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Anyone used a Grouser-brand belly blade

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-11-08          148000


Has anyone used one of these belly blades made by Grouser?
Looks pretty slick. Have to wonder how it works though.

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Anyone used a Grouser-brand belly blade

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7154 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-11-08          148001


I've never used one of those, but I have used something similar, they are better than a 3pth mounted blade, but not as god as a trailing or towed blade.

The whole concept of a road grader is that the long wheelbase and the bridge effect takes out most of the undulations of bumps in the ground, a walking rear suspension goes a long way to helping also. Putting a blade like that on such a short wheelbase doesn't make much sense to me.

From what I know of the price of them I could buy lots of alternatives (that would work on any tractor) and have plenty of change left over.

One of the gadgets I'm working on at the moment is a converter which will allow anyone with a BB to use it as a tow-behind grader, complete with side to side pitch control, and the possibility of laser grade controls too.

Best of luck. ....

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Anyone used a Grouser-brand belly blade

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
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2007-11-08          148002


Funny you mention laser controls...are you developing it from the ground up? I've been thinking of a system I could easily adapt to my bobcat compatible with my DeWalt 2-diode laser. I have no clue where to start, and never had experience with one.

The towable box blade--like that. How about a design "wrinkle" that would be a cross between a towable design and a standard 3pt type: a pivoting 3pt adapter that would articulate like a front end loader does in the vertical axis. This would allow the box blade, disk, plow brushcutter to follow like a trailer. Haven't experimented with it but in my mind I can see it working.
Thoughts anyone? ....

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Anyone used a Grouser-brand belly blade

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7154 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-11-09          148028


EW, we certainly seem to be one the same page!! ;)

The system I am developing mounts to the standard 3pth to form a tongue by which to drag it as well as level fore & aft. There is also a rear portion which both forms gauge wheels and gives the ability to level the BB side to side.

I've never used the DeWalt system, but it doesn't matter, it's just a matter of having the electric output from the system activate 12volt valves.

My system would also allow you to run a 3pth BB on the front or rear of a SSL, again using the spacer to gain length and form the bridge effect, as well as giving you gauge wheels. As long as you didn't turn sharp corners, or were running an ASV track type of SSL forward facing /front mounted would work just fine.

Everything is Murphy Built from the ground up but will accept any 'standard' 3pth implement.

Best of luck. ....

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Anyone used a Grouser-brand belly blade

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-11-10          148088


The laser is the type used for general grading and construction---nothing special. The electronic reciever is the same DeWalt item---all it does is beeps and shows an LCD up/down/level arrow when the laser beam hits it. Has no outputs whatsoever. Any ideas?

Did I understand you right that you are mounting a BB on the back of SSL? I mounted one on the front and it worked great! I have pictures of compacted clay I was removing from our gravel road that looks like ribbon candy shooting out the top of the box as I could get really good traction and speed with the SSL. And that a fairly small machine I had at the time. ....

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Anyone used a Grouser-brand belly blade

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 5111 Northern Nevada
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2007-11-11          148097


Hmmmm...... something like this?

Pix #8 ....


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Anyone used a Grouser-brand belly blade

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7154 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-11-12          148131


EW, yes, the system would allow the unit to be used in front or behind a SSL. The laser system receiver would require an external output of some form, or else a LED output and some optical sensors, LCD doesn't emit any light, so it won't work. It would be possible however to make a sensor which detected the beeping, but it would likely be easier to just have separate receiver which would work with any laser, they are standard over the counter items these days.

Mark, very close indeed, but yours looks like it requires the BB to be customized a bit to take the rear wheels. My system will use a standard BB, RB or even rake.

Best of luck. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Anyone used a Grouser-brand belly blade

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 5111 Northern Nevada
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2007-11-12          148139


That's because you be the engineer and I be just a garage jury-rigger.

I couldn't quite make it level itself laterally and had to use the the 3 point hitch to maintain level in the longitudinal axis.

That said, I will be VERY interested in what you come up with. ....

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Anyone used a Grouser-brand belly blade

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
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2007-11-12          148141


Ah, but even as a garage jury-rigger, you made it work!!

My idea doesn't use the 3pth to pull from, only as a power source / control for certain functions, but rather it's pulled by the swinging drawbar which is a bit safer place to pull a load like this from.

In my concept the 3pth raises and lowers the blade by pulling a cable, hydraulic remotes will either tilt blade fore / aft, or side to side, or both if you have dual remotes. If you have no remotes then it can only be adjusted up & down.

The aim is to make it simple enough that it will neither be complicated nor expensive to make, nor hard to use for average reasonably competent operator, i.e. the weekend warrior type.

Best of luck. ....

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Anyone used a Grouser-brand belly blade

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-11-12          148143


Going back to the road (motor)grader idea having spread out axles and walking-beam which cuts in half any up and down motion at the rear wheels, Rankin would it have been better to have mounted the BB 1/3 to 1/2 back the length of the trailer hitch beam/tube? Or is there a reason that you mounted is so far back? ....

