Advice on a farm road

   #1  

marhar

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I have a road (about 275 yards) through the woods linking two sets of pasture. The road is down a steep incline that winds through the woods. I have been able to keep the water from the pasture draining into the side ditch but the road itself collects enough water to wash. Years ago I had a shale/clay mix (some call it dirt rock around here) placed on the road. The shale made a good base but overtime it broke down and washed. It broke down under the weight of equipment and the weather. I planned on topping the road with crusher run but the material hauler suggested I use surge gravel. I have a few questions: 1. How easy or hard is it to scrape surge compared to crusher run? I have a 50hp tractor so I am not concerned with the ability of the tractor, I am concerned that every time I scrape the road it will be rough. 2. Crusher run will pack relatively quickly; I assume surge will not pack solid as quickly. Will the cows be reluctant to walk across the surge gravel?




1641951429646.png
 
   #2  

repete

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I know different areas have different names for gravel but what is "surge gravel".
 
   #3  

Clintock

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What you call surge will definitely sit in really well. It will be rougher than crush run but in my opinion will last a heck of a lot longer. We have a few dirt roads here that I work that are steep and winding and as soon as I finish grading it and putting a decent crown, I add number 4 crushed limestone. It packs fairly quickly on a fresh graded road. I have tried crush run but the rain just washes fingers in it because it’s so fine. Btw, small cars travel those roads I add number 4 to and cows will walk on it. A guy that lives on one of them crosses his cows a couple times a week.
 
   #4  

Carl_NH

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Agree with the hauler - put down surge base 4-6" deep and crusher run on top. In the NE we call this 2" or 3" minus which is a mix of stone 3/4" to 3" and you can move and level this out with a normal loader bucket.

Then top this with either 3/4 stone or your crusher run you scraped off first.
 
   #5  

dirttoys

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I have a road (about 275 yards) through the woods linking two sets of pasture. The road is down a steep incline that winds through the woods. I have been able to keep the water from the pasture draining into the side ditch but the road itself collects enough water to wash. Years ago I had a shale/clay mix (some call it dirt rock around here) placed on the road. The shale made a good base but overtime it broke down and washed. It broke down under the weight of equipment and the weather. I planned on topping the road with crusher run but the material hauler suggested I use surge gravel. I have a few questions: 1. How easy or hard is it to scrape surge compared to crusher run? I have a 50hp tractor so I am not concerned with the ability of the tractor, I am concerned that every time I scrape the road it will be rough. 2. Crusher run will pack relatively quickly; I assume surge will not pack solid as quickly. Will the cows be reluctant to walk across the surge gravel?




View attachment 728870
what do you drive on it, car, quad, tractor? I don't think I have ever had trouble with cows not walking on 2" rock, but, if I was driving a car down it, I would use something else. This is normally used for base, with a layer of 3/4 inch on top and then crusher run on top of that. I don't like working with gravel of different size because it grades weird.

Best,

ed
 
   #6  

jyoutz

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I have a road (about 275 yards) through the woods linking two sets of pasture. The road is down a steep incline that winds through the woods. I have been able to keep the water from the pasture draining into the side ditch but the road itself collects enough water to wash. Years ago I had a shale/clay mix (some call it dirt rock around here) placed on the road. The shale made a good base but overtime it broke down and washed. It broke down under the weight of equipment and the weather. I planned on topping the road with crusher run but the material hauler suggested I use surge gravel. I have a few questions: 1. How easy or hard is it to scrape surge compared to crusher run? I have a 50hp tractor so I am not concerned with the ability of the tractor, I am concerned that every time I scrape the road it will be rough. 2. Crusher run will pack relatively quickly; I assume surge will not pack solid as quickly. Will the cows be reluctant to walk across the surge gravel?




View attachment 728870
The first thing that you need to do before topping with any kind of gravel is to shape the road and put drainage into the road. Google “rolling dips.” By building these into the road, it will drain and you won’t have washing. Then you can top it with gravel. Usually a small dozer is used to cut rolling dips into the road, but a good heavy blade on a utility tractor might also work.
 
  
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#7  
OP
marhar

marhar

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what do you drive on it, car, quad, tractor? I don't think I have ever had trouble with cows not walking on 2" rock, but, if I was driving a car down it, I would use something else. This is normally used for base, with a layer of 3/4 inch on top and then crusher run on top of that. I don't like working with gravel of different size because it grades weird.

Best,

ed
Thank you Ed. I drive a truck with off road tires and a tractor. No cars.
 
