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Best Arena Groomer/Drag to use with ATV/UTV?

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  • Best Arena Groomer/Drag to use with ATV/UTV?

    Anyone here have an arena they maintain without a real tractor?

    There are a few products meant to be pulled by a UTV, ATV or Garden Tractor (not a real tractor) and I'm looking at what the best one is.

    I really would love something like the Arena Rascal, DR Power Grader, or Parma Arena Groomer. Anyone here use any of these?

    We have a large, dirt arena, that our landscape rake is simply not doing justice too. We have the 'heaviest duty' Sears Crafstman Garden Tractor, meant to do 'ground engagement' But, essentially, it's a heavy duty Riding Mower that we can use implements with.

    Our red clay gets rock-hard unless it's maintained better. If we let it get wet then bone-dry, our landscape rake doesn't dig in enough. What I like about the Arena Rascal Pro is that it has the option of using scarifer teeth to loosen hard-pan...then you can switch to the uniform 'blade' that cuts across.....plus it has the "grooming/leveling".


    And yes, someday, i'd love to afford a real arena and real footing, but for now, I can school on our clay/dirt arena just fine It's 100 x 225 ft....and nice and flat. Just not "all weather"

    Looking for feedback from anyone here who maintains thier arena w/ these types of products. (or am I the only one that doesn't have a real tractor?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
    www.elainehickman.com
    **Morgans Do It All**

  • #2
    You might do better dragging a chain harrow or similar behind a truck or car with a tow bar.

    It's probably not something you should do every day with a car you love, but it will do a better job than something light that a mower can drag. Anything that digs deeply enough to do real good will need more power than a mower.

    Comment


    • #3
      I use an 4WD ATV to drag my sand arena, and I have a drag that's similar to this kind:
      http://www.valleyvet.com/ct_detail.h...3-2b9fe3b18e10

      I bought mine several years ago from a guy who was selling them on eBay.
      Visit the County Island, home of Whiskey the ranch horse: http://countyisland.wordpress.com
      Visit him on Facebook:
      http://www.facebook.com/WhiskeyRanch-Horse

      Comment


      • #4
        I've got one from System Fencing in Canada which you are supposed to be able to pull with a lawn tractor but you could not pull it with just any lawn tractor. You need a heavy duty one and they don't necessarilly tell you that.

        I have pulled mine with my truck but it does not do a good job. You really need that 3 point hitch for a good job especially if you are dealing with grass coming through.

        http://www.systemfence.com/index.php...ategory/id/TRC

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          We have the heaviest duty Garden Tractor they make

          Originally posted by tangledweb View Post
          You might do better dragging a chain harrow or similar behind a truck or car with a tow bar.

          It's probably not something you should do every day with a car you love, but it will do a better job than something light that a mower can drag. Anything that digs deeply enough to do real good will need more power than a mower.
          We are not using a "mower" We purposefully got the heaviest duty Garden Tractor MEANT for ground-engagement, because we knew we wanted to use implements. It's vastly different than a little riding mower

          I agree it's not like using a Kubota or John Deer tractor, but it works for our small property.

          Dragging a chain harrow isn't enough for when we let the dirt get hard. The System Fencing products are very similar to the Arena Rascal Pro, and DR Power Grader - made for ATVs/UTVs

          Just thought I'd ask if anyone else uses these. We may end up just borrowing the neighbors' 'real tractor' when we have let the clay/dirt get too hard....and we have to really dig into it.

          These products are all near $2000 ....very expensive!
          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
          Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
          www.elainehickman.com
          **Morgans Do It All**

          Comment


          • #6
            We have the DR Power grader. I am very so-so about it. I tried using it with the 20HP lawn tractor - didn't work. I do pull it with the 28HP New Holland. If you are just dragging a flat arena it will probably maintain it fine. Our really-lovely arena ended up over the years getting some "waves" on it. The DR is totally crap at actually trying to remedy it. The remote up and down is too slow for you to make changes and it's not heavy enough, even carrying a concrete block to do much.

