Land Plane and Drag Mat

   / Land Plane and Drag Mat #1  


Elite Member
Jan 13, 2011
SW Michigan
John Deere 2320
Had some time on my hands this winter and a lot of junk laying around so I decided to try building some cheap landscaping tools. I wanted things I could lift and carry on the 3 point quick hitch. I made the usual number of mistakes so here is my experience.

Some time ago I tore out an old satellite dish so I had 8 large aluminum ribs. I used 4 of them to make lift arms. I made a quick hitch attachment from angle iron and black iron pipe. I fabricated a simple land plane from angles and included a frame for concrete block weights. The only out of pocket expenses here were the lift chains, the concrete blocks and some bolts.

   / Land Plane and Drag Mat #2  
Interesting design. I really like the ability to be able to lift it up if you get sticks caught under it. That's the biggest flaw to the one I built.
   / Land Plane and Drag Mat
  • Thread Starter
Starting to use this rig, a couple of problems became immediately apparent. The front attachment on the lift arms is too high, pulling the front of the plane up. I initially solved this by moving the weights to the front and strapping them down. This more or less worked, but the pulling force, with the lever action of pulling the lift arms down, was too much for the pipe in the top hook attachment and it bent severely.

I am going to rebuild the 3 point frame (the green part) to stiffen it up and to provide extended lower angles. I will rig the chains as they are now for transport but refasten them to a new lower attachment point on the 3 point frame for actual pulling. This should cut down on the front lift of the plane and reduce the top hook force. The good news in all this is that the top pipe bent and none of the welds broke. I'm not the worlds greatest welder but everything held together. I was also a little worried about the plane itself because the angles were just what I had and I would have rather had larger ones, but they seem to work fine.

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   / Land Plane and Drag Mat
  • Thread Starter
Finally, since I went this far and had some leftover chain link fence, I built a drag mat. I had an old piece of heavy pipe and a piece of rectangular tube steel to use as front and rear weights. This worked OK also but had the some of the same problem of front lift. I will probably change the attachment for this also. I'm not sure if there will be compromise position that will allow the implements to be lifted and to pull low, but I think by moving the front attachment to the 3 point frame I can do this.

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   / Land Plane and Drag Mat #5  
Pretty neat high tech, multi function looking bit of kit. Once you get the mount rigid enough, you'll probably find more "neccessary" accessory attachments to build for more productivity around the property. For instance, a set of harrows to hang on the arms.
   / Land Plane and Drag Mat #6  
Honestly The bucket and gannon aka box scraper are the best tools for this job.
Personally I would not waste time finish grading each bucket load. If you can load a bucket and pull a scraper load at the same time down the hill to improve productivity.
Unload both while moving and back drag the bucket when backing out to go get another load. Smooth everything out at the end of the day. A landplane will not move dirt highs to lows in the volume you need. This is an opportunity to get good at the basic skiploader skills. Lots of you tube vids on this too
   / Land Plane and Drag Mat #7  
Drag a heavy old tractor tire
   / Land Plane and Drag Mat #8  
It's hard to beat the satisfaction of completing a job with tools Macgyver'ed up from stuff sitting around the homestead.