If you have a gravel driveway or dirt road to maintain, you’ve probably looked into a lot of different tools and methods for keeping them maintained. After you’ve ruled out the backbreaking work of filling potholes by hand and raking washboard smooth, you probably moved on to looking for mechanical solutions, such as a driveway grader or a box scraper. But what’s the difference, and which one do you want?
What’s the difference?
A box scraper usually features a straight blade in the back, with a number of long teeth in front. Most are tractor-mounted and designed to use your tractor’s hydraulic system. A driveway grader such as the DR Power Grader, however, has a slimmer design, shorter teeth (but a lot more of them), and tows behind a lawn tractor or ATV. The two achieve roughly the same goal, but a driveway grader such as the DR Power Grader is more efficient, user-friendly, and leaves a better result. Here’ s how:
A box scraper has anywhere from 4 to 10 teeth. The DR Power Grader, on the other hand, is available with either 12 or 16 teeth. This is important because the smaller the spaces between the teeth, the smoother and more even the end result. Also, the teeth on the DR Power Grader are tipped with carbide, an incredibly hard, durable material that’s typically used for drilling through bedrock. So, needless to say, it can handle hundreds of driveway grades without wearing down!
Also, box scraper teeth need to be adjusted manually. Each one has to be individually raised or lowered and locked in place before you can continue working. The DR Power Grader, on the other hand, adjusts mechanically with a wireless remote control. You stay right on your towing vehicle, and raise and lower the unit as needed with the push of a button.
Most box graders are essentially rigid, without any pivot between the hitch structure and the teeth/blade structure. This means that as you grade, it goes up on the high spots, and down into the low spots with your towing vehicle. The DR Power Grader, however, has a pivot point between the hitch structure and the rest of the machine, such that the grader is always moving at a smooth, consistent level. This leaves a higher-quality, smoother grade, because it shaves down the high spots and fills in the low spots, instead of simply riding up and down them.
Because box scrapers have a taller rear leveling blade, they pull more material with them as you grade. The DR Power Grader has a slimmer blade, which levels materials just as well, but doesn’t pull as much around behind your towing vehicle, so you use less fuel and require fewer horsepower.
The DR Power Grader features a universal dual hitch, so you can tow it behind your ATV, lawn tractor, or any other vehicle with a pin or ball hitch (although we do not recommend using a pickup truck or other passenger vehicle). Most box scrapers, on the other hand, are designed for a 3-point hitch mechanism, which limits your towing vehicle to a utility tractor.
The Bottom Line
At the end of the day, a box scraper is essentially a flimsy alternative to the DR Power Grader. They may look similar, but the DR engineering team designed the DR Power Grader to solve all the problems with box scrapers: too-far-apart teeth, the trouble of adjusting the teeth manually, the way they ride up on hills and down into valleys instead of smoothing them out, their inefficiency, and their towing vehicle requirements. For better results and a much easier job for you, check out the DR Power Grader.
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