Box blades are one the most universally useful 3-point tractor attachments available. Box blade attachments are used for leveling ground, ripping dirt, repairing or maintaining gravel driveways, moving dirt, or digging a ditch. They’re easy to hook up to a tractor and easy to learn how to use, too.
Not all box blades are the same. First, measure your tractor’s width and get a box blade that’s slightly wider than the tractor tires. When buying a box blade, also look for clevis hitches instead of pin hitches since they are typically stronger. Once you’ve picked out a box blade and brought it home, familiarize yourself with how your box blade attaches to your tractor’s 3 point.
Once you’ve got it hooked up, it’s time to get started. Great first projects to learn how to use a box blade are leveling a driveway or digging a ditch.
First things first: make sure it’s level! Put a level on top of the box blade and adjust it to make sure that it’s flat before you get started.
Pro tip: Backing up with a box blade gives you more digging power than driving forward. If you need to really dig in or if you have a lot of earth to move, try putting your tractor in reverse.
If you’re redoing your driveway, drive backwards over the center of the road with the blade down to level the crown. Once you’ve finished flattening the top, adjust the box blade pins to give the blade an angle. You will want a slight angle on both sides of your driveway to help with drainage, because if it is flat, water will collect and turn those spots into potholes over time.
Go back over the driveway on one side creating a downward slope towards the edge of the road. After finishing grading that side of the road, adjust the box blade so that it’s angled on the other side, then go back over the road one more time. Your driveway should look like it’s brand new once you finish going back over the other side!
If you’re digging a ditch, all you have to do is set the box blade at an angle and drive forward over where you want to place the ditch. The ripper jacks should dig into the ground and start to create a nice ditch that will drain efficiently. If you need steeper walls, adjust the angle of the box blade so that the ripper jacks dig deeper into the ground and go back over it a second time. Repeat this on the other side to create a V ditch.
Using a box blade is as simple as that. Want to find one to start using one on your own property? Papé Machinery is proud to offer Frontier and John Deere box blades. Call your local Papé Machinery dealership to speak with one of our specialists about finding the right attachment for your compact utility tractor!