Some basic box blade questions

   #1  

jgoodma1

Bronze Member
Joined
May 28, 2008
Messages
64
Location
Raleigh, NC
Tractor
Kubota L4060
I had a Kubota L48 TLB that I recently sold and replaced with a Kubota L4060 tractor with FEL Now that my heavy work around my property is complete, I'll be using the L4060 mainly to carry dirt, stone, and mulch, maintain my 1000' driveway and do some minor grading around my property that once done, will not need to be repeated. I never had the backhoe off the L48.

I also had a little JD 670 with a little 4' grading blade that I used to keep my driveway reasonable, but using that is the only experience I have had with a 3PH, and I'm really pretty much a complete rookie. So now with the new machine, I want to get my driveway in much better shape than it is now. My intention is to buy a box blade and a land plane/grader scraper. I want to be able to crown the driveway properly and rebuild that crown when needed.

The other situation I have is that along about 400' of the driveway, on one side, there is a 2' tall embankment with a sharp vertical cut down to the driveway. At the point where that embankment meets the driveway, there was a ditch cut to channel the water from heavy rains down to a culvert halfway down the driveway that passes under the driveway and carries the water down a wash to the stream that runs around our property. That ditch along the embankment regularly gets filled up with sediment and debris and needs to be cleaned out. Up till now, I have not had an efficient way to clean it out. The blade on the little JD 670 was not long enough to reach beyond the wheels of the little tractor. If it was longer, I might have been able to angle it with the left side of the blade up and the right side of it down, and dig the right, bottom tip of the blade into the existing ditch and clean it out. But that blade would have had to be 6' or 7' long to reach far enough beyond the wheels to reach the ditch when set at a sharp angle to dig out the ditch and the little JD didn't have enough weight or power to handle that.

Here are the questions I have:

1. Could I maintain that ditch along the embankment with a box blade? I watched a youtube video where the operator dug a ditch with a box blade, but it was not next to an embankment. If yes, the L4060 is 66" wide. How much beyond the width of the rear wheels would the box blade need to extend in order to dig out the ditch?

2. If a box blade cannot be used to maintain the ditch, hypothetically, could a regular grading blade ....7' or 8' long that pivots on the center attachment bolt be angled enough with the left side up and right side down to dig out that ditch?

3. How do I knock down long, rolling bumps in the driveway? Would the land plane do that or would I need to use the box blade first to knock them down and then use the land plane to finish grade the driveway? When I tried to knock down those bumps with the little JD and 4' grading blade, it just followed the rolling contour of the bumps and did not knock them down. How do you keep the attachment from following the existing contour and instead, get it to knock down hight spots and fill in the low spots?

4. How do you re-build the crown in a driveway after repeated use has worn what I'd call, tire ruts into the driveway and the center of the driveway has built up from the displacement of the gravel?

Thanks for any help.
 
Last edited:
   #2  

s219

Super Member
Joined
Dec 7, 2011
Messages
8,428
Location
Virginia USA
Tractor
Kubota L3200, Deere X380, Kubota RTV-X
Re #4, normally you'd use a rear blade to scrape material from the shoulder and move it back to the middle (angle the blade to move the material in that direction -- like the opposite of what you'd do to clear snow). Then follow up with a box blade to smooth it if you have a box blade, or turn the rear blade around and smooth that way. It's very simple.

I need to do this to my driveway soon. However, as we're driving on the first "base" ever put down for the driveway when it was created about 9 years ago, some areas need the shoulder scraped and some areas need to be built up from the shoulder. So I will likely bring in material in some spots.
 
   #3  

oosik

Super Star Member
Joined
Aug 22, 2012
Messages
15,992
Location
AMBER, WA
Tractor
2009 Kubota M6040
Regarding #1 - I offset, angle & tilt my rear blade to bring gravel out the driveway ditches and up to the center of the driveway. I do not use my ROBB for this task. The ROBB can not be offset and there are a few places on my driveway where I really don't want to get that close to the edge.

