Rufus Laggren wrote:Been looking at methods/machines for roads and berming. But no experience. Just a question from what I've read in the last couple days:
Do you think a back blade (no box) on a tractor would work better than the box? Survey/mark the contour on the low side, keep the blade about the same depth as the low-side wheels, tilt the high side blade down a bit for cutting... End up w/a swale a litte deeper on the high side. No box sides so would cut into the high ground easier (no riding up); tilts more to cut deeper on the high side to offset the tractor's yaw (lean) on the slope; angled to continuously deposit the cut earth in the direction of the mound on the low side. A big enough tractor to operate a blade wide enough to cut the full width of the swale (after taking account the blade angle). If the blade could be offset to the (high) side it might make the cut easier on steeper slopes. If slope was steeper, more than one pass would probably be needed to cut the bottom of the swale all the way across its width. Not sure about trimming the contour flat-level after roughing in; maybe would self correct after some time if the rough line was pretty good?
It seems for building purposes a swale can be considered a quite narrow (or wide, depending) road cut across the slope on the contour. So some of the same tools and methods seem plausible.
A backblade by itself can work if your ground is soft enough. I use a box scraper because it has rippers that will loosen the soil, remove any roots, and will lift out rocks. Keep in mind that a tractor can't work on much of a side slope.