Calling any dirt movers and ditch diggers!

mcmxi

Active member

Equipment
BX25DLB, MX6000HST
Feb 9, 2021
143
91
28
Montana
I used the MX and 96" rear blade for about 4 hours yesterday afternoon to fix the 200 yard common driveway that I share with my neighbors who are on 22 acres east of me. I've tried over the past few years to fix it with the BX and 72" rear blade but there doesn't seem to be enough weight to do much of anything. The MX with top-n-tilt was awesome and chews it up without any effort at all. The controls for the top-n-tilt aren't intuitive to me but once I got the hang of angling the rear blade I was really pleased with how much more control I had.

I had used the snow blade on the MX late this last winter to clear snow on the common driveway rather than BX with the snow blower which picked up way too much gravel. The only issue I ran into was lots of partially submerged rocks and bolders along the outer edge of the driveway that would catch on the blade. There were some big rocks/bolders but I was able to remove all over those yesterday so now should be able to push snow off the edge and down the hill with ease.

The problem I'm now facing is drainage. About five years ago my previous neighbor and I split the cost ($3,500) of having a road contractor come out and fix the driveway which was in a terrible state and they did a very good job. They dug a ditch at the bottom of the bank the length of the driveway and installed a culvert under the driveway at the bottom of the hill to take water away, and it worked well. Last year however, my neighbors snow removal contractor decided to dump truck loads of pit run on the driveway without consulting me or my neighbor. That crap had huge 3" to 4" rocks in it and a very heavy rain event a few days later resulted in a load of gravel washing off the driveway, into the ditch and ultimately into the culvert which became blocked. Needless to say I wasn't happy about that and spent a couple of hours trying to unblock the culvert. My new neighbors are from CA and are the passive types so wouldn't confront the contractor over this issue but offered to pay for anything that I had to do to fix the issue. The ditch is still obstructed, the culvert is still partially blocked but the driveway sure is looking nice.

I plan to have a couple of trucks of 3/4" crush delivered but want to fix the drainage issue first. So now to my question. How do I fix it? I don't want to spend weeks out there with a pick and shovel, so do I have an implement that will work? I was thinking about swinging the back hoe bucket off to the side slightly and driving down the hill with the BX but in a "duh" moment realized that the bucket wouldn't be aligned with the ditch. So what to do? Should I try to straddle the ditch with the BX which would require cutting some bank away, make a nice trench and drop a french drain pipe in there, cover it with 3" minus and hope for the best?

Any help would be much appreciated ... and I can't say enough about the MX and how well it handled grading the driveway. The photos below are looking up and down the driveway, and the photo of the ditch shows the only section that isn't totally full of rocks and gravel.

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Last edited:

BigG

Well-known member

Equipment
l2501, FEL, BB, Rotary cutter, rake,spreader, roller, etc. New Holland TL80 A
Sep 14, 2018
1,432
315
83
West Central,FL
Use your hoe to dig out what you can on both ends. Hire a water truck to wash the dirt/stone out of the culvert. A vacuum truck might be able clean out the culvert.

The septic company may be able to wash it out instead of the water truck.

Worst case is to dig up the culvert.
 
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mcmxi

Active member

Equipment
BX25DLB, MX6000HST
Feb 9, 2021
143
91
28
Montana
Use your hoe to dig out what you can on both ends. Hire a water truck to wash the dirt/stone out of the culvert. A vacuum truck might be able clean out the culvert.

The septic company may be able to wash it out instead of the water truck.

Worst case is to dig up the culvert.
I apologize for not making it clearer. The culvert isn't the problem. I can buy a hoe or something and clear it out since it's only 12' or so long and I have good access from the downstream end. The problem is how to dig or dig out the 200 yard long ditch with the tools that I have.
 

