How to maintain a gravel drive using a box blade with hydraulic scarifiers

Your gravel driveway isn’t hard to maintain, as long as you’re using the right tools. This video takes a look at how to maintain a gravel drive using a box blade. It’s the perfect project for a Frontier BB4184H Box Blade (US CA) with hydraulic scarifiers. The scarifiers will do a great job of cutting through the washboard surface of the gravel drive, churning the material so the box blade’s cutting edge can smooth it out.

We also show you how to add some topdressing to the gravel drive where a drainage pipe running underneath it has started to peak through the surface.

For this project, we use a John Deere 4052M Compact Utility Tractor (US CA) that matches perfectly with our 84-inch (213.36 cm) box blade. It delivers 52 engine horsepower (38.77 kW) and includes the standard 12F/12R PowrReverser transmission.

We also added a D170 loader with a lift capacity of more than 2300 pounds (104.33 kg), along with a 73-inch (185.42 cm) material bucket, which is one of the Top 10 implements our experts believe you should have in your machine shed.

And, we’ve added an iMatchTM Quick Hitch to our tractor, which makes hooking up all kinds of implements as easy as possible because you don’t have to get off the tractor to attach compatible implements to the 3-point hitch.

Hook up box blade using quick hitch.

First, Caitlin will hook up the box blade using the iMatchTM Quick Hitch. All she has to do is focus on the top hook, and everything else will fall into place. She’ll close the locking levers to secure the box blade. Then she’ll turn off the tractor, set the parking brake, and come around to hook up the hydraulic hoses for raising and lowering the scarifier beam inside the box blade from the operator station.

Then, with the box blade slightly raised and the scarifier beam in its down and locked position, she’ll set each scarifier shank on its second-to-lowest notch. To maintain a gravel drive using a box blade with hydraulic scarifiers, you want scarifiers set low enough to churn the surface down to just below the bottom of the washboard bumps, but not into the driveway’s foundation.

By running the scarifiers through the washboard surface, Caitlin can break up all the bumps. Then she’ll hydraulically raise the scarifier shanks out of the way and spread the churned up material out the back of the box blade, leaving a smooth, even surface behind. It will take her about an hour and 3 or 4 passes up and down the gravel drive to eliminate the washboard bumps and smooth out the sized material.

Add topdressing to gravel drive.

There are 2 drainage pipes running underneath the gravel drive. Traffic and erosion have exposed one of them. So we need to add more topdressing material to cover and protect it.

Using our material bucket, Caitlin will pour a few loads of a dirt and gravel mixture right on top of the exposed pipe. And she won’t be shy about using it. There’s plenty more where that came from.

Then, with the hydraulic scarifiers in their raised position, she’ll use the box blade to start pushing and pulling the pile to cover the drainage pipe. She’ll work the material to spread it out, leaving a smooth and even surface. Start to finish, this project will only take about 30 minutes.

Talk to your John Deere dealer about matching a Frontier Box Blade with hydraulic scarifiers or any other implement to your tractor.

As always, remember to read the Operator’s Manual before operating any piece of equipment, and follow all operating and safety instructions.

Helpful Links:

Frontier Box Blades (US CA)

Frontier Landscape Equipment (US CA)

John Deere Tractors (US CA)

How to maintain a gravel drive

How to repair a gravel drive

How to remove snow from a gravel drive

How To Remove Snow 3 Different Ways

How to gravel a farm road using a drawn box scraper

How to gravel a country lane

Find Your Dealer (US CA)