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  1. #1
    Gold Member Mike058's Avatar
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    Default Building a Driveway

    I have to build (then maintain) a driveway to our new house. (about 200') The soil is sandy loam and when it rains it turns to mud real fast. My question is how many inches of gravel does it take to make decent drive? How many inches if the county insists a firetruck has to be able to use it? Should the gravel just go on top of the soil, or should some of the soil be removed first? How many steps are involved in this? Will a box blade be the tool for the job, or a simple grader type blade? Should mention, the big stumps and rocks are already gone. Just me and the dust/mud.
    Last edited by Mike058; 10-07-2007 at 04:56 PM.

  2. #2
    Bronze Member HUCKthe1's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
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    Upstate NY
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    John Deere 2032

    Default Re: Building a Driveway

    When I built our drive I removed all the top soil first. I then brought in about a foot of 4"-6" stone which I then covered with #2 crusher run. I had a small area that kept sinking that I kept having to add the #2 to build back up but in general that was my basic drive way to start. I have since added several small layers of #1 crusher run over the years for maintenance(about every 5 yrs). A couple runs up and down it with the blade every yr or two is all I need to do now.

    I had a neighbor put down that heavy cloth on top of the bigger stone before the crusher run. It does seem to keep his weed on the edge down but I was a poor man when I built my house and drive. He did not have the areas like I did that needed some fill but he paid close to $1000 for his 140' drive in that cloth.

    A box blade is the perfect tool for building the drive and maintaining it. The larger stone can be dropped almost level with a good dump truck driver and the #2 is ez to pull over with a box blade. Dont forget to fill in the sides with dirt when done to help contain the stone and good luck.
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    John Deere 2032R , H130 FEL, MMM,BB, 6' Woods Brush Hog, 7' Homemade Blade, 54" Disc, Meteor 60" SnowBlower

  3. #3
    Gold Member Mike058's Avatar
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    Default Re: Building a Driveway

    Thanks, looks nice.

  4. #4
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: Building a Driveway

    Determine the drainage pattern, remove all the organic material, compact the base and add more if compacted lifts, spread the gravel and compact.

    Keeping the sub grade dry is very important.
    Egon
    50 years behind the times
    Livin in a
    Worn out skin bag filled with rattlin bones

  5. #5
    Platinum Member tessiers's Avatar
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    Central Maine
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    05' JD 790 - 49' Ford 8n - 53' Ford NAA - 70' Massey Fergusen 135 diesel - 1950 John Deere MC - 1992 Thomas T-83 skid steer

    Default Re: Building a Driveway

    I am in construction and we always recomend 18" of gravel for a base. Usually 12" of coarse gravel (4"-6" Stone) then 6" of 2" minus. I actually then added 2" of 1" minus gravel for a surface. I own and maintain 1/4 mile + of driveway and I have started to fill any holes, washes, or soft spots with 1" minus gravel, and then a light raking a couple of times a year. I generally use about 1 to 1 1/2 yards of gravel for filling and it takes me only a couple of hours to spread out of my dump trailer.

  6. #6
    Veteran Member jbrumberg's Avatar
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    Jan 2006
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    Western MA
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    New Holland TC29DA, John Deere 455D

    Default Re: Building a Driveway

    Geotextile material if "hydraulic pumping" is a problem does not hurt; except for the $ . I have no complaints about the effectiveness of the geotex during "Mud Season". Jay
    NH TC29DA with 14LA and HD QA 60" bucket, weighted R-1's, FOPS, CCM M-160 (58") Tiller, Tebben MD 60" Rotary Cutter, Woods LR 108 (96") Landscape Rake, FEL cutting edge and tooth bar, Woods GB60 (60") Box Blade, Wallenstein BXM32

    1995 John Deere 455 Diesel with 48" mower, MC 519 Cart with PowerVac

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Building a Driveway

    Who builds the best roads?
    The railroads. so do what they do.. cut ditches. Get the water away. I have a ditch along my 300 plus feet drive. put it in three years ago. Have not added one stone to it since. and I have a dumpster so the trash truck races in and out weekly.My ditches were built with flat bottoms almost wide enough for my 60 inch mower.. (my fault) and 6 feet side slopes.. There are no soft spots.. It did force me into one more culvert pipe.. But since it does not eat stone it was money well spent.
    I used the dirt from the ditches to raise the roadbed slightly..
    Don't get my description wrong. my side ditches are only 12-18 inches deep . nothing drastic.. they just fall to get to the culvert then cross the driveway then off to the woods via a swale.

  8. #8
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Tyler, Texas
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    Several, all used and abused.

    Default Re: Building a Driveway

    From what I've learned, there are those who live in areas that get allot of snow and have extrem cold for long periods of time. They build there roads differnetly then those of us who don't get the cold weather that they do.

    Rain is the same everywhere. Even if you don't get allot, one heavy rain can destroy more then anything else.

    Step one is to get rid of the water. Drainage is why roads fail, it's what causes pot holes and it's what washes out gravel. The difference between areas with lots of rain and those that get minimal rain is how deep your ditches and culverts need to be.

    Top soil will continue to decompose over time, so you want to remove it to stop the road from settling. I'm luck in that I don't have topsoil. It's all clay. If you have topsoil, you need to remove it down to a solid base. Then you need to fill in that area and build it up to a crown. The bigger the crown, the longer your road will last. This is where I see most people take shortcuts, and then come back trying to figure out how to fix there road. The crown must be higher then your drainage ditches when full of water.

    Once you have all your dirt work done, you can put down rock. Most road base rock is the same, but with different names aroudn the country. It's a corse, angular rock with sharp corners. The bigger stones will be 2 inches in size, plus or minus a little. It will contain those size rocks, and every thing down to the very finest of dust. The reason for this is that it will compact and compress into a solid mass. It takes a minimum of four inches to make this happen. Anything less, and you will have movement. Movement will lead to the rock moving around and never becomeing solid. More is better, but there is a point when you are just wasting money. I feel that six inches is where this happens, but that's not gospel, just my opinion.

    Once you get the rock down and spread out, drive over it. Over and over it, again and again. It will take weeks to get it really hard, but after a few hours, you might be ok for a light rain. Just keep driving over it in differet areas then the previous time.

    After it's solid, the biggest mistake you can make is to run a box blade over it. You need that rock to stay solid, so it will shed water. The box blade breaks up the rock and moves it around. You will lose rock and you will make your base thinner. If you are over 4 inches, you can ruin some without any serious damage, but if you get it thinner then 4 inches, that part of the road will fail. Potholes will be your first clue, then getting stuck will be your second clue.

    When the road needs more rock in a low area, buy more rock and fill in the low area. Draging rock from one are to fill in the low areas just means your sprading the rock around and creating more thin areas. I've seen it done more then once without any idea that they are ruining the road and increasing the amount of rock, and expense, that it will take to fix what should have been an easy repair.

    Beside the railroads, look at National Forest roads if you have any around. They didn't mess around when they built them. They are all weather and built to last.

    Eddie

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