How to Build a Leveling Drag: A Comprehensive Guide.

Building a leveling drag requires welding together a metal frame and attaching a series of rigid, straight pieces to create the drag. Once the frame and drag are assembled, it can be drawn behind a tractor or all-terrain vehicle to level soil for planting or grading.

Leveling drags are a crucial tool for farmers and landscapers, enabling them to create smooth, level surfaces for planting or construction. Building a leveling drag involves a series of precise steps, including creating a sturdy frame, attaching rigid, straight pieces, and ensuring the drag is properly balanced.

Once built, the leveling drag can be used to prepare soil for planting or grading a construction site, ensuring optimal growing conditions or creating an even foundation. With careful construction and attention to detail, anyone can build a leveling drag that meets their specific needs and reduces stress on their machinery.

How to Build a Leveling Drag: A Comprehensive Guide.


Materials Needed

Building a leveling drag is a great idea for anyone looking to level off a dirt road, driveway, arena, garden, or tilled soil. One of the most important aspects of building a leveling drag is selecting the right materials. In this segment of the ‘how to build a leveling drag: a comprehensive guide,’ we will provide information on the key essential materials needed and tips for selecting the correct materials.

List Of Materials Needed

Before starting on the construction of your leveling drag, you must gather all the necessary materials, tools, and safety equipment. The following is a list of materials required:

  • Metal mesh or any other suitable material like chain link fencing, expanded metal or welded wire mesh
  • Steel or concrete poles
  • Nails and screws
  • Bolts
  • Threaded steel pipes
  • End caps and t-joint connectors
  • Metal stakes
  • Safety gloves and glasses
  • Measuring tape

Tips For Selecting The Right Materials

  • Choose metal mesh with smaller holes: The smaller the holes on the metal mesh, the more effective the leveling drag will be. Mesh with small openings ensures that it collects smaller stones, rocks, or debris that tend to clog up the leveling drag, leaving large ones behind.
  • Use galvanized metal mesh: The mesh will likely come into contact with water or moisture, which accelerates rust and corrosion. Galvanized metal mesh prevents rust from forming and prolongs the drag’s lifespan.
  • Select steel or concrete poles: Poles are useful for attaching the leveling drag to a vehicle. Steel poles are sturdier and longer-lasting and also cheaper. However, they are heavier. Concrete poles are more durable, but they are expensive and difficult to move.
  • Use appropriate connectors for stability: Choose heavy-duty connectors like t-joint and end caps that offer excellent stability and guarantee the drag’s longevity.
  • Pick sturdy threaded steel pipes: Threaded steel pipes provide a solid foundation and support mechanism for your leveling drag. Choose pipes that are strong enough to withstand the drag’s weight and the stress of any adverse weather elements.

Selecting the right materials is a crucial step in building a leveling drag. Always keep in mind that the quality of the materials used will affect the drag’s effectiveness, durability, and longevity. You must go for materials that meet your needs and budget.

And don’t forget to wear safety gear when building your leveling drag.

Building The Base

To ensure that your leveling drag stays sturdy and stable, constructing a strong base is critical. In this section, we will provide you with step-by-step instructions for building the base of the leveling drag and important considerations for making it sturdy.

Step-By-Step Instructions For Building The Base Of The Leveling Drag

  • Start with measuring and marking the dimensions of the base on the plywood sheet using a pencil and a ruler.
  • Cut the plywood sheet according to the measurements marked in the previous step using a saw.
  • Repeat the above steps to create the second base that is identical to the first one.
  • Secure two of the 2″x4″ boards to the bottom of the base with the help of a drill and screws to act as the base’s primary support boards.
  • Secure two more 2″x4″ boards on top of the previously attached boards, perpendicular to them, to create an “l” shape structure.
  • Repeat the above steps for the second base to create an identical structure.

Important Considerations For Making A Sturdy Base

  • Keep the following points in mind while constructing the base:
  • The thickness and length of the support boards should be adequate to bear the weight of the leveling drag and to prevent any tilting or damage to the base.
  • Use pressure-treated wood due to its resistance to moisture, decay and insect infestation.
  • Make sure that the base joints are secured using sufficient screws or bolts to withstand any heavy-duty use.
  • Measure and level the base to ensure its optimal performance.

