Safely Using A Box Scraper
A box scraper is an excellent tool for grading a driveway, shaping a berm or shallow ditch, or to level a garden before planting. If used in a safe manner, box scrapers can save a lot of tedious physical labor, dragging large sections of ground in a short time. Remember that you are dealing with extremely heavy equipment, and wear protective equipment, and there won't be any problems.
What is a Box Scraper?
Many people confuse a paint scraper with a box scraper, which is not at all accurate. A box scraper is a piece of farm equipment which weighs hundreds of pounds and is pulled behind a tractor, and a paint scraper is a hand-held device uses to scrape the paint from wood and other surfaces. Typically, a box scraper connects to the tractor with a 3-point hookup, a common arrangement on farm tractors that uses 2 side connectors, and one top (or center) bar that can be adjusted by twisting it in one direction or another. A box scraper is sometimes called a box blade, and is generally a long, curved metal "blade" with metal sides extended forward from the blade to contain the materials being leveled.
Step 1: Safety First
Always wear thick gloves and safety glasses when working with any farm equipment. Tractors and the implements which connect to them have many sharp edges and possible pinch points, so care should be taken when working with and around them. Tuck in shirt-tails, and avoid baggy, loose fitting clothing to reduce the possibility of being accidentally entangled in the machine. One of the most common injuries with farm tractors occur when clothing gets caught in the PTO (Power Take Off), a spinning shaft located just below the hydraulic arms. Always shut the tractor off when connecting or disconnecting box scrapers or other implements.
Step 2: Connecting a Box Scraper
At the front and each side of a garden scraper are two pins, which protrude horizontally, and have a hole near the outer end. On the tractor, there are two bars on each side, one is the hydraulic arm, and lifts or lowers the blade, and the other is a stabilizer bar, which prevents the box scraper from swinging wildly from side to die. With these four arms connected, the top bar can be pivoted down to the box scraper, where it fits into a bracket on the very top of the scraper.
Step 3: Adjusting Scraper Angle
Be careful not to place your feet under the edge of the blade while making adjustments. Turning the central shaft of the top bar in one direction will increase the angle of the box scraper, and turning it the other way will decrease the angle, Increasing the angles cause the box to hold more soil, and decreasing it allows more of the soil to escape beneath the blade. Additionally, the blade itself can be swiveled up to 30 degrees to the left or right.
Step 4: Adjusting Depth
When operating the tractor, there is a lever, usually on the right-hand side at about seat level, which control the depth of the blade. Experiment with different depths until you find the one which is suitable for the application, and then screw the locking mechanism into place.
This prevents the hydraulics from going below the desired height.