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  1. #1
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
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    551
    Location
    Lubbock, Texas
    Tractor
    1996 Kubota L4200 GST, LA680 FEL

    Default Box blade or Straight blade for road work?

    Okay, I now have my new tractor and I want to put it to use working on my 2,500' long driveway. I've always used my old Farmall M and a 7' straight blade and it really has done pretty well.

    I angle it 15 degrees and run it down each side of the road and push the gravel toward the middle. Then I put the blade straight and run down the middle once. Then I turn the blade around backwards and run it back and forth twice to smooth everything back out.

    The only drawback to this is that the blade can get a little bouncey on the washboards and I end up having to redo it about once a month. It gives me an excuse to run the tractor though! [img]/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

    I've been told that a box blade will work better but I'm not sure the best way to run one. The thing I can't figure out is how you get the gravel back toward the middle of the road instead of spreading it off the wrong side. You can't really angle the box blade can you?

    Should I get a new box blade and ditch the straight blade or just keep doing what I've been doing. I'm sure the box blade will come in handy filling some of the low spots in the road though.

    Also I was thinking that a 7' box blade would be good because the 7' straight blade seems about the perfect width. The road averages about 10' wide. I think my L4200 kubota will pull the 7' box blade on the road but would appreciate input on that also. Should I get a 6' box blade for moving dirt/gravel and keep the 7' straight blade for smoothing the road? Or just keep the straight blade and use the loader to move dirt/gravel to the low spots?

    With the money I saved getting the used tractor I've thought about putting a remote hydraulic on the rear and getting one of those fancy hydraulic top links, that would be nice for the box blade wouln't it?

    I appreciate the input.

    Thanks, Nathan

  2. #2
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    1,771
    Location
    Kansas
    Tractor
    Kubota L3000DT

    Default Re: Box blade or Straight blade for road work?

    I vote for straight blade.

    You're trying to do the same thing as a road grader. They're all straight blades.

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2003
    Posts
    1,993
    Location
    MN
    Tractor
    Ford 960, 7700, TW20, 1720; IHC H, 300; Ollie S77

    Default Re: Box blade or Straight blade for road work?

    I have never used a box blade, so I'm a poor one to give advise, but I can't imagine any general purpose tool working better for maintaining a road than what you do. I would perhaps try to angle the blade more the first passes, as the more angle, the less washboarding....

    Box blades look good to move material or use the rippers to loosen deep, but that's not what one does to maintain a road - you shave a little & respread it.

    There are special driveway maintainers that look good for running up & down the drive, but they tend to be 2-3 times the cost of a blade or box.....

    --->Paul

  4. #4
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    950
    Location
    Arlington, TX
    Tractor
    '51 ford 8N

    Default Re: Box blade or Straight blade for road work?

    I have to agree that the straight/angle blade is best for road work.
    A box blade is good for landscaping and moving volumes locally, but it's not as good at crowning a dirt/gravel road.


  5. #5
    Gold Member LetsRoll's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    298
    Location
    Kentucky
    Tractor
    2005 New Holland TC48DA 2wd 12x12 tranny

    Default Re: Box blade or Straight blade for road work?

    For the length of your driveway, I'd build a road grader. I built one for $600. I used it for landscaping mostly. But I did do my 1400 ft driveway with it. One pass on each side and I was done. If I had to do it over again, I'd make the front blade angled instead of straight. I can still redo it since I haven't painted it yet. I have another landscaping job I'm doing right know. I might change it after its done. But then again, I'm happy with it performance.

    Road Grader

  6. #6
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    17,308
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Box blade or Straight blade for road work?


    Put some gauge wheels on the straight blade. Get a windrow as big as you can pull and roll it back and forth across the road. After a few times doing this lay it out with a crown.

    Egon [img]/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif[/img]

  7. #7
    Super Member scott_vt's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    5,009
    Location
    east wells,vt
    Tractor
    1986 MF 1040, 1942 Farmall A, 1949 Farmall Super A

    Default Re: Box blade or Straight blade for road work?

    I have to agree with most everyone else on this post. Go with the grader blade for doing your driveway maintainance. I have yet to order my boxblade yet so I cant compare either, but I think your graderblade is your best bet.

    scotty

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    1,158
    Location
    Lecompton, Kansas
    Tractor
    AgKing 2840 shuttle shift

    Default Re: Box blade or Straight blade for road work?

    I'm sure most know better than I but I use the boxblade to do my drive, I don't crown the middle though. The boxblade leaves the gravel level and real smooth, it moves gravel from the high spots and puts it in the low spots. It does a great job of removing washboards. I have both blades, I use the grader blade for removing snow.

  9. #9
    Super Member Highbeam's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    5,037
    Location
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Tractor
    Kioti CK30HST

    Default Re: Box blade or Straight blade for road work?

    I own a box blade and have had to create a crown on a dirt road and then apply gravel. The box blade is a great tool for many things, not great for creating a crown. At best, you can tilt the box and scrape out the low side but the material doesn't slide to the high side as it would with an angled blade. I ended up scraping out the low side and then depositing the material on the crown a bunch of times. Once enough material was is the right part of the road the box blade was very effective at leveling the piles into a crowned road.

    What the box blade does better than a blade is rip up the road. Rips up potholes and washboards rather then just filling them up with softer material. Most road graders I've seen also have a set of rippers.

    Another option is the landscape rake. Lotsa folks like these for gravel road maintenance and I think I would rather that than a blade.

  10. #10
    Gold Member LetsRoll's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Posts
    298
    Location
    Kentucky
    Tractor
    2005 New Holland TC48DA 2wd 12x12 tranny

    Default Re: Box blade or Straight blade for road work?

    A rock rake (landscaping rake) and a box blade is not the ideal implement to maintain a driveway. They can be used, but you'll spend a whole lot more time using them. IMHO, thats a waist of time. The below link is a few pictures of SonnieP's pictures of his duragrader and pictures of the driveways he straigthened up or re-worked.

    Duragrader Pictures

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