July 2018 – Sponsored by Kubota
Owning rural acreage sometimes requires learning a new set of skills in order to keep your property and your access to it in good shape. Gravel roads that can stretch for a mile or more from the main highway may have been one of the attractions that drew you to the property when you decided to purchase your hobby farm or rural getaway, but that road has to be maintained year round.
Roads wear and tend to break down over time even with normal usage. Potholes eventually develop and soon the potholes start holding water after periods of rain causing more erosion of the roadbed. If you live in an area that is prone to winter snow, you will need to find a way to keep your road open year round. The tractor mounted box scraper is a great economical implement that can help you maintain your roads and also handle a lot of other tasks on your property.
The box scraper is a three-point tractor mounted implement consisting of a front facing and rear-facing cutting edge attached to a three-sided box structure. The implement is usually also equipped with adjustable-depth scarifier teeth and is designed to move material that is scrapes or loosens from the ground surface when pulled forward. In reverse, the rear-facing cutting edge can be used to scrape and push material in a reverse direction. Adjustments may be made to the scraper’s fore-aft pitch by adjusting the three-point hitch’s top link length and the left-right tilt can be adjusted by lengthening or shortening the right lift-arm’s leveling assembly.
As with any type of implement, there are a variety of makes and models available with a great deal of variance in cost. The most important component of a bpx scraper is the cutting edge. It is important to look for one that is sufficiently robust for your requirements and it should be replaceable. The main purpose of the box scraper is for pulling and in some cases pushing material such as soil and gravel. ighter Light-duty cutting edges may be seriously damaged if you hit a large rock or other unseen obstacle. Also, as mentioned previously and depending on your needs, a quality.
Matching the size of the box scraper to your tractor’s horse power and capability is also very important. Box scrapers may be purchased in lengths from 48 inches up to 84 inches in width and even wider for large tractors. When using smaller tractors in the 18 to 40 horse power category, make sure that you don’t purchase a box scraper that is too large for your tractor to handle efficiently which can put quite a bit of strain on your tractor if you happen to be moving a lot of material. Prices will vary on new units, but expect to pay anywhere from $500 up to $1500 or more depending on brand, size and features.
Maintaining a driveway is a great use of the box scraper and is fairly easy to master with a little practice and familiarity with your equipment. In essence, the box scraper is designed to allow you to redistribute the driveway material that has been misplaced over time. The crown – or middle of the driveway – has a tendency to become lower over time, which can lead to puddling of rainwater. A slight crown that allows water to run off either side of the road is key to keeping it in great shape.
Depending on the condition of the driveway, you may need to bring in more material to fill in some of the heavier potholed areas on the road. If the road is in fairly good condition and doesn’t require additional crushed rock, the first step in setting up your box scraper for grading is to stand behind your tractor and adjust the left-right tilt angle of your rear box scraper so that it is about 1 ½ inches lower on the right side. Position the tractor so that the right edge of the box scraper is over the right edge of the road, lower the scraper and pull forward. You may need to adjust the fore-aft pitch of the scraper and its height to get it to “bite” into the road surface.
After you have made a complete pass along right side of your driveway, turnaround and make another pass down the left side. These passes pull material that worked to the road edges back toward the center and begin to re-shape the crown. The material on your driveway should now be distributed fairly evenly. At this point, you can eliminate the angle on your rear box scraper completely and make a pass or two on each side to smooth everything out – be sure that your outside wheels are lower than your inside wheels to finish the crown. Avoid taking a pass down the center unless you need to cut the crown down.
We tend to think of the box scraper as mainly an earth moving tool, but there are many tasks on the farm suited to its use. Moving snow in the wintertime can be handled very nicely by using the scraper in the 3-point hitch’s float mode. Adjust the scraper’s pitch so that the cutting edges sit flat on the surface to avoid digging into the base material. .
Box scrapers may also be used for tasks such as leveling o, finish grading on landscape projects and backfilling in feedlots. They are a great tool for cleaning out stables or barns – especially in the 48-inch width coupled with a smaller utility tractor which allows for working in tight spaces.
You may start out using your box scraper attachment as a means to maintain your road or driveway, but you will soon find a host of time saving applications for this versatile implement.