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 11-26-2000, 09:41 Post: 21832
Dan Bessette



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 box scraper

I have been following this board for some time now and have found it very helpful. I will be purchasing a compact tractor sometime this spring and will be using it for clearing wooded areas and making lawn out of them, initially at least. I have read a lot about box scrapers but I'm still not sure what would be the best tool for this type of work. I'll be getting a FEL and backhoe but I figure I will probably need somthing more for finish work. I also have seen other uses for box scrapers such as driveway use. Can anyone explain how they work, and a little more about them?Thanks, Dan B.






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 11-26-2000, 12:45 Post: 21841
Bird Senter

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 box scraper

Dan, there are a variety of box blades (or box scrapers); some with hinged moldboards, a rollover variety that's expensive, etc., but I'll try to talk a little about the ordinary or most common type, which is one with two moldboards or cutting edges bolted to the bottom of the rear of the "box"; one tilted forward and one tilted back (and the angle of the tilt is different on different brands). By adjusting the top link of the 3-point hitch, you can tilt the whole unit forward or backwards. The farther forward you tilt it, the deeper the front blade will cut into the ground when you're trying to dig and drag a box full of dirt, and with it tilted foward you can back up and smooth the ground by having the rear blade slightly off the ground. Tilting the blade forward reverses that operation and lets you smooth ground by driving forward. That's the reason a hydraulic top link is so handy, so you can change that adjustment without getting off the tractor. You can also use the adjustment on the lower links to tilt the blade side to side; another place a hydraulic link would be handy. Most box blades come with "scarifiers" or "ripper teeth" that can be raised (when not needed) or lowered to tear up hard surfaces. The heavier the unit is, the better it works. And when buying one, you might want to look at how difficult it is to raise and/or lower the scarifiers. Some box blades have pins that are fairly quick and easy; others have bolts, nuts, etc. that can make the process painfully slow. Hope this helps you at least a little bit.






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 11-27-2000, 07:37 Post: 21855
TomG

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 box scraper

Real good summary Bird. I'll add that in the East, box scrapers seem to be used mostly by landscapers. They are used, because the scraper is about the best general purpose earth engaging tool. A scraper can clear, grade, cut, fill, spread and smooth--even trench. And, it makes good ballast for a loader bucket of gravel. Of course, there are specialized implements for each of these tasks that do the work far better than a scraper, but virtually nothing can do as many of them as a scraper--at least after the operator gets the hang of it.

Of course, a scraper may not get the whole job done, depending of the type land cleared. A scraper's scarifies will probably clear pasture, but a scraper isn't going to clear heavy bush, stumps and big rocks. Might need to do some rotary cutter, chain saw and backhoe work. Similarly, a scraper might pickup and carry moderate sized rocks and brush, but it's not going to clean and smooth like a landscape rake. However for me, I can't justify having several specialized implements that I'd use infrequently--nor can many landscapers it seems. A simple box scraper does it for me, and I keep it pretty busy. On the other hand, when I think of clearing land, I think of bulldozers--especially if there are stumps and big rocks. It might make some sense to get the guy with the dozer to clear out the heavy stuff and then finish with a compact. I hear that digging stumps with a backhoe can be nightmarish.






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 11-28-2000, 01:10 Post: 21879
JonB



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 box scraper

Dan, Bird and Tom are right on. You can do lots of great things with a heavy box scraper. I've used one to rip a field and tear up hardened mounds of soil, level roadway, level ruts in an orchard, and spread out materials such as gravel and soil. It's also great for leveling out a field. If I ever need something for ballast, I put the box on. The weight definitely helps. If you're near a local dealer, ask him what he recommends for your wooded area. If he's been around your area for long, he'll know what you need. Best of luck. JonB






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 11-28-2000, 19:47 Post: 21900
Dan Bessette



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 box scraper

Thanks guys,
This info has been useful. After careful consideration and lots (and lots) of reading, I'm pretty sure I'm going to go with a JD 4400 with 430 loader and 48 backhoe. I'm not clearing a ton of acreage and the trees are mostly oak between 8-16 inches. My biggest worry was how to smooth the ground after I dug the stumps out. I wasn't sure how well a york rake would work. It sounds like a box scraper will do the trick and them some. Now to find the right one for me.
Thanks again,
Dan Bessette






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 11-29-2000, 10:11 Post: 21920
Frank R Taylor



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 box scraper

Dan, I replied to your post but it seems to have got lost in a black hole somewhere. The others covered the subject well. The box scraper will do what you want to do and is a simple piece of equipment but I found it hard to use really well until I got a lot of practice. I'm still not an expert. The problem is that uless your land is level to begin with your back wheels act as a fulcrum. As the front wheels start up a slope, the box scraper tends to dig in deeper and as you crest a rise and the start down a slope, the scraper tends to lift out of the ground. You spend a lot of time looking back at the scraper and riding the 3-pt hitch depth adjustment. It can get hard on the neck after a while but it is a useful piece of equipment.






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 11-30-2000, 08:36 Post: 21965
TomG

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Yeah. I think of grading as something of an art, and I'm not going to be very artistic for some years. Grading, in this sense, means contouring the ground to straight lines between two elevations. This idea of grading comes in one-dimensional road versions and 2-dimensional yard versions. It's a more specific idea than just smoothing and has to be right to avoid drainage problems. Anyway, decent grading can be done with a scraper, but it does take time and skill. A good back blade with end plates also works and may do some things better)

Frank points out the typical 3ph position control problem, which also bedevils other 3ph implements). If there is a grading problem, simply running over an area with a scraper in float cures some problems and creates others. Riding the 3ph does work, but I'm not great at it. What works best for me is to start off thinking in terms of cutting high spots into low spots. I do that mostly using the rear cutter like a dozer. If the low spot is far, I cut a pile and then either drag it in the box or use the loader. So there I am, like an artist before canvass, surveying the landscape for high and low spots, putting a brush stroke here and there and then looking again. Back and forth, and again, and over the same area. The grade keeps getting better, and eventually I can start smoothing by floating the 3ph and using the front blade in a mild cut position.

Then the artist is done. The grade is OK and the water goes where I want it. At it will least after I compact the grade. I left compaction off my list of scraper uses. Scrapers can be used for compaction by fully extending the top link so the scraper rides on the back of its rear cutter. I do that with my hydraulic top link by setting the box on the ground and fully extending the link. I do consider a hydraulic top link almost an essential to use with a scraper. To play the artist well, many many top link adjustments are made. Compaction also can be done with the bottom of a loader bucket. Down force is applied until the front wheels are almost lifted, and then the grade is back dragged with the loader. Break steering has to be used, but carefully or the locked wheels just dig holes in the new grade.






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 11-30-2000, 09:53 Post: 21970
Roger L.



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 box scraper

Yep. Before I got my tractor I used to imagine that I would set up the implement and then just drive across the landscape watching the implement reshape things. Wrong! Grading and shaping is an active process and is an art form. After lots of years about all I can say is that I'm getting better. I used to think that it all depended on what implement that I chose and how I set it up.... but now I tend to use either the blade or the scraper -whatever is hanging on the three point at the time. Plus a lot of back dragging with the bucket.






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

Thread 21832 Filter by Poster:
Bird Senter 1 | Dan Bessette 2 | Frank R Taylor 1 | JonB 1 | Roger L. 1 | TomG 2 |

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