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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    18
    Location
    Maryland
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2200

    Default Gravel Driveway

    Hello All,

    First I just wanted to thank everyone for all of their good information.

    I just bought a BX2200 with FEL, 60MMM, and rear 5' blade. I have a 800' gravel driveway that keeps washing out. Most of the driveway is uphill. I have tried using the rear blade to smooth the gravel and eliminate the ruts, but I end up with a pretty rippled driveway. I have used the FEL in float setting to get it pretty smooth, but it takes considerable time. What is the best implement for smoothing out gravel?

    Thanks for any help...

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Sep 2001
    Posts
    707
    Location
    Monroe, Va
    Tractor
    Kubota 1997 L3600DT 4WD with FEL

    Default Re: Gravel Driveway

    <font color=blue>What is the best implement for smoothing out gravel?</font color=blue>

    Honestly? A bulldozer...and I don't mean that as a joke. Okay, so since you don't have one of those I think you'll find a rear blade the best. I never had much luck with the FEL. I used to use the rear blade in the normal position to fix up washouts etc. The best part is the finish up...turn the rear blade aorund so it is backwards. It will smooth things out quite nicely! Good Luck!

  3. #3
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    216
    Location
    Illinois, Macoupin County
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2200

    Default Re: Gravel Driveway

    I have a 4' box blade for my BX2200 with which I dug (scraped) up an old rock drive way. I moved this gravel to a new parking lot and use the FEL going backwards to smooth it out. I've also used to box blade to push the material backwards which also helps.

    Dave

  4. #4
    Elite Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2000
    Posts
    3,743
    Location
    Stowe, Vermont
    Tractor
    Kubota L3240HST, KX-121-3S

    Default Re: Gravel Driveway

    Tony's idea of turning the blade around (or just backing up) is good. On my driveway I've found the best way to even things up is with a landscape rake with gauge wheels

    Pete

  5. #5

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    18
    Location
    Maryland
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2200

    Default Re: Gravel Driveway

    Do you only use the box blade to scrape up the gravel, or do you use it to spread it also?

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    18
    Location
    Maryland
    Tractor
    Kubota BX2200

    Default Re: Gravel Driveway

    What type of landscape rake do you use?

  7. #7
    Super Star Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Posts
    11,595
    Location
    Upper Midwest USA
    Tractor
    JD 4300, JD X485 JD 4x2 Gator, JD 425, JD455

    Default Re: Gravel Driveway

    I think the best implement is a road grader. And note how a road grader grades a gravel road. The blade is at an angle, and the blade is set to dig (or cut) into the gravel bed. Cutting below any washboarding or ruts is essential, and having an angle on the blade is also important. Next best to a grader is a rear blade with wheels to keep the blade at a constant height with respect to the cut. Next best is a rear blade at an angle and operated expertly to not have hills and valleys in the grade. Long ago I was told it is important to mix the loose gravel on top with the packed gravel in the road bed. Then when the gravel is mixed well, back dragging to smooth it out with a slight crown in the middle to shed water to the sides is next. After that, packing the smoothed and mixed gravel with a vehicle is the final important step (before the gravel dries out and before it is rained on).

    I have never understood how a rake (admit that I have never tried one) can do anything but make a drive surface look good - temporarily. Seems a rake only moves around the loose gravel on top, and can not get it mixed in with the packed gravel and fines below. Old ruts and washboard areas are just temporarily filled in with loose gravel, only to be pushed out with the first few passes of a vehicle. Just back blading or dragging a bucket on FEL with a straight blade is next to doing nothing (IMO). The last time I worked up my gravel drive (600 ft) was about 3-4 years ago. It has a crown, and the steepest grade is 12 percent. It has a lot of car and tractor and heavy truck (construction, UPS, gas, etc.) traffic. Heavy rains run off to the side ditches.

    I will admit that what is beneath the gravel road bed is important, as clay and sand is not a good base for gravel. Mine is glacial till and doesn't move much, which is a big help. But in the old days when I just scratched around the surface gravel, I didn't accomplish a thing. Only when a neighbor who operated a road grader as his job told me to dig into it and mix it up did I start getting a good gravel drive surface that would last.

  8. #8
    Platinum Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2002
    Posts
    908
    Location
    SE Ohio, Meigs County
    Tractor
    Kubota L3010HST R4's, Scag Wildcat ZTR, 61

    Default Re: Gravel Driveway

    Good Post!
    Very timely for me. I have a new tractor and have been trying to fixup a very rutted access road for gas vehicles. Mostly clay w/ some rock. I've been using the FEL mostly with varying results. I'd been looking for a rear blade. I'm glad i saw your post first. i wondered if they made rear blades that tiltted (right or left) like a grader, so i was glad to see that referenced in your post. Now I'll just have to find one.
    Thanks,
    Moon

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2001
    Posts
    1,162
    Location
    Upstate NY, USA
    Tractor
    Kubota L3710 HST and a Kubota ZD21 60Pro

    Default Re: Gravel Driveway

    The best tool I have for this is my 6' box scraper. It's quicker than the FEL or using a back blade. Plus you can scarify the driveway if you have serious potholes. It's also really easy to give yourself 1 - 2" of crown.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    288
    Location
    Central Florida
    Tractor
    None: Sold Kubota L3410 HST 4WD

    Default Re: Gravel Driveway

    <font color=blue>"I have never understood how a rake (admit that I have never tried one) can do anything but make a drive surface look good - temporarily. Seems a rake only moves around the loose gravel on top, and can not get it mixed in with the packed gravel and fines below. "</font color=blue>

    Actually I have had good success with a rake. Granted, I was only doing minor grading work (fixing washboarding and a small pot hole). The grading was done when I first moved in and there was very little gravel on the road to begin with.

    I started at 11:00am in the morning on a dry day. I spent a good two hours doing little to nothing to the driveway. The driveway didn't give much when dry. Then about 1:30pm a 1 hour rain shower came through. I decided after it was over to give it a try while it was wet. It only took two passes to have it completely smoothed out.

    The next weekend I had 30 tons of small gravel delivered. Its been about three years, and I haven't had to do a thing to it except smooth the gravel with a 50' section of chain link fence.

    A rake probably won't help much if you are trying to fix a badly rutted road, but to smooth the surface, it worked like a charm for me.

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