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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    48
    Location
    SE Texas

    Default Best implement/attachment for digging ditches??

    I'm trying to avoid spending $6000 on a backhoe attachment when I buy my tractor. Does anyone have any suggestions on what I can use instead?

    I have some slight drainage problems in my front yard (about 1.5acre with lots of trees). I'm wanting to dig a few small, shallow, wide ditches about 150' long to my main ditch in front of my property. Wait a minute...small and wide? Sorry for the contradiction. What I mean is ditches that will eventually grow grass an be mowed like it was part of the yard. I don't know the technical term for that kind of ditch.

    Friend of mine at work told me something about a kind of box blade/scoop type thing that digs a real wide ditch. Anybody know what this is called? Or would a FEL work?

    Any ideas would be appreciated. Thanks. Jeff

  2. #2
    Super Member Henro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    5,377
    Location
    Few miles north of Pgh, PA
    Tractor
    Kubota B2910, BX2200...

    Default Re: Best implement/attachment for digging ditches??

    I think what you want is called a swail...hope I spelled that right! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img]

    Don't think a backhoe would be the tool of choice in making those.

    Box blade sounds like what you may want to use. A heavy duty rear blade with tilt might work too.

    I'm sure better advice will follow.

    No doubt in my mind though that a backhoe is not what you want for shallow, wide angles that you want to set up for mowing. It would work, but not the best choice in my mind... [img]/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif[/img]

    Edit: A loader could work too. The loader follows the rear wheels though, so you need to get the angle somewhat right at the start...then the loader will likely work...

    An attachement on the back can cut an angle independent of the the rear wheels...this may be an advantage.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    532
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Tractor
    Kubota L4610, BX2230

    Default Re: Best implement/attachment for digging ditches??

    Jeff, a boxblade should do the trick. It's one of the handiest implements around, and they are not all that pricey either, unless you go all out and get one with the fancy hydraulic adjustments.

    By adjusting the position of the 3pt links, you can change how aggressively the blade and rippers dig in and you can also tilt the blade to one side or the other, which will let you gouge a wide, shallow drainage swale just like your description.

    It takes a little practice with these adjustments, but once you have used it a little, making a ditch like that should be a piece of cake.

    I think you'll find the box blade better than the FEL for this because you can tilt it to an angle. The FEL makes straight cuts so it's hard to get that shallow angled ditch you want.

  4. #4
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    8,266
    Location
    Shingle Springs California
    Tractor
    New Holland TC40D

    Default Re: Best implement/attachment for digging ditches??

    You can get a "scoop" just for doing that. It goes on the 3pt. They can also be used to pick up and haul dirt. Some call them a "poor mans loader". They work pretty good. I had one before I got my loader... They're relatively inexpensive too. I think mine was a Leinbach

  5. #5
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    8,266
    Location
    Shingle Springs California
    Tractor
    New Holland TC40D

    Default Re: Best implement/attachment for digging ditches??


  6. #6

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    80
    Location
    Northern Cal
    Tractor
    Ford 8N, MF TO20 & TO30, Branson 2810

    Default Re: Best implement/attachment for digging ditches??

    I agree with Grandad. I have both, a boxblade w/rippers and a drag blade. I use both around my place for the same reason. Keep the water in the fields and not in my yard.

    Whatever piece you decide on, choose and area out of the way and not close to fences to practice your trenching. With either tool if you hit something solid, like a big root, it will wipp the tractor in that direction. That can be a really fun ride sometimes but also really expensive.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,168
    Location
    New Hebron, MS
    Tractor
    MF 1455v 4wd, 1040FEL

    Default Re: Best implement/attachment for digging ditches??

    Jeff,

    Our place here is relatively flat and we had places a few years ago where water would stand for days. I decided that I needed some ditches to drain these areas to the bayou and started the job with my box blade. The primary ditch was about 650í, and pretty soon I realized that my ground wasnít as flat as it looked. With the ditch starting at no depth at the end to be drained, it graduated to about 5í deep at the bayou and this was with just enough drop to make the water drain. It didnít take me long to determine that the box blade needed some help. As the ditch got deeper, I used a middlebuster to tear up the ground in the center and dropped one side of the tractor wheels in that trench and dug at an angle with my FEL. Moved MANY yards of soil. As the ditch had to go deeper, it also became much wider so I could maintain it. After moving the bulk of the dirt with the FEL, I used the box blade to finish it up. Since doing this Iíve bought a tiller, and it might work to loosen the soil with the tiller and scoop with the FEL or drag with the boxblade...
    I had a 30Ē scoop for a while and it was of little value to me.
    If your ditch doesn't need to be too deep the boxblade will do the job fine. Whatever you buy do yourself a favor and get dual remotes and top&tilt on your 3ph with the purchase. It'll probably be cheaper then and you'll never miss the money. Makes adjustments to the 3ph a snap from the seat when box blading, etc.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Posts
    2,439
    Location
    20 mi SE of Sacramento, CA-rural
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2200

    Default Re: Best implement/attachment for digging ditches??

    For the most part, I agree with Glenn regarding which implements work well and which don't. When you cut your swale (I had to look it up Henro [img]/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif[/img] ), the type of soil will make a difference. Sandy loam will move more easily than packed clay. With my BX2200, I do o.k. using my tiller on back and FEL with toothbar on front and with my little Gannon box, IF the clay has been slightly moistened and had time for it to sink in. A neighbor with a full sized old Ford UT just cut several big swales using his box which can rotate a ripper bar and blade separately. He can use the rippers or the box blade independently, or both together. He also has a FEL with a downsized bucket ( about 42") with a cutting bar; this enables him to scoop with the FEL after ripping better than he could with a standard bucket. In my clay soil with my BX2200, my little 24" rear scoop just won't dig, nor will my middle buster.

  9. #9

    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    48
    Location
    SE Texas

    Default Re: Best implement/attachment for digging ditches??

    Thanks fellas. I appreciate the info.

    I think grandad is right. I can more that likely do it with the box blade.

    What about top and tilt? I'm new so is that an aftermarket thing? Is it expensive? Is it worth it? Thanks again. Jeff.

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Posts
    556
    Location
    wa
    Tractor
    bx 23

    Default Re: Best implement/attachment for digging ditches??

    I agree that the box blade will do the trick. As for the top and tilt, It is expensive. Many have made their own setups alot cheaper that the retail price. My opinion is that if you are doing alot of work with a rear blade or boxblade it may be worth the cost. If you are just doing a few projects here and there I could not justify the cost. Do I want one? Yes. But I cant justify it. They are a great way to control the cut of your boxblade though. Wait, Maybe I just talked myself into one [img]/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif[/img].

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