By following these guidelines, you can easily create a sturdy and stable base for your leveling drag. Keep in mind that choosing the right materials and tools and paying attention to the detailed steps will help you to have a well-functioning drag that will last for years to come.

Creating The Teeth

Explanation Of Teeth And Their Function

When you are building a leveling drag, you need to have a clear understanding of the importance of teeth. Teeth are the crucial component of a drag that help break up soil and level the surface. They are responsible for agitating the soil and loosening any clumps, so the drag can level the surface evenly.

Step-By-Step Instructions For Creating The Teeth

Creating teeth is not as difficult as it may seem. You can follow these step-by-step instructions to create teeth effectively:

  • First, identify the type of metal you desire for the teeth. Common options include steel or iron.
  • After identifying the metal, choose the appropriate thickness for the teeth.
  • Cut the metal sheets based on the size and shape you require.
  • Make cuts in the metal sheets to shape the teeth. These cuts should be perpendicular to the teeth’s edges and approximately 1 inch apart from one another.
  • Use a grinder to sharpen the teeth’s edges, making them as sharp as possible.
  • Drill the mounting holes at the base of each tooth.
  • Attach the teeth to the drag’s frame using nuts and bolts.

Different Designs For Teeth

Teeth come in various shapes and sizes. Here is a list of different designs for teeth that you can consider while building your leveling drag:

  • Straight cut teeth provide a simple mechanism for soil penetration and work best on the surface-level debris.
  • S-tines or c-tines are suited for breaking through compact ground, as they can dig deeper due to the curvature.
  • Winged teeth provide a larger coverage area and are best suited for rough terrain with large debris.
  • Spike teeth, also called chisel or ripper teeth, are designed for soil penetration. These teeth are likely to tear up the ground and penetrate deeper if you have to loosen tough soil.
  • Spring teeth help you remove small surface debris and create a fine soil bed.

Please note that different types of teeth provide different results based on the ground type, soil condition, and surface debris. Therefore, it’s crucial to select the right kind of tooth for your leveling drag based on your needs.


Putting The Drag Together

Now that you have all the necessary materials and tools, it’s time to assemble the leveling drag. Follow these steps for a smooth assembly process:

  • Lay out all the parts and materials to ensure you have everything you need before starting.
  • Begin with the main frame of your drag, laying out all the pipes on the ground, connecting them. Use t-joints to attach the two horizontal pipes.
  • After attaching the horizontal pipes, connect the short vertical pipes to the t-joints. Then attach the couplers to the bottom of the vertical pipes.
  • Measure your chain and cut it to the desired length using a bolt cutter. Attach the chains to the couplers using s-hooks.
  • Insert the metal rods inside each coupler, making sure they are secure and won’t come out.
  • Once you have attached the chain and metal rods, drill holes into each pipe and tighten all the screws using a wrench.
  • Finally, attach the drag mat to the frame. Lay it out evenly, securing it to the pipes using zip ties or metal clips.

Tips For Ensuring A Smooth Assembly

  • Read the instructions carefully before beginning. Make sure you understand all the steps before starting the assembly process.
  • Organize all the parts and tools in advance to save time and avoid confusion.
  • Keep all the screws, bolts, and nuts in a container to avoid losing them.
  • Wear gloves and protective eyewear to protect yourself from any sharp edges or flying debris.
  • Have a helper to assist you with holding the frame and aligning the pipes while attaching the screws.
  • To prevent rust, paint the metal pipes before assembly.
  • Use a level to ensure the frame is level before attaching the chains and metal rods.
  • Check for any loose screws or bolts after the assembly is complete.
  • Store the leveling drag in a dry, covered space to prevent it from rusting or getting damaged.
  • Clean the drag mat regularly to maintain optimal performance and efficiency. A pressure washer can easily clean off any debris or dirt.

By following these tips and the steps outlined in this guide, you’ll have a fully functional leveling drag for your farm or garden in no time.

