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post #1 of 12 Old 07-12-2019, 08:46 PM Thread Starter
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Tires and a box blade question?

Hi to all, I'm gathering some attachments to hopefully knock out a few nagging projects around the house. Two dirt projects and general yard repair after all the rain we've had over the last two years first. If all goes well with the dirt projects and the agri fab box blade and tractor handle it well, I'd also like to use it on my gravel driveway. Since I've owned this property I've been doing that mostly with shovel and cart to fill in the pot holes, something to level the whole thing out yearly or as needed would be nice. Reviews on these little box blades aren't great though, and I'm anticipating some repairs needed. The largest of the dirt projects runs about 25 yards in length and is the result of a concrete truck leaving ruts when I had it come in and pour a slab for an old pole building to turn into a garage/workshop. About a foot deep in spots and the truck also rippled the ground raising some areas.

The tractor is like my avatar says, a GX54D so I do have the diff lock. The sleeve hitch isn't due in till Wednesday next week at Lowes. There is no huge rush, but I could have it all and installed by next weekend and ready to begin so long as the weather forecast holds up.

So my question is to those of you that have used either the Agri-Fab or Brinley box blades on dirt and gravel.

1. Are factory tires with a diff lock good enough? I don't have snow chains yet for the tractor, but that is also an option. Not much deck clearance, may need to remove it for chain clearance, but no big deal there. And I'll probably take the deck off just so I don't damage it backing over piles of dirt or driving thru the ruts.

2. If you'd go with a different tire I see two options without jumping up two a 23 inch tire if 23's would even clear the deck.

First option EFX hammers 22x9.5-12 for $160 per set, actually weigh a pound less the factory Carlisle's but are exact same size and shouldn't be to harsh to just leave on there for the life of the tractor. May not be a huge traction gain even over the factory stock tires.
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Second option is the SunF All Terrain's 22x10-12 for $130 per set, weigh 6 pounds more then a factory tire, .5 inch wider, should be no problem. And if I have traction issues with these I need a different machine. I've had AG's on an older cub that really weren't that bad about damaging the yard..... These I'm not to sure on.
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So anyhow, sorry for the long post, I tried to throw in all the background information that applied to what I'm looking to do. opinions, tips, tricks or advice welcome.
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post #2 of 12 Old 07-12-2019, 09:04 PM
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I have the Agri-fail Agri-fab box blade and cannot recommend it. Brinly owners have reported their blades are much better. I've added a bunch of steel to mine to make it marginally useable.

I wouldnt be scared to try the Sun tires. I have Ocelot ATV tires and they are awesome. No spinning and no grass tear up due to them not spinning. I have no diff lock and routinely grade my driveway pulling >400lbs of blade or 8ft drag and gravel.
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2016 Cub XT3 GSE 54" Fab deck, fabbed winch sleeve hitch
2001 Cub 3240 44" deck, fabbed hydraulic sleeve hitch
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post #3 of 12 Old 07-12-2019, 09:58 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tires and a box blade question?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Urquell View Post
I have the Agri-fail Agri-fab box blade and cannot recommend it. Brinly owners have reported their blades are much better. I've added a bunch of steel to mine to make it marginally useable.

I wouldnt be scared to try the Sun tires. I have Ocelot ATV tires and they are awesome. No spinning and no grass tear up due to them not spinning. I have no diff lock and routinely grade my driveway pulling >400lbs of blade or 8ft drag and gravel.
Thanks for the reply Steve. Honestly I didn't get a warm and fuzzy about either box blade after reading reviews on both. I have a pretty good set of metal working tools and welder at home and if I need to just use the box blade as a template to cut, drill or weld new pieces I can do that. I appreciate the advice though, and I am leaning towards the SunF's just for the fact that if the EFX's aren't enough, I don't want to deal with the hassle of trying to sell used tires or stacking 2 unused sets in the garage. I can save the tire chains for winter for when they work best without stretching them out and beating them up during the summer. At least that is my thinking at the moment. Thanks for the advice again, and nice set up you have there. If I can get the box blade working well enough I'll eventually add a linear actuator or winch to make it more user friendly.
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post #4 of 12 Old 07-12-2019, 10:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaptainCubMan View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Urquell View Post
I have the Agri-fail Agri-fab box blade and cannot recommend it. Brinly owners have reported their blades are much better. I've added a bunch of steel to mine to make it marginally useable.

