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John Deere Compact Utility Tractor with Box Blade

How to use a box blade

A box blade is one of the most common attachments you will see with a compact tractor. It’s versatile and indispensable in almost any small tractor application. As a matter of fact, you hardly ever see a tractor leave a Hutson lot without one.

Fundamentally, a box blade is a fairly simple implement. It is a box with 3 sides that is primarily used for spreading dirt, gravel, and other material. It can be used for grading, leveling, and back filling unwanted holes in yards, fields, building sites, and driveways. At the bottom of the back wall, you can find a double sided blade that is indented to cut through the material you are spreading for a good even layer. Inside the box blade you will often find steel teeth. These are known as scarifiers. They usually can be raised and lowered to break hard ground so you can easily move it with your box blade.

With anything, practice makes perfect. The more you use your box blade, the more comfortable it will become. You will build confidence in having a perfectly smooth driveway every time.

Here are a few basic tips to keep in mind:

  • Always read the Operator’s Manual before operating any piece of equipment and follow all operating and safety instructions.
  • For scraping, adjust your top link so the front and rear cutting blades are just touching the ground. That will provide a basic scraping and smoothing action. For a more aggressive scrape, shorten the top link so the box blade is angled forward a bit.
  • Use the scarifiers to break up any ground you want to flatten. It could be a bump in your long driveway, a larger hump in an area you want flattened, or perhaps a hardpan area that isn’t draining properly. Go over it with the scarifiers in the down and locked position and your box blade angled slightly forward by shortening the top link. Work over the area well, thoroughly breaking up the soil. Then move the scarifiers into their up position, level the box blade, and work over the loose soil to level or shape as necessary.
  • To smooth over an area you’ve worked, make sure your box blade is on the ground and level from side to side, then extend the top link so the box blade is angled slightly up. Next, set your 3-point in the “float” position. Since the 3-point doesn’t exert any down pressure, your box blade will now float along the surface of the ground. With it angled slightly upward, the inside blade will not engage the ground, and the rear blade will smooth the soil as you run over it.
  • Any time you fill in low spots or holes with loose soil, you need to compact it. Running your rear tractor wheels over the area a few times should do the trick. Add and compress more soil as necessary.
  • Your Operator’s Manual is a great reference tool for how to do these basic box blade jobs.

Additional Resources

John Deere Home Maintenance Kit for a riding lawn mower
How to use a John Deere Home Maintenance Kit for lawn mowers
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How to winterize a lawn mower
John Deere 1025R Compact Utility Tractor driving over an AutoConnect deck
John Deere 1025R time-saving features