Maintenance And Care

Building a leveling drag isn’t a complicated process, but it does require some time and effort. It’s essential to keep in mind that regular maintenance and care will ensure the drag functions correctly and lasts for years to come. In this post, we’ll cover everything you need to know about maintaining and caring for your new leveling drag.

Tips For Keeping The Leveling Drag In Good Condition

Here are some tips to help you keep your leveling drag in good condition:

  • Always clean your drag after each use. Wipe down the drag with a damp cloth to remove any dirt, grass, or debris that has accumulated on it.
  • Keep your drag in a dry, cool location when it’s not in use. Storing the tool in a proper location will ensure that it doesn’t rust or corrode, as exposure to moisture can damage the leveling drag.
  • Ensure that the drag is level before each use. This will prevent damage to the drag tines and ensure that the drag moves smoothly along the ground.

Regular Maintenance Procedures Explained

Regular maintenance is essential for ensuring that your leveling drag functions correctly. Here are some essential maintenance procedures to follow:

  • Check and tighten any loose bolts and nuts before each use. This will ensure that the drag tines are securely attached to the drag frame and prevent any potential damage.
  • Replace any worn drag tines immediately. Worn tines won’t level your surface correctly, and can also cause other damage to the drag. You can purchase replacement drag tines from any hardware or farm supply store.

Common Problems And Troubleshooting

Even after regular maintenance, you may encounter some issues with your leveling drag that require troubleshooting. Here are some common problems and how to troubleshoot them:

  • Dragging or not cutting correctly: Ensure that the drag tines are all in good condition and not bent or worn. Check that the height or angle adjustments are set correctly.
  • Poor weight capacity or stability: If your drag seems to drag, shake or flip over too easily, check the drag’s weight distribution on the tines. To improve stability, distribute weight evenly across the drag tines and adjust the weight accordingly.

Following these simple guidelines will help you maintain your leveling drag in good condition and reduce the chances of damage. If you maintain it correctly, your drag will not only last longer but also provide you with year-round reliability.

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Build A Leveling Drag

What Is A Leveling Drag Used For?

A leveling drag is a tool used to smooth and level soil or gravel surfaces before planting or laying foundations. It helps to evenly distribute soil and remove rocks, clumps, and other debris that would hinder the growth of crops or cause uneven foundations for buildings and structures.

How Do I Build A Leveling Drag?

To build a leveling drag, you will need some wood boards, metal pipes, and a chain link fence. Cut the wood to size, drill holes into the sides, and insert the metal pipes through them. Attach your chain link fence to the bottom of the frame and secure it with screws or nails.

Your leveling drag is now ready for use!

What Types Of Materials Can Be Smoothed With A Leveling Drag?

A leveling drag can be used on a variety of materials including soil, gravel, sand, and even clay. It is particularly useful when working with soft soils or loose gravel as it helps to compact and smooth the materials evenly and distribute them over a wide area.

Can I Use A Leveling Drag For Landscaping?

Yes, a leveling drag is a great tool for preparing lawns, gardens, and other landscaping projects. By removing rocks and other debris and smoothing out the soil, it helps to create an even surface that promotes healthy growth and a beautiful finish.

It is also useful for grading slopes and creating level surfaces for building patios and walkways.

How Often Should I Use A Leveling Drag?

The frequency of using a leveling drag depends on the type of project being undertaken and the condition of the soil or gravel surface. It is recommended to use a leveling drag at least once a year in preparation for new plantings or building projects.

However, for heavily trafficked areas or areas prone to erosion, it may be necessary to use it more frequently in order to maintain the surface integrity.


As you can see, building a leveling drag is not complicated at all. It’s a simple and practical tool that any farmer or gardener can use to maintain a level surface or bed for their crops. By following these steps and guidelines, you can easily build your own leveling drag and save money on buying one.

It’s important to ensure that the materials you choose are durable and of good quality to ensure that the leveling drag lasts long and is effective. Always remember to maintain it by cleaning it and storing it appropriately. Building your own leveling drag will provide you with a sense of pride and accomplishment, as well as the convenience of having your own personalized tool for your gardening and farming needs.

Give it a try and see the difference for yourself!

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