Crash277

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Equipment
BX23S
Jan 17, 2021
342
194
43
Canada
See if you can rent a large ditching bucket for your backhoe. Fastest way is likely an excavator. cheapest would likely be the trenching bucket. I have a similar issue here, but I’m lucky my neighbor is bringing a large excavator from work this summer to fix the drainage between our houses. Would take me forever and a day with my little hoe bucket.
 

mcmxi

Active member

Equipment
BX25DLB, MX6000HST
Feb 9, 2021
143
91
28
Montana
See if you can rent a large ditching bucket for your backhoe. Fastest way is likely an excavator. cheapest would likely be the trenching bucket. I have a similar issue here, but I’m lucky my neighbor is bringing a large excavator from work this summer to fix the drainage between our houses. Would take me forever and a day with my little hoe bucket.
Will the ditching bucket remain parallel with the tractor if the boom is swung off to one side? Is there such an animal that would enable me to dig a ditch parallel to the tractor when it's facing downhill? I hope I'm explaining that clearly.
 

dirtydeed

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Lifetime Member

Equipment
B2650 BH77, BX23TLBM, box blade, rear blade, flail mower, Stump Grinder
Dec 8, 2017
1,500
339
83
Wind Gap, PA
I apologize for not making it clearer. The culvert isn't the problem. I can buy a hoe or something and clear it out since it's only 12' or so long and I have good access from the downstream end. The problem is how to dig or dig out the 200 yard long ditch with the tools that I have.
If it were me, I'd simply use the loader. You can clean out 6 plus feet (or whatever the width of your loader bucket) at a time.

I have a backhoe but have found that its often easier/faster to freshen up a roadside ditch with the loader. Just come in perpendicular to the trench and scoop it out. Dump the spoils in the road to be removed at one shot and continue on down the line.
 
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Crash277

Active member

Equipment
BX23S
Jan 17, 2021
342
194
43
Canada
Will the ditching bucket remain parallel with the tractor if the boom is swung off to one side? Is there such an animal that would enable me to dig a ditch parallel to the tractor when it's facing downhill? I hope I'm explaining that clearly.
For a poor mans angle, you can use your downriggers to tilt the entire machine a bit. The problem you have with the hoe is the time wasted moving it.
 

Creature Meadow

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2012 L4600, Disk, Brush Hog, GB60 Garden Bedder, GSS72 Grading Scraper
Sep 19, 2016
979
71
28
50
Central North Carolina
My ditch along the road is not as long as yours but over time rocks and debris make there way into it.

What I do is use my landscape rake off set and angled, drop the tire of the tractor in the ditch and role the rocks out and onto the road. It takes several passes but it works, ditch clean.

I then drive over the ditch several times to pack it, then spread out the material I removed onto my road and level with my land plane.

Could you do the same with you rear blade? Angle it and drive in the ditch to roll the material out.

Best of luck.

Jay
 

dirtydeed

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Lifetime Member

Equipment
B2650 BH77, BX23TLBM, box blade, rear blade, flail mower, Stump Grinder
Dec 8, 2017
1,500
339
83
Wind Gap, PA
Could you do the same with you rear blade? Angle it and drive in the ditch to roll the material out.

Best of luck.

Jay
That would be my next option as well. A rear blade may do it if the material being moved isn't large boulders.
 

BigG

Well-known member

Equipment
l2501, FEL, BB, Rotary cutter, rake,spreader, roller, etc. New Holland TL80 A
Sep 14, 2018
1,432
315
83
West Central,FL
Is your rear blade a standard blade? Will the T-n-T allow you to drop the right corner enough to clean the ditch if you shorten the sway bar on the right side and lengthen the left one so it is being pulled off center? Without looking at your tractor you should have two holes to adjust how high the three point lifts. Adjust the left one so it lifts higher crating more of an angle on the blade.


 

mcmxi

Active member

Equipment
BX25DLB, MX6000HST
Feb 9, 2021
143
91
28
Montana
Is your rear blade a standard blade? Will the T-n-T allow you to drop the right corner enough to clean the ditch if you shorten the sway bar on the right side and lengthen the left one so it is being pulled off center? Without looking at your tractor you should have two holes to adjust how high the three point lifts. Adjust the left one so it lifts higher crating more of an angle on the blade.



BigG, yesterday afternoon kind of went to pieces with a 50+ acre fire on my neighbors property. There were three fire crews on scene so quite the drama. I was getting ready to save the new MX6000 if nothing else!

So back to the driveway. I tilted the rear blade as far as it'll go in the direction I'd want and you can see the angle in reference to the top of the ROPS. This is with the left lift arm set by the dealer as shown.

