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  1. #1
    Veteran Member canoetrpr's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
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    2,376
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    Ontario, Canada
    Tractor
    Kubota M7040 cab/hyd shuttle - current, Kubota L3400 - traded

    Default What implement to maintain gravel driveway?

    Here's a real newbie question for you.

    I have a 200 ft gravel driveway. I plan on getting a pile of gravel in the spring as its been a long time since the previous owner put any gravel down. Other than that its in good shape. The odd pothole or two.

    I've read some about box blades here but don't know anything about how you would use one. Is this the implement I would need to keep the gravel level? Or should I just be getting a rear blade?

  2. #2
    Gold Member BigDogues's Avatar
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    May 2005
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    268
    Location
    New Hampshire
    Tractor
    Kioti CK25hst

    Default Re: What implement to maintain gravel driveway?

    Do a search for Duragrader. There have been lot of good reports on this and similar rigs. If money is an issue I would opt for a decent box blade at the minimum.

  3. #3
    Gold Member ejtaylor822's Avatar
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    May 2005
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    318
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Tractor
    Jinma 454LE

    Default Re: What implement to maintain gravel driveway?

    Not familiar with the Duragrader that BigDogues mentioned, but, totally agree that a good boxblade will work. I did some research when I got my tractor for maintaining the 1/3 mi. dirt road in our development. Based upon the research - mostly here on TBN - I went with a box blade over a blade scraper - good leveling, can dig in with tines, etc. Use a 6' Atlas on my 45HP Jinma. The Atlas appears to me to be well made, as compared to some I have seen at agri dealers, and is holding up well.

    One thing I would mention, as others have posted in the past, a box blade can be rather difficult to work with at first. It does take some practice. My best advice, slow way down when using and enjoy. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
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    1,969
    Location
    Kansas
    Tractor
    2003 BX2200

    Default Re: What implement to maintain gravel driveway?

    Buying a box blade or a specialty road drag will work great.

    If there is ever an implement to build yourself for not much money, this is the one I would do. A few pieces of some heavy iron welded together, or some iron attached to railroad ties, etc, and you have an inexpensive tool. Granted, it might not work as well as a $$$$ specialty tool, but it might work ok.

    Were I to build one, I'd angle one front blade and have a perpendicular blade to smooth on the rear. You could drive down one side and back the other to work on the crown of the road.

    I've known folks that attached a chain to a 6ft chuck of railroad rail and used that for a drag.

    Hope this helps.
    ron

  5. #5
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
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    196
    Location
    Utah
    Tractor
    John Deere 4720

    Default Re: What implement to maintain gravel driveway?

    Can the box blade be tilted so that one side is higher than the other? I guess my real question is what procedure do you use to build the road so that there's a slight crown in the middle? Can you use a box blade for that, or do you really need a regular rear blade?

    -- Grant (am I out-newbieing canoetrpr?)

  6. #6
    Gold Member ejtaylor822's Avatar
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    May 2005
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    318
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Tractor
    Jinma 454LE

    Default Re: What implement to maintain gravel driveway?

    Hi,
    My procedure to tilt the box blade for the road crown is very scientific [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]....

    Can't remember the name of the links that go from the upper lift arms to the lower 3PH arms - showing my newbieness here - so I attached a pic - they are the "brass" looking links connecting the upper and lower arms.

    I attach the box blade, go to the driveway where it's level and put a brick, yes a regular ol' brick under the left side of the box blade. I then lower the box blade and adjust the link on the left side so that I get the 3" of tilt on the left side. This usually takes a couple of attempts to lower as there is not 3" of play between the arms. To level the arms back, I remove the box blade, go to the driveway and put a level between the arms and adjust the left side.

    I don't tilt the blade every time I scrape; probably every other or every third time. Typically, just following the existing crown. I don’t ever scrape down the middle, just on the sides and always in the same direction – “up” the road on the right and “down” on the left side whether the blade is tilted or not.

    Some of the more experienced guys here can give better advice and an easier way I am sure. This is the easiest I have found - especially after the first time when I tried to adjust blade hanging in the air - I learn my lessons the hard way [img]/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif[/img] [img]/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif[/img]
    Attached Images Attached Images

  7. #7
    Super Member RobS's Avatar
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    Jun 2000
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    6,233
    Location
    SW Michigan
    Tractor
    John Deere 790

    Default Re: What implement to maintain gravel driveway?

    I'll use a box blade or landscape rake. Box for more serious stuff, rake for touch ups. I had to resort to the old hand rake yesterday though. Last time I graded I brought up a lot of larger stones from the base. Since I don't have gage wheels on my rake, I used the hand tool to get the larger stones off to the side. What I really need is another coat of fine stones on top [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

  8. #8
    Super Member Farmwithjunk's Avatar
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    Aug 2005
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    Location
    Mt Washington, Kentucky
    Tractor
    Where do I begin.....

    Default Re: What implement to maintain gravel driveway?

    After dealing with a gravel driveway for the last 24 years, I FINALLY have a paved drive. That's the #1 way to deal with a drive IMHO.

    The drive from the house to my barn is another 1100 feet of crushed limestone. That still needs an occasional grading.

    I've tried grader blades. Works, but not great. I've got a box blade. Works BETTER, but not the answer. I've borrowed a landscape rake. Good for light grading, but still not the final answer.

    3 years ago, I bought a 7' "pulverizer" (Gill/Woods) Just playing around with it one day, I found it to be the absolute best implement for grading a gravel drive. It is great about removing the center ridge that developes in gravel drives. Leaves a smooth, even road when done.

    Everyone has their "favorite". Any number of ways will work. The best I can offer is to get an implement that serves more uses than just the driveway.

    For "heavy" grading, where you need to move a good deal of the rock, a box blade is hard to beat.

  9. #9
    Banned HomeBrew2's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
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    1,896
    Location
    Dunlap, CA
    Tractor
    Kubota BX23

    Default Re: What implement to maintain gravel driveway?

    Box scraper with gauge wheels [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  10. #10
    Super Member Highbeam's Avatar
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    Feb 2005
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    Location
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Tractor
    Kioti CK30HST

    Default Re: What implement to maintain gravel driveway?

    What about the crown? The box blade works very well to remove the low side of the crown but I have a heck of a time getting it to deposit that material on the high side or center. A grader blade with a tilt may be better at moving edge stuff to the center. The material I am working is heavy and usually wet so perhaps dry material or gravel will grade better. Set that BB flat and it does an excellent job at maintaining the crown and filling in low spots.

    I have gone so far as to dump material down the center of the road and then, with a level box blade, set one tire on the center mound and the other on the low side and let the BB fill in the center to create a crown. This would be grand if you had a wide enough driveway like 12 feet, to have the dumptruck gate dump the gravel with an overlap.

    I tilt my boxblade with the adjustment crank to lower one of the 3ph arms.
    IMPORTANT- remember to put it back to level before mowing the field. [img]/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]

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