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  1. #1

    Default Driveway grader question

    Hi all. I topped my 1100' driveway this week, and I want to build something to level and groom it periodically. My thought was to build a light duty landplane for the job. Will be pulling it with a JD3120. Its 5' wide with 8" tall channel sides (scrap on hand). My question is, I built it with a hinge point between the hitch and base, thinking it would be better to follow the contour of the drive. Chains run from the top link to the rear of three skids, so I can still lift it. Any opinons on whether this will work ok, or should it be solidly mounted?

    Second question, how far below the skids should the grader blades be set. Again, only for grading #1 crush run gravel

    Thanks for any advice. I'll try to post up some picgures tomorrow.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member Gordon Gould's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driveway grader question

    I picture would help in understanding what you have.
    On my grader if I run a chain for a top link the big problem is when I hit anything solid, like a rock . The back of the grader kicks up violently because there is no Top Link to hold it down. It has never flipped over into the rear of the tractor but it is a concern. I only run the chain when I am sure the road surface is good and loose and there are no snags. Also if the surface is not realyl loose the rear of the grader tends to rotate up a little as the front blade cuts the hard surface so the back blade has little effect. I don't know if yours would act like that or not. But yes, it follows the contour better.

    I set my blades down 3/4" below the skids. Road is packed crusher run.
    "If you're not making any mistakes then you're not doing anything"

    L3010DT, Farmi JL290 Winch, ATI Grapple, BearCat 5" Chipper, 6' Rear Blade,
    7' Sickle Bar, 5' Land Plane Grading Scraper, Dresser TD7G Dozer

  3. #3
    Super Member
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    Default Re: Driveway grader question

    Quote Originally Posted by Gordon Gould View Post
    On my grader if I run a chain for a top link the big problem is when I hit anything solid, like a rock . The back of the grader kicks up violently because there is no Top Link to hold it down. It has never flipped over into the rear of the tractor but it is a concern.
    Use a regular top link and put the chain on the grader, with a bar and a short chain for the floating ability without too much kick up.

    Bruce

  4. #4
    Veteran Member Gordon Gould's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driveway grader question

    Quote Originally Posted by bcp View Post
    Use a regular top link and put the chain on the grader, with a bar and a short chain for the floating ability without too much kick up.

    Bruce
    Aahhh - That would be a better way to do it. I like your sketch.
    "If you're not making any mistakes then you're not doing anything"

    L3010DT, Farmi JL290 Winch, ATI Grapple, BearCat 5" Chipper, 6' Rear Blade,
    7' Sickle Bar, 5' Land Plane Grading Scraper, Dresser TD7G Dozer

  5. #5

    Default Re: Driveway grader question

    I didn't see any replys by yesterday morning, so I went ahead and gave it a shot. I kept the articulating mount with the chains as I mentioned, and put the grader blades flush with the bottom. See picture below.

    Problem 1 - the blades definitely need to be lower, I'm going take Gordon's advice and start at 0.75. I might even go ahead and spend the time to make this adjustable, haven't decided yet.

    Problem 2 - the whole thing lifts up at the rear end as I start to pull it. I put 4 12" cinder blocks in the front rack, it helped, but it still lifted up at the rear. Looking at it, it's all about where the pull force is acting. The pins are 16" off the ground, and my 3pt at it's lowest is 12". I could probably lower it a bit, but I wanted to leave some room so the arms would never bottom out. I'm thinking the two solutions would be - weld another weight rack along the back to get the weight further back, or go ahead and mount rigid arms in place of the chains. Both pretty easy to try.