I wouldnt be scared to try the Sun tires. I have Ocelot ATV tires and they are awesome. No spinning and no grass tear up due to them not spinning. I have no diff lock and routinely grade my driveway pulling >400lbs of blade or 8ft drag and gravel.
Thanks for the reply Steve. Honestly I didn't get a warm and fuzzy about either box blade after reading reviews on both. I have a pretty good set of metal working tools and welder at home and if I need to just use the box blade as a template to cut, drill or weld new pieces I can do that. I appreciate the advice though, and I am leaning towards the SunF's just for the fact that if the EFX's aren't enough, I don't want to deal with the hassle of trying to sell used tires or stacking 2 unused sets in the garage. I can save the tire chains for winter for when they work best without stretching them out and beating them up during the summer. At least that is my thinking at the moment. Thanks for the advice again, and nice set up you have there. If I can get the box blade working well enough I'll eventually add a linear actuator or winch to make it more user friendly.
After doing a bunch of welding on my box blade I feel like I wasted a bunch of time, money, and iron. If I had to do it all over again I'd do just 3 things to it and nothing else.

1. Add 2" x 1/4" thick angle iron where the bolts go thru the square tubing as it crushes with light use.

2. Drill 2 holes to 1/2" where the top swivels on the bottom of the blade and bolt it solid with 1/2" bolts. Too much slop there with the supplied pins.

3. Weld (2) 1" pipes to the back of the blade to hang plate weights on it. Do NOT bother weighting the top bracketry as all it does is make the blade jump around skittering.

As you reinforce this blade all it does is make the next part of it fail. I replaced the entire hitch as it bent. Then made a killer ripper bar after bending the factory one. The new ripper made the entire blade twist.

I wish I had made a new blade from scratch.

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2001 Cub 3240 44" deck, fabbed hydraulic sleeve hitch
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post #5 of 12 Old 07-12-2019, 10:50 PM
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Here's mine with 70lbs of plates on the back.
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2016 Cub XT3 GSE 54" Fab deck, fabbed winch sleeve hitch
2001 Cub 3240 44" deck, fabbed hydraulic sleeve hitch
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post #6 of 12 Old 07-13-2019, 01:24 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Tires and a box blade question?

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Originally Posted by Steve Urquell View Post
Here's mine with 70lbs of plates on the back.
I like the weight setup there. I had planned on drilling and adding bolts for the ripper bar before the first use, because I'd seen people comment on the sides blowing out so much. And I was going to use square u bolts to bolt on 2 or 4 50 cal ammo boxes filled with scrap metal for weight on the top rack. But it seems like you have it figured out better already. Easy changes I can do. I appreciate the tips, and the picture helps a lot. I wasn't quite understanding what you were saying about the angle iron, but I can see how you have it welded on after blowing the pic up. I might as well jump straight into a winch setup as well, seems like lifting the finished product with that cheesy manual lift bar might be out of the question. Again, thank you very much!!
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post #7 of 12 Old 07-13-2019, 06:29 AM
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Re: Tires and a box blade question?

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Originally Posted by CaptainCubMan View Post
I like the weight setup there. I had planned on drilling and adding bolts for the ripper bar before the first use, because I'd seen people comment on the sides blowing out so much. And I was going to use square u bolts to bolt on 2 or 4 50 cal ammo boxes filled with scrap metal for weight on the top rack. But it seems like you have it figured out better already. Easy changes I can do. I appreciate the tips, and the picture helps a lot. I wasn't quite understanding what you were saying about the angle iron, but I can see how you have it welded on after blowing the pic up. I might as well jump straight into a winch setup as well, seems like lifting the finished product with that cheesy manual lift bar might be out of the question. Again, thank you very much!!
No problem. Just keep in mind this thing really isn't built to be used heavily and is best suited to dragging along in float mode. The other place I was talking about bolting solid is between the weight plates at 10 o'clock on the right plate, 2 o'clock on the left.

