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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2000
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    3,371
    Location
    California - S.F. East Bay & Sierra foothills
    Tractor
    Kubota L2500DT Standard Transmission

    Default Yet Another Box Blade Question

    Okay, now that I'm approaching 50 hours of actual seat time (almost caught up with Mark Chalkley, I believe), I thought I was starting to understand the box scraper. But... NOOOOOOOOOO!!!

    My final chore over the weekend was to try to create a walking path for my elderly mother, running maybe 100 yards from the front of the house up to a spot next to the road where she likes to ogle the neighbor's front gate (don't ask me why -- she is quite senile, unfortunately). At 86, she walks with the aid of a cane and requires a pretty good surface to avoid mishaps. No problem -- I have a box blade! [img]/w3tcompact/icons/cool.gif[/img]

    I had already flattened and smoothed the entire acreage in that area, mostly so I could control weeds more easily, but now I wanted to create a strip of the smoothest, firmest earth I possibly could. I made a few passes with casual scraping, just to remove as much of the loose surface dirt and small rocks as I could. Then I tried to get serious about creating a mirror surface (I like to set high goals) for Mom to walk on.

    Although basically cleared and flat now, the path had the usual pits and valleys from turning up rocks and the general unevenness of the soil firmness. I made another pass or two, playing with the angle of the blade and position control settings. If I used too much lift, there would be areas where my tire tracks were not erased, so I wound up pretty much leaving the full weight of the box on the ground.

    So now I was back to the much-discussed tip angle of the blade(s). Seeing this as a real learning experience, I tried both extremes just to observe the results. Tilting all the way forward (back end high) did pretty much as expected -- hogged right in and started turning up more shallow rocks. What surprised me was the other extreme -- tilted all the way back (front end high), the box filled more rapidly than ever! [img]/w3tcompact/icons/shocked.gif[/img] It wasn't turning up so many rocks (it either slid over them or dragged them, creating grooves in my path), but was pulling up mounds of fine dirt. My present (and only) theory is that the extreme tilt brought the frame of the box itself into play as a scraping surface, leaving the hinged rear blade with little to do.

    I got my very best results (smoothest surface) with the box set almost perfectly flat, giving the front and rear blades nearly equal opportunity to affect the soil. My question to my more experienced colleagues out there, and to our affluent, hydraulically enhanced top link friends, is this -- do you find that you do most of your box-scraping near the "flat" position, with only minor adjustments on the tilt, or have you discovered good reasons for going to the extremes?


  2. #2
    Super Member RobS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2000
    Posts
    6,696
    Location
    SW Michigan
    Tractor
    John Deere 790

    Default Re: Yet Another Box Blade Question

    Harv, if I recall you have a hinged back on your blade? That will behave quite differently than a fixed back one. I have a fixed back and when I tip it way up (lengthen top link) it rides on that rear blade leaving a very nicely smoothed surface behind [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]


  3. #3
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2000
    Posts
    1,591
    Location
    Western Connecticut
    Tractor
    2003 Kubota L3430

    Default Re: Yet Another Box Blade Question

    Harv,

    As a boxblade non-owner and resident boxblade cynic, I am happy to offer my completely unhelful observations to your problem.

    1. Boxblades dont work well unless they weigh at least 800-1200 lbs, in which case they cost over $1K.

    2. Boxblades dont work well unless you have typo-N-tilt, which costs another $1K.

    3. Even when the above conditions are satisfied, boxblades dont work well unless you continuously make microscopic adjustments to the toplink, which no one can explain.

    4. Boxblade microscopic manipulation technique depends on whether you have a fixed blade box, a hinged blade box, a rollover box, a high back box or low back box.

    5. No one in the universe, or at least on TBN or CTB, can explain the different boxes listed in point 4.

    6. Other than all of the above, boxblades are an extremely user-friendly and prodigiously effective tool.

    7. The scariest part is that I'm thinking of getting one.

    Now I'll let the experts provide the real solutions.


  4. #4
    Veteran Member GlueGuy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Posts
    1,659
    Location
    San Francisco Bay Area California (CA)
    Tractor
    Kubota B7500

    Default Re: Yet Another Box Blade Question

    Harv,

    You failed to mention whether your rear blade was locked or hinged.

