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  1. #1
    Platinum Member GaryE's Avatar
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    Winterport, Maine
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    L3710 GST

    Default Box Blades and Rocks

    Spring will be here soon and as soon as mud season is over I will be tackling one of my fields(attached). It is about 2 acres over all. When I bought the place about 9 years ago the field had been plowed and left that way for years before I got here. It was a series of 3' deep toughs running the length of the field. The ground had settled and was as hard as rock. My first year here, I asked one of the local farmers if he could clean it up with his disks, he said it was so dug up and and full of rocks about the only thing he could do was to roto till it or come in with a bull dozer. Not wanting to compact it any more than it was I told him to go at it with his roto tiller.

    He did a pretty good job and now the field looks decent. But I would like to get it to the point I could use a finish mower on it. Every winter this field seems to grow more rocks, this is Maine after all! So every spring I harvest the new crop. Which leads me to my question.

    Given this field is full of some large (100 lbs) rocks, would a Box Blade even work? Or should I use my FEL and BH? I rarely see a Box Blade up here, but I see rozett uses one. But from where I am, he is in the DEEP South! If I do try a Box Blade, should I go with a 6' ? I will be dragging it with a L3710, if it ever gets here!

    Thanks in advance for any input.

    Gary
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  2. #2
    Veteran Member
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    Jan 2002
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    Home-1+ acres New Hope, TX / 24 acres-Fannin County
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    JD 950

    Default Re: Box Blades and Rocks

    A regular roto tiller in a field with 100 lb rocks! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif[/img] I don't see how it survived. We used to till about 1 1/2 acre food plot in the Texas hill country filled with rocks softball size and a little larger. The tiller would bounce and jump and bang and clang over the larger rocks. It took about 5 years of yearly tilling and rock collecting before we got it reasonably clean.
    A box blade is really not intended for leveling that large an area, although you could if you are not in a hurry. If the tiller survived, the box blade would.
    If he was able to till it, I don't see why you could not run a disc on it (after you remove the 100 pounders). The tiller would try to dig up the rocks where the disc would tend to ride over the top of the large ones. Running a disc several times front to back and side to side, followed by dragging or raking and rock collecting should give you a smooth field.

  3. #3
    Elite Member
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    Sep 2003
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    New Brunswick, Canada
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    Kubota L5030 HSTC, MF 5455

    Default Re: Box Blades and Rocks

    I was just in Winterport on the weekend, my first time in Maine.

    I'm from New Brunswick and have never seen a box blade up here either. I suspect our rocks keep them away.

    The farmers who rock pick here use tine buckets to scoop up the rocks or pull behind pickers.

    Ken

  4. #4
    Platinum Member GaryE's Avatar
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    Winterport, Maine
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    L3710 GST

    Default Re: Box Blades and Rocks

    Bill,

    He worked on it for two days. I was out of town when he did it. He still comes by every year to till my gardens and still shakes his head at the field. I look at the tiller he used and also am amazed it survived!!!!!

    Right now the field is about 80% there. I was just wondering if a Box Blade could take down the high spots, but the more I am thinking about it I think the safest thing to do is use the FEL to cut down the high spots and fill the holes. If I can do it just before the end of mud season, it might be easier. Then come back after it dries out and pick the rest of the rocks out.


    Thanks,

    Gary

  5. #5
    Platinum Member GaryE's Avatar
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    Winterport, Maine
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    L3710 GST

    Default Re: Box Blades and Rocks

    Ken,

    What would bring you to Winterport?

    Maybe I was just dreaming to think a Box Blade would work? I think I just need to get out there and move rocks!


    Gary

  6. #6
    Veteran Member
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    Home-1+ acres New Hope, TX / 24 acres-Fannin County
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    Default Re: Box Blades and Rocks

    If you are just wanting to knock down random high spots and fill in random low spots, the box blade would work fine. And they come in handy for many other dirt type chores. If the ground is not too hard and/or if you have a tooth bar, the FEL will do a good job of knocking down the high spots. Then you can carry the excess dirt to the low spot, dump it, and smooth it by lowering the FEL and back dragging it.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member GaryE's Avatar
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    Winterport, Maine
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    L3710 GST

    Default Re: Box Blades and Rocks

    <font color="blue"> If the ground is not too hard and/or if you have a tooth bar, the FEL will do a good job of knocking down the high spots. Then you can carry the excess dirt to the low spot, dump it, and smooth it by lowering the FEL and back dragging it. </font>

    That was the original plan. I see so many here talking about their Box Blades I was thinking it might be a useful tool. But I think this area might just be to rocky for it to be of much use. But thanks for the input, I was wondering if there was something I had missed.


    Gary

  8. #8
    Gold Member
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    Nov 2004
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    Location
    granbury tx
    Tractor
    sears suburban

    Default Re: Box Blades and Rocks

    What's the question? The hole for my septic was dug with box blade and 8n. I have nothing but rocks and a little soil with some of the rocks we removed as big as large bucket on wheel barrel.

  9. #9
    Platinum Member GaryE's Avatar
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    Location
    Winterport, Maine
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    L3710 GST

    Default Re: Box Blades and Rocks

    Cleatus,

    The question was:

    Given this field is full of some large (100 lbs) rocks, would a Box Blade even work? Or should I use my FEL and BH?

    Is there ANY advantage in using a Box Blade? No one up here seems to use them. They seem cheap enough, but I would hate to buy one just to beat it up!


    Gary

  10. #10
    Veteran Member
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    Jul 2001
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    Southern Maine (now)
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    '05/'06 L39 TLB

    Default Re: Box Blades and Rocks

    Gary,

    I would say to use some kind of tine bucket that you rent or buy to get the large rocks out first. You could use the bucket annually for all the rocks you speak of, then you rent a Harley Rake and go nuts. The Harley Rake will do a superb job removing rocks bigger than a softball all the way down to near quater size. The power rake can be angled and you'll windrow the rocks, then scoop up the rows with your FEL. A Harley Rake will also smooth and level the land while preparing a perfect seed bed. There is no finer implement for exactly what you describe, providing you pluck the big stuff with a tine bucket or by hand. A heavy duty landscape rake will be good to take the peaks off the field, pull the medium size rocks and expose the bigger stuff for individual removal. If you really want to get all the bigger rocks, then have somebody follow the tractor at a safe distance with a can of spray paint and mark the spots where the rake scapes the surface of a large rock. Use the bright orange road marking paint that sprays upside down. Then go back and pick them off one by one.

    Harley Rake is what you're looking for to finish the job after you extract the big stuff however you see fit.

    http://www.glenmac.com/proseries.htm

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