How to blade gravel without 3-point float?

   / How to blade gravel without 3-point float? #1  

NewRodeo

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Aug 30, 2021
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Tractor
Massey Ferguson GC 1723E
I just bought the MF 1723E with loader, blade, box-blade. I bought it with the expressed intention of grading my gravel driveway. However, it seems the 3-point hitch does not float. Now every bump and pothole has been multiplied several times. The driveway is far worse than before; one bump becomes several bumps and gouges. The 3-point height is so touchy that it drops or jumps with the 3-point speed turned full turtle. I have tried going backwards too.
What am I doing wrong?

I grew up on fullsized tractors and have years of experience pulling a blade with a JD 4010.
 

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   / How to blade gravel without 3-point float? #2  
Blade is turned to 45* angle when driving forward? Angle top link to not cut so deep if possible. Grade it in the opposite direction forward with blade at 45* in other direction too. Then tilt bucket slightly down and back drag to fill in divots. Don't drop back blade fully down and make more passes. Grade during or right after rain so it cuts more evenly and skips less.
 
   / How to blade gravel without 3-point float? #3  
Lower the scarifiers so only they run in the driveway, break up the upper crust of the gravel. Do not turn with them in the stone. After the top layer is loosened up, raise the scarifiers back up, adjust the angle of the box blade so the side plates are parallel to the ground when lowered. Too aggressive an angle, the box blade will dig in stopping the tractor. Not angled enough it will just slide along the top of the stone.
Fill the bucket with gravel, and place in 4WD, it stops the rocking horse motion. Drive slowly as the box blade fills with gravel. You want to power through it, not use speed like a running start. If you hit a snag, it will stop and not damage anything. Going too fast usually ends up bending something. The box blade of a SCUT does not have enough weight to cut into very dry gravel. Best to do after a rain, easier to see the low spots, and decreases dust. The longer a section, the better the finish, for short bits, back dragging with the bucket works better.
Remember, the tractor has more torque, the less you push the pedal. Do not be afraid to use WOT if you have to, they are built to do it.
 
   / How to blade gravel without 3-point float? #4  
Scarify it with the box blade and level it with the loader if your 3pt isnt working for you. I find it's easier to place gravel where I want it with the loader and curl the bucket then back drag with the bucket to roughly place the stone then smooth it all out with a box blade that the front is up.
 
   / How to blade gravel without 3-point float? #6  
Boxblading is definitely a learned skill and the short wheelbase of a tractor makes it more difficult. You have to learn how to adjust your toplink and feather your 3 pt up & down. A hydraulic toplink is essential to me to get the job done, you'd have to get on/off the tractor many times to adjust the toplink to get the results you want. The suggestions to box at 45 degree angles will also help some but on a narrow driveway it would be difficult.
 
   / How to blade gravel without 3-point float? #7  
Hi have never heard of a 3 point without float. They all float. They have no down force other than the weight of the implement - definifion of float. You are dropping the lever all the way?
 
   / How to blade gravel without 3-point float? #8  
A lot of good advice here, but are you using the box blade or the scrape blade because they are used a little differently. I use the scrape blade to clean out my ditches first and then with blade angled toward the right rear wheel I drag the drive down to the end and back up the other side back to the beginning. After that I turn my scrape blade around so it is dragging backwards and go right down the middle. If the ditches don't need cleaning or reshaping just skip that part.
 
   / How to blade gravel without 3-point float? #9  
Does the 3pt hitch speed adjustment affect the float too? It might be closed off so much that its blocking movement up and down. Just a thought.

Some pretty good washboard I see on the driveway. The responses above are good, I'd check the level of the box blade when lowered. You may be trying to cut to aggressively and the box is bouncing.
 
 
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