade to grade a road

    Adjustable skid shoes at the end of the blade and roll a windrow back and forth a few times. You adjust the shoes so the blade is a little higher on the windrow end and then it's back and forth with the windrow. This moves and spreads material into lower spots and gets all smoth & even.

    After using it a bit you will know where the extra hydraulic cylinder will best suit you and be wishing for another one.
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  7. #7
    Super Member s219's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Virginia USA
    Kubota L3200 Deere X380 Kubota RTV-X

    Default Re: Tips on using a rear blade to grade a road

    I like using my rear blade to pull gravel back to the center of the driveway (it gets pushed to the sides from use, and from snow removal each winter). But for smoothing/grading, I much prefer my box blade, and a land plane is even better.

    If you already have a box blade, I'd suggest using the rear blade to help establish a crown by moving material to the center, but then switch to the box for smoothing and grading. If you have a hydraulic top link, that makes the box much more effective, since you can tailor the angle of the rear cutting edges for the right amount of smoothing or grading depending on what you need to do.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member TerryR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Boone, NC
    JD 870

    Default Re: Tips on using a rear blade to grade a road

    A rear blade is a fine tool for maintaining a gravel driveway. It does take a bit of skill to do a good job, so practice helps. See this post for photos on how it can be done.

    Some tips. Wait until the roadbed is somewhat damp for easier grading and better packing. Grade the gravel back on the roadbed from the ditches first, then grade the crown to your finished level. Finally, I find it helps to reverse the blade and "backblade" (in a forward gear) as a last step to smooth everything out.

    If the driveway is steep so that the gravel tends to migrate down hill, do all the heavy grading uphill only. I find the tilt adjustments on my 3-point don't give enough adjustment for clearing the ditches, and the tilt adjustment on the blade gives too much, so I use the top link adjustment once the blade is set on an angle to fine-tune the effective tilt. A hydraulic top link would help, but isn't needed (I've done without for 19 years with no issue).

    JD 870, JD 404 loader, Bear Cat 73454 chipper, Bush Hog SQ60 rotary cutter, Bush Hog RTS62 tiller, Bush Hog 60-06 rear blade, Trac Vac model 854 pto leaf vac, single bottom plow

  9. #9
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    North of Mtl,Que,Can (Ste Adele)

    Default Re: Tips on using a rear blade to grade a road

    The basic problem is that when the front wheels ride up over a bump the basic rules of leverage cause the blade to dig down as that blade is on the other side of the fulcrum.*
    It may sound odd but grading backwards will give better results as the wheels are then on level ground, with the blade scalping bumps and filling holes. This is where you use the draft control otherwise the blade will dig down to its down limit.

    Towing a 3 bladed 'drag' is possibly the easiest and more effective grading tool. (and easy to make)

    * Or to state otherwise; Every time the front hits a bump, the rear blade digs a hole. Reverse is also true, front in hole, rear makes a bump (if blade is loaded)
    To add to the equation, the distance from blade to main wheels and main to fronts also influence the results.
    It is all about physics and rules of leverage.

  10. #10
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2015
    Sutton, Quebec
    IH 354, John Deere 5205

    Default Re: Tips on using a rear blade to grade a road

    Quote Originally Posted by oosik View Post
    Soooo --- I bought a much bigger tractor and a REALLY heavy rear blade. Same dam result. Then I bought a Land Plane Grading Scraper.
    Hello oosik,
    Thanks for the information on the scraper. Do you mean the Land Pride one?
    GS15 Series Grading Scrapers | Land Pride

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