            Comment

            • Original Poster

              #7
              Originally posted by Kate66 View Post
              We have the DR Power grader. I am very so-so about it. I tried using it with the 20HP lawn tractor - didn't work. I do pull it with the 28HP New Holland. If you are just dragging a flat arena it will probably maintain it fine. Our really-lovely arena ended up over the years getting some "waves" on it. The DR is totally crap at actually trying to remedy it. The remote up and down is too slow for you to make changes and it's not heavy enough, even carrying a concrete block to do much.
              Thanks! That's exactly the kind of feedback I was looking for! Bet it's disappointing to have spent that kind of money on something that can't even be used in the way it was advertised My top two contenders were the DR Power Grader and Arena Rascal.

              Hmmm....now I hope to hear from anyone that has used the Arena Rascal Pro!
              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
              Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
              www.elainehickman.com
              **Morgans Do It All**

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Fancy That View Post
                Thanks! That's exactly the kind of feedback I was looking for! Bet it's disappointing to have spent that kind of money on something that can't even be used in the way it was advertised My top two contenders were the DR Power Grader and Arena Rascal.

                Hmmm....now I hope to hear from anyone that has used the Arena Rascal Pro!
                I was probably a bit negative. In reality, it makes the arena look lovely. It breaks up the sand and smooths it with that grid thing that drags behind. It also is good on our pretty solid driveway for dragging it and smoothing it a bit. However, if your arena sub-base is level, which ours is, but over the time the footing has been built up in areas and down in others - through rain etc - when I drag it with the DR, the tractor goes up and down over the high and low areas and as a consequence the DR just goes up and down too - so it looks lovely, but still has exactly the same ups and downs.

                I looked at the Arena Pro too. The cost difference is huge. I think the Arena Pro was about $6k and the DR was about $1500? I couldn't work out from asking the Arena Pro people how theirs worked any different. It's a question to really get them to explain - if the arena is uneven, not just 2" here and 2" there (which the DR would fix) but say a 2' section across the ways, how does the drag fix that and not just go up and down with the tractor?

                Comment


                • #9
                  Is your tractor 2 wheel drive or 4? A smaller tractor (not mower) that is 2 wheel drive will have a very hard time gaining traction in 2 - 4 inch loose footing material. This will especially be an issue if you are trying to grade material, move it from one part of the arena to another. As to Kate66 comments on grading...it is important to understand that any/every tool on the market, until you get into hydraulically controlled laser graders, ($20K-$30K) will not be able to fill holes and low spots that are bigger than the implement on it's own. It will take special grading techniques to pull material from the high areas into the low areas. Just dragging through will only make those low spots worse. Just as she indicated.

                  But I didn't read anything about you needing to grade a large amount of material. Frankly, I don't think your tractor has enough power or traction to move a lot of material without spinning. If you do need to grade a lot of material I think upgrading to an ATV or larger tractor will be required. So I assume grading is not be a major issue for you. You just need a tool that will breakup the hardpan material and keep consistent safe footing. Right?

                  I think you should look at the Rascal LGR... It's about $1,500 delivered to your door and is the baby brother to the Arena Rascal Pro! It is lighter weight and does not have as many ground engaging points. This will reduce the amount of power and traction needed to drag your arena. Here is the website: http://www.abiattachments.com/produc...ascal_lgr.html

                  Here is the YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1UUb8h5UPds

                  Sure the Arena Rascal Pro is much better...it also has the profile blades...which are amazing...but it may be more tool than your tractor can handle. FYI... The Arena Rascal Pro is more than a Dr Power Grader but it is way less than $6,000. Way way less.

                  Parma has been around a long time and makes a quality product. My only concern there is the Parma uses spring tines. These type of tines are known for not breaking up hardpan well. (Not on the top surface but under the surface) Many people complain over time that spring tines create a rippled base. Not because it damages a base but because they may not be aggressive enough and may just ride overtop of hardpan instead of loosening it. Essentially the top footing becomes so hard many people think the sand is gone but in reality the tool they are using just can't loosen the compaction layer that forms overtop the base.

