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  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
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    29
    Location
    SW Montana
    Tractor
    Belarus 825

    Default Gravel Driveway (again)

    Hi all,

    I just got my first real tractor, Boris, a Belarus 825. I am going to rebuild my driveway and wanted to get everyone's input (I know it is a common topic, but wanted to get comments on my specific situation).

    Basically I live in SW Montana and we get a LOT of wind. In the winter we will get a few inches/feet of snow, then it will get blown away in a day or so as it isn't too long after a snow storm that the everyday wind is back in action. (if the wind even subsides while the snow comes, sometimes it is ground blizzard conditions). So we can get some HUGE drifts.

    With that said, the previous owner of this property had a taller driveway constructed when he built the house in 1992. He stated he had the driveway built up so much to ensure the wind would just blow the snow off of it, instead of it creating a drift on the north or south side.

    As you can see by the photos I included, the driveway is pretty much shot.

    Now that you have a little background, here are some of my general question areas:

    1. I was going to get a 8' box blade, 8' rear/angle blade to tackle this project. Is that reasonable?

    2. The ditch can get kind of steep on the one side, will the BB and RAB work for me? (I dont want to tip my tractor over obviously, do I need to worry about this if I were to tackle with the tractor wheel in the deepest part of the ditch?)

    3. What "expert" oh-crap's can anyone pass along (you know the things only experienced tractoring folks have learned over time)?

    4. The height of the driveway over the surrounding area is about 8-10 inches. Can I acheive this with a BB and/or RAB? Do I need some special hydraulic RAB to do this? (I contacted my local road builder and he wants 5k to rebuild this 2/10 of a mile stretch of driveway, he would use a full size grader to do this he said) I cant afford a 3-4k RAB with all the trimmings. Could I use hyrdaulic top and side links to accomplish this? I guess it is the offsetting capabilities that allude me. However I am not even sure if I need offsetting capabilities for this project.

    Any general comments, notes, opinions, etc... that could help out a green horn just getting into tractoring are much appreciated!!!

    Boris, is almost 10' tall, has loaded rear tires & FEL.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails -driveway-1-jpg   -driveway-2-jpg   -boris-jpg  
    Last edited by mntnvew; 09-29-2008 at 11:52 AM.

  2. #2
    Super Member 3RRL's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
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    6,808
    Location
    Foothills of the Giant Sequoia's, California
    Tractor
    55HP 4WD KAMA 554 and 4 x 4 Jinma 284

    Default Re: Gravel Driveway (again)

    Boris is a big dude.
    Looks like you should be able to do that project no sweat. You will most likely use the boxblade and angle blade for many other projects and future maintenance anyway. Size of implements sounds right to me. There should be a manual adjustment for the top link and side links too. That will allow you to cut or rip and tilt the blade(s) to one side for crowning the drive.
    Just watch out going in that ditch along the side of your road and go slow. It doesn't look too bad, but you will feel it when you get the tractor tilted a little. Dragging a boxblade will help with tipping, but if you ever feel it tipping, stop and drop the bucket onto the ground quickly and back out with the bucket down. Raise the box a little but be prepared to drop it too if needed. If there is a wheel spacing wider than what you have now, make that change and put the wheels at their widest stance too. Once you get it fairly smooth with the crown you want, it should be a lot safer and easier. I would do your project myself rather than pay the guy with the grader. IMHO, your money is better invested in implements for future use and the tractor experience you gain is invaluable. That's what you got it for anyway, right?
    Rob-
    ...The Older I get...the Better I Used to be...
    Member of the Month

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    29
    Location
    SW Montana
    Tractor
    Belarus 825

    Default Re: Gravel Driveway (again)

    My thoughts exactly. Why waste the 5k on a grader guy when I can spend that 5k on the following implements from tractor supply and be able to do almost anything on my property.

    8 ft Hinged Back Box Blade $949.99 (2122214)
    Loyal Harrow Drag 8X8 $399.99 (2128650)
    8 ft Professional Rear Blade $529.99 (2137073)
    SpeeCo Logsplitter 3 Point Complete $669.99 (2153304)
    Post Hole Digger Standard Yellow $449.99 (2100220)
    Auger Spiral 9 in Ring $129.99 (2100246)

    The only one I cant afford right now is a back hoe, that is what I will have to save up for next summer

    PS - Anyone know if I can get any discount from TSC since I am purchasing so many implements from them? I would really love a 10-15% off coupon :-)

  4. #4
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    260
    Location
    Southern Indiana
    Tractor
    JD 3520, 300CX, 448

    Default Re: Gravel Driveway (again)

    Congratulations on your (BIG!) new toy!

    Sounds like you have a pretty good handle on what you need. I agree with rob that both the box blade and rear blade will have many, many uses beyond the driveway.

