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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    41
    Location
    Wisc
    Tractor
    Farmtrac 300DTC

    Default Cleaning Ditch

    My daughter has a 30 acre hobby farm. It is a combination of highland, lowland, and some wooded. There is a drainage ditch that goes thru the lowland that over many years has started to fill up with dirt. I would like to start cleaning out the ditch. I have a 30HP Farmtrac tractor with shuttle shift, FEL & 4WD.

    My question is:
    Do I clean out the ditch working parallel to it or do I work perpindicular to the ditch?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    1,451
    Location
    Mt. Ulla, NC
    Tractor
    Satoh S-470D, Mitubishi FD 1450D

    Default Re: Cleaning Ditch

    How long and wide is this ditch? Trees grown up in the ditch? I remember back in the 60s, grandpaw hired a dozer man with a rear-facing front blade that he used to drive straight into the ditch, lower the blade and drag it out. Then the spoil had to be spread out so the surface water would drain into the cleaned out ditch. You might be better off hiring this done by someone with an excavator.

  3. #3
    Gold Member dillo99's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Posts
    376
    Location
    Upstate NY
    Tractor
    Kubota B7500

    Default Re: Cleaning Ditch

    Depends a lot on the ditch. I have found that the fastest approach with a large ditch (one your tractor fits in width wise) is to wait until the dry season and then drive in it using the fel to clean things out. This is quick and efficient. With smaller ditches or during wet season you can approach the ditch from a perpendicular perspective and scoop with the fel. This just takes time because you are constantly repositioning.

    If you have a very shallow ditch you can use a tilted back blade and run along each side pulling dirt and stuff up and out. Be careful if you do it this way - must be shallow so you don't risk tipping. Good Luck!
    Mike

    B7500, Loader: LA302, Backhoe: B4675, 3ph splitter, 3ph dump hauler, 5' Bush Hog, 5' rear blade, Chipper, 1 Wife, 3 Daughters and 2 Dogs (oh yeah...cat too but who counts them)

  4. #4
    Member
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    41
    Location
    Wisc
    Tractor
    Farmtrac 300DTC

    Default Re: Cleaning Ditch

    Quote Originally Posted by dillo99 View Post
    Depends a lot on the ditch. I have found that the fastest approach with a large ditch (one your tractor fits in width wise) is to wait until the dry season and then drive in it using the fel to clean things out. This is quick and efficient. With smaller ditches or during wet season you can approach the ditch from a perpendicular perspective and scoop with the fel. This just takes time because you are constantly repositioning.

    If you have a very shallow ditch you can use a tilted back blade and run along each side pulling dirt and stuff up and out. Be careful if you do it this way - must be shallow so you don't risk tipping. Good Luck!
    Thanks for the reply. The ditch originally was probably 6' wide, maybe 2' deep. I like your thought on using a rear blade tilted. I would consider this ditch to be shallow, would you agree? There are weeds growing, no trees. Would it make sense to break up the dirt in thre ditch first?

    I do want to try this project rather than hiring someone, I am retired and bought the tractor to play with this type of project in mind.

    Thanks

  5. #5
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Posts
    1,628
    Location
    Bancroft, Ontario
    Tractor
    JD4300

    Default Re: Cleaning Ditch

    The object is to remove the dirt. I would either get down in the ditch with the FEL and scoop it out or approach from the side and do the same.
    Don't leave the sides too steep or they will collapse back in and try to get some grass growing on the sides to minimize erosion.
    Up here the township tends to do their ditch cleaning in the fall, removing any sod that has grown during the summer. Then the dirt washes back in which means that they have to do it all over next year..Job security...

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    716
    Location
    Erin, Tenn.
    Tractor
    2001 Mahindra 4110

    Default Re: Cleaning Ditch

    Your ditch sounds like it could be done with your blade just fine as long as there aren't any larger roots or stumps/rocks etc. in it. I normally drag the ditch with the boxblade tilted as far as I can until I get a good box full, stop and drop it, get it out with the loader, get back in the ditch and continue on. When you get down to the final grading you'll be able to drag a long way before having to use the loader to remove the pile. Your tires will help pack the very bottom of the ditch as you go too, then you can seed or rock your ditch as necessary for your situation. The max. tilt on most boxblades will give you a nice, gradual swale so it won't erode so quickly. If you need a deeper/steeper ditch due to space limitations or whatever it will be a little more tedious but do-able with your loader. I have used my loader to dig some pretty large holes and run some ditches in the past but it takes patience & practice on your loader to make a consistent ditch working perpendicular to it. Since your ditch is only about 3' or 4' wide on one side, it will be real tough getting in the ditch parallel and getting the proper angle of your bucket for digging, it will greatly widen the ditch in the long run.I'd just experiment some and see what works best for you.
    2001 Mahindra 4110, FEL w/5' & 6' QA buckets & forks for the 5', 6' Atlas boxblade, older 6' Howse rotary, Leinbach 7300 PHD w/9" & 12", MF 2/3 bottom plow, 20"x6' bog disc, KK subsoiler, KK middlebuster, Kubota BL60C 5' tiller, Maschio 6' finish mower.

  7. #7
    Super Star Member Thomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
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    12,118
    Location
    Lebanon,NH.
    Tractor
    Kubota L2800HST w/Frontloader & CC LTX1046

    Default Re: Cleaning Ditch

    I clean out one of my ditches other day almost same condition you want to do..60' long by foot an half wide by 2' deep.

    I 45 scraper blade made four passes to loosen dirt than bucket the ditch,than use bucket to smooth banks follow by driving slowly half of tractor in ditch to pack the bottom...didn't come out to bad.

  8. #8
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    17,595
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Cleaning Ditch

    Making a ditch.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -drainage-trench-3-jpg   -drainage-trench-2-jpg  
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  9. #9
    Super Star Member Thomas's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    12,118
    Location
    Lebanon,NH.
    Tractor
    Kubota L2800HST w/Frontloader & CC LTX1046

    Default Re: Cleaning Ditch

    Egon.
    Hope the right arm didn't ache to much.

  10. #10
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
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    17,595
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Cleaning Ditch

    Not no more Thomas!
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -pb080002-jpg  
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

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