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  1. #1
    Bronze Member sandybeach's Avatar
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    Apr 2012
    Posts
    52
    Location
    Whidbey Island,WA
    Tractor
    Branson 3510H

    Default Roller / Compactor For Freshly-Dressed Gravel Road

    I need a sanity check - or a design that has already proven successful.

    Today we took delivery on a new Branson 3510H with an Agri-Ease scraper/grade. I got to drive it for 15 minutes. Then my wife took over and wouldn't get off it. For 4 hours she graded a mile of rutted, potholed, washboarded hard-packed gravel. She also did a beautiful job on our 22% grade driveway.

    That's the good news.

    The bad news: the nicely graded road & driveway need some compaction. Especially the steep driveway.

    I'm thinking of making a lawn-roller-on-steroids.

    A used water heater, filled with water, weighs ~1200 pounds. Concrete, twice that. Either, towed behind Mighty Mo should compact it.

    So .... water heater, weighty stuff inside, axle, tongue (to attach it to the tractor's drawbar).

    For an axle, 1" rod (round) with substantial bearings where it attaches to the tongue.

    For the tongue, 3/16" mild steel bent into submission - or a pre-fabbed hitch purloined from a trailer plus a hitch ball on the tractor's drawbar.

    I can do all the needed welding. I've built a 6' x 12' utility trailer from scrounged mobile home hitches, and I've built wood stoves from (you guessed it) used water heaters.

    Am I crazy? Will this work? What are the flaws in this napkin-sketched work of art? Has someone already been there and done that?

    I await your comments with bated breath. Yes, that is the correct spelling of 'bated.'

  2. #2
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Posts
    874
    Location
    WV
    Tractor
    John Deere 1026R

    Default

    It will probably work but heavy towed implements on a slope are always cause for trepidation.

    Calculate the pressure it would apply to the ground vs your tires. My 1026r with a full front bucket will compact very well but it takes a lot of passes. You may also add a rear counterweight on the 3 point to get more weight on the tires.

    To get more pressure out of your roller add feet to it. Look at compactors the road crews use for ideas. The best way to compact gravel is a smooth vibrating surface.

  3. #3
    Super Member rswyan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    7,726
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Tractor
    Kubota B2910, Simplicity 18 CFC, Cub Cadet 782

    Default Re: Roller / Compactor For Freshly-Dressed Gravel Road

    Quote Originally Posted by swick1 View Post
    It will probably work .... Calculate the pressure it would apply to the ground vs your tires.
    Just drive on it with your vehicles (car or truck) - it will compact ....

    Perhaps not quite as much fun, but it does work ....

  4. #4
    Elite Member
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    Apr 2008
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    Default Re: Roller / Compactor For Freshly-Dressed Gravel Road

    Quote Originally Posted by swick1 View Post
    It will probably work but heavy towed implements on a slope are always cause for trepidation.
    Agreed. Heavy towed "anything" on a slope is something I try to avoid. If it were me, I would forget the roller idea and just drive up and down the driveway several times. I'm in a similar situation and learned that a roller just doesn't compact the gravel as well as my truck, probably because my truck is much heavier than the roller.
    .

  5. #5
    Super Member rswyan's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Posts
    7,726
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Tractor
    Kubota B2910, Simplicity 18 CFC, Cub Cadet 782

    Default Re: Roller / Compactor For Freshly-Dressed Gravel Road

    Quote Originally Posted by MasseyWV View Post
    I'm in a similar situation and learned that a roller just doesn't compact the gravel as well as my truck, probably because my truck is much heavier than the roller.
    Exactly :

    6000 lb vehicle divided by four tires = 1500 lbs per tire

  6. #6
    Veteran Member s219's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    2,330
    Location
    Virginia USA
    Tractor
    Kubota L3200

    Default Re: Roller / Compactor For Freshly-Dressed Gravel Road

    Yeah, just drive on it. You're basically tamping to the same psi as the tire pressure at that point.

  7. #7
    Veteran Member
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    Jul 2003
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    1,993
    Location
    MN
    Tractor
    Ford 960, 7700, TW20, 1720; IHC H, 300; Ollie S77

    Default Re: Roller / Compactor For Freshly-Dressed Gravel Road

    Was going to say what the others said just reading the subject before clicking on the message.....

    It's scary towing heavy roller stuff up and down a hill, that can get out of control real fast.

    Take your car or pickup and drive up and down the driveway 5 times, over 8 inches each pass, and you will have a better compaction deal than the big roller anyhow. The big roller ends up spreading the weight out over a wide area and really isn't so much weight per square inch anyhow.

    --->Paul

  8. #8
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Posts
    179
    Location
    Santa Cruz, Ca
    Tractor
    BCS735/720 Ford1200

    Default Re: Roller / Compactor For Freshly-Dressed Gravel Road

    It also doesn't hurt to spray it down with some water just enough to settle out the small stuff but not have it running down the slope.

  9. #9
    Gold Member NormL's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2011
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    463
    Location
    Manitoba, Canada
    Tractor
    Craftsman GT18, Ford 601 / FEL, Oliver 550 / FEL

    Default Re: Roller / Compactor For Freshly-Dressed Gravel Road

    Whenever I need something freshly spread compacted, I go for a load of water and drive over the area as described by posters upthread. 7000 lb of water on the back of a 1 ton with duals works quite well. That leaves ruts, of coarse, so back on the tractor with the blade and smooth it all out and then some more with the packer (water truck) till I'm satisfied or it's coffee time, whichever happens first. Then the load of water goes in the cistern - we have to haul our water anyway.
    I miss Paul Harvey News!

  10. #10
    Bronze Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    90

    Default Re: Roller / Compactor For Freshly-Dressed Gravel Road

    Man, what a bunch of killjoys...

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