    I'd recommend getting a rear blade with offset and tilt capability. This will allow you to work the sides of the driveway while keeping the tractor safely on the road. Between the adjustments on the blade and the side link on your tractor you can get some pretty aggresive angles that allow you to freshen up ditches as well, all from the safety of the driveway.

    The adjustments can be manual or hydraulic depending on how much $$$ you want to spend. I have a manually adjusted blade and it works well for the 1 3/4 mile private road I maintain, though mine is only 6' and ~300 lbs as my 2210 is just a little smaller than Boris

    With a tractor your size I'd get the heaviest blade you can find. I've never used this brand but they look well made and reasonably priced.

    Beaver Valley Supply Company - Bison Rear Tractor Blades

    I'll try and get you a picture of mine offset and angled if that'll help.
    Last edited by KML; 09-29-2008 at 12:34 PM. Reason: Kant psell

  5. #5
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    29
    Location
    SW Montana
    Tractor
    Belarus 825

    Default Re: Gravel Driveway (again)

    I saw those Bison blades this past weekend when surfing the web. The one I assume I would need is the:

    BINVH-240 8' 3-pt Blade w/manual angle, offset and tilt, w/1/2 x 6" cutting edge 773 lbs. $1,585

    It is about 650 more then i budgeted, but if I take into consideration that I can be safely planted on the driveway then I might be able to dump one of the other implements in my aforementioned list and go with the Bison. However, now that I think about it I would have to cover shipping too, that blade weighs in at 773 lbs, so shipping would be a pretty penny on top of the 1,585 blade cost.

    Tough call really...

    Anyone know of any cheaper offset/tilt rear blades I could consider?

    Here is the list of implements I was going to purchase this weekend at the Tractor Supply in Billings, MT. (All the implement retailers around me charge astronomical mark up, for instance same implement at TSC can be 499.99, in Bozeman, it will be 799.99, just because it is being sold in Bozeman).

    8 ft Hinged Back Box Blade $949.99 (2122214)
    Loyal Harrow Drag 8X8 $399.99 (2128650)
    8 ft Professional Rear Blade $529.99 (2137073)
    SpeeCo Logsplitter 3 Point Complete $669.99 (2153304)
    Post Hole Digger Standard Yellow $449.99 (2100220)
    Auger Spiral 9 in Ring $129.99 (2100246)

    (all can be seen on tractorsupply.com, under agriculture and then 3 point (utility category)

    Anyone have any thoughts on any of these products? Good/bad/ugly?

  6. #6
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    260
    Location
    Southern Indiana
    Tractor
    JD 3520, 300CX, 448

    Default Re: Gravel Driveway (again)

    mntnvew,
    I was typing when you made the last post whith the equipment list. The rear blade at TSC looks like it would do the job. It has offset and tilt. It does seem a little light for it's size though. Can't say from experience that it wouldn't hold up though.

  7. #7
    Gold Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Posts
    260
    Location
    Southern Indiana
    Tractor
    JD 3520, 300CX, 448

    Default Re: Gravel Driveway (again)

    Again, was typing when you posted. With shipping and your location I'd go with the TSC blade. If needed you could beef it up latter for far less than what it would cost to get one of the heavier ones "in the door". My blade is a J-bar that was pretty cheap, but they don't seem to make my model anymore and I don't think they have a lot of dealers. Got mine used in Louisville,KY but have no idea where it came from new. Sorry.

  8. #8
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Aug 2001
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    17,499
    Location
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Gravel Driveway (again)

    Nice tractor.

    As to rebuilding the road I'd get a back blade and put gage wheels on it.

    Suggestion on the grading work:

    Use the back blade to windrow as much of the present road surface to one side of the road as possible. Roll this windrow back and forth till the road surface seems even and smooth but leave it on the edge of the road. Then work on the other side of the road at 90 degrees to the road and use the loader bucket to bring material from the ditch and side slopes to the road. Then windrow this material into the existing windrow and move the windrow back and forth a few times leaving it on the opposite side as be before. repeat the ditch dirt procedure on the other side. Now start windrowing back and forth to get an even distribution of materials and then use the gage wheels to leave a little on pass till you run out of material.

    This should approximate what the road grader can do.

    Happy road building.
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  9. #9
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2000
    Posts
    6,545

    Default Re: Gravel Driveway (again)

    Looking quickly at the size, price of the stuff you list, it looks to be all very light duty. I would fear it would twist up very quick. Unless your soil is very light loam with no rocks.

    For comparison, my box blade is 66" wide and just shy of 1000 pounds. Your choice of 8' and 750 pounds would make it pretty light. Both fragile and not good at tearing into hard soils.

    jb

  10. #10
    Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Posts
    29
    Location
    SW Montana
    Tractor
    Belarus 825

    Default Re: Gravel Driveway (again)

    What brand is your box blade?

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