1.jpg


2.jpg
 

mcmxi

Active member

Equipment
BX25DLB, MX6000HST
Feb 9, 2021
143
91
28
Montana
If it were me, I'd simply use the loader. You can clean out 6 plus feet (or whatever the width of your loader bucket) at a time.

I have a backhoe but have found that its often easier/faster to freshen up a roadside ditch with the loader. Just come in perpendicular to the trench and scoop it out. Dump the spoils in the road to be removed at one shot and continue on down the line.
This is what I would do if the driveway were wide enough, but there's not enough room to come in perpendicular to the ditch or bottom of the bank.
 

BigG

Well-known member

Equipment
l2501, FEL, BB, Rotary cutter, rake,spreader, roller, etc. New Holland TL80 A
Sep 14, 2018
1,432
315
83
West Central,FL
BigG, yesterday afternoon kind of went to pieces with a 50+ acre fire on my neighbors property. There were three fire crews on scene so quite the drama. I was getting ready to save the new MX6000 if nothing else!

So back to the driveway. I tilted the rear blade as far as it'll go in the direction I'd want and you can see the angle in reference to the top of the ROPS. This is with the left lift arm set by the dealer as shown.
I would worry about the fire also!

1. At the bottom of the left arm isn't there 2 holes? Set the lifting arm into the back hole and it should the left side up a little more.

2. Can you shorten the sway bar on the right side any? At the same time length the left sway bar.

3. Try rotating the cutting edge forward a little on the right side. As you take it forward the bottom corner should drop down a little more.

After looking at your pictures you are in luck! Look at the very back of your blade and their is an adjustment to tilt your blade. It will also offset 26" according to the Land Pride brochure. Examine the booklet you should have gotten with the blade to see the adjustments that it will let you do.

You should be good to go with that blade as a lot of blades are not as adjustable as that one.
 

mcmxi

Active member

Equipment
BX25DLB, MX6000HST
Feb 9, 2021
143
91
28
Montana
I would worry about the fire also!

1. At the bottom of the left arm isn't there 2 holes? Set the lifting arm into the back hole and it should the left side up a little more.

2. Can you shorten the sway bar on the right side any? At the same time length the left sway bar.

3. Try rotating the cutting edge forward a little on the right side. As you take it forward the bottom corner should drop down a little more.

After looking at your pictures you are in luck! Look at the very back of your blade and their is an adjustment to tilt your blade. It will also offset 26" according to the Land Pride brochure. Examine the booklet you should have gotten with the blade to see the adjustments that it will let you do.

You should be good to go with that blade as a lot of blades are not as adjustable as that one.
BigG, I hadn't realized that the blade had that extra adjustment at the back... well spotted! I was surprised that it has two pins for horizonal adjustment. One standard pin to rotate the blade in the horizontal plane for blade angle, and another that allows the entire blade to swing left or right (translate) in the horizontal plane relative to the three point. I'll pull that third back pin this afternoon to get more of an angle and see if I can drag the blade down the hill to open up the ditch.

Thanks!
 
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mcmxi

Active member

Equipment
BX25DLB, MX6000HST
Feb 9, 2021
143
91
28
Montana
BigG, I was out on the driveway for a few hours yesterday leveling off a spot lower down that would have been an obstruction for pushing snow. I also tried angling the rear blade by pulling the rearmost pin. With the blade being so long it's hard to get it high enough to obtain enough clearance to rotate the blade to the desired pin hole. I think I'll have to play with the top-n-tilt a bit, maybe rotate all the way in the opposite direction then pull the pin, set the blade and rotate back as far as it will allow.

If it were me, I'd simply use the loader. You can clean out 6 plus feet (or whatever the width of your loader bucket) at a time.

I have a backhoe but have found that its often easier/faster to freshen up a roadside ditch with the loader. Just come in perpendicular to the trench and scoop it out. Dump the spoils in the road to be removed at one shot and continue on down the line.
So coming back to this suggestion, once again I got tunnel vision and thought only of using the MX FEL but I have the BX too and there should be enough room to come in perpendicular to the ditch. I have so many rocks on my property, mostly in large piles, that now I'm thinking long-term and possibly cutting the bank so that I can stack rocks like a retaining wall the entire length of the driveway.