Here's where I finally 'got it" that this blade wasn't gonna take what I was dishing. Promptly after building this ripper bar I completely twisted the blade with the ripper tines down and had to straighten it out. I gave up on using the ripper as it's just too much for the blade to handle.

https://www.mytractorforum.com/119-h...box-blade.html

2016 Cub XT3 GSE 54" Fab deck, fabbed winch sleeve hitch
2001 Cub 3240 44" deck, fabbed hydraulic sleeve hitch
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post #8 of 12 Old 07-13-2019, 12:05 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tires and a box blade question?

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Originally Posted by Steve Urquell View Post
No problem. Just keep in mind this thing really isn't built to be used heavily and is best suited to dragging along in float mode. The other place I was talking about bolting solid is between the weight plates at 10 o'clock on the right plate, 2 o'clock on the left.

Here's where I finally 'got it" that this blade wasn't gonna take what I was dishing. Promptly after building this ripper bar I completely twisted the blade with the ripper tines down and had to straighten it out. I gave up on using the ripper as it's just too much for the blade to handle.

https://www.mytractorforum.com/119-h...box-blade.html
I'm tracking what you're saying. As of right now, my options are limited though in regards to a bigger machine. What I could borrow and use a bigger box blade on, I don't have and they don't have any means of getting it to my location. Basically full size tractors, my uncle has a newer Kubota(bx25 iirc) with fel that would be probably just slightly be over the limits of my trailer with a 2300lb limit. Hopefully I can get thru my dirt projects, that's my goal right now, if I can use it on my driveway it'll be a bonus.
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post #9 of 12 Old 07-14-2019, 01:19 PM
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Re: Tires and a box blade question?

Well I had a Agr-Fab Box scrape 1 season went to a brinly box scrape the same year and it still going strong 17 years Later. It Kind of Funny But I never used the Box Scrape for Grading My former Gravel driveway or Spreading Large Loads of Dirt I always Used a Front Blade for Most of that work I actually think You Might have better Luck with a front Dozer Blade https://www.cubcadet.com/equipment/c...atalogId=14101 at least for your Dirt spreading. Once I got a tractor with a Loader I really haven't used the Front Blade for More Than snow. But I always found Before having a Loader the Front Blade was the Best Implement for Spreading Material over a Box scrape. I did occasionally use a rear sleeve Hitch Blade for Grading the Gravel driveway. But a Majority of My Gravel driveway Pot Hole filling duties were done By the front Blade because with the feet You Can adjust the Height of the front Blade. The Manual sleeve Hitch is not the Greatest for Running a Box scrape doesn't allow for Good Height adjustment of attachments. If You go with the Box scrape I suggest Investing In this Lift Kit Electric sleeve hitch upgrade upgrade as it will allow You to Make minor Height adjustments. If You do decide to Go with a front Blade Go with the One I Linked Cub does Offer a cheaper One But the cheaper one will not stand up to the riggers of Grading and Moving gravel of Dirt and really doesn't Handle snow well if You In a snow moving state

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post #10 of 12 Old 07-14-2019, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tires and a box blade question?