   #8  

dirttoys

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Thank you Ed. I drive a truck with off road tires and a tractor. No cars.
Yea sure, and the poster above was correct, get the water off, water bars can help, always hard to say without looking at it. Even pictures I have trouble telling grade.

But to your question, if only truck and cattle, I would give it a go, it will certainly out last crusher run, and dry quicker. Run a two foot path down the middle of crusher run if the cows complain:)

Best,

ed
 
   #9  

CADplans

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I have the equivalent of railroad ballast under many parts of my 1/4 mile long driveway.
One year we had a flood, it washed 3-8" rocks into a neighbors field,, he was happy for me to take them.

So, my approach is to put the biggest thing you feel that you can afford, and can spread, down first.

After it is down, you can top it with "crusher run" type material.
If the driveway is level, you can put some gravel on top of that.

I had over 160 18 wheelers go up and down my driveway during the wettest spring ever recorded here.
The trucks ALL weighed over 80,000 pounds, they were not allowed on the interstate when loaded.
I had ZERO damage to my driveway.

In this pic, the trucks ran on a brand new piece of road, only using the railroad ballast.
The road held up, almost unbelievably well,,

IXTZm5S.jpg


This truck was on my existing driveway.

DbuSD8E.jpg


Heck, EVERYTHING came up my driveway,,

NdUu0ml.jpg


M7JeImT.jpg
 

dirttoys

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I have the equivalent of railroad ballast under many parts of my 1/4 mile long driveway.
One year we had a flood, it washed 3-8" rocks into a neighbors field,, he was happy for me to take them.

So, my approach is to put the biggest thing you feel that you can afford, and can spread, down first.

After it is down, you can top it with "crusher run" type material.
If the driveway is level, you can put some gravel on top of that.

I had over 160 18 wheelers go up and down my driveway during the wettest spring ever recorded here.
The trucks ALL weighed over 80,000 pounds, they were not allowed on the interstate when loaded.
I had ZERO damage to my driveway.

In this pic, the trucks ran on a brand new piece of road, only using the railroad ballast.
The road held up, almost unbelievably well,,

IXTZm5S.jpg


This truck was on my existing driveway.

DbuSD8E.jpg


Heck, EVERYTHING came up my driveway,,

NdUu0ml.jpg


M7JeImT.jpg
Man that will make a great base, I had a few concrete trucks while we were building that helped. You should be set for life:)
 

jyoutz

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Edgewood, New Mexico
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I have the equivalent of railroad ballast under many parts of my 1/4 mile long driveway.
One year we had a flood, it washed 3-8" rocks into a neighbors field,, he was happy for me to take them.

So, my approach is to put the biggest thing you feel that you can afford, and can spread, down first.

After it is down, you can top it with "crusher run" type material.
If the driveway is level, you can put some gravel on top of that.

I had over 160 18 wheelers go up and down my driveway during the wettest spring ever recorded here.
The trucks ALL weighed over 80,000 pounds, they were not allowed on the interstate when loaded.
I had ZERO damage to my driveway.

In this pic, the trucks ran on a brand new piece of road, only using the railroad ballast.
The road held up, almost unbelievably well,,

IXTZm5S.jpg


This truck was on my existing driveway.

DbuSD8E.jpg


Heck, EVERYTHING came up my driveway,,

NdUu0ml.jpg


M7JeImT.jpg
Fantastic road base. But unless you own a quarry pit and rock crusher, it’s too cost prohibitive to do much road that way.
 

CADplans

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Fantastic road base. But unless you own a quarry pit and rock crusher, it’s too cost prohibitive to do much road that way.

I have been "building" my road for 40 years (as of this coming April)
so, a couple loads a year, some years, have not been cost prohibitive.

When I started, gravel or other stone was about $100 a tandem load,,
Shale was only about $50 a load,, I used a lot of shale back then,
now, the farmers that used to sell shale would need a mining permit to remove ANY material.
That is no longer a choice,,
 

oosik

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Around these parts - I can get railroad ballast pretty cheap. It's 2.0" to 3.0" cube basaltic lava. As hard and tough as cubed steel. This stuff would definitely have to be knocked down/flattened with some type of heavy roller. Left just as graded - it would shred your tires.