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Anyone used a Grouser-brand belly blade

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7154 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-11-12          148147


Just from a technical point of view, the higher the ratio between the length of tongue and the length of the wheelbase, the less influenced the blade will be by bumps in the area being graded.

Bear in mind, the wheels behind the blade should be riding on already smoothed out ground, so only the tractor will be affected by bumps.

The blade only works where it is positioned on a road grader because the walking axles behind it mean that the bumps get 'averaged out' by the geometry of the rear suspension.

Best of luck. ....

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Anyone used a Grouser-brand belly blade

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 5111 Northern Nevada
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2007-11-12          148148


Yup.... there is a reason. I built it so that it had a passive depth adjustment and an active depth adjustment.

The adjustable top link on top of the BB set the passive cut depth. In other words it was a safeguard that prevented the BB from cutting too deep and gouging.

The active depth was controlled by the three point hitch. I found I had much better "fine" adjustment when using the 3 point hitch with the longer length of pull.

In other words the BB reacted less and slower to control inputs (and road oscillations) and therefore made for a smoother driveway.

If I had moved the BB closer to the tractor and left the wheels at the same position it would have dumped more of the load every time I hit a bump or a rock. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Anyone used a Grouser-brand belly blade

View my Photos
DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 5111 Northern Nevada
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2007-11-12          148149


One more pix to show the passive ajustment.... #10 ....


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Anyone used a Grouser-brand belly blade

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 5111 Northern Nevada
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2007-11-12          148150


Murf said it better with half the words......... ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Anyone used a Grouser-brand belly blade

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7154 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-11-12          148151


"Murf said it better with half the words......... "

Wow, there really IS a first for everything!! ;) ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Anyone used a Grouser-brand belly blade

View my Photos
earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-11-12          148152


Yeah I know all that; I have a grader. :)

Rankin, nice work! Taking everthing Murf and the little you added :) I'm curious...

SO in the spirit of engineering (and perhaps---just perhaps--- enlightening me) do you guys mind if we split hairs? :)

And if I'm wrong to any degree--edumacate me. I'd like to see some mathematical evidence or comparisons if possible to see where my theory lies.

Rankin's setup is somewhat different than a grader. A grader has an averaging effect between the front and rear wheel set; when the front lifts, the blade is raised in porportion to the distance between the front and rear pivot points. However, when the rear wheel set hits the same bump the front just did then that amount is, for example, cut in half by the walking beam, then that amount is porportionally divided front to back and raises the blade slightly less.

(Before you read further, think "draft control" and the principle behind it)

Now with the tractor, the fact the hitch is connected to the draw bar adds another factor that a grader does not or that the theory was missing: when the front wheels go up on the tractor, that lowers the draw bar; and when the rear wheels go over the same bump the effect is magnified and the draw bar is raised further than the height of the bump. Yes?
So what is the effect on Rankin's idea in practice?

This is why I was suggesting the BB brought closer to the CUT to lessen the effect of the drawbar.

So going back to "draft control", would Rankin's idea have better control (or maybe even require LESS control) if it were mounted to the 3pt hitch like an overextended BB mount and take advantage of draft control? To my mind this would better control the effcts of the front and rear of the tractor negating undulations.

Thoughts? ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Anyone used a Grouser-brand belly blade

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7154 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-11-12          148153


Jeff, not that it's quite 'splitting hairs' but maybe clarification;

"However, when the rear wheel set hits the same bump the front just did then that amount is, for example, cut in half by the walking beam, then that amount is porportionally divided front to back and raises the blade slightly less."

No not quite, in theory, the bump at the rear wheels would have almost no effect on the blade unless, the bump was so big that both wheels (on the same side) were up on it at the same time, or it was more of a change in elevation.

As you should be aware, the concept of a 'walking beam' suspension is that the weight stands on the pivot between the two axles, like a tandem trailer, so if one wheel drops 6" the other moves 0" so the pivot only moves 3".

As for drawbar question, yes, to a point. The drawbar is very short compared to the 3pth, so movement will be reduced as much as possible, and the length ratio between front and rear axles and the length of the drawbar is very slight. You would need to put the front wheels a long way up before you moved the drawbar a noticeable amount.

"So what is the effect on Rankin's idea in practice?" If he's got a quick draw, slim to none, by mounting on the 3pth he has the ability to raise/lower the 3pth to make up for changes in the tractor/hitch.

As for the idea of 'draft control', the length of the arms involved would make a very fine adjustment on the 3pth result in a big movement of the arm ends. According to Pythagoras, if you triple the length of the 3pth arm, the amount of vertical travel resulting from a 1 rise in the arm will be triple what it was originally too.

Aside from the logistics of trying to make something that complicated work the way you want it to, it would also reduce the lift capacity of the 3pth dramatically too.

