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  1. #1
    Veteran Member wen's Avatar
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    Apr 2000
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    1,513
    Location
    Central Texas
    Tractor
    Kubota M6800SD/LA1002 Loader Kubota RTV900

    Default Digging Ditches

    Would it ever be nice to have a back hoe!

    I used an 8 ft rear blade to dig ditches beside the gravel drive. Most of the ditches had filled up with silt or were not deep enough to start with and some were just needed to control run off water. I put the blade facing the direction of tractor travel by about 45 degrees and probably about 30 degrees rotated down. My tractor would hardly run as slow as I wished that it would so work was done at low rpm and less than 1/2 mile per hour(good application for a creep gear), but dug about 800 ft of ditch about 2 ft wide and 1 ft deep with all of the dirt piled on the low side of the ditch. Probably only removed about 30 yards of dirt. When you hit rocks, you had to be careful as I am sure you can tear the blade up. It is rated for 100 HP and I was pulling it with an M6800 (68 HP), but still believe you could break something.

    The amount of work done is incredible. This would have taken forever by hand and just wouldn't have been done well. Took many minutes with a shovel just cleaning the dirt out of the ends of the ditch. It took about 1 hr to complete 800 feet of ditch. Had to ditch from the wrong side where there was a lot of water, but it should work ok. I cut the ditches in only one or two passes
    I have tried this before by angling a box blade, but the rear blade really works a lot better.

    This could have been a nice job for a back hoe with an experienced operator, although keeping the ditch fairly level with the road would have been hard for me and the rear blade did a nice job with all of the dirt that was removed.

    Wonder if others have a different technique for cutting drainage ditches.



  2. #2
    Platinum Member
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    May 2000
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    731

    Default Re: Digging Ditches

    Whats your opinion of 3pt backhoes? Is there any reason, besides the money of course, that you wouldn't want one? I know we have similar sized tractors (JD 5410), and I have been considering adding a backhoe at some point, but was also thinking maybe it would be better to buy a dedicated backhoe, used but good enough for my needs, instead of stressing the tractor (not to mention the convenience of not having to mount it every time I want to use it).

    Thoughts?


  3. #3
    Super Star Member Thomas's Avatar
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    Apr 2000
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    13,845
    Location
    Lebanon,NH.
    Tractor
    Kubota L2800HST w/Frontloader & CC LTX1046 & Craftman T2200 lawn mower.

    Default Re: Digging Ditches

    wen,
    By the sounds you had a grand time,[img]/w3tcompact/icons/smile.gif[/img]and I have a feeling your looking else where to play with your new implement,[img]/w3tcompact/icons/wink.gif[/img]I know I would.


    Thomas..NH

  4. #4
    Veteran Member wen's Avatar
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    Central Texas
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    Kubota M6800SD/LA1002 Loader Kubota RTV900

    Default Re: Digging Ditches

    Tom, actually I have a couple of thousand more feet of ditch to cut to get as much water in the tank instead of in the ditch by the street and would like to know if there is a better way of doing this. I figure I got my money worth out of the blade in one day. The rest of the work is for free! I really don't know of much use for a rear blade. No snow in Texas, and the boxblade will do everything better than the rear blade unless it turns out that the rear blade will crown the road better.

    An 8 ft blade was the right answer, because when it is cocked at a 45 degree angle, it only covers about 5 1/2 feet width. At 30 degrees, it covers a little over 6 1/2 feet, which is about right.

    I don't want any of the ditches any deeper than they have to be because I have to cross all of them regularly on the tractor. The ones that cross the driveway were made with the scarfiers down and the box blade picking up the dirt. This makes a ditch about 4 inches deep and 6 feet wide, which even my set on the ground Honda has no problems with.

    Since I live on a hilltop location with mildly sloping ground in two directions, getting water going in the right directions is kinda important. Otherwise the water just goes away and does little good.


  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    610
    Location
    Ontario
    Tractor
    Ford 1710: Loader, Hoe, Snowblower, Box scrapper & 3ph Forks

    Default Re: Digging Ditches

    I think using a backhoe for digging fairly long ditches would be a source of aggravation. The sized hoes that are appropriate for compact tractors would require the tractor to be moved every 10' of ditch or so. The reach of a hoe at ground level is less than the full extension of the boom and dipper. It's extremely hard on the hoe and tractor to dig with the boom and dipper fully extended.

    I suspect the back blade did a good job much faster than a hoe would have done. I think hoes are good for trenches and deep holes and less good for ditches which don't need the well defined sides of a trench. Actually, a hoe bucket doesn't move that much dirt at a time, and it takes quite a bit of time to drag, lift, swing and dump a hoe. A long ditch would require a huge number of buckets to be taken out, especially if the ditch was wider than the hoe bucket. In addition, digging something wider than the bucket can end up looking of like a fish skeleton.

    If a ditch could be driven over, I wonder how well a plow would work.




  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    349
    Location
    Peculiar, MO
    Tractor
    B2400 Kubota

    Default Re: Digging Ditches

    What I used to dig a ditch was to till the length of the channel that I needed and then use the bucket to scrap the dirt to the down hill side of the ditch. Worked real well. It allowed me to go around shrubs and such. The purpose of this ditch was to move water flowing down a hill to the road ditch instead of across my road. It worked and with reseeding you can hardly tell it is there and mowing the lenght of my ditch is easy also. Tillers and a loader can do great things.

    Dan L


  7. #7
    Veteran Member wen's Avatar
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    Central Texas
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    Kubota M6800SD/LA1002 Loader Kubota RTV900

    Default Re: Digging Ditches

    Thanks ddl,

    I think I will try that where I need to move water and still cross the ditches regularly.


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