Box Blade Rulz!!
In the course of building our barn the contractor really tore up a section of our pasture. Two sections that together total about 1/3 of an acre had ruts in the topsoil. The ruts were generally a foot deep and the deepest were about two feet. He was lucky his material handler had 2 foot 4 inch clearance. The ruts crossed each other and change directions as he unloaded the panels from his trailer.
Enter my just arrived box blade.
I first used the box blade to repair erosion damage in the very steep gravel ramp from the stall level of the barn to the pasture (about a 14 foot drop). I grabbed a FEL full of gravel and dumped it at the bottom of the ramp on the erosion channel. I backed over the load with the blade up, dropped the blade and headed up the ramp. Five repetiions of the above had completely filled the erosion channel and smoothed the ramp.
After that practice run, it was time to attack the pasture. Seat belt fastened and in low range backing over the ruts with the blade half lowered knocked off the tops of the ruts and helped break up the turf that had firmed everything up over the last 16 months. I put the scarifiiers full down and set the back of the blade low for agressive cutting. I took a pass N/S followed by an E/W pass. Repeated this with the blade lower and then leveled the box front to back and pulled the scarifiers to their minimum position and did it again. Repeated again without the scarifiers and the box even lower.
I then used the box blade to gather up the turf and stones that hadn't found a home in the work area and dump them into a low spot that has annoyed me since we bought the place.
End result? The rest of the pasture is rough by comparison. I guess that means that I get to do the rest pasture later to make it come out even[img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]
I still had time to go back to that ramp. I cranked one side of the 3PH up to start working a crown into the gravel. Four more loader buckets of gravel fill and I have the ramp back to level. The horses tend to wear down the center, I'll be doing this on a pretty regular basis.
Did I mention that I really like my box blade?
Oh, and I've been using it to help me grade out the swales I roughed out with the backhoe and FEL.
Did I mention that I really, really like my box blade?
Re: Box Blade Rulz!!
I agree completely! Box blades are so good at fixing ruts you almost want to make some. Almost.
I wish I had read your note about 6-8 weeks ago. You outlined a very nice method for getting to a level surface in a short amount of time. But there is one question; do you like your box blade? It's tough to tell from the note....
Re: Box Blade Rulz!!
I'm never out of ruts. I started on the pasture because the end result wasn't really critical and there was very little around that I could damage. When the landforming work is done around the barn, I'll be installing a new lawn. Then I'll have to work around large trees, patios, buildings and landscaping features. I hope to minimize the OOPS! factor.
Working the swale around the barn is very exacting. I've only cut half the swale, so there is an embankment to deal with at the low end. There's a barn at the high end. I don't want to run into either very hard[img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]
I'm not sure my method did the job in "a short amount of time", it seemed like a really long time to be out under the hot sun[img]/w3tcompact/icons/tongue.gif[/img] I think it took about 4 hours of tractor time to do the pasture ruts. From what I've read here, The job might have taken less time if I had a heavier box blade. My 5 1/2 foot (3 inches wider than my rear tire tracks) unit only weighs 410 lbs. Even so, it was capable of digging deep enough for me to lose traction once and a while.
Did I mention that I really like my box blade[img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img] Having that and an FEL makes the tractor a really versatile tool. I do notice that it doesn't provide the same counterweight to the FEL as my 8B backhoe. I can lift the same amount, but I can feel the tractor rock back when I dump the load. With the 8B on the back, I hardly feel a thing when dumping a full 60 inch bucket load of gravel.
Matthew (who does, indeed, like his box blade)