Some with lots of $$$$ - lay down this RR ballast and top with pit run. Makes as good a driving surface as the county asphalt road.
 

fruitcakesa

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I used 4 inch minus to dry out my muddy landing
A single 18 wheeler load made a 70 foot long by 20 feet wide "lane" that the trucker could park his fully loaded truck and pup on.
It packed well and made a driveable surface.
 

rockmalenfant

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I have a road (about 275 yards) through the woods linking two sets of pasture. The road is down a steep incline that winds through the woods. I have been able to keep the water from the pasture draining into the side ditch but the road itself collects enough water to wash. Years ago I had a shale/clay mix (some call it dirt rock around here) placed on the road. The shale made a good base but overtime it broke down and washed. It broke down under the weight of equipment and the weather. I planned on topping the road with crusher run but the material hauler suggested I use surge gravel. I have a few questions: 1. How easy or hard is it to scrape surge compared to crusher run? I have a 50hp tractor so I am not concerned with the ability of the tractor, I am concerned that every time I scrape the road it will be rough. 2. Crusher run will pack relatively quickly; I assume surge will not pack solid as quickly. Will the cows be reluctant to walk across the surge gravel?




View attachment 728870

When you say scrape do you mean grading it ?
crusher run = 0.5'' to 4'' ?
I say surge stone will be easier to grade then crusher run since it has less fine to compact ... with that being said I think surge stone will always be rough, it wont compact you need fine to achieve compaction and be hell for the cow to walk on... I understand its best for erosion control but it is use for as a base.

I personally love Granular type 2 (0.1 to 4'') it compact like cement and is very hard to wash away ...

I'd say to follow you initial instinct the crusher run will give you better compaction and still give you the erosion control you are looking for or go with a mix like many brought up a base of surge stone with and cover up with a smaller diameter material.
 

pacosperson

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Southern Pa.
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I have a road (about 275 yards) through the woods linking two sets of pasture. The road is down a steep incline that winds through the woods. I have been able to keep the water from the pasture draining into the side ditch but the road itself collects enough water to wash. Years ago I had a shale/clay mix (some call it dirt rock around here) placed on the road. The shale made a good base but overtime it broke down and washed. It broke down under the weight of equipment and the weather. I planned on topping the road with crusher run but the material hauler suggested I use surge gravel. I have a few questions: 1. How easy or hard is it to scrape surge compared to crusher run? I have a 50hp tractor so I am not concerned with the ability of the tractor, I am concerned that every time I scrape the road it will be rough. 2. Crusher run will pack relatively quickly; I assume surge will not pack solid as quickly. Will the cows be reluctant to walk across the surge gravel?


How does the water get onto the road? Every municipal road you've been on from residential to super highways routes water off of and away from the travel surface. Spend your time, money, and effort to keep the water off the road. Crusher waste is just that; waste. It is not a paving product. Trying to get lucky and go cheap with crusher waste in a losing argument.

View attachment 728870
 

3 Horse Ranch

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I have a road (about 275 yards) through the woods linking two sets of pasture. The road is down a steep incline that winds through the woods. I have been able to keep the water from the pasture draining into the side ditch but the road itself collects enough water to wash. Years ago I had a shale/clay mix (some call it dirt rock around here) placed on the road. The shale made a good base but overtime it broke down and washed. It broke down under the weight of equipment and the weather. I planned on topping the road with crusher run but the material hauler suggested I use surge gravel. I have a few questions: 1. How easy or hard is it to scrape surge compared to crusher run? I have a 50hp tractor so I am not concerned with the ability of the tractor, I am concerned that every time I scrape the road it will be rough. 2. Crusher run will pack relatively quickly; I assume surge will not pack solid as quickly. Will the cows be reluctant to walk across the surge gravel?




View attachment 728870
I think you are getting good advice, This stuff will not pack solid, but it will let water drain through it but not gather the speed necessary to move anything bot the finest materials unless you get a deluge. The company I retired from had a similar material, 2"-4" quarry spalls. We used that material dumped over raw dirt for construction roads. Mountain logging roads in northwest Washington used a blend of 2-4 and 4-8 spalls for road building.
I don't have a clue how the cows will like it, but I can't imagine a cow being reluctant to get to a new fresh grass over a familiar route. You didn't mention what you use to scrape the road, but I can imagine the occasional rock getting turned up.
 
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marhar

marhar

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The road is 14ft wide and about 275 yds. The road itself collects enough water for some washing. When the shale was new it did a good job protecting the road; over the last 20+ the shale has broken down and allows water to wash. The road is in relatively good shape at the top of the hill but degrades as it goes down the hill.

I scraped the pasture to direct the water from the pasture into the side ditch. In the past leaves and limbs would block the ditch and allow water to wash the road. I have since dug the ditch out and taken logs from fallen trees to make a "curb" to keep the water in the ditch. Finally I have