Back dragging: how aggressive?

   / Back dragging: how aggressive? #1  


Platinum Member
Apr 19, 2019
New Holland WM25 with 200LC front end loader, filled R4 tires 43X16.00-20 and 25X8.50-14 (had a Kubota B6200D with dozer and R1 tires)
I did a lot of back dragging today, smoothing up a site for a new greenhouse. But I'm always cautious because the cylinders are so extended in dump direction, and would be prone to buckling.

HOW conservative, though? Getting the bottom of the bucket vertical and dragging in a moderate gear with the front wheels held up by the bucket, well, that is very aggressive, I suppose asking for trouble.

But putting the bottom of the bucket, say, 20 or 30 degrees from vertical, and dragging in the lowest gear, is that too aggressive?

Where do you draw the line?
   / Back dragging: how aggressive? #2  
I guess it depends on what you're dragging?

I've pulled snow away from a garage door with the bucket curled all the way around and pulling the snow towards me, but that's just loose snow (usually).

I don't think I'd do it with hard dirt or packed gravel?

But I have a box blade that I can use for that kind of thing.

Usually if I'm back dragging with the bucket, it's with the heel of the bucket and it's close to parallel with the ground.
   / Back dragging: how aggressive?
  • Thread Starter
I'm dragging our soil, hard bank gravel and clay. It's hard to work with, but I only have maybe 3 to 5 inches piled up at the most. The bucket doesn't dig in much, maybe half an inch? This is with probably 30 to 40 degrees away from vertical.

Dragging with the heel doesn't move much of this gravel.

When I've bought topsoil, the heel works great for dragging.
   / Back dragging: how aggressive? #5  
I did a lot of dirt moving, smoothing, etc when we moved to our property 20+ years ago. There were many instances where I would raise the front wheels off the ground when doing it. Never hurt anything.

Usually it was when smoothing areas - would have the bucket angled at less than 45 degrees, trying to smooth it out with the bucket edge. Very difficult (for me at least) to smooth anything out going forward, mainly because I can never see where the bucket edge is to feather it.

Had old piles of foundation dirt to spread around. Would drive into the pike, raise the loader up high, curl the bucket down, then "slice" into the pile to break away the solid dirt, then back up and come forward to scoop up the dirt I just sliced off.
   / Back dragging: how aggressive? #6  
I believe that most manufacturers recommend that the back drag angle be 15* or less.
Your loader manual should have something shown about these types of things.
   / Back dragging: how aggressive? #7  
A tooth bar or piranha bar would do wonders for your application.
   / Back dragging: how aggressive?
  • Thread Starter
I believe that most manufacturers recommend that the back drag angle be 15* or less.
Is that 15 from horizontal or 15 from vertical? I'm guessing horizontal.