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  1. #1
    Bronze Member
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    Oct 2012
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    Northern New Jersey
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    John Deere 1026R

    Default Ditches and swales for drainage

    What's the best attachment for fixing drainage problems? Several areas on our property could use a slight ditch or swale to channel water down hill rather than into places where it's not wanted (like in our barn basement). I have a box blade and the front-end loader. I do not have any other blade or a backhoe though I am contemplating the latter for planting larger trees and digging small ditches.

  2. #2
    Veteran Member kebo's Avatar
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    May 2006
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    2,311
    Location
    Lexington, SC
    Tractor
    2001 John Deere 790 4x4, bar tires

    Default Re: Ditches and swales for drainage

    A middle buster (also called a potato plow) works really good to start a channel, then you can take the box blade and angle it to shape the "corners" at the top and angle them off. A scrape blade with offset and tilt also does this quite well. A middlebuster can usually be had for $100 or so on craigslist if you keep your eye out for one. You should be able to pick up a 5ft scrape blade for about $200-$300 depending on condition, model, and features.

    Another option is to have some dirt hauled in and use the FEL to move it around and build up some swales or berms to divert water the way in which you want to go. Just my suggestions. Good luck!
    Nothing could be finer than riding my JD790 in South Carolina!!

    2001 John Deere 790 4x4 with Model 70 FEL, 5ft International World Agritech bush hog, 5ft Wallberg BB, 5ft Frontier disc harrow, 5ft King Kutter II Rototiller, 5ft Cultipacker, 5ft Sitrex finish mower, Leinbach PHD with 9" & 12" augers, Leinbach middlebuster, Leinbach #11 Field Cultivator, boom pole, custom 3pt handi-hitch, clamp on bucket forks, Pat's Easy Change.

    Nothing runs like a Deere, or smells like a John....

  3. #3
    Gold Member
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    Sep 2007
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    342
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Tractor
    JD 5105, IH-Case 255, JD 3038E

    Default Re: Ditches and swales for drainage

    If you just need a few swales less than a foot deep, you should be good to go. As kebo says, a back blade or buster would help, but if you take your time, and have some room to manuver, you will learn how to get a swale built. Try to build one or two swales, and then you can decide if having additional equipment would be more efficient for you. Of course more equipment on hand always helps, but it just depends on your budget. Good luck !!!

  4. #4
    Bronze Member
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    Oct 2012
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    Location
    Northern New Jersey
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    John Deere 1026R

    Default Re: Ditches and swales for drainage

    Great suggestions! I'd started thinking about a middle buster (or even a subsoiler) but hadn't thought of using that in conjunction with the box blade. So I CAN tilt the rear blade? I haven't figured out how to do that but now that I know I can I'll study that some more. I spent some time around tractors when I was knee-high to a grasshopper but this is my first tractor with attachments in my adult life. Thanks so much for your help!!

  5. #5
    Super Member texasjohn's Avatar
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    Oct 2005
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    5,552
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    Central Texas, Jarrell
    Tractor
    Kubota 5030HSTC

    Default Re: Ditches and swales for drainage

    You can tilt any 3ph implement some by shortening/lengthening one of your rear lift arms. Typically, they are set to level the 3ph attachment, but also can make it tilt when that is beneficial.

    Joy is having the tools you need and needing the tools you have!

    Kubota 5030 HSTC, BB, Danueser PHD, LA853 QA HD FEL w JD toothbar, 3pt chisel, 3 pt disk, 6' shredder, Kubota FEL hay spike, 3pt hay fork w carryall, Kubota RTV 1140

  6. #6
    Bronze Member
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    Northern New Jersey
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    John Deere 1026R

    Default Re: Ditches and swales for drainage

    So, if I understand correctly, I change the tilt with tools, not levers and hydraulics.

  7. #7
    Elite Member Baby Grand's Avatar
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    Windsor, CT.
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    Kubotas: L3240GST B2320HST B5100D & G5200H

    Default Re: Ditches and swales for drainage

    That's right. There should be a turnbuckle on one side, maybe on both.
    That's the problem with trouble.
    It always starts out as such fun."
    - Randall Brown

  8. #8
    Bronze Member
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    Northern New Jersey
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    John Deere 1026R

    Default Re: Ditches and swales for drainage

    As Elvis used to say, thank you very much!

  9. #9
    Super Member texasjohn's Avatar
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    Central Texas, Jarrell
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    Kubota 5030HSTC

    Default Re: Ditches and swales for drainage

    On one of your side supports for the lower lift arms, there should be something with threads which can be shortened....on my tractor, there is a rotating handle which turns a screw which changes the length of the side arm, up or down.
    Joy is having the tools you need and needing the tools you have!

    Kubota 5030 HSTC, BB, Danueser PHD, LA853 QA HD FEL w JD toothbar, 3pt chisel, 3 pt disk, 6' shredder, Kubota FEL hay spike, 3pt hay fork w carryall, Kubota RTV 1140

  10. #10
    Bronze Member
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    Location
    Northern New Jersey
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    John Deere 1026R

    Default Re: Ditches and swales for drainage

    Yep, know exactly what you mean. Now that I know, I'll be able to angle it for the swale I have in mind.

    I don't have a straight blade, just a box blade.

    In general, what's most useful? Front blade, middle blade, rear blade? (I have a box blade and a front-end loader.) From the above recommendations, sounds like a rear blade would add the most utility, though I already have a box blade for the rear. I'll be using the box blade to maintain dirt/gravel road here and for smoothing a couple of fields that are uncomfortably rough when mowing.

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