If you want to reduce the amount of travel in the hitch caused by undulations you could have the hitch on a towed dolly or jeep to further reduce it, but that would make reversing a real PITA.

Our land planes work this way. A long arch with wheels at the back is pulled by the drawbar, in the center of it is a hitch by which the plane is pulled. The rear of the plane has no wheels though, it sits on another hitch which is in the center of a 4 wheeled dolly. Between the dollys front and back, and the length of the bridge beam frame of the plane itself any undulations are reduced down to the point of nearly having no effect at all.

Best of luck. ....

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Anyone used a Grouser-brand belly blade

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-11-12          148154


"I see"...

said the blind man to his deaf wife and they both fell in the ditch. :)

That's why going to a laser control system would be a boon to this type of application.

Revisiting my laser system, you summarily said the lighted system (with or as outputs?) are pretty common. What does a system with outputs cost? And is that all ther is to laser control system---just a 12v signal to a solenoid? ....

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Anyone used a Grouser-brand belly blade

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
Posts: 5111 Northern Nevada
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2007-11-12          148158


I probably didn't mention that my contraption is towed from a ball hitch on the 3 point hitch.

If you really want to cancel out osculations with my system you could suspend a ball hitch from the center of the tractor.

....

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
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2007-11-13          148168


Any plans to replace the manual toplink at the BB with a cylinder? Might be easier when transporting. When you make a turn does it tend to want to straighten out the CUT? ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
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2007-11-13          148169


The theory of all tbis goes back to the land levelers they use, (or did use) in the ditch irrigation country to get an exact level surface. Those things used a wheel base that was really streched out and they used them long before a laser was around. A question for those of you in that part of the country. Do they still use the long wheel base land levelers or has the laser made them obsolete? Frank. ....

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kthompson
Join Date: Oct 2005
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2007-11-13          148170


So you have a very good set up for leaving a very level and smooth road way. How do you handle the material that needs to be moved back to the road bed? How do you handle making a raised bed? Of course if we don't get any more rain in the next few years than this one a raised bed is of little need. kt ....

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Anyone used a Grouser-brand belly blade

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DRankin
Join Date: Jan 2000
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2007-11-13          148183


EW.... it handled very well. No quirks. It would have been fairly easy to move the hydraulic top link over to it.

But I have moved on..... after the driveway got built there wasn't much use for it. I disassembled it and sold off the BB. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Anyone used a Grouser-brand belly blade

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7154 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-11-13          148189


Jeff, you misunderstood me, I said "....but it would likely be easier to just have separate receiver which would work with any laser, they are standard over the counter items these days."

The laser control systems you see on heavy equipment like dozers, scrapers and graders uses a receiver like what your Dewalt came with, except for two big differences. First the sensor covers a much wider 'sweet spot' making it possible to determine if it is high or low over a much wider range of elevations than just the 4" or so yours and most other retail versions do. Secondly the output circuit doesn't just activate an LCD display and a beeper, it sends power to a variety of electric powered hydraulic valves which move the particular implement in use.

It is these receivers which can be bought separately and used to control a variety of hydraulic machinery. I haven't priced on recently, but the last one I got was a fairly simple 2 way output (up & down for instance) and it was about $500, it is used with any standard spinning laser transmitter.

Best of luck. ....

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Anyone used a Grouser-brand belly blade

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-11-13          148203


I didn't phrase it correctly, but that's what I got from it.

$500? Where did you find it? Got any spares? ....

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kleinchris
Join Date: Jun 2007
Posts: 269 Westminster, Texas
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2007-11-13          148210


earthwrks,
any idea of the price of the blade in the first photo? I would be very interested in one of these, but I have a feeling they are pricey. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Anyone used a Grouser-brand belly blade

View my Photos
earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-11-13          148215


It's been probably 3-4 years since I looked into it---5-6K sticks out in my mind, but I can't remember exactly. I could be way off. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Anyone used a Grouser-brand belly blade

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Murf
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 7154 Toronto Area, Ontario, Canada
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2007-11-14          148222


EW, go to your local Cat store, or any other heavy equipment or large Ag dealer, they will have all that stuff.

As far as I remember EW is pretty close if not a little light on the price of the belly blade. I recall looking at one and then thinking I could buy a used motor grader for the same money. In my case they are also a problem in that you cannot put one on a machine with a cab, and they are not exactly easy on / off devices, they have lots of bolts back into the frame of the tractor. They also require quite a plumbing system since they have 6 hydraulically powered functions and thus require 6 dual action circuits to run them.

Best of luck. ....

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____________________________________________________________________________________
Anyone used a Grouser-brand belly blade

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-11-14          148240


Sorry Murf, what I meant was the lighted unit for the laser with the outputs to replace the DeWalt LCD/beeper- only I have now. Where can i find a used one cheap? ....

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