Grading with the BCS

   / Grading with the BCS #1  


Apr 9, 2012
Sonoma, CA
BCS 853 (weights, 30" tiller, furrower, 40" mower, 20" mower, 1,200 lb trailer, scraper blade)
Did some grading work and promised a picture or two! Here you are.

It was difficult work, to say the least. I could only fit 60lbs of weight on the barbell hangers from Earth Tools that I purchased (9" I think). I ended up having to do some tilling to loosen the high side soil, but in the end I did accomplish satisfactory results. The 36" scraper/dozer works much better in the "pull" position.




Here's a shot of the 853 in all her glory, with the blade in dozer position.

   / Grading with the BCS #2  
Hey PGC,

Nice job and thanks for the pics. I think the dozer blade doesn't get the love it deserves.

I used to have a dozer blade and found it to be a nice little unit for light pushing duties. Since I'm in a "bit" cooler runnings, most of it's work was pushing snow. The video shows me pushing with an 850 before I mounted a diesel and w/o weights or chains. You'll also see I modified a 60 inch snow blade to mount to the front of it. Considering the lack of weight and chains, I think it did a fair job for the depth of snow.

With the weight brackets - did you start with smaller weights on the inside? I have 9 inch brackets and start out with a couple 2.5 lbs, a couple 5 lbs, and a 10 lb before I get to the bigger weights. I also got VERY lucky and found 2 50 pound 1 inch weights. If I got them all on, I can easily achieve over 100 lbs a side. When finding weights, you want the smallest, skinniest weights. The ones with the hand-holds (like your last one in the pic) just take up extra space.

Here's a pic of it getting used to level out gravel fines for a paver patio -


   / Grading with the BCS #3  
Good job PGC!

Sure beats doing it by hand huh?
   / Grading with the BCS
  • Thread Starter
Hey PGC,
....Considering the lack of weight and chains, I think it did a fair job for the depth of snow.

Doing a great job I'd say. I think your tires are higher than mine.....I sucked some dirt into my engine a few times going over little ridges. Brrrrrrr....just seeing all that snow makes a California guy cold..

With the weight brackets - did you start with smaller weights on the inside?

I tried, but even my 2.5lb weights were too large in diameter to fit "inside"the rims....but they are those ones with the little hand holds also. I just used what I had from my weight bench, but I can see your point...the silver ones are skinnier.

Heck yes RD - much easier than doing it by hand. Made some good money from that job too!! :D
   / Grading with the BCS #5  
That makes the work even sweeter!

I used to four wheel up by you over the Rubicon and houseboat on Lake Shasta. Beautiful area!
   / Grading with the BCS #6  
Nice work. I've had the dozer/scraper blade for my BCS 852 for awhile, but haven't had the need or chance to use it yet. I think I will soon though. Do you have any tips for grading?

I went looking for weights at Wal-mart and the local sporting goods stores. Besides the fact that the weight cost around a buck a pound, which is more than I want to pay for wheel weights, they were all of the hand-holds type. Which as mentioned makes them thicker than they need to be.

I finally found something that suited me well from a guy on Craigslist. He had tons of weights. And he had some perfect ones for my application, some 77-pounders, that were used for some kind of fitness machine. In the pics I posted you can see I fit 4 5-pounders inside the wheel and the 77-pounder outside of that, for a total of almost 100 pounds per wheel. Since I still have some room left on the hanger, I think I will just add some pvc pipe there to keep the weights from sliding around.

Also, would anybody be concerned about putting this much weight on 2-wheeled tractor (e.g. wear and tear, damage, etc?).

   / Grading with the BCS
  • Thread Starter
...Do you have any tips for grading?

Nice rig man. Gotta love em. I'll be looking for some of those smaller weights to fit inside the rims like that. Thanks for the pics.

My tips would be to most certainly bring your tiller box because if you need to actually re-shape any surface (as opposed to move loose material) the blade just doesn't cut into the earth with much force. You can scrape maybe 1/4" - 1/2" at a time from hard ground (here we have red lava soil that is super hard). Also, using it in the pull position was much more affective than dozing. You'll probably do better than I did with that much weight on the tires, but be ready to do some hard work. Also, larger tires, if possible, will improve ground clearance and help keep debris out of your engine.

Also, would anybody be concerned about putting this much weight on 2-wheeled tractor (e.g. wear and tear, damage, etc?).

Joel from Earthtools is pretty much the authority on these and he says no more than 100 lbs per wheel. I personally worry A LOT about damaging my machine with after factory components but I haven't found any threads where people complain of it having happened.
   / Grading with the BCS
  • Thread Starter
Hey, one more thing....MAKE SURE you check the bolts holding on the tines in the tiller box after doing (well, before also) any hard tilling. There is a reason a new BCS comes with two spare tines and 4 new bolts. I thought I had broken only one bolt but upon inspecting my tiller box yesterday I found that several more were loose, a second one was missing and two more were bent (I guess from taking the whole stress of that tine set with one of the four bolts missing).

Be warned!! :devil: BCS tines come loose.
   / Grading with the BCS #9  
Hey PGC,

BCS uses cheap nylon locking nuts and 8.8 bolts. When I rebuild a tiller, I always use grade 8 in standard or 10.9 in metric and the better quality steel locking nuts. Also, I don't know it if makes a difference, but I use the partially threaded bolts. I can't remember off the top of my head, but it seems to me that BCS uses fully threaded bolts.

They used to have a heavier duty setup where the hubs were bolted with four bolts and the tines were shorter and bolted with two bolts each. Some pencil pusher must have decided it was cheaper to use the same 4 bolts to do both jobs. You can't even buy the short tines from any BCS dealer but Earth Tools. If you buy a tine set for an older BCS, you get new tines and very little explanation on how to install them It makes for a much weaker tine assembly. Very frustrating. It just goes to show that BCS doesn't really care about their tillers - they're a mowing machine company.