My Tractor Forum banner
1 - 20 of 29 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
179 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Fall is coming and I was hoping to use my BX1880 to spread some fill and top soil. Getting the material will not be an issue but my question is can the material be spread easily with the payloader or do you need a box scraper, rear scrapped blade, or a rear rake to really smooth out the low spots and spread it out evenly? We have low spots and bare areas which will need reseeding of course. I figured if I get some nice luma dirt and top soil on top should do the trick. Any advice and experience you folks care to share might help. Thank you
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,522 Posts
A landscape rake would make it easier to spread out the dirt evenly. Several crosshatch patterns will do. Then come back with a lawn roller to press it all down. Water and then roll again.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Vigo

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
24,001 Posts
You can spread it with a FEL bucket, but it is an art form that comes only with lots of practice.

Final levelling is done with a landscape rake, as mentioned above, or a drag harrow of some kind. Some use a section of chain link fence for the drag, I made one out of 2x2 lumber in the shape of a V facing in each direction that worked fine for my small property.
 

·
Kioti SCUT
Joined
·
965 Posts
I have a Kioti CS2210 SCUT with FEL.

I've spread a lot of dirt just using the bucket. I dump the load, reach over it, drop the level bucket into "float", and then drag it back to spread the pile.

But I've also used a 3PH landscape rake, a 3PH pine straw rake, and/or a drag harrow for the final finish. All three work equally well. The drag harrow is the cheapest option. Cal
 
  • Like
Reactions: Vigo

·
Registered
Joined
·
179 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks Guys, There's a float mode on the BX. This is going be a first for me, I never ran a payloader before so it should be interesting. I have a buddy who owns a excavating company and he will give me a OJT lesson on using the BX's functions. I have years of running tractor and fork lifits but never a loader. Should be interesting.
 

·
Administrator - We’re all friends here
Joined
·
16,633 Posts
Once you get the hang of it it's not difficult. For rough-spreading a pile, the loader is great but for smoothing it out, some raking will have to be done. If you don't have a 3PH rake perhaps you have a willing "volunteer" with a hand rake. 😜
 

·
Kioti SCUT
Joined
·
965 Posts
APinNY is right. The loader does a great job spreading the dumped piles, but for a nice smooth finish you'll want something for a final rake over.

As mentioned above, I often use my NorTrac drag harrow:

Table Rectangle Line Triangle Font


I drag it with the tines pointed up for a final finish. The NorTrac is $230, but you're getting a real multi-purpose drag harrow: NorTrac link

If you only want something for a smooth finish, you can get a Home Depot version for $99 that doesn't have any tines: Home Depot link

But it's not as heavy. The NorTrac is a farm implement. The Vector from Home Depot is basically a section of chain link fence.

Cal
 
  • Like
Reactions: Vigo

·
Professional Homeowner
Joined
·
8,660 Posts
I’ve had quite a bit of practice at spreading and leveling with a loader, and I still suck at it. The bucket is so far out in front of the front wheels, any movement or bouncing is greatly magnified. Back dragging (either in float or with down pressure) is much easier but takes longer.
I became nearly an expert with a skid steer in about 10 minutes by comparison. Why? The bucket is like right in front of the front tires, the machine is a lot more rigid, and most importantly with a skid steer you don’t have to “feel” or require a visual indicator to know where your cutting edge is. You can see the entire bucket including the contents from the operator’s seat on a skid steer. Makes it much easier to the point I felt like it was cheating.
A 3pt box blade with retractable teeth seems like the easiest method for a novice to spread/grade anything with a tractor. For whatever reason I don’t own one yet, although I used a friend’s with great success in the past.
Whatever method you use (back drag, drive forward, box scraper), it will help if you start at a spot where the machine is level. If the machine is tilted left or right, so is your leveling implement. If a rear tires drops in a low spot, your cutting edge will dig in on that side.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,522 Posts
If you envision hand raking, do yourself a favor and get a landscape rake. A garden rake has a toothed head of around 10 to 16 inches and would work, just very time consuming. The landscape rake usually has a toothed head of 36 to 48 inches which makes spreading and leveling quicker and easier.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,629 Posts
Knock the dumped pile down with the front bucket in both the forward and reverse directions first will save a lot of raking.
After you get the big pile knocked down, a drag will then level it even more.
Then get the rake for fine tuning and blending.

When I was leveling out a large area I built a drag out of a pair of 4x4 timbers that had a platform in the middle I could set a few cinder blocks on for the rough leveling operation. Followed that with another pass or two without the cinder blocks for a finer finish. Then followed that with a section of chain link fence. That got it good enough that it was decently smooth for mowing.
I have also used one of those Nortrac drags behind a 4 wheeler before to level out a sewer line install project where we had a long and narrow strip to level out, worked very well.

I have seen guys use pallets, a set of old box springs that were all metal, and chain link fence as their drag, they all seem to work decent.
Any of them cut down on how much raking you have to do, and that is usually a good thing.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
179 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Dave55, Thanks, when I was a kid, they used chain link fence and some cinder blocks, pulling it around with a lawn tractor. I was told you need about four inches of top sail on top of luma fill for grass to really take. Got a lot of shade in the backyard and a slope.. Should be interesting to see how it goes..
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,522 Posts
Thank you!
Be sure to keep us informed on the project, as we really like progress being made. Pictures are a big plus as we all like to see other areas other than our own.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,629 Posts
I have seen top soil on top clay anywhere from under an inch to several inches grow good grass.
Where 3 or 4 inches really makes a difference, when it gets real dry the grass tends to not turn brown on deeper top soil depths. Also remember when you buy sod in rolls or squares it is only a couple inches thick, so the grass roots are not that far into the ground.

I have put in more yards than I care to remember.

20 tons of top soil don't really cover much ground.
In the excavation business it always seem to run like we had top soil that we had to get rid of, with no place wanting it, or we needed top soil and could not find any. And if it is decent top soil it is always expensive for how much ground it covers when it gets spread out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,018 Posts
Something tells me I will.be using a hand rake to smooth it out after a dump the soil and back spread it. Thanks guys for the advice..
I feel yeh Murf :LOL:
I've used our Kioti CS2210 to do all sorts of work that would break my back.
However, I can and do get a bit frustrated doing a task with the loader that I typically would do by hand due to my inexperience with a loader. In these instances I find myself at least trying to accomplish it with the loader to acquire the skill to do so, but if I lose patience ("I could have finished this myself by now!") I back up, throttle down, and grab my rake, hoe, shovel, pry bar - what have you, and just do it ... 😣
No shame in that. (y)

Renster
 
  • Like
Reactions: APinNY

·
Registered
Joined
·
179 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
Thanks guy, I can get my hands on fill dirt no problem, my wifes sister has a pile of it her husband stored, the top soil i have to buy from my friend in the excavation business. He is also.going to have to transport I to our property. I am figuring two 20 yard dumps of each should do it but we will see if that's going to be enough. It's like everything else always looks like nothing until you get going and find out differently. My back is the issue as several years back I had total lower spine reconstruction. I wear a back support when I cut for extra protection. I will do it in steps and take it easy.. Hence the BX machine and pay loader. I'm no kid anymore..
 
1 - 20 of 29 Posts
Top