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Originally Posted by Sergeant View Post
Well I had a Agr-Fab Box scrape 1 season went to a brinly box scrape the same year and it still going strong 17 years Later. It Kind of Funny But I never used the Box Scrape for Grading My former Gravel driveway or Spreading Large Loads of Dirt I always Used a Front Blade for Most of that work I actually think You Might have better Luck with a front Dozer Blade https://www.cubcadet.com/equipment/c...atalogId=14101 at least for your Dirt spreading. Once I got a tractor with a Loader I really haven't used the Front Blade for More Than snow. But I always found Before having a Loader the Front Blade was the Best Implement for Spreading Material over a Box scrape. I did occasionally use a rear sleeve Hitch Blade for Grading the Gravel driveway. But a Majority of My Gravel driveway Pot Hole filling duties were done By the front Blade because with the feet You Can adjust the Height of the front Blade. The Manual sleeve Hitch is not the Greatest for Running a Box scrape doesn't allow for Good Height adjustment of attachments. If You go with the Box scrape I suggest Investing In this Lift Kit Electric sleeve hitch upgrade upgrade as it will allow You to Make minor Height adjustments. If You do decide to Go with a front Blade Go with the One I Linked Cub does Offer a cheaper One But the cheaper one will not stand up to the riggers of Grading and Moving gravel of Dirt and really doesn't Handle snow well if You In a snow moving state
I appreciate the comments Serg…. I am rethinking my choice of box blades. Thankfully I bought it through amazon and haven't even opened the box yet, so it should be an easy return, and I might do that this week as Tuesday thru Friday is calling for rain now. The yard might be a soggy mess by the weekend. I searched youtube high and low trying to find videos on box blades, and they're about as scarce as videos on the GX54. I did find one of a JD X580 using a Brinley that gives me a little hope. Maybe a member here, but the driveway in the video is pretty close to the same size as mine. Can't tell how much if any load he has built up in the box, but it seems to work well enough for him.

Vid link if anyone wants to watch, again, not my video

Unfortunately I do already have the cheaper snow blade from my previous LT46 I traded in on the GX54. Generally our snowfall around here is probably 3 to 6 inches 85 percent of the time(Edit to clarify, not more then 3-6 inches... many times just barely a dusting). We get the occasional bad storm, like last November it dropped something like 8-10 inches in about 6 hours and 15 inches total over 24 hour period iirc, but I honestly didn't have any problems cutting thru that. Part of it hit while I was at work and I got to do that storm in two parts though. When I got home from work it was around the 8-10 inch mark and I went straight from car to plow, and I cleaned the rest up the next morning. No lake effect snow here, so a snow blower of any kind is usually over kill. I did use that plow a little back blading one year and it didn't work bad in that role, I'd 100 percent agree it is to light to be pushing dirt though, at least packed dirt anyhow. I might toss it on the front just as much for steering weight and getting the brackets figured out as anything else.

As far as lifting goes, I bought a little 3000 lb ATV winch from Rural King for $65 I'm going to try and make work for the box blade. That should handle lifting and height control... Hopefully If not, I might give that linear actuator a shot, thanks for posting the links. JB makes some nice looking professionally engineered parts at the very least. That sleeve hitch to 2 inch receiver is probably in my future, great price on it. I'm not in any rush, but Lowes ship to store option seems unusually long. $185 for the sleeve hitch is a hard price to pass up though, probably should have paid the extra cash and had it shipped to my house.

If anyone is wondering about the tires, I'm holding off for the moment till I see if whatever box blade I end up with will hold up to the factory turfs. If it lives thru them and I'm getting stuck constantly, then I'll upgrade the tires. I'll update or start a new thread when everything is here and I start making some progress.

Last edited by CaptainCubMan; 07-14-2019 at 03:28 PM.
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post #11 of 12 Old 07-14-2019, 05:46 PM
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I would return that box blade in a minute if possible. Mine really is a disappointment. Piece of junk.

2016 Cub XT3 GSE 54" Fab deck, fabbed winch sleeve hitch
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post #12 of 12 Old 07-14-2019, 06:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Tires and a box blade question?

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I would return that box blade in a minute if possible. Mine really is a disappointment. Piece of junk.
It's easy with Amazon and a full refund, after work tomorrow I'll get the ball rolling on it I think, so no worries there. If I order the Brinley thru Rural King it's about $50 cheaper then what I paid for the Agri-Fab, almost pays for the winch.

https://www.ruralking.com/checkout/c...duct_id/33295/
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