A pull behind box scraper- typically mounts to the back of ATVs/garden tractors/riding mowers, and more- can be extremely useful for your landscaping and gardening projects, including heavy-duty jobs.
It is an implement that comes in handy for applications such as ripping, leveling, fine grading, and backfilling- the hardened scarifier teeth mean it can handle even the toughest digging, grading, and earthmoving tasks.
Here are a few tips to help you make leveling, ripping/excavating, or removing materials effortless if this is your first time using a box scraper.
How to use a pull behind box scraper
Before we look at how to properly use a pull behind box scraper, it’s important to mention that the most crucial step for an accurate performance is controlling the height of your box scraper.
In other words, you’ll have difficulty getting the implement to grade a site (or level and backfill unsightly holes in your yards/fields/driveways, etc.) if it is not at the correct height.
Your first step is, therefore, to adjust the 3-point hitch’s top link.
To do this, park the tractor on flat, hard ground and adjust the tractor’s top link so your attachment’s cutting edge(s) will be in contact with the surface (resting on the ground) and perfectly leveled.
This is the usual operating position for most box scrapers.
Of course, you may need to elevate it a bit depending on the job, so try to become proficient at lengthening or shortening the top link appropriately to suit the task at hand.
Here now is how to use a pull behind box scraper for various applications:
How to use a pull behind box scraper for grading and leveling
The tool should be used as follows when deployed for grading and leveling projects:
With the equipment’s ripper shanks raised (all the way), lower your box scraper to the surface and drive forward.
What should you expect?
The cutting blade begins shaving the ground, and dirt/aggregate material will accumulate in the box.
Now, you could transfer the collected material by dragging it to an ideal spot and then slowly hoisting the scraper to deposit the accumulated load.
How to achieve better leveling
If you wish to attain a more uniform spreading and leveling of the scraped material, set the implement to shave off the high spots- that way, the amassed dirt exits the scraper (under the blade) to the low-lying spots.
What to do when you encounter hard grounds or surface material
Occasionally, you’ll run into extra hard ground/surface material.
Don’t fret- it’s time to engage the box scraper’s ripping action to loosen the stubborn earth. The blade should be effective on such grounds after the hard soil has been ripped up.
Here is how to break up the ground in hard areas…
For an extra-aggressive ripping action (recommended for extra tough soil conditions):
Simply lower the entire compliment of shanks manually (one notch at a time). But you must be careful here as you may end up stopping the tractor if you lower the shanks exceedingly deep in the hard soil.
In truth, it’s better to be forced to make several repeat passes to grade and level such spots than risking stopping the tractor.
For a less-aggressive ripping action (where the soil conditions are not that dogged):
The opposite procedure is required in this case- just raise all of your shanks fully.
How to make the shank adjustments
The height of each shank is adjusted as outlined below for nearly all box scraper models (stop the tractor and park on a flat, safe surface first):
- The top of the shank spring retainer should be pressed together using pliers. Next, pull the retainer up and out of the shank’s tube slot. Ensure the shank notch remains in the top slot as you remove the spring retainer.
- Manually raise/lower the shank to your desired height- check that the shank notch should remain in the top slot. Now catch the shank notch at this height in the top slot.
- Fasten the shank securely using the spring retainer clip – insert the clip into the top slots (behind the shank) until you notice it snap into place.
Safety Tip: Keep off the shank slots as you adjust the shank height- shanks may pinch body parts (in the slots) during the adjustments. Once the shanks have been set in the desired position, start the tractor and drive forward. The ground material will now be broken up easily.
How to achieve the optimum cutting angle
While some models, including Land Pride box scraper, are custom-engineered to cut at the optimum angle, there are instances you may need to adjust the cutting angle for improved results.
This should be straightforward: simply shorten the top center link by one-half turn (at a time) to increase the blade pitch. You can now look forward to excellent results depending on the project.
A word on ground speed
Try to maintain the correct ground speed during the operation.
To be specific, you will get the most impeccable results when traveling at between 2 – 4mph for the most part.
How to use a pull behind box scraper for backfilling
For backfilling applications:
Simply lower your box scraper to the ground, then back up the standard, rear-facing blade into the heap of dirt you’re using for backfill.
Continue the back-filling and pushing operations until you complete the task successfully.
The box scraper is designed to tackle a wide range of projects: scarifying, leveling, grading, scraping, and backfilling.
However, no matter how expensive your box scraper model is, you’ll struggle to get the best results if you don’t use it right.
Fortunately, you have just learned how to properly use a pull behind box scraper, so take advantage of this knowledge to make it work better.
You’ll cherish the more consistent and repeatable outcome.
References and Citations:
1. TIPS NOTEBOOK; Deere: How to use a box blade: The basics- https://tipsnotebook.deere.com/using-a-box-blade/
2. WORKSAVER, INC.: OWNER’S/OPERATOR’S MANUAL; ATV or Garden Tractor LANDSCAPE RAKE BOX SCRAPER- https://jswoodhouse.com/brochures/WorkPLR-PBXmanual.pdf