                  Dr Power Grader has one fatal flaw for horse arena owners. The loosening teeth are too short and they are not all that adjustable. Everyone knows a safe horse arena must have a consistent depth of loosed material overtop of an undisturbed base. The DRs teeth are not even an inch long. Therefor it is not possible to have 1 1/2" - 4" (depending on your disciple) of consistently loosened material without displacing material as you drag. The teeth of any good arena drag need to be independently adjustable from the frame of the tool. This gives you the depth you need and prevents the tool from digging low spots in places you don't want them!

                  All the Rascal drags have independent teeth and they easily break up hard pan. The tires keep the teeth from going too deep and damaging your base material.

                  Sorry for the long post... But I truly hope this is helpful...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I like and recommend the Handozer. It has enough weight to keep the teeth ripping as deep as you set them, and the rails prevent waves from forming over time. Get the drag mat addition that hooks on to the back end. My clients have been very happy with theirs, mostly the 6' model with an ATV. The mfg is close to you in California.


                    http://www.handozer.com/index.php/mgs-and-mgrs
                    Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design
                    www.lynnlongplanninganddesign.com

                    Comment

                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      Thanks!

                      JimC - thank you so much for that thoughtful response!!! Yes, we dont expect our Garden Tractor to do what a real tractor can do....but we did buy the one that was heaviest-duty for ground engagement, specifically.

                      Love those Arena Rascal products!

                      Plumcreek - I totally forgot about the Handozer!!? Thanks for letting me know about it. Seems like it's a fraction of the cost, so I wonder what functionality I'd be missing. But looks like it has the important long ripping teeth that are adjustable, and the adjustable (angle) of the rake behind it. It's narrow at only 3.5ft but it is so cheap!!!???

                      thanks all!
                      ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                      Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
                      www.elainehickman.com
                      **Morgans Do It All**

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by jimc View Post

                        Sure the Arena Rascal Pro is much better...it also has the profile blades...which are amazing...but it may be more tool than your tractor can handle. FYI... The Arena Rascal Pro is more than a Dr Power Grader but it is way less than $6,000. Way way less.

                        Dr Power Grader has one fatal flaw for horse arena owners. The loosening teeth are too short and they are not all that adjustable. Everyone knows a safe horse arena must have a consistent depth of loosed material overtop of an undisturbed base. The DRs teeth are not even an inch long. Therefor it is not possible to have 1 1/2" - 4" (depending on your disciple) of consistently loosened material without displacing material as you drag. The teeth of any good arena drag need to be independently adjustable from the frame of the tool. This gives you the depth you need and prevents the tool from digging low spots in places you don't want them!

                        All the Rascal drags have independent teeth and they easily break up hard pan. The tires keep the teeth from going too deep and damaging your base material.

                        Sorry for the long post... But I truly hope this is helpful...
                        The DR teeth are 4" long with 2.5" sticking out blow the horizontal bar (just went and measured). You can remotely vary the height (i.e. depth) that the teeth are going in as you are driving along. My issue with this is that it is not instantaneous. It's slow so if you have a "wave" and want to drag from high onto low, it's almost impossible without dragging, stopping, raising the teeth to let it drop and then lowering to move onto the next bit.

                        I would have jumped at the Arena Pro but spoke directly with abiequine (and believe me, you don't want to call them unless you are seriously interested as they call you back LOADS of times to see what you are thinking) and to get it with the extra things that I felt at the time I needed, it was certainly up near the $5k - $6k mark. I wouldn't have bought the DR if the Arena pro had been anywhere close to it. I do think it would be a much better product.

                        When I spoke with abi Equine and asked about whether or not their products could handle the wave on the arena, they assured me that it would. For the life of me I couldn't fathom out how unless there was somesort of depth measure, that was non-obstructive to your base, that somehow ran along the base and adjusted the drag according to the difference between the base and the top of the footing. However, both abi and DR made this same promise. The great thing about DR is that you can try for 6 months and send back if you don't like for a full refund. Maybe abi do that too with the arena pro?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Fancy That View Post
                          JimC - t

                          Plumcreek - I totally forgot about the Handozer!!? Thanks for letting me know about it. Seems like it's a fraction of the cost, so I wonder what functionality I'd be missing. But looks like it has the important long ripping teeth that are adjustable, and the adjustable (angle) of the rake behind it. It's narrow at only 3.5ft but it is so cheap!!!???