Regarding #2 - My Rhino 950 rear blade is 96" and will offset, angle and tilt. It's my "go to" implement to maintain the driveway ditches - bring gravel up out of the driveway ditches - maintain the driveway crown.

Regarding #3 - I don't worry about the loooong rolling swales in my driveway. They create no problems. In my case I would have to use the ROBB if I wanted to correct this condition. The rolling swales are simply too long - the land plane grading scraper would simply follow them - not correct them. I'd need a 30 to 40 foot long LPGS to correct the swales in my driveway.

Regarding #4 - use either the ROBB or the rear blade to reestablish the driveway crown.

I limit driveway maintenance to early spring or late fall. The driveway is damp - land engagement implements work better in damp soil/gravel - soil/gravel will pack down when damp.

Otherwise - if I start rutting around now - I just create a gigantic dust bowl.

BTW - my driveway is a mile long - gravel.
 
   #4  

dirttoys

Gold Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
257
Location
Ozarks
Tractor
ac 170 bobcat 773 tak 235
I had a Kubota L48 TLB that I recently sold and replaced with a Kubota L4060 tractor with FEL Now that my heavy work around my property is complete, I'll be using the L4060 mainly to carry dirt, stone, and mulch, maintain my 100' driveway and do some minor grading around my property that once done, will not need to be repeated. I never had the backhoe off the L48.

I also had a little JD 670 with a little 4' grading blade that I used to keep my driveway reasonable, but using that is the only experience I have had with a 3PH, and I'm really pretty much a complete rookie. So now with the new machine, I want to get my driveway in much better shape than it is now. My intention is to buy a box blade and a land plane/grader scraper. I want to be able to crown the driveway properly and rebuild that crown when needed.

The other situation I have is that along about 400' of the driveway, on one side, there is a 2' tall embankment with a sharp vertical cut down to the driveway. At the point where that embankment meets the driveway, there was a ditch cut to channel the water from heavy rains down to a culvert halfway down the driveway that passes under the driveway and carries the water down a wash to the stream that runs around our property. That ditch along the embankment regularly gets filled up with sediment and debris and needs to be cleaned out. Up till now, I have not had an efficient way to clean it out. The blade on the little JD 670 was not long enough to reach beyond the wheels of the little tractor. If it was longer, I might have been able to angle it with the left side of the blade up and the right side of it down, and dig the right, bottom tip of the blade into the existing ditch and clean it out. But that blade would have had to be 6' or 7' long to reach far enough beyond the wheels to reach the ditch when set at a sharp angle to dig out the ditch and the little JD didn't have enough weight or power to handle that.

Here are the questions I have:

1. Could I maintain that ditch along the embankment with a box blade? I watched a youtube video where the operator dug a ditch with a box blade, but it was not next to an embankment. If yes, the L4060 is 66" wide. How much beyond the width of the rear wheels would the box blade need to extend in order to dig out the ditch?

2. If a box blade cannot be used to maintain the ditch, hypothetically, could a regular grading blade ....7' or 8' long that pivots on the center attachment bolt be angled enough with the left side up and right side down to dig out that ditch?

3. How do I knock down long, rolling bumps in the driveway? Would the land plane do that or would I need to use the box blade first to knock them down and then use the land plane to finish grade the driveway? When I tried to knock down those bumps with the little JD and 4' grading blade, it just followed the rolling contour of the bumps and did not knock them down. How do you keep the attachment from following the existing contour and instead, get it to knock down hight spots and fill in the low spots?

4. How do you re-build the crown in a driveway after repeated use has worn what I'd call, tire ruts into the driveway and the center of the driveway has built up from the displacement of the gravel?

Thanks for any help.
Half mile long gravel with plenty of challenges.

