How to Make a Gravel Road Drag


A gravel road drag is a simple tool designed to scrape and flatten the top layer of a gravel road, removing debris and small bumps caused by erosion and/or vehicle breaking. Heavy drags grade the road surface, while light drags remove debris. A common example of the "light drag" is the chain link fencing dragged around a baseball infield during the 7th inning stretch. Heavy drags are a low-cost alternative to complex, heavy-duty box/ blade graders.

Things You'll Need

  • Heavy Drags:
  • Tow vehicle
  • Six to eight foot steel I-beam
  • 15-feet of heavy duty steel chain
  • Steel hole saw
  • 2-inch metal lag bolt and nut
  • Light Drags:
  • Length of rope
  • Chain link fence section or three tires

Heavy Drags

  • Drill a hole through the inside if the I-beam, one foot from the edge, on both ends. The hole should be large enough to slip the chain through.

  • Place the I-beam four feet behind the tow vehicle at a 45 degree angle. In other words, the right end of the I-beam should be further from the vehicle than the left side of the beam. This angle ensure that debris is forced to the side of the road instead of building up in front of the I-beam.

  • Feed the non-hooked end of the chain through left side of the I-beam, towards the tow vehicle. Continue pulling the chain through the I-beam hole until the chain's built-in hook approaches the hole. Loop the hooked end of the chain over the top of the I-beam and hook it to the chain link closest to the inside edge of the I-beam. This completes the first connection point.

  • Place the longer length of chain around the vehicle's tow hitch ball and pull the chain towards the right side of the I-beam, which has yet to be connected to the vehicle. Pass the chain through the inside edge of the I-beam's right hole and out of the back side of the beam. Pull the chain tight, so there is little or no slack at any point. Loop the chain, which has now passed through the right side of the I-beam, over the top of the I-beam and secure the chain to itself by passing a 2-inch metal lag bolt through two chain links. Twist on the lag bolt's nut. Make sure the lag bolt loop connection is secured as close to the I-beam as possible, as with the left side loop. Let any remaining chain length drag on the ground.

  • Drive the vehicle at five miles per hour to drag the road surface and repeat as desired.

Light Drags

  • Tie a length of rope, in a loop, to a piece of chain link fence or a group of tires. Ensure the passenger side edge of the drag is further behind the vehicle, to create a 25- to 45-degree angle.

  • Loop the rope over the hitch of the tow vehicle.

  • Drive the tow vehicle at five to 10 miles per hour to drag the road surface and repeat as desired.

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