                          thanks all!
                          The Handozer comes in widths up to 8 feet. Follow the sidelinks or google it and start over with the website. I really like them and like the fact that you can raise the teeth and roll them anywhere.
                          Comprehensive Equestrian Site Planning and Facility Design
                          www.lynnlongplanninganddesign.com

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Kate66 View Post
                            The DR teeth are 4" long with 2.5" sticking out blow the horizontal bar (just went and measured). You can remotely vary the height (i.e. depth) that the teeth are going in as you are driving along. My issue with this is that it is not instantaneous. It's slow so if you have a "wave" and want to drag from high onto low, it's almost impossible without dragging, stopping, raising the teeth to let it drop and then lowering to move onto the next bit.

                            I would have jumped at the Arena Pro but spoke directly with abiequine (and believe me, you don't want to call them unless you are seriously interested as they call you back LOADS of times to see what you are thinking) and to get it with the extra things that I felt at the time I needed, it was certainly up near the $5k - $6k mark. I wouldn't have bought the DR if the Arena pro had been anywhere close to it. I do think it would be a much better product.

                            When I spoke with abi Equine and asked about whether or not their products could handle the wave on the arena, they assured me that it would. For the life of me I couldn't fathom out how unless there was somesort of depth measure, that was non-obstructive to your base, that somehow ran along the base and adjusted the drag according to the difference between the base and the top of the footing. However, both abi and DR made this same promise. The great thing about DR is that you can try for 6 months and send back if you don't like for a full refund. Maybe abi do that too with the arena pro?
                            Although the DR teeth may be 4" long from the top frame member to the bottom of the tooth only a fraction of that tooth actually goes into the ground. The question is how far can they go into the ground before the frame begins to interfere and displace material. According to DR's website that distance is 9/16" below ground level. DR designed it this way on purpose to be an ideal driveway grader for small lawn tractors to pull. (As not to loosen or pull more material than a lawn mower can handle)

                            I know for a fact one can purchase a brand new Arena Rascal Pro for around $2K. ABI Equine also does sell the TR3 Rake for 3point tractors... Those are not even $5000 for most models.

                            But the larger question here is how do you grade or remove "waves" from an arena without a tractor and or laser system.... With the 3point of a tractor this is easier but with an atv there is no way to lift the implement off the ground to collect and drop footing material. This is why some atv arena drags offer an electric lifting actuator. A fast professional grade actuator is essential. These usually run about $400 - $600 just for the actuator, wiring and remote.

                            Here are the basics of removing waves from an arena (without a laser) if you have an implement that can pull material from point "A" to point "B" and can be controlled either by an electric actuator or 3point.

                            The first thing you need to do is determine what your "grade" is. If you have a professionally installed base, gently dig down through the hardpan until you reach the base material. The base is usually a different color from the footing material and much harder. Do this in about 20 areas throughout the arena in a grid pattern. You will probably find the depth of the footing material will change from 1" - 6" (or more) from spot to spot. The hope is that you will not find that your arena drag has damaged the base. Take a can of spray paint and paint the depth of the footing material beside each test hole you have dug. Now take a good look at the arena and try to find other areas that may look higher or lower... Dig and mark these areas too. Now you will have a good idea of the depth of the footing through the arena. Assuming your base is not damaged the next step is to use the leveling component of your drag (The area that will pull material) and begin to pull the high areas into your low areas. You do not just drag around the area to accomplish this. You will need to engage the leveling component on the high areas and raise it once you get that material to the low areas to move the high areas into the low areas. You simply repeat the process over and over and over again. You may need to use ripping teeth to loosen the hard pan. Just be careful not to rip into the base. Gauge wheels and side rails only protect the base if you have a consistent footing depth throughout the arena. (This is true for all tools on the market) With a tractor this would take a few hours on an average size area... With an ATV and a drag with an electric actuator this could take all day (maybe two). But the point here is that the arena is in need or repair or renovation. The arena didn't get in this condition overnight... It will take time to repair it.