1. I don't think so. Scraper/grader blade that can offset, or is a foot outside the rear tire when angled 30 degrees. If you can level the cut to a swale you can mow it, and it will improve life. If you only have to goof with it every couple of years, rent an x.
2. LOL see number 1.
3. You will get different opinions, multiple cutting passes with a grader blade, level, but angled has always gotten rid of the rolls for me. Level the blade, angle 30 degrees, make a couple of passes up and back, trailing edge of blade to center of driveway. Angle blade the other way, repeat, always moving material to the center. Then crown/shape to your satisfaction.
4. See 3. The most important thing I have found: You have to get water off the driveway. You should have a crown, and the edge of the drive way has to be higher than the land around it (assuming a ditch on both sides) you may need to add gravel or cut ditches to get to this state. If you only have a ditch on one side, you really don't want a crown, but, a gentle slop all the way across to the ditch.

Best of luck,

ed
 
   #5  

TerryR

Platinum Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
894
Location
Boone, NC
Tractor
JD 870
If you only have a ditch on one side, you really don't want a crown, but, a gentle slop all the way across to the ditch.
Maybe. That's the way mine was initially graded, and I ended up re-grading to a crown even though there is only a ditch on one side.

The issue I found had to do with the slope down the length of the driveway, which on ours averages 14% over it's 1/4 mile length, with some parts significantly steeper. The OP doesn't state whether his drive is sloped. I'm guessing it is since he's against a bank on one side, but that's conjecture.

The problem with a slope to one side on driveway with a steep slope down its length is it's hard to make the side slope steep enough to keep the water from just running down the length of the road, especially as tire ruts begin to form. I had much more success with a crown, so the runoff isn't trying to get across two sets of ruts.

Dumping the water off the side without a ditch could be an issue, but I found that once natural vegetation was established on that side the water just disappeared into it with no issue.
 
   #6  

Smokeydog

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Joined
Jan 20, 2019
Messages
1,557
Location
Knoxville, Tennessee
Tractor
Kubota B26, M59, M5030DT
Use the front bucket at times to clear side ditches from my hillside, wooded driveway. Limbs, leaves and new growth make dams that divert water onto the road. That material I don’t want back on my road.
One cutout collects some gravel I can put back on the road or secondary roads. Most driveway bucket work done with B26. Grading with M59 and LP.

Soil conditions, aggregate and slope varies so much across the country. Finding what works best a challenge. 4.5” rain in 40 minutes last week required no follow up maintenance. Gully washers from small, hot weather super cells are common this time of year causing local flooding.
 
   #7  

bill9068

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Joined
Aug 28, 2019
Messages
89
Location
Evansville Indiana
Tractor
Kioti DK5510, Kubota BX25D, Bobcat S130, Bobcat 742.
You can use a box blade to create a small ditch using a top and tilt kit. I’m no expert but recently installed a top and tilt on my tractor and use my box blade to keep the small side ditches clean on my driveway.
 
  
  • Thread Starter
#8  
OP
J

jgoodma1

Bronze Member
Joined
May 28, 2008
Messages
64
Location
Raleigh, NC
Tractor
Kubota L4060
Maybe. That's the way mine was initially graded, and I ended up re-grading to a crown even though there is only a ditch on one side.

The issue I found had to do with the slope down the length of the driveway, which on ours averages 14% over it's 1/4 mile length, with some parts significantly steeper. The OP doesn't state whether his drive is sloped. I'm guessing it is since he's against a bank on one side, but that's conjecture.

The problem with a slope to one side on driveway with a steep slope down its length is it's hard to make the side slope steep enough to keep the water from just running down the length of the road, especially as tire ruts begin to form. I had much more success with a crown, so the runoff isn't trying to get across two sets of ruts.

Dumping the water off the side without a ditch could be an issue, but I found that once natural vegetation was established on that side the water just disappeared into it with no issue.

Maybe. That's the way mine was initially graded, and I ended up re-grading to a crown even though there is only a ditch on one side.

The issue I found had to do with the slope down the length of the driveway, which on ours averages 14% over it's 1/4 mile length, with some parts significantly steeper. The OP doesn't state whether his drive is sloped. I'm guessing it is since he's against a bank on one side, but that's conjecture.

