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  1. #1
    Veteran Member Jay4200's Avatar
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    Default Need ideas for yard flattening drag

    This is slightly off-topic, since I'm planning on using a utility ATV as a puller, but pretend it's just a teeny tractor (it's tires are pretty close to AGs), and we'll be all set...

    I need to flatten a lumpy yard. Ideally, I'd like the run the whole thing over with a Harley rake, but I don't want to run any machine big enough to pull one over my brand new septic system. My septic is new last fall, so after it's first winter, the area is somewhat lumpy from final settling. I want to make a drag that will flatten and finish the soil.

    I was thinking of making a low-budget blade-type structure that I could drag behind my ATV. Please refer to the attached picture:

    The front and back of the drag is 2x2 angle iron. Attached to the angle iron are two skiis on either side, and a row of scarifying teeth under the front piece of iron, all made from cut 1/8" plate. A 2x8 or 2x10 in the front would give the blade height, and the space between the front and rear angle iron pieces provide a spot to pile cinderblocks for weight. A section of chain-link fence would drag from the rear.

    My idea is that the drag would run with a small pile of dirt in front of it, which would fill low spots, the front edge would scrape off high spots, and the fence will provide a final smoothing. The skiis on either side would provide the level reference, and the scarifying teeth just seem to be a good idea.

    Any comments or ideas?

    Thanks - JayC
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  2. #2
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need ideas for yard flattening drag

    That looks good. Perhaps think of being able to angle it in either direction.
    Egon
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  3. #3
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    MrJimi's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need ideas for yard flattening drag

    A long time ago, I built a spiked harrow made with scrap rebar very simular to the one that northerntool.com sells with better than great results, very simple and very effective, I tried the chain link fence and that did nothing but create lots of dust. Here is a link to northerntools version
    Howse Spike-Tooth Harrow 3-Point, 7ft. Length | Category 1 Attachments | Northern Tool + Equipment

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    Case 1845C with dirt bucket, forks, 3 point quick hitch on the front, 30'. boom, 6 & 1/2 foot disc harrow, 5 foot Howse RC, root and tree bucket and Grouser tracks and a Ford F-550 pick up,7.3 Turbo with Auto and a Crosley 25' X 8'.6" X 14 K D/O trailer.
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  4. #4
    Platinum Member SkunkWerX's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need ideas for yard flattening drag

    Jay4200,

    In concept it looks good, but, unless that thing has a good deal of weight to it, it may just run up over any pile of dirt.

    That's the problem with not having a solid hook-up for it.
    Think about a weight box, or some tractor weights to ride on top of you drag.

  5. #5
    Elite Member RonMar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need ideas for yard flattening drag

    That looks good, and appears to leave room over the plate for adding weight, perhaps cinder blocks.

    You will probably need a rigid bar to attach it to the ATV hitch so that the plate stays relatively level.. If you draw it with a chain/cable or a rope, unless the depression is narrower than the drag, it will most likley follow the profile of the terrrain and not dump any built up soil into the depression.

    I see you have a small ramp out in front of the diggers, You might want to raise and extend it a little. With nothing out in front of the diggers, it might make depressions worse as it cuts into the face as you drag it out of the depression. This dirt might get left on the edge as the scraper crests the rise, steepening it instead of lessening it. Think road grader with the blade between the wheels. As the blade hits a high spot it digs in and cuts it off, dragging that dirt along. As the blade approaches a low spot, the rear wheels are still on the level ground and the blade maintains height over the low spot allowing dirt to pass beneath and fill the hole. the effect I describe might not be so bad though if you can run over the depressions from different directions. A set of drop down wheels on the sides might also be handy for transport and would also allow you to lift the cutters comming out of a hole or where you don't want to dig in.
    Ron

  6. #6
    Veteran Member easygo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need ideas for yard flattening drag

    JayC
    That looks like the same setup I borrowed from a friend a few years ago. If the humps and holes are small then this will work great. My friend built one about 3ft wide and 7ft long. had three or four cross bars. the first one had the downward pointing teeth to loosen the humps the others served to level off and distribute the dirt/gravel. I found that the weight was best in the middle, so it will not "nosedive" into the holes. I think you will be happy with that. At the time I was using an ATV, because I had no tractor yet. So. When I put too much weight on the drag the ATV came to a stop and the wheels kept spinning thus making more problem to fix. Those tires are fairly agressive diggers. So try to start with too little weight and increase it to the point when it feels just right.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member Jay4200's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need ideas for yard flattening drag

    Thanks for the inputs - I was away for the weekend so I just saw the posts today.

    Yes to the solid mounting bars vs. chains - I thought of that while pondering over the weekend. I also throught about wheels that I could lever down to lift the blade for transport. I haven't figured out a good system for moving the wheels yet though.

    I have an old lawn tractor snowplow that I completely forgot about (behind the shed for about 5 years). Instead of the wood plank and angle iron front end, I'm going to use the snowplow blade and build around that. I'm sure I can figure out some free features that can be added using the plow mounting hardware.

    Thanks again - I'll keep you posted once I break out the welder...

    JayC

  8. #8
    Veteran Member Jay4200's Avatar
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    Default Re: Need ideas for yard flattening drag

    Quote Originally Posted by MrJimi
    A long time ago, I built a spiked harrow made with scrap rebar very simular to the one that northerntool.com sells with better than great results, very simple and very effective
    Interesting - maybe I'll try adding something like that too.

    Thanks - JayC

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Need ideas for yard flattening drag

    Quote Originally Posted by Jay4200
    Interesting - maybe I'll try adding something like that too.

    Thanks - JayC
    I have next to nothing in it. I added a chain to each corner and I pull it from the middle, I used a Chev S-10 at first and now I use a skid steer
    I angled the re-bar and it's reversible for gentle dragging or more aggressive and ya can get free re-bar at construction sites for free
    you will need a way to cut it and weld it and you will have a serious drag that will level land, snatch out small shrub roots and mine is 5 feet front to back and 7 feet wide
    You will love it!!
    Go for it and have fun
    I think the most cost you will have in it will be chain
    Jim
    Last edited by MrJimi; 07-02-2007 at 05:29 PM.
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    Case 1845C with dirt bucket, forks, 3 point quick hitch on the front, 30'. boom, 6 & 1/2 foot disc harrow, 5 foot Howse RC, root and tree bucket and Grouser tracks and a Ford F-550 pick up,7.3 Turbo with Auto and a Crosley 25' X 8'.6" X 14 K D/O trailer.
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: Need ideas for yard flattening drag

    Jay, unless your leach field is set real shallow I believe I would just use the tractor and back drag it with the FEL. If it has settled don’t you need to add material anyway to bring it up to grade? I would not drive over the tank but I drive over the leach field all the time. If the field is a big concern to drive over could you not straddle the individual runs? Of course you could have a different type of system than I do but my septic contractor was running larger equipment than ours over our new leach field.

    MarkV

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