                            Once you have a repaired arena it is important to have a drag that will keep the footing material consistently loosened and does not allow the hardpan to form below the surface. This is what the profile blade on the Arena Rascal Pro is all about. The blade keeps the base "clean" so the footing material does not pack and create that "rippled" effect on the base. It is also vital that the drag does not displace more material than is needed... It is the hardpan and the unneeded displacement of material that causes waves. Well... a ruined arena or an arena that was not professionally installed and has natural rolling ground could also cause waves.

                            I know this sounds like a lot of work... It is, but once it is done the use of a good arena drag will keep the arena in good shape. Don't forget to drag your arena often. Once a week is not enough. And also keep in mind if you don't have a professionally installed base you may fight "waves" every 6 - 12 months. (All depends on your ground) You just need to have a tool that can truly grade material and have an electric actuator to grab high spot and fill low. Like the Arena Rascal Pro and a couple of others...

                            If you don't want to go through all this and can afford it...just have your arena laser leveled by a contractor and then use a good drag to maintain that level grade.

                            Again... Sorry for the long post...

                            Comment

                            • Original Poster

                              #15
                              Thanks Jim!

                              Wow - once again, thank you for the informational and educational post about removing waves and doing 'real grading'

                              My husband graded our dirt arena with a skid steer, doing just what you said.

                              However, it's not perfect...but good enough for us just to school on (we are the only ones to use it that may only be 3x/week since we often just load up and go trail riding)

                              It's a lovely, flat, huge schooling area and I just want to maintain it a little better with something like the Arena Rascal, Handozer or the Arena Ripper (Wiko)

                              This has been a very helpful thread! BTW -our Garden Tractor is 26hp, with maybe 800cc engine? But it's not 4WD like an ATV. It is geared with the torque in mind for pulling/ground-engagement though.
                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                              Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
                              www.elainehickman.com
                              **Morgans Do It All**

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I just got in a Arena Rascal Pro with the profiler blades. I will be pulling it with a Polaris 700 cc UTV 4wd. My ring should be done this week. I can check-in and let you know how I like it. Bought it with free shipping and a free extended warranty. Hubby is actually fairly impressed. Suggested seeing how it worked on the garden he just rototilled .

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Rascal

                                  [I'm wondering how you made out with the arena pro, do you recommend it or not, we are all waiting to here.

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Totally forgot about this thread! We love the Arena Rascal Pro. Easy to use and no maintenance needed It gets two thumbs up!

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      These folks make a decent groomer

                                      http://www.ezgroomer.com/
                                      there's a video linked from the site, it shows the machine doing a good job in some pretty not-good dirt footing.
                                      Homesick Angels Farm
                                      breeders of champion Irish Draught Sporthorses
                                      standing Manu Forti's Touch Down RID
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                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Better or worse

                                        I'm glad you replied about the arena pro. your are the first one to say they have one. Ive searched the whole internet and nobody has posted anything about them. no review nothing other than the manufactures ads and sales pitch. That is why i would like to ask you some questions, i'm sure hundreds of other people would like to ask also. Have you tried this machine on hard packed gravel and how does it break it up. And how does it do on the highs and lows or ruts, does it fill them in good. you know like a pot hole or a low spot on the road or does it just follow the contours like my dr powergrader. also is that electric actuator fast of slow. The dr powergraders is very slow, just the nature of the beast, but I'm happy with it but would like something that could dig down a little deeper and respond faster. I'm not sold on the gravel rascal videos because most of the pictures are on soft gravel that does not look like it is packed down. That is the power of advertising to make everything look perfect to make you buy it. So I'm hoping you have used it on packed gravel and then maybe I will get an honest answer. I'm sure it is the machine that i need just not 100% sold on it yet.
                                        Take care

                                        Comment

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