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EricD

Grading yard advice

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EricD
Hi, I have some low spots in my yard that need to be filled. Seems like part of my lawn has sunk over the last few years. Anyway, I have a line on a rear mount three point grader blade (sears brand). My question is how are they used so you get a level effect rather than the blade following the contour of the land or the position of the rear wheels? Should I just use the fel and backdrag the new loam and not waste time with the grader blade? Thanks in advance.

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Guest
Eric, I've been grading a gravel driveway and I've changed one area of my land with a dozer blade. I expect to need to do this up in VT in the next few weeks, only waiting for mud season to end. I am only going to guess how effective I'm going to be. Right now I'm planning on using a mold plow and then the disc harrow instead of a rototiller because I am told that my land has a lot of ledge and I'll break my tiller in Vermont. My guess is that I'll need to dozer blade loose dirt into the low areas and then use the weight of the wheels and a grader blade to level out this out. My experience with gravel with the grader blade is that it works great and is much better at leveling verses the dozer blade. I also saw that it took a lot of passes. 2cents worth. (Haven't fully tried it!)

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Chris727
You'll have to do a lot of lifting to get things graded out with a blade. And since its a rear one you'll have to look behind you, kind of a pain. Its still a neat attachment to have if you're into sears stuff. I used my 46"HD front blade on my b110 to do some grading last week. It worked well but man was my arm tired and my hand almost blistered from handling the rubber grip on the lift lever for several hours of work, I assume its much easier if you have a hydrolift.

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Chris727, there is nothing like the whine of a hydrolift. When I got my HB112, I got it with a hydrolift and solid lift bar; it's unreal. As I pound brush, dirt, snow with this machine and ride up onto mounds you can hear the whine of the hydro as the machine lifts off the ground. Now I have a working sister machine to this, the 3112H with Hydrolift and that has a spring loaded lift bar... that acts similar but doesn't do exactly the same thing. It's all about the idiosyncrocies of these tractors too, like my throttle will ease down to idle as I am trucking around. A key thing is weight, I've got double weights on the HB112 and it seems unstopable in the dozing. Now I started with and got really use to a 3012 with a manual lift... ouch, you are reminding me of the times I cleared a low lying weed area and my first year of plowing. Again nothing like a hydrolift. Note, the benefits of the manual lift are that you can control the blade down pressure and I didn't move as much gravel out of my driveway the year before. That's why I am going to think about adding a right hand lift to one of my hydro machines.
quote:
Originally posted by Chris727 I assume its much easier if you have a hydrolift.

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comet66
The general problem with front or rear blades for grading, is that the blade tends to follow the dips and rises in the terrain. As the nearest axle falls into a dip, or rides over a high spot, the action of the blade is acentuated, because it sticks out even further than the axle does. You have to stay on top of it raising and lowering the blade with each change in grade. With a belly blade all you really need to do is drop it and drive around. It will scrape off the high spots, and deposit the material into the low spots. I don't care how skilled you are, if you drive around long enough it will be level.

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arnoldir
Hey EricD, I've found that pulling a blade works best. Either a belly or back blade. I use a model V walkbehind with a "Dutch Blade" on a Brinley hitch and can do a 60x20 gravel driveway "comb over" in about 20 minutes and have it very smooth. I've also gotten good results with a front blade by keeping it angled and backing the tractor up with the blade down. You could add weights over the edge of the blade. One possibility I've yet to try would be to use the existing front blade hitch, and run a Dutch blade backwards so it cut when backing up. Might be ideal for getting those pesky corners I can't get into.

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Salthart
As with most things, there are 2 sides to this. I had to fill an area about 80 feet long and around 15 feet wide that went from around 6 inches deep to about 8 feet.. This was a LOT of fill.. I forget how many Tri-axle dump truck loads it was but I leveled it all with a B-10 and manual lift with 150 lbs of wheel weights on a rear blade. You can imagine how steep some of the dirt piles were and getting to the top was in some ways the hardest part. As soon as the front would drop, I would drop the blade and pull dirt off till near the bottom of the next dip and then I'd lift and repete over the next one. After a while there were no sharp points or deep valleys but the dirt was packing and I went to 100 lbs on the blade. You get a feel for any shift in the tractor and learn that if the front goes up, the blade goes deeper and if the front goes down, the blade comes up. Soon your floating the blade right along and in my case, wishing the lift lock worked backwards IE press to lock. I'm sure some of these guys with Hydro or electric lifts got to the point they could feel just as well as I could but from what I have seen and done, it would have taken a good deal longer. I can also see where the center blade would not be as bad about changing with tractor shift but I could never have gotten this job done with one of them because of the lift/drop limit along with not being able to reverse the blade and back fill.. It was hard work, but I loved every minute of it..

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BigSix
That box blade looks like it works as good as it looks, which is very professional! I am going to post a question in Shop Talk about what wirefed weldor to buy. I see a very pretty Miller in Jlasater's pics, and I would welcome feedback from any of the "hot sticks" here on my impending birthday purchase. Thanks, Peter

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D-17_Dave
Experiance is the best advise I can give you on gradeing. No matter whitch you get for your tractor, pick an out of the way spot to practice on and get the feel of your eqiupment, your abillity and your soil/gravel/whatever. And just have fun.

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farmerik
Eric- If you have a FEL already, just use it to drop the right amount of top soil in the low spots, and roughly level it by back blading. If you are the Eric from Palmer who has been down here to my farm in Union, I'd be glad to let you borrow a disk harrow. Set one shallow, and you can smooth out your lawn pretty well. It would be better to do this before the lawn grows much.- FARMERIK in CT.

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