The DR Power Grader: A Nifty Way to Wrangle Your Roadbed

This GRIT recommended product is called the DR Power Grader, a tool that allows a homeowner to groom and grade virtually any dirt or gravel surface using a riding mower, compact tractor or ATV.

| September/October 2006

Learn about the DR Power Grader and how it grades any dirt or gravel surface with ease. 

Anyone who has graded a driveway using an open blade or box blade on a tractor has gotten used to the idea that you need to put a lot of weight on the blade to usefully shape the contour of the roadbed. But that idea is wrong.

Last year, DR Power Equipment introduced the DR Power Grader, an ingenious invention that allows a homeowner to groom and grade virtually any dirt or gravel surface using a riding mower, compact tractor or ATV.

When we first noticed the grader, we doubted it would work very well.  But we took advantage of the company’s risk-free six-month trial offer and found out that the grader works great!

The engineering concept behind the DR Power Grader is a line of carbide steel "scarifiers," or teeth positioned in front of the grader’s blade, much like the teeth on a conventional box blade. What makes the DR Power Grader different is the presence of a battery-driven actuator that lets you raise or lower the set of wheels on which the front of the grader rides. You can mount the controls for the actuator on the body of your towing vehicle using a patch of Velcro or a clamp.

We set the teeth a few millimeters below the level of the road bed for our first pass, then gradually lowered them on subsequent passes until we had loosened two inches of rock and gravel. Then it was just a matter of pulling the grader up and down the driveway until the material had been redistributed and the roadbed was beautifully smooth. For us, the Power Grader was also easier to use, more intuitive and less likely to wreck the driveway than any of the tractor-mounted blades we’ve used over the years.

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