    Any other idea's, comments are welcome. This is my first 3 pt attachment build. Still learning and remembering how to weld (it's been a long time since I did anything more than light wall tubing).
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -2012-05-06_12-14-41_175-a  

  6. #6
    Veteran Member Gordon Gould's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driveway grader question

    I think you would be better off making the whole thing stiff. If you did you would find that the top link adjustment has alot of control over how aggressive it cuts and the back end won't rotate up. It is even posible you would not have to lower the blades. If you wanted to follow the road contour you could put the flex in the top link.
    But, if you add enough wt to the back, like you said, it will hold it down. To work good it should be pretty heavy anyway unless you are only working with loose pea stone.
    "If you're not making any mistakes then you're not doing anything"

    L3010DT, Farmi JL290 Winch, ATI Grapple, BearCat 5" Chipper, 6' Rear Blade,
    7' Sickle Bar, 5' Land Plane Grading Scraper, Dresser TD7G Dozer

  7. #7

    Default

    Thanks Gordon. The more I think about it, i'm leaning towards doing the rigid mount. The drive way is pretty flat for the most part, and this will allow me to flatten any areas if need be better than the pivot mount would. I'll try that and see how it works before I cut out the tack welds and lower the blades. Will update when I get a chance to work on out next. Thanks again.

    Jon

  8. #8
    Elite Member zzvyb6's Avatar
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    jd 1070

    Default Re: Driveway grader question

    I think you would be far better off with an 8' york (landscape) rake. Most people don't get one wide enough. When swung out to 45 degrees, you can dig and comb gravel towards the center of the driveway on both sides. Then set it to zero degrees and run a level top lane. The high angle also fills in the ruts and wallows. Use a chain for the top link and two gauge wheels at the back of the rake, so its essentially independent of the tractor's movement.

    In 10 minutes or less, you can have a perfectly graded driveway. When angled, the swath should be the width of your vehicle's tire track.
    There is no "I" in team, but there is a "Me" if you want to jumble it up a bit...

  9. #9
    Platinum Member catdozer's Avatar
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    Bobcat CT235

    Default

    Here's mine I built this spring. It was pretty straight forward. When I use it in really hilly drives I just use a chain in place of the top link. I set my blades at 1/2 deep and that does me very well. I also have them set straight. I eventually will get a TnT kit, but for now works very well.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -image-1228792195-jpg   -image-2304942032-jpg   -image-13009353-jpg  
    Bobcat CT235 with Deere Imatch, And a very bad addiction of attachments

  10. #10
    Gold Member NormL's Avatar
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    Default Re: Driveway grader question

    Quote Originally Posted by DuckHunterJon View Post
    I didn't see any replys by yesterday morning, so I went ahead and gave it a shot. I kept the articulating mount with the chains as I mentioned, and put the grader blades flush with the bottom. See picture below.

    Problem 1 - the blades definitely need to be lower, I'm going take Gordon's advice and start at 0.75. I might even go ahead and spend the time to make this adjustable, haven't decided yet.

    Problem 2 - the whole thing lifts up at the rear end as I start to pull it. I put 4 12" cinder blocks in the front rack, it helped, but it still lifted up at the rear. Looking at it, it's all about where the pull force is acting. The pins are 16" off the ground, and my 3pt at it's lowest is 12". I could probably lower it a bit, but I wanted to leave some room so the arms would never bottom out. I'm thinking the two solutions would be - weld another weight rack along the back to get the weight further back, or go ahead and mount rigid arms in place of the chains. Both pretty easy to try.

    Any other idea's, comments are welcome. This is my first 3 pt attachment build. Still learning and remembering how to weld (it's been a long time since I did anything more than light wall tubing).
    After reading this post I had to go and check my scraper and now I know part of the problem I'm having with it. The arms of my 3PTH only drop about an inch lower than the pins. That's hardly enough for floating as intended. I will have to raise the pins at least two, maybe three inches. I had just assumed the arms went lower than that and didn't check. I don't anticipate any problem with the rear lifting since mine is some seven feet long. When I'm done, I'll have provision for weighting it down for gravel work, but removable for when I'm using it to smooth out dirt prior to seeding grass, etc. I plan to position the weight more or less at the center. I'll go into more detail in my own thread in this category when I get back working on it.
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