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  1. #1
    New Member
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    Oct 2012
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    East of the Sun, West of the Moon
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    Johndeere

    Default New here. Shared driveway issues w/someone who owns a backhoe, bulldozer, excavator

    Hi. I hope you can advise me of how to handle this. Or at least tell me if what I'm about to do is the best way to go. Thank you in advance!

    I own a home that I will be living in the rest of my life. I absolutely love it here. I do have a shared driveway that, including me, has a total of 4 homeowners that share a driveway.

    My home is out by the road, so when you pull in the driveway, my house is right in front on the right side , then you drive down a little ways and further down you'll see my next door neighbor, further on down from there on the left is neighbor number three and then at the end of the driveway is the owner I am going to be talking to you about. He has an excavation business, and has a backhoe, bulldozer, excavator, a dump truck and a trailer that he hooks onto his truck or dump truck that transports his equipment in and out regularly.

    Let me state at the outset I have no problems with this driveway in terms of sharing it, because for one, I don't even use it. I have a tiny driveway I made that is directly in front of my house and I just park there. In the 9 years I've lived here, I've never used the shared driveway once. The driveway goes along the side of my house so there would be no reason to use it.

    I own the first part of the shared driveway all the way to where my next door neighbor is, then he owns til further down til the next neighbor's starts, and then at the end of the driveway is neighbor number 4, the heavy equipment operator.

    I do not begrudge my neighbor number 4 and his heavy equipment in terms of the noise etc. In fact, I like the activity. And for 9 years there has never been a problem between me with any of the neighbors. Everyone is cordial to me. Not friends, but the customary hello and wave.

    This is what is going on. I don't know what is happening to the driveway but there has been this growing "low spot" that's been growing for a couple of years. Every time it rains there is a puddle. This year it's turned into a pond. A BIG pond. Like 20 feet long and 6 inches deep. It goes right along my property in a curve that denotes how he turns left all the time as he turns to leave. This neighbor drives right through the "pond" thinking nothing of it as it gets bigger and bigger. He has no problem since he drives a pick up truck and dump truck.

    The driveway is a Y at the beginning and then branches off eventually into one single lane, it turns into one lane at the point where my property line ends. There is a triangle of grass that separates the 2 lanes that make the Y. 2 of the neighbors use the left lane going in, and the heavy equipment guy uses it as well, but he uses my lane several times every day when he has jobs where he has to turn left going out because he has to make a wide turn. Let me be clear the ONLY person who has ever used this section of shared driveway that I own is this guy, not me or the other neighbors or even the friends and family of those neighbors.

    He is the one making this disaster and not only that, over the 9 years I've lived here he has eroded our property to the point that this 12ft wide driveway is now 20 feet across, because he is slowly driving over my grass. You can easily see what he's done on the satellite map.

    I kept thinking this guy would fix this spot. He alone created it, and I know he knows it. His father owns the gravel pit around here and he could easily fix this. He fixes all the holes in his driveway but only on HIS part. Which is maddening because since his property is the furthest back he drives over everyone's separate sections with his heavy equipment, damaging the gravel driveway, but only fixing his area.

    It would be different if it was a shared driveway with someone who owns a car/truck etc, but to share a driveway with these heavy equipment and the toll they take on the driveway and then have to be financially responsible for it is frustrating.

    If anyone is still reading this I'm sure you are wondering why I don't just talk to the guy. My thought is he already knows he is eroding our property and that he is damaging the driveway and he doesn't care. So what would be the point. If he felt responsible he'd have already fixed the low spots already.

    So yesterday I called our local town highway supervisor and asked him if he could look at this spot because it starts in the town's right of way and then goes down our driveway. He came right over. After looking at the gigantic low spot he said I'll do you a favor, but only one time. He said I'll bring you a load of "milling" in the morning, and you'll have to spread it, and I said okay.Then he said to take his advice.

    He said make that driveway back to 12feet as what shows in your deed and do it NOW. He said he is taking away your property bit by bit and you have to stop it. He said to next spring get a boulder and put it on the property line up to where it makes the shared driveway exactly 12 feet. He said to right now build a temporary fence (I have an orange snow fence) to make the driveway perfectly straight, instead of curving left along my property. He said that way the guy will not want to use your side anymore to turn left because since he can't curve left anymore into your property he'll have to drive straight out in the road and make a wide left, and he won't have the incentive to use that side anymore.

    So last night overnight I put a pump into a bucket with holes all around the sides near the bottom, and put the bucket into all that water and pumped out the hundreds of gallons of water in this man made pond in the driveway. Then today the guy brought a huge load of milling at 8am and I spread it. It filled the giant hole and then some. I put stakes all around it, and then put caution tape around the stakes. This little set up I have going completely blocks access to my lane. It can't be driven on for 48 hours. I'm sure my heavy equipment neighbor is not bothered by it, and is probably pleased I got the low spot fixed.

    My other 2 neighbors came out and talked to me about the low spot while I was working on it. They completely agree with me doing this, ie: making the driveway back to 12 feet. It's a perfect 12 feet on the other lane that makes the Y, but that's because the neighbor only turns left from my lane. They were amazed the county supervisor actually did that for me.

    Anyway, I was wondering what you all thought of this, being heavy equipment operators. Please understand I have no problems with the idea of a shared driveway, nor the noise or activity, or anything. And if this guy just filled the darn hole I would not be doing what I am about to do, but it is hugely frustrating that this driveway that runs along the right side of my property is being used by only one person, and he''s damaging it and not thinking twice about it. He's doing it to the other neighbors too apparently since when they walked over today they both commented on the guy's equipment and how he ends up driving on their grass too, and slowly making their part of the driveway wider and their grass area shorter.

    Since I am concerned about adverse possession I want to get this taken care of immediately.

    Once the stakes and caution tape come down I am putting up the snow fence. I'll put topsoil and grass seed down in the spring to fill in the area behind the fence and make it grass again. My heavy equipment neighbor is not going to like this at all. He will not be able turn comfortably left anymore. But I shouldn't have to subsidize his turning left in a comfortable manner at the expense of my property being eroded.

    I've read your forum for almost a year now. From reading it I don't think there's a single guy or girl on here who would use someone else's property, damage it, erode it, and then leave the homeowner to deal with the aftermath.

    As heavy equipment operators, what do you think of what this neighbor has been doing? What do you think of what I am about to do? Any tips or ideas? Thank you to anyone who read this.
    Last edited by Orangecrush68; 10-20-2012 at 10:11 AM. Reason: added new info

  2. #2
    Gold Member rmk700's Avatar
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    Mar 2011
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    432
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    Utah
    Tractor
    Kubota L35

    Default Re: New here. Shared driveway issues w/someone who owns a backhoe, bulldozer, excavat

    I think he should respect your concern and what you've done with it and stay on the 12 foot wide access road. If he can't make the lefthand turn with a trailer with equipment, then he'll have to go right and do a turn around somewhere.

  3. #3
    Elite Member Mace Canute's Avatar
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    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

    Default Re: New here. Shared driveway issues w/someone who owns a backhoe, bulldozer, excavat

    There's a lot of truth in the old saying "Good fences make good neighbours". It's your property and you have the right to put up a fence on the property line. If he doesn't like that, clue him in, nicely.

  4. #4
    Veteran Member
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    St. Cloud MN
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    Deere 4100

    Default

    Welcome to the forum!

    Given what you know of your neighbor, you may end up constructing a reinforced concrete barrier as your fence because his equipment will take out anything less. Be sure to have a survey done so you know exactly where your property line is. Your neighbor will eventually widen the driveway opposite your property once you protect your line.

  5. #5
    Bronze Member byronlj's Avatar
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    Feb 2012
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    Location
    White Mountains, AZ
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    yanmar 169D

    Default Re: New here. Shared driveway issues w/someone who owns a backhoe, bulldozer, excavat

    I thought someone was writing this post for me. The more I read, the more it sounded like my situation with my shared road. It is very hard to understand how difficult it is to try and correct a situation like this when the other person could care less. I hope your plan succeeds!
    Dave

  6. #6
    Elite Member
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    nicholson, pa
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    John Deer Lt160

    Default Re: New here. Shared driveway issues w/someone who owns a backhoe, bulldozer, excavat

    I agree about the fence, it will only save your property and keep it from being eaten little by little.

  7. #7
    Platinum Member MikeInEburg's Avatar
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    Emmitsburg, MD
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    Kubota B7800

    Default

    Although I am not in the shoes of the OP, it seems that an assumption regarding neighbor 4 is being made without even a brief conversation. Certainly move forward with your plan as you have every right to protect your interests. But I'd flag down the neighbor as he drives by and let him know what is coming and why.

    "As you go through life, make this your goal: watch the donut, not the hole"

    Kubota B7800
    BH-75A Backhoe
    Rhino 60'' finish mower

  8. #8
    Super Star Member
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    Missouri
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    Kubota, John Deere, Case, Massey Ferguson, Ford

    Default Re: New here. Shared driveway issues w/someone who owns a backhoe, bulldozer, excavat

    I see no problem with what you are doing and I would do the same only like MikeInEburg, I would have already discussed it with the man. If he is a jerk or insensitive to the situation nothing will be lost and maybe just maybe you will get some help or at the very least avoid any misunderstanding or hard feelings.
    Last edited by TripleR; 10-20-2012 at 08:01 AM.
    Thread on helpful tractor abbreviations: http://www.tractorbynet.com/forums/o...-acronyms.html

  9. #9
    Veteran Member
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    Nov 2011
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    Central NH
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    John Deere 4300

    Default Re: New here. Shared driveway issues w/someone who owns a backhoe, bulldozer, excavat

    Agreed you should talk to neighbor #4, if only to inform him of what's happening. He might not even be aware of your concerns.

  10. #10
    Member
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    Dec 2010
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    Location
    Eastern Massachusetts
    Tractor
    Kubota BX24

    Default Re: New here. Shared driveway issues w/someone who owns a backhoe, bulldozer, excavat

    All of the heavy equipment operators I have ever known have been sensible, friendly people. Why don't you just walk down the driveway with an apple pie, say hello, and discuss the situation. I predict he will be more than accomodating. I am sure he is aware of the problem. But, you know how it is...the painter always has the house that needs painting, the landscaper always has the lawn that is a mess, etc...The last thing he thinks about when he gets home is the problem at home!

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