    My rear blade is the fixed variety, and when I have the box tilted back (front high), fresh material is picked up by the front blade only when it exceeds the height of the front blade. Since the back blade is angled backward, it just smooths things out. Also when the box is in this position, it dumps excess material very quickly.

    I fail to understand the usefulness of the hinged rear blade. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/frown.gif[/img]

    The GlueGuy

  5. #5
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    367
    Location
    Northern California
    Tractor
    B21

    Default Re: Yet Another Box Blade Question

    This has probaably already been discussed but...
    I have ben trying to smooth out a road that has peaks and valleys running left and right across the road. The peaks and valleys are perhaps 2 or three feet long. As I begin to ride up the peak, the box digs into the valley behind me, then as I go down the peak, the box raises and deposits the new soil at the peak, making the situation worse instead of better. The only solution so far is for me to CONSTANTLY raise and lower the box, attempting to deposit in the valley and trim the tops of the peaks. There must be a better way....


  6. #6
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
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    39,430
    Location
    Texas

    Default Re: Yet Another Box Blade Question

    I love our "resident cynic's" response.[img]/w3tcompact/icons/laugh.gif[/img]

    Harv, I've never used a box blade with the hinged rear blade. Can't it be locked in position so it'll work like a fixed blade?

    I've tried all the different ways I could think of, with varying degrees of success in the past, but just for smoothing, the thing that works best for me is to tilt it back (lengthen top link) so it rides on the rear blade as you're going forward. Of course, that meant picking it up at the end of a run and turning around before I put the hydraulic top 'n tilt on. Now I tilt it back (not quite all the way) to run forward, then tilt it forward (still not all the way) and run backwards, and going back and forth a few times like that seems to work better than anything else I've tried. I have enough travel distance on my top link cylinder that if I tilt it all the way forward, it's riding on the front corners of the side plates with the blades off the ground, so that won't work for smoothing in reverse, or for digging going forward.

    Bird

  7. #7

    Join Date
    Oct 2000
    Posts
    101
    Location
    Will County,IL
    Tractor
    Kabota L3000DT, 1944 Farmall M, JD345

    Default Re: Yet Another Box Blade Question

    I was also frustrated [img]/w3tcompact/icons/mad.gif[/img] The more I did, the worse it looked. I finally “got aggressive” and lowered the scarifiers. First I went forward over the high spots, raising and lowering the box. Then I did the same in reverse, backfilling into the low. Ripped it all up and then, a few passes with the FEL blade at a slight angle, in reverse, and I was done. The rains then packed it down nice and level [img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]

    Mark

  8. #8
    Epic Contributor Bird's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
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    39,430
    Location
    Texas

    Default Re: Yet Another Box Blade Question

    Mark, I, too, had better luck with the front end loader running the tractor backwards until I put the hydraulic top 'n tilt on, so now I can do a better job with the box blade than the bucket edge.

    Bird

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    1,373

    Default Re: Yet Another Box Blade Question

    Glenn,

    Too Funny[img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img] Good post.

    Al


  10. #10
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2000
    Posts
    3,239
    Location
    Eastern Virginia
    Tractor
    EarthForce EF-5 mini-TLB (2001)

    Default Re: Yet Another Box Blade Question

    Harv - Only 50 hours of seat time? You've got more time than that on your cup...

    Glenn - I hadn't seen enough of your posts to realize you were the "resident box scraper cynic", but I believe it now! Truth be told, I've never been all that crazy about them myself, but they have their uses. If you looked at my recent pictures in the "L4310 enhancements" thread, for example, you can see one holding down my pallet forks for transport purposes...

    All seriousness aside, I've found that "glass-smooth surfaces" (Harv) are most easily accomplished by raising the front of the box scraper (with the hydraulic top link, of course) until the front blade is just slightly higher than the back one, if I'm going forward, and vice versa when going backward (not recommended).

    Of course, what works best of all is to turn it on its end and just drag it around on its end plate, but this is hard to do without removing it from the tractor and hooking a chain to it, and people who have never used a box scraper before tend to regard you as an amateur when they see you use it this way. [img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img]

    MarkC

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