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  1. #1
    Platinum Member
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    Mar 2013
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    Linn, MO
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    John Deere 2720

    Default Building my own driveway: can it be done?

    I've got some questions concerning building my own driveway. I've just purchased a John deere 2720, 31 HP CUT. Currently, my only attachments are FEL, MMM, 4' rotary cutter, and 5' grader blade.

    Next spring, we will be starting on our new house. We will need a driveway, and it will be somewhere in the neighborhood of 1000 feet long. In order to save some $$$ (and, of course, get some seat time in my tractor ), I would like to build the driveway myself. My thoughts are that I would purchase a 5' box blade and use it to do some ripping of the ground in order to loosen it up. Then, I would scoop the dirt with the FEL and move it to a pile for later use in landscaping around the house. Rinse and repeat until I've got it all cleared out and ready for rock. I really haven't dug down in that area to see the quality of the dirt, but we do have quite a bit of clay in our area. I would say a few good inches of topsoil, then you run into clay. The ground currently has grass that is being baled for hay. I'm guessing a good 8-12" of dirt needs to come off the top in order to haul in some good large rock for a base.

    So, am I crazy for thinking I can do this? Will my 2720 be up to the task or would I be wasting my time trying to do that much work with that tractor? I'm sure it won't be quick, and I could have a dozer come in and do it in a day's time, but what's the fun in that? Plus, in the end, I'll have a box blade which I plan to purchase for maintenance of the road anyway.

  2. #2
    Gold Member
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    Jan 2013
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    jackson,oh
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    918 allis-chalmers

    Default Re: Building my own driveway: can it be done?

    What's your drainage slope on this? You don't want to gouge a deep trough for water to sit in filling the gaps of the stone base. If you have plenty of slope uphill or down, the water will make it's way out,but if it's pretty level,don't dig out very deep.As far as stone, I always use a layer of 2's and then a layer of 4's in limestone(roll the stone with a heavy truck or tractor) to lock into the 2's base.
    Finish it off with 2"-3" of # 57 limestone and you're `in like Flint'!LOL! You can even pour concrete on THAT base. don-ohio (:^)

  3. #3
    Platinum Member
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    Mar 2013
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    Linn, MO
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    John Deere 2720

    Default Re: Building my own driveway: can it be done?

    Thanks for the input!
    The area of the driveway is fairly level, but does have a gradual slope, most of which is across the drive.

    What is "a layer of 2's and then a layer of 4's"? Is that 2" and 4" limestone? I thought the larger would go on the bottom, so 4" on bottom, then 2" on top?

    My thoughts were to get the base layers in and let the concrete trucks and delivery trucks for the house pack it in well, then come back in with some #57 limestone (didn't know the number until you mentioned it ) on top.

  4. #4
    Gold Member
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    jackson,oh
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    918 allis-chalmers

    Default Re: Building my own driveway: can it be done?

    2's are larger than 4's. No,that's not thickness.....you hafta make that decision after you dig it out. Generally, 3"-4" of 2's and 3" of 4's will pack into just over 5"-6" thickness. They really stabilize the base.You CAN go with a roll of soil stabilizing fabric,though if soil is really doughy. I run my 10 ton backhoe and my loaded F-250 (9800 lbs. gross)over a lane I did this to. No wallowing or dipping. don-ohio (:^)

  5. #5
    Super Member mjncad's Avatar
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    In the civilized First World
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    A couple

    Default Re: Building my own driveway: can it be done?

    FordMan:

    That's a long driveway; but if you have the patience you can do it with the equipment you have. If you can afford it, geotextile is a good thing; but I didn't use it when my neighbors and I redid our driveways a couple of years ago as we had packed recycled concrete and asphalt as a base. Not counting prep work, it took the three of us a weekend per each 4,000 square foot driveway, which is much smaller than what you're going to be doing.

    I'd also look into recycled concrete as the stuff we have here packs down real nice, and it was the cheapest material of the bunch. Don't use recycled asphalt as that blasted stuff just tracks in dirt and stains everywhere as there is still enough residual oil in it.

    I have a 26HP CUT, a loader, and a rear blade and it worked just fine. I'd also rent a vibratory roller to pack things down. They are easy and fun to operate. Please take a look at the link below to my driveway redo.

    https://picasaweb.google.com/1101061...1002/Driveway#
    Paraphrasing Douglas Adams - So long and thanks for all the bacon.

  6. #6
    Bronze Member
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    Jan 2007
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    Western NY

    Default Re: Building my own driveway: can it be done?

    I put in a driveway about 1/2 that length a couple of years ago. I took out the trees myself, leaving about a 1-2' stump. I then hired a dozer to remove the topsoil and stumps. The dozer work was totally worth it at about $450.
    Then I purchased 12.5' wide geotextile and got a load of gravel every day and spread it over the fabric when I got off of work. It would've been done faster if I hired it out 100% of course, but all together it cost me around $3500 including the dozer work, fabric, gravel and a steel culvert pipe. The quotes I got for a turnkey job were around $5500-6000 I believe. Of course my labor is not included in that figure! But it's held up great, I am happy with it.

    The last 2 loads of finer gravel were tailgate spread by the dump truck; they did such a nice job I didn't touch it with my backblade at all. There was a perfect crown and it sheds water wonderfully.

    Depending on your soil conditions, you may want to hire a dozer to do the really heavy work and use your seat time to spread materials. You might be beating your tractor to death trying to do this type of work with it.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member
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    Jan 2008
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    Western PA
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    John Deere 5083E MWFD, Kubota L3400 HST

    Default Re: Building my own driveway: can it be done?

    Make sure you plan where your water is going to go. If you use 2a modified stone and it has a solid base, it shouldnt let much water pass through it leaving you to handle what the driveway sheds. Worst thing that could happen, would be that you have to give up and hire it out! Geo-textile is a very wonderful thing to use. It will cut your stone cost down significantly. We use it on our drill pads that regularly see 100k+ loads and normally we cut our stone usage down by 1/2. It is a godsend on very soft areas and IMO the only way to go if it can't be drained effectively.

    Do alot of research on what works in your area. Dont go to cheaply. Also, (I dont know if this applies) but in pa, dot requires a driveway permit. NO its not a permit to build the road itself, its for the access point onto the state highway. Again, I dont know if this applies, but it would be pretty disheartenting to let the state have you by the family jewels and drag their feet.

    There is a standard rule on TBN that if there are not pictures it didn't happen! lol We all enjoy sitting with our coffee and browsing other ppl's hard work!
    '11 John Deere 5083E, 563NSL Loader, MX10 Mower, 78" Bucket, Forks/Bale spear (interchangeable)
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    '01 International 4700 LP, DT530, Allison MD3060, Air Ride, Crew Cab
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  8. #8
    Veteran Member
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    Up State S.C.
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    AC WD 34 hp/3500 lbs MF 261 60 hp/5380 lbs

    Default Re: Building my own driveway: can it be done?

    When I built my driveway, I called the people from one of the state agencies, I probably got the number from the county extension service. They came out free and showed me how to drain it. I then plowed ditches on both sides, throwing the dirt into the drive to increase the height, smoothed it out, packed it down, and added what gravel I could afford. I don't remember getting stuck in the twelve years that I lived there.

  9. #9
    Super Member dave1949's Avatar
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    Industry, Maine
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    New Holland TC40

    Default Re: Building my own driveway: can it be done?

    If it is already a hay field, it is likely fairly smooth and solid. Like Don, I wouldn't dig into the clay, just take off the sod roots of the grass and whatever is growing there. For drainage you want the driveway to be a bit above the surrounding area, and you want to end up with something that is easy to mow along the driveway edge.

    Unless you are dealing with mucky, poorly drained soil, don't put in more driveway depth than you need. It would be a waste of effort and money to dig out deep then refill with stone.

    Let the box blade rippers do the work and use the FEL to scoop up the loose stuff. For a 1000' driveway, just that top soil will be a lot of scooping and shuttling bucket loads to one or more piles. It will take a while and be dusty work, but you can do it if you have the time.
    "Those were the days my friend, we thought they'd never end ..."

  10. #10
    Platinum Member
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    Jun 2012
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    Mt Crawford Va
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    massey GC 2400 JD LA 145

    Default Re: Building my own driveway: can it be done?

    My drive is about 150 yds long and the first 50' is done like you are talking about, the rest is gravel on top of the grass in what was pasture. The 50' has given me more problems than all the rest. If you want to use your tractor dig a ditch and put gravel in it, that is my

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