The problem with a slope to one side on driveway with a steep slope down its length is it's hard to make the side slope steep enough to keep the water from just running down the length of the road, especially as tire ruts begin to form. I had much more success with a crown, so the runoff isn't trying to get across two sets of ruts.

Dumping the water off the side without a ditch could be an issue, but I found that once natural vegetation was established on that side the water just disappeared into it with no issue.
TerryR, you actually have described exactly what my driveway is like. It is indeed sloped where I'm dealing with the bank, but it is not as steep as yours. But in heavy rain, the water runs down the length of the driveway. On the side of the driveway opposite the bank, the ground slopes off to a drainage and that area between the driveway and the drainage is approximately 40-50 feet wide. It's a grove of large pine trees and the ground is covered in pine straw several inches deep, so it is ideal for absorbing the runoff. The guy from whom I buy crusher run said I should have him tailgate 57 stone on top of the crusher run. He said it will slow down the flow of water running down the drive, but after watching that area in heavy rain, I have serious doubts about that. And if I'm running over it to maintain it with a land plane with scarifiers, it just seems that the 57 stone will quickly disappear into the churned-up crusher run and serve no purpose.....but maybe I'm wrong about that.

There is a 60-degree bend in the driveway about halfway down, and that place, in particular, accumulates sediment and causes a flooded area across half the driveway that takes a day or two to subside after a heavy rain. As I said my drive is not nearly as steep as yours and I could indeed slope it to one side away from the bank and water would run at about a 45 degree angle off down the driveway into the pine straw, and I know this because there are a couple of places in the driveway where erosion has created a side-ways slope and I've seen the water run off in those spots. So maybe that's what I should do......have a couple of 20-ton truckloads of crusher run brought in and build up the bank-side of the driveway so water sheds off to the opposite side. This also seems like it would be an easier configuration for a rookie like me to maintain. I also wondered about having a ditch on the bank-side and a crown in the middle, and what I would do with the material that would be scraped out of the ditch and deposited in the middle of the gravel driveway if I was using a blade. If I have muddy muck in the middle of the driveway, do I need to come along with the FEL bucket and scoop it up to get rid of it, along the 400' length of this part of the driveway so I don't contaminate the gravel with organic material and mud? If the sideways-high-point of the drive was against the bank, I'm thinking there would be no accumulation of organic material and mud and I'd just have periodic maintenance of the sideways slope to hit with a blade to keep the water shedding off to the low side.
 
   #9  

TerryR

Platinum Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2009
Messages
894
Location
Boone, NC
Tractor
JD 870
You may get by with sloping to one side if its not too steep. The lower part of my drive is less steep, and I can't drain to both sides, and it works reasonably well, though does sometimes wash down the tire tracks. There's views of my whole drive in my post at Grading an "Interesting" Driveway
 

dirttoys

Gold Member
Joined
Feb 20, 2021
Messages
257
Location
Ozarks
Tractor
ac 170 bobcat 773 tak 235
Maybe. That's the way mine was initially graded, and I ended up re-grading to a crown even though there is only a ditch on one side.

The issue I found had to do with the slope down the length of the driveway, which on ours averages 14% over it's 1/4 mile length, with some parts significantly steeper. The OP doesn't state whether his drive is sloped. I'm guessing it is since he's against a bank on one side, but that's conjecture.

The problem with a slope to one side on driveway with a steep slope down its length is it's hard to make the side slope steep enough to keep the water from just running down the length of the road, especially as tire ruts begin to form. I had much more success with a crown, so the runoff isn't trying to get across two sets of ruts.

Dumping the water off the side without a ditch could be an issue, but I found that once natural vegetation was established on that side the water just disappeared into it with no issue.
LOL, all clay here, water never disappears till it hits the lake. You are correct if the down slope exceeds a comfy side slope you can get water running down a wheel track. I have an old driveway with this issue, I put in dips across the driveway that work ok, I think someone called them water boards, but can't remember for sure.

Best,

ed
 
 
 
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