Rollover vs Conventional Box Scraper?: Tractor Implements  -- Tractor Attachments Implements 3ph Discussion Forum and Review Rollover vs Conventional Box Scraper?: Tractor Implements -- Tractor Attachments Implements 3ph Discussion Forum

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 02-16-2001, 14:01 Post: 24282
JeffM



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 Rollover vs Conventional Box Scraper?

I plan to buy a box scraper this spring and trying to decide if I want to get a rollover box scraper or a conventional one. I'd appreciate any and all opinions on the merits of both types, especially from folks who have used them both. My tractor is a 35 hp JD4400 with turfs and a loader. My soil is well-drained, but has a significant clay base and is embedded with glacial till, that is, rocks varying from pea gravel to boulders the size of major appliances. Over time I want to grade and landscape about 4 acres of the old fields/pastures around the house we recently built for a "lawn" and open meadow. I also want to excavate for and finish grade a crushed-stone driveway and parking area. My plan is to get a fairly heavy-duty unit just wider than my tractor tires (65 or 66"Wink yeah right. I expect that I would make use of the scarifiers quite a bit, especially with the rocky soil. Should I get a wider box like 72"? How big and heavy a box can my tractor handle? There are some box blades with hydraulic scarifier retraction, but they are ~1000 lbs and are indicated for 40-65 hp tractors. The rollover boxes look interesting to me, but I don't even know how expensive they are yet. Lend me your thoughts and opinions please.






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 02-17-2001, 06:14 Post: 24301
TomG

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 Rollover vs Conventional Box Scraper?

I use a 6' plain old box on a 24-hp tractor with turf tires. The soil is very sandy. The combination does give me traction, rather than power, problems when ripping sod or dragging a full box on loose gravel. The traction problems are manageable by taking smaller bites. A 5' box would be the conventional choice for my tractor, but the extra length is useful when cutting side-grades. A 6' box should be fine for your tractor. With clay soil, I'd get as heavy a box as possible. Roll-over and hydraulic scarifier features add a lot the price of a box. I think of these features mostly as time savers. They may be desirable on a box in commercial use, but for a homeowner, the landscaping eventually is done. A full-featured box can become an expensive implement that mostly sits around and is used to maintain a few drives a year. Fancy box features take a rear hydraulic outlet(s). I try to save my hydraulics for uses where I need to make small adjustments frequently, and especially adjustments on the fly. For homeowner use, I think hydraulic top and side-links (especially top-link) are a much better use of rear hydraulics than scarifiers and roll-overs. Another choice that could be made is between fixed and hinged rear cutter type boxes. I've only used a fixed rear cutter type, and that's what I'm happy with, but I understand that a hinged type has some advantages. I believe that a fixed rear cutter can sometimes interfere with the front cutter's action. A hinged cutter also is supposed to spread material in the box better than a fixed type. However, I use my box for compacting gravel by tilting it down so it rides on the back of the rear cutter. I don't think I could do that with a hinged cutter. A final choice might be between a fancy box, or a plain box plus a landscape rake. A landscape rake will do a much better job preparing land for planting lawn than any box.






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 02-17-2001, 10:26 Post: 24307
Roger L.



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 Rollover vs Conventional Box Scraper?

I've never used the rollovers, but even so I'm going to go out on a limb and say that Tom has it right: A hydraulic top and side link (particularly top)would be more useful. In fact, they would are useful for a variety of tools. If you ever have to turn around in tight quarters on sloping ground you will appreciate the hydraulic top link.
As for the hinged rear blade, I have one and don't find it to be any great use. It does fold up when you don't want it in the way, so it isn't any detriment. I guess it could help when pushing sand backwards...but usually when I'm going backwards I'm pushing something big or smoothing - not pushing sand.
Hmmm...I'll go a step farther on this landscaping thing. Of all the jobs that I thought that I would do with the box, I've ended up doing them with the loader instead. The box is mainly handy as a counterweight for the loader, as a portable workbench, and sometimes in reverse I use the box to push something heavy like a landscape rock into position. Everything else I thought I'd do with the box is done with the loader. In fact, I'm sitting here trying to think if there is anything that the box will do better than the loader? Even scarifying... With my tooth bar ($250) the loader bucket will out-scarify the best box. The bucket can move more material from place to place in a shorter time - and without dragging it around in the process. For smoothing, the bucket used in reverse is so much better than it isn't even a contest.







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 02-17-2001, 11:28 Post: 24311
JeffM



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 Rollover vs Conventional Box Scraper?

Tom and Roger, great insights! That's why I love this board so much. I had already decided to get a hydraulic top link, so I wasn't considering the hydraulic scarifier control very seriously. I find Roger's comments very interesting because I already have a toothbar on a heavy-duty loader bucket. Having never used a box blade I assumed it would be a much better tool for the tasks I am looking at. I respect Roger's opinions a great deal - does anybody out there agree or disagree enough to comment?






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 02-17-2001, 12:10 Post: 24313
Roger L.



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 Rollover vs Conventional Box Scraper?

Thanks Jeff. I'll beat the rush and disagree with myself a little bit... I scarify with the bucket teeth because my land is narrow and twisty with lots of rocks. If you have a large areas to rip with compacted soil or clay with only medium stones, then you want some sort of towed implement. Like always, it depends on your land and soil as much as on the tractor.
I'm not arguing against the box scraper. It would be hard to do so anyway, since I've already confessed that I have one living on my 3pt! But my opinion is that the box scraper is an implement where you can get a lot of the use out of an inexpensive one.






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 02-18-2001, 05:51 Post: 24329
TomG

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 Rollover vs Conventional Box Scraper?

Experiences are different, and as always, there are many ways to get the same thing done. For myself, I never had much luck grading with a loader, but then I was new to tractors when I was trying it. Going forward, I ended up gouging out as many dips as I was curing while trying to cut in position control. In float, the light bucket would ride up over most things I wanted to cut or would just dig in. I don't think I ever got the hang of controlling the cutting action with the curl. I'm probably a little better with the bucket now, and of course, I did find that spreading and cutting by back-dragging the bucket works pretty well. By the same token, I didn't find the box very useful until I got the hydraulic top-link. I spent most of my time hopping on and off the tractor to adjust the manual top-link. It took me a little time, but now I control the box's action almost entirely with the top-link. I may limit the 3ph float sometimes to ride over a serious dip, or lift the box to cut a serious bump, but not very often. Most times, using the top-link to control the box works OK. To me, the main advantage of a box is the ability to go from cut, to drag, to spread on the fly with just a few top-link adjustments. I never figured out how to do that with a loader without making several passes. I do use the loader to carry material, rather than drag it very far. I also back-drag the bucket sometimes for spreading (float) or compacting (down-pressure) gravel. I also use the box for these things. Sometimes one seems better and sometimes the other. There is something of an art to doing these things, and everybody develops their own style. For me, I'm just happy to have two tools that can move earth on the tractor at the same time so I can be artsy and pick and choose. Of course, if I had Rogerís fancy back-blade, Iíd be even happier. I could cut crowns on drives without using my manual side-leveler.






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 02-19-2001, 10:09 Post: 24365
Murf

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 Rollover vs Conventional Box Scraper?

I think the logic here should be divided in two. First, 'Do I need it?', easy question, it's something for your tractor you don't have, of course you NEED it. Second, the old saying comes to mind, 'In for a penny, in for a pound.' I have often preached this, if you're going to buy (or build, or fix) something, do it right the FIRST time. In my line of work (building and maintaining golf courses) box-blades are about as essential as rain and sunshine. The only place a roll-over blade really shines is in time savings, for the average user the benefits are lost. If you are experienced with a box-blade (jump in here Roger) you will know that there is a big difference in the performance of the blade in forwards and reverse. The roll-over feature allows you to cut in 'forwards' regardless of which direction the tractor is pointing, in our business that means that you can cut on EVERY pass WITHOUT turning the tractor around (ie, limited wasted time and driving over areas not being worked on just to turn around). As an aside, I personally feel that the upper link of EVERY 3pth should be hydraulic, but then I'd put a cylinder on 'her' if I thought it would adjust the attitude some days, but I digress. INMHO, the average user does not NEED a roll-over. So that said buy the very best one you can afford that suits your needs. Best of luck.






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 02-19-2001, 16:31 Post: 24384
SteveT



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 Rollover vs Conventional Box Scraper?

I'm working a deal for a new TC35D with a 72" Landpride fixed blade box scraper and saw your post about mainly using your hydralic top link for control. This sounds like something I should work into the deal. What exactly do I need to have installed on the stock tractor/box?






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 02-19-2001, 16:35 Post: 24385
Murf

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 Rollover vs Conventional Box Scraper?

You don't need anything but a 2 way valve, remote outlets and a cylinder in place of the upper link. You use the cylinder to telescope instead of getting on & off to adjust conventional upper link to adjust the 'bite' of the blade. Best of luck.






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 02-19-2001, 17:16 Post: 24386
JeffM



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 Rollover vs Conventional Box Scraper?

Murf, Tom, and Roger - thanks for all your insights and help. I am now leaning toward the suggested simple box and a landscape rake. I did get to snoop around this weekend and nearly passed out at the prices of the higher-end boxes and rollover boxes. Are gauge wheels that useful on a rake in my application?






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Discussion Boards > Active Subjects > Messages as Posted > Tractor Implements Forum

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Bird Senter 1 | Dave M 1 | JeffM 8 | Karl Fletcher 2 | Murf 2 | Rick Cosman 1 | Roger L. 5 | SteveT 4 | TomG 6 |




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