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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Feb 2013
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    21
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    Buchanan Va
    Tractor
    JD 4005

    Default Questions about gravel drive maintenance

    Hopefully within the next two years, we'll be building a house on 13 acres. Our preferred house site is on the back of the property, so we'll have roughly a 1/4 mile driveway. My question is not about dirt moving equipment (box blades, landplanes, etc), I've read all about those and have a pretty good idea of what I want in that department. What I'm wondering about, is in between the tire tracks. What do you guys do to keep the grass out of the middle? Do you spray with a boom sprayer? Or just run a land plane occasionally to tear up any new grass? Or does is just take care of itself with a good gravel bed and regular maintenance?
    Thanks.
    Mark

  2. #2
    Member DeereRack's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
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    49
    Location
    MN
    Tractor
    Massey 1643

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    Before I had my tractor/ box blade I would spray with round up and drag with four wheeler. Now I use box blade every couple weeks (every chance I get) and I never get weeds in the middle.
    Massey Ferguson 1643
    FEL with QA 72" bucket and pallet forks
    SpeeCo QH
    6' Kodiak tiller
    4' Howse rotory cutter
    6' back blade
    Old 9' pull disc

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
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    Feb 2012
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    707
    Location
    Staunton, VA
    Tractor
    John Deere 3038E

    Default Re: Questions about gravel drive maintenance

    My mile-long gravel drive is now 18 years old. I didn't know it would become a permanent drive when I started and just laid the gravel in tracks. Grass grew up in the middle and I just mowed it with a riding mower or the bush hog on the tractor. After a few years it became apparent I was going to build my retirement home back in, so the drive would be permanent. I then put a layer of drive gravel on full truck width, and another layer of crusher run rock. Since that time I have not had more than the random weed in the middle, and then only in the open field areas. Since you probably have ground similar to mine, I would think a good gravel bed will block essentially all your weeds. Tracking gravel saves money but doesn't last as well for a permanent road, and does have a weed issue. Eventually, even with tracking the gravel, it will spread and fill in the middle anyway.

    However, I do suggest doing the road right by laying in some 2 inch stone or similar first, then laying on driveway gravel and topping it with crusher run to lock it all down. If you do it right you'll probably have far less trouble in years to come. Since I did not lay down heavy stone at first, I have had to put down quite a lot since, because it continued to sink into the soil for several years.

    I gather from your TBN handle that you're a Tech grad. Me too - 1967. Go Hokies.

  4. #4
    Super Member
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    Feb 2008
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    9,392
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    somewhere usa
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    Deere 110tlb, 4520, x749, L130

    Default Re: Questions about gravel drive maintenance

    I would build the driveway wide enough you can drive all over it, about 14' wide.

  5. #5
    New Member
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    Feb 2013
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    21
    Location
    Buchanan Va
    Tractor
    JD 4005

    Default Re: Questions about gravel drive maintenance

    DKCDKC,
    Yup, proud Hokie, class of 2004!

  6. #6
    Super Member
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    Feb 2006
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    8,290
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    VA
    Tractor
    JD2010, Kubota3450,2550, Mahindra 7520 w FEL w Skid Steer QC w/Tilt Tatch, & BH, BX1500

    Default Re: Questions about gravel drive maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by jenkinsph View Post
    I would build the driveway wide enough you can drive all over it, about 14' wide.
    Yup. Thats the trick. Lets you maintain your driveway by just driving on it.
    larry
    This side of 40
    JD2010, Kubota L3450/FEL w SK QC, L2550 w FEL
    Mahindra 7520 [Pinky] /FEL w Skid Steer QC/w Tilt Tatch & BH, BX1500 [Mighty Mouse]
    IH37 Baler, CCM165 Drum Mower, JD Rake
    JD 127 bushog, Flail, SK Tilt Tatch , KK tiller, Rhino rear blade, Post driver, post auger, chipper, pallet fork, Grapple/Loader Buddy, Homemade Splitter/DC Welder

  7. #7
    Gold Member
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    Sep 2007
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    277
    Location
    Texas
    Tractor
    Mahindra 2810, IH Hydro 70

    Default Re: Questions about gravel drive maintenance

    Quote Originally Posted by SPYDERLK View Post
    Yup. Thats the trick. Lets you maintain your driveway by just driving on it.
    larry
    +1

    make it wide enough so can drive off to one side or the other (have a tire track down the middle). No weeds in the middle, keeps the lump in the middle from forming, and in general spreads out the wear and tear.

  8. #8
    Veteran Member PhysAssist's Avatar
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    Aug 2011
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    1,141
    Location
    Upstate NY- see the BIG lake- look just below it...
    Tractor
    Kubota B2320

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Texan4Life View Post

    +1

    make it wide enough so can drive off to one side or the other (have a tire track down the middle). No weeds in the middle, keeps the lump in the middle from forming, and in general spreads out the wear and tear.
    Here, we just keep filling in the driving lanes occasionally as needed, and otherwise just mow the center as needed. Then winter comes and the snow plow cuts away the middle hump, which ends up saving a great deal of our gravel from being removed by the plow. Then in spring the grass starts all over again, though especially early on, the deer and Brer Rabbit take their toll on it.

    That's just whatworks for us.
    Thomas

    Thomas

  9. #9
    Super Member crazyal's Avatar
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    Dec 2003
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    5,877
    Location
    Northern Vermont

    Default Re: Questions about gravel drive maintenance

    My advice is to build the driveway using geotextile fabric. You lay it down first then put the crushed gravel down. You'll never have issues with mud or grass. If you don't use fabric and you put gravel down sooner or later the gravel will mix with the dirt. Just make sure you get several inches of gravel on top of the fabric.
    -fig30-gif
    Kubota L4240,Case 580K backhoe, Case 450 Dozer

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
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    Feb 2012
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    707
    Location
    Staunton, VA
    Tractor
    John Deere 3038E

    Default Re: Questions about gravel drive maintenance

    For those advocating a wider drive... It does eliminate the middle issues, but does increase the cost substantially... As does the use of fabric. Actually, over time, the drive widens anyway as gravel is scattered, and it also fills in the middle. My drive started as a standard truck width but is now about 10 to 11 feet almost 20 years later. However, use of the box blade slows the spread and also helps with the middle road hump or vegetation.

    In a Virginia winter, the drive gets really bad looking - particularly after a snow. I've had an excavator friend look at it in winter and say it needed to essentially be almost rebuilt with many inches of new gravel. But in spring, after generous use of the BB, he was amazed at how good it looked. Believe me, with a mile drive and not-unlimited budget, the BB is the best investment I've ever made. (And I have and use a rock rake and blade - but the BB is better.)

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