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  1. #1
    Platinum Member bdog's Avatar
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    Mar 2004
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    Texas
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    John Deere 4440

    Default packing dirt - homeade roller?

    I recently leveled out a place on my property using a box blade that includes a driveway, an area in front of my shop, a place to park trailers and to turn around. It is roughly 150' by 150' and the road leading from the main road to it. After leveling I dumped about 100 yds (4 semi loads) of gravel onto the area and spread it out evenly over the area. It is about 4" thick and I drove around on it for about a week before the rain hit these past few days.

    Now I think the mud problem is almost worse than it was before. The dirt is so soft underneath the gravel and driving on it leaves ruts about a foot deep as the gravel gives way and I sink in the soft muddy dirt below.

    I plan on reblading it after things dry up and then I was going to try to pack it down so it would not be so soft. I was thinking of getting a 2' or so diameter pipe about 8' long and filling it with concrete and welding some brackets on it so it will roll and can be towed behind my tractor and using it to pack the gravel and dirt around my place. Would this do any good? Would the weight be sufficient or would I need more?

  2. #2
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: packing dirt - homeade roller?

    Do you have drainage cause if not the packing probably will not help.

    Was the gravel crushed?

    Egon

  3. #3
    Veteran Member
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    Aug 2001
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    michigan thumb
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    jd 970, JD GT235

    Default Re: packing dirt - homeade roller?

    if it is a good sand/sharp stone gravel mix the rain should help to pack it, give it some time to set b4 investing time and money.

  4. #4
    Super Star Member EddieWalker's Avatar
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    Tyler, Texas
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    Several, all used and abused.

    Default Re: packing dirt - homeade roller?

    I had a similar situation last summer. I had a 1,200 foot driveway bladed and spread gravel just to have the worse raines in 30 years hit. We had 12 inches in 8 days.

    My contractor and the gravel guy both said to do nothing and wait until the ground dried enough to start driving again.

    Then start driving over it to pack it all together. Drive over every inch you can. The tires of the heaviest vehicle you have will povide more compaction than anything you can build and the narrow size will put more preasue than something wide and heavy.

    It took about a week of constantly going over it, to get it really hard. I had to buy some more rock to finish it up, but never had to re-grade it. The ruts disapeard by driving along the sides of them as they firmed up.

    My soil is red clay and the road went through the winter rains and now spring rains just fine. Once it dried, it became like concrete and the water just runs off of it into the drainage ditches.

    Good Luck,
    Eddie

  5. #5
    Epic Contributor Soundguy's Avatar
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    Central florida
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    Default Re: packing dirt - homeade roller?

    1st.. TSC sells a sod roller that can be filled with water.. probably cheaper than you can build one.. unless you work at a salvage yard...
    2nd. if you have a tractor.. I would use that instead to drive around on it and pack it.. The weight per cubic inch on that tractor tire ( ground pressure ) will probably be alot more than on the pipe.. unless you have a really monster pipe.. and by that I mean more diameter.. less lenght.. diameter gives you volume.. weight/mass.. the more weight you have on a section of ground, the more compaction you get.. thuse a 1000# roller that is 3' wide will compact better than a 1000# roller that is 5' long...

    3rd, don't count on the gravel compacting.. if it is crush run with alot of fines.. yes.. you will get some compaction.. but if it is pea gravel or larger.. it will only consolodate.. You doubt.. grab a handfull of marbles and squeeze them together till your hand falls asleep.. open you hand... -no- compaction.. just consolodation of the voids..

    Like the others mentioned.. you need to stabilize the subgrade.. You might add lime or red clay if it is lots of topsoil and organic matter.

    Soundguy

  6. #6
    Platinum Member
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    Sep 2002
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    MD
    Tractor
    NH TC33D

    Default Re: packing dirt - homeade roller?

    I've read about people make heavy rollers out of old hot water tanks filled with concrete with a center pipe for an axle...if you have access to the steel and can weld, you could build one for less than $50 i would guess.

  7. #7
    Gold Member
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    Oct 2003
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    465
    Location
    Northern California
    Tractor
    New Holland TN70S

    Default Re: packing dirt - homeade roller?

    I've also seen it done with two 55 gallon drums welded end-to-end and filled with concrete. The suggestions made about just driving over the road with the tractor are probably the best way to go, especially if your tires are worn down and don't leave deep tread marks.

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Dec 2003
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    California , Idaho and a little island in Panama
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    Kioti DK45TLB

    Default Re: packing dirt - homeade roller?

    I hope you use crushed mine rock and not crushed river rock for the new base gravel . It makes a big difference .
    Once your driveway starts to dry out it should develope a "hard pan" surface to help drain the water to the sides . I assume you did crown the road for drainage ? As Spring comes on and the road dries out just regrade out the ruts and then with your front bucket loaded with as much weight as you can put in it , drive over every inch of the road to help compact it . Otherwise go rent a double drum vib. steel drum roller for about $100 for four hours and compact the road that way . You will be many dollars better off .
    Big Al

  9. #9
    Platinum Member
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    Jun 2003
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    San Luis Obispo, CA
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    1998 JD 770 & 2004 Toro LX417

    Default Re: packing dirt - homeade roller?

    My nieghbor is putting in sand to use under a clab for his new house. The grading contractor spread the sand with a grader and then ran a loaded 2 axle 2,500 + gallon water tank truck back and forth. He claimed he got about a 96 or 97% compaction rate this way.


  10. #10
    Super Star Member Egon's Avatar
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    Nova Scotia, Canada

    Default Re: packing dirt - homeade roller?

    The vibratory roller is by far the best way. Just don't use it if the subgrade is still wet.

    Chances are a home made roller you can pull will be a definite disapointment.

    Egon

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