Implements for the Job: Improving or Building Your Driveway
An excellent driveway is a homesteading essential, and nature has a funny way of destroying your hard work. Whether you are dealing with storm washout, potholes, improper drainage, or stone removal from snow plowing, regrading and repairing your driveway is a yearly task.
Luckily, a tractor with the right attachments can quickly right the wrongs of seasonal weather and leave your driveway in impeccable shape to handle traffic to your homestead.
We’ve gathered four great implements for building and maintaining the roads on your homestead, as well as two additional options that can round out the finishing touches on your project.
1. Back Blade (Independence Series & Pinnacle Series)
The back blade, sometimes referred to as a rear blade or single scrape blade, is a fundamental attachment for general application across your homestead. When it comes to a driveway, it has several different functions. The open-ended single blade is excellent at moving new material into recessed areas and relocating built-up material from washouts, heavy rainfall, or snow removal.
With several angle settings and adjustable horizontal offset options (Pinnacle Series only), you gain the added versatility to extend beyond the wheels of your tractor to cut drainage ditches, spread gravel, and expand your driveway.
Skilled tractor operators may consider adjusting the 3-point hitch on the machine to angle the edge of the rear blade to cut drainage ditches. Our Back Blades arrive at your homestead with a reversible and replaceable scrape blade, giving you an implement with impressive longevity and durability
2. Box Blade(Independence Series & Pinnacle Series)
A box blade, or box scraper, should be the first or second implement you purchase to maximize the efficiency of your sub-compact, compact, or utility tractor. This closed rectangular attachment features a dual-sided scrape blade, a tall moldboard to contain material, as well as several heavy-duty ripper shanks designed to break apart compacted soil or gravel.
A box blade is perfect for reviving older driveways that may not need additional material. With the ripper shanks lowered, you can make several passes to bring compacted gravel back to the surface while the scrape blade evens out and disperses the material into recessed areas or potholes. Additionally, if you add new material to your driveway, the box blade is the perfect tool to collect gravel and drag along the surface, filling in any lower areas.
Again, an experienced tractor operator may adjust their 3-point hitch to angle the edge of the implement. This feature allows the implement to grade the material in a manner that leaves a crown in your driveway, which means a higher centerline with a gentle grade towards the edges—improving drainage and the longevity of your driveway.
3. Land Plane(Independence Series & Pinnacle Series)
The land plane, or land grader, is the premier implement when it comes to driveway maintenance. This unique attachment features the same rugged adjustable ripper shanks of the box blade but with dual angled scrape blades that allow material to flow overtop and out the rear of the attachment.
The first of the scrape blades helps cut the driveway down to an even level, while the second blade levels material and allows excess to spill over into lower areas or potholes. This implement is an excellent combination of finesse and aggressiveness.
A land plane, and the adjustable shanks, allow you to be as delicate or aggressive as you want when building or maintaining your driveway. This attachment will not adequately gather and disperse new material, as the open-back and lower moldboards do not contain material in the same manner as a box blade.
4. Post Hole Diggers & Grapples(Independence Series & Pinnacle Series)
After you’ve repaired your driveway and added adequate drainage with a back blade, box blade, or land plane, you may be looking to add landscaping, fencing, or new design elements to your homestead. Our Pinnacle Series Post Hole Diggers make quick work in all soils so that you can set posts for a fence line along your driveway or add a new entranceway to your homestead.
Grapples, the ultimate do-it-all implement, are perfect for moving boulders to the front of your driveway, carrying fence posts, or other landscaping projects like tree planting. Our complete line of grapples is compatible with Universal Quick-Attach (SSQA) tractors under fifty-five horsepower and nine different John Deere™ loader series variants.
Ultimately, maintaining the driveway on your homestead is among the single most important projects you will have throughout the year. Depending on the location of your property, you will likely deal with seasonal changes like rain or snow that can drastically impact the condition of your gravel road.
Using a back blade, box blade, or land plane to revive compacted soil, spread new material, or create a crown are rewarding projects you will only get better at with practice.
It is important to note that the specific soil conditions of your homestead will alter the way you should approach things like cutting new ditches or what depth you set your ripper shanks.
Have you used one of our attachments to maintain your driveway? Do you have any tips or tricks on the best way to revive an older road? Head over to our Facebook Group to share photos of your homestead to have a chance at being featured in our upcoming social media posts!
See these tips and tricks in action from Hank on Hamiltonville Farm!