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leveling/flattening


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  #1  
Old 05-31-2009, 11:59 PM
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Default leveling/flattening

Hi all,

I have been looking for an accessory for my lawn tractor for leveling/flattening a lawn after tilling and rolling. I have been looking at Box Blades and Rear Blades. What are the advantages and disadvantages of each? Which would be more versital. Are there any alternatives?

Steve
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  #2  
Old 06-01-2009, 05:36 AM
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Steve, you are at a point where I was a few months ago and honestly the setup gets expensive at first, sometimes I thought the cash outlay would never end and wondered why they didn't make one attachment that did everything.

Unless you have four wheel drive, a box blade and landscape rake is a waste of your money, the tractors simply will not pull them, it will pull the rake on some jobs but you can pretty much forget the box blade. Even my upper sized tractor the 2520 with Diff lock in two wheel drive is pretty useless, put it in four wheel drive and it plays with attachments.

Here is the process we use, put the box blade on and drop the teeth in the front, drive over the area and break up the ground, we are looking for big rocks before we till then we till the area attach the 5 foot landscape rake, it will take out any rocks the tiller found and gets the area pretty level, then we switch to the box blade, in this case because we have tilled the area, we angle the blade to the back and level the area, a three point hitch on the back of the tractor is required, it's super simple and the results are bang on, then we roll (only roll sometimes as the blade will compact the soil), seed and spray.

The set up is around four grand (Canadian) that I have on each tractor, I use something called a hydraulic top link cylinder with a diverter valve, if you are familiar with a 3 pt hitch, we replace the top arm with a hydraulic cylinder and plug it into a diverter valve, what it does is switch the hydraulics from the curl action on the bucket to the top link cylinder, when it comes to grading you can, on the fly, adjust the angle of attack, man is it slick. I only know of one other fellow with this set up, he is a landscaper in the states that turned me onto the hydraulic setup, a homeowner, small farm etc. would not go this route as it is expensive, in our business, IMHO it is a must for quick results.

You could try it on your tractor but honestly even my smallest four wheel drive which is a 2305 will struggle with the box blade at times, really depends on the soil and that is in four wheel drive.

Having said all this I have levelled areas with just the landscape rake and the results were bang on, it takes longer and some practise but once you have it, the results are great, the advantage of the box blade is if the operator is experienced enough, I can compact the soil as I grade, no need to roll.

Any questions, need pictures etc,. just ask away as I have a 2520 home for two days to work on my property and have this set up on from a job yesterday.

Now what you need to do is pack the wife in the vehicle and come up here for two or three days and travel around with me, I can teach you everything you need to know and probably more about tractors and attachments

Andy
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Old 06-01-2009, 08:09 AM
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Default Jobs already started

Hi Andy,

I spent all day yesterday in 91 degree 90% humidity raking out tire ruts form a job I tilled and rolled. The soil here is primarily sand with a few stones, at most 2" in diameter. I have a Murray lawn tractor I picked up for $150 and took the mowing deck of that will run on the rolled sand without leaving deep ruts that will probably disappear after I seed and roll again but it isn't powerful enough to handle the roller efficiently and it has no reverse.

The ruts probably aren't detrimental but are eyesores. There are still some high and low spots I would like to even out. What I am trying to do is make it justify my costs to the homeowner. To stand out from my competition. I have 2 and 1/2 more jobs already tilled and rolled to do.

I can rake but am looking for an easier cost effective means to do this so I can seed and get paid!

Steve
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:41 PM
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A landscape rake would work perfect in that tyoe of soil condition, just not sure if your tractor would pull it, if they rent them at ACE, try one.

Here we have major clay issues to deal with, I have seen it so hard packed I had issues with a back hoe digging a trench.
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Old 06-01-2009, 09:54 PM
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Default What I tried

Quote:
Originally Posted by picframer View Post
A landscape rake would work perfect in that tyoe of soil condition, just not sure if your tractor would pull it, if they rent them at ACE, try one.
Quote:
Originally Posted by picframer View Post

Here we have major clay issues to deal with, I have seen it so hard packed I had issues with a back hoe digging a trench.


The lanscape rake the Ace caries needs a hitch that is not compatible with my tractor. What I tried was to take a 4 x 4 sheet of plywood and bolted a 2 x 2 angle iron to it. I then attached it to my tractor using the tongue of my roller. I put 40# of weright on it and used that to try to flatten/level the lawn. It toohk a few runs but looked much better. I then seeded the lawn and rolled it again. I think it took too long but it beat raking the whole thing and only took about half the time.

The customer liked the way it looked. So did his neighbor. I do his lawn Thursday.

Steve
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Old 06-01-2009, 10:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by swstout View Post

The lanscape rake the Ace caries needs a hitch that is not compatible with my tractor. What I tried was to take a 4 x 4 sheet of plywood and bolted a 2 x 2 angle iron to it. I then attached it to my tractor using the tongue of my roller. I put 40# of weright on it and used that to try to flatten/level the lawn. It toohk a few runs but looked much better. I then seeded the lawn and rolled it again. I think it took too long but it beat raking the whole thing and only took about half the time.

The customer liked the way it looked. So did his neighbor. I do his lawn Thursday.

Steve
What I have done in the past is drag an old bed spring with weight on it behind my john deere tractor. Kind of crude but it worked.
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Old 06-02-2009, 04:39 AM
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What I have done in the past is drag an old bed spring with weight on it behind my john deere tractor. Kind of crude but it worked.
May be crude but it works very well and I had completly forgot that this is how I use to flatten the driveway with the old H tractor, worked perfect, just an old steel bedframe from the dump.
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