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  1. #1
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Default How can I level a field with large holes

    I have a field about 15 acres in size that was heavily wooded but burned about 3 years ago. Right after the fire, I had dozers in to push all of the burned timber into piles and they also shoved about 95% of the stumps out of the ground. The problem is that the fire burned hundreds of stumps that were dead and left behind when the area was timbered about 20 years before. Those old stumps burned down into the ground, leaving giant holes in some areas. The dozers leveled off the ground, but now those holes have sunk in after numerous rains and the field is so uneven, and filled with ruts and holes, that I cannot drive my pickup across it.
    I tried discing it, and it did the normal good job of working over the fairly level places, but will not level out the deeper holes. Anything I can use other than hire another dozer to come in? I have a 62 hp Ford tractor with front end loader and I have a straight blade I can mount on the 3 point in the back. Don't own a 3 point tiller or a box blade, and was thinking about trying both, but thought I would get some advice first before I wasted any money. I know a whirl plow would probably help, but can't see it doing much to move dirt around to fill in the holes and gullies.
    If I can't do this with a tractor, am I better off hiring a dozer or a maintainer? How large a dozer? Can you level a field like this with a small one, like a JD450, or do I need something like a D6?
    Your thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks,

  2. #2
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Lee, IL
    John Deere 1070

    Default Re: How can I level a field with large holes

    what about bringing in more dirt to fill the holes?

    I am no expert, and I could be wrong but I would think that of the things you mentioned a box blade would be best... with or without fill.

  3. #3
    Gold Member RxRatedZ71's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Edmond, OK
    JD 3203


    Put a sign by your gate/main road for "fill dirt wanted-- no rocks,debris, or trash!" & then wait a few weeks, you may be surprised at how much you get. The decide whether to buy or rent a box blade. If you denote where to dump it, the trucks may help fill in the necessary areas for you.
    Poor timing and lack of planning on your part do not constitute an emergency on my part!

    JD 3203, 300 series loader, Frontier rotary cutter, Frontier boxblade, quick-attach bucket, Polaris Sportsman 600, Cub Cadet lawn tractor

  4. #4
    Epic Contributor Egon's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: How can I level a field with large holes

    Bring in a do zer with a breaking Plow. That should turn up the old stumps and give you something to disk. The use a drag.
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  5. #5
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Yanceyville, North Carolina
    Kubota L4400

    Default Re: How can I level a field with large holes

    Your profile shows no indication where you live and I would like to mention this in regards to contractors or anyone with trucks willing to dump excess dirt on your property. In my area, the only people that are willing to provide fill material are ones with building debris, roofing material; etc. A dump truck of fill dirt costs $110.00 - $150.00 around here. Also, with the cost of diesel, most people would not be willing to take the time to dump and fill in your various areas. In retrospect, I tried the before mentioned method once. I had a ditch that had washed out by excessive rain water before we bought this property, and after 6 months of attempting to have people from anywhere to haul their extra dirt here, I gave up. I am not trying to convince you to not consider this method, only that it didn't work in my area. Best wishes.
    The PUPIL who does not surpass his Master, fails his Master.

  6. #6
    Super Member texasjohn's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Central Texas, Jarrell
    Kubota Grand L5030HSTC

    Default Re: How can I level a field with large holes

    The good news is you have a good sized tractor with FEL already. I suspect that even if you do use various techniques you will still do a lot of work yourself.

    Not seeing photos of the area, if this were my problem, in my area, I would do the following.

    Purchase a large box blade and attach it with a hydraulic top link and hydraulic tilt. This allows you to angle the blade down to cut off the tops of hills, set it flat or to not cut so you can drag dirt to the holes and let it fall into them.

    In our area, the soil conservation district has a land plane that can be rented for very reasonable price, daily.... it shaves a bit of dirt up into a trailer like device...than you can transport it on wheels and hydraulically dump it out where extra dirt is needed. Would be a perfect match for your tractor.
    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

  7. #7
    Platinum Member Qapla's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Gator Country
    New Holland TC40D HST 4WD FEL/BH

    Default Re: How can I level a field with large holes

    Before I hired a dozer, I would try renting a skidsteer loader on tracks. They do wonders at cutting, moving and grading. This is what is mostly used to clear and grade much of the land that has had the trees removed and converted to subdivisions around here.
    New Holland Workmaster 45 2WD Gear
    Massey Ferguson 240
    New Holland TC40D HST 4WD
    NewHolland 16LA FEL
    Woods BH 70-X Sub-frame Backhoe
    Troybuilt Super Bronco w/42" mower
    Husqvarna DRT 900 Tiller
    Ariens 6.5 HP String Mower
    Husqvarna HU625WT String Mower

    3 point hitch attachments:
    single plow, double plow, 5' & 6' deck mower, tiller, 2 cultivators, planter, fertilizer spreader, disk set, sprayer, and a few homemade attachments

    30 acres, 15 acres, 5 acres

  8. #8
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009

    Default Re: How can I level a field with large holes

    What is your goal? If you want to plant a crop or grass I'd try to preserve the topsoil you have and not move soil around. If you plan to replant trees it doesn't matter how you move things around. If you just want to be able to drive your pickup across it, you could fill the low spots with any kind of fill.
    Kubota B2710, John Deere X738 snowblower, Toro Zmaster ZTR, King Kutter bush hog, New Idea manure spreader, Swisher trail mower.
    Lincoln Square Wave 200, Lincoln 225 AC/DC, Harris Oxy/Ac.

  9. #9
    New Member
    Join Date
    May 2009

    Default Re: How can I level a field with large holes

    I would like to turn this eventually into a hay meadow. Probably Coastal or tifton. Alternative would be to leave it in pasture and probably plant Bahia. Property is in Grimes County, TX. Hauling dirt in is out of the question. I am not talking about a few holes. More like a rough field that varies in height as you drive across it. Hit the wrong hole and you could lose an axle on the truck. Field also drops probably 20 feet in elevation from top to bottom. Plenty of dirt to spread around.
    Comments are great. Was thinking bulldozer, but the skid steer is an interesting idea. I have hired one of those before on another place and they are amazing. Just need the right operator (not me). I am still thinking small dozer with a root rake, followed up with disc and then a harrow. Lots of work. Lots of expense. Thought about putting a blade on the FEL, but don't think the tractor could do that much good pushing. Never tried it before.

  10. #10
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Dallas - East Texas
    Massey 65, Massey 1150, Kubota M7040

    Default Re: How can I level a field with large holes

    Have had to do this same thing on a couple of pastures, one that used to be in watermelons, the other had 10,000 trees pulled out. You need to get the field so you can plow it, then disc it, then run a harrow across it, disc it in a different direction, then harrow, then disc, then harrow. You've got to get the dirt so that you easily move it with either a harrow or some other type of drag. An I beam or a piece of RR iron might work as well. Just something to shift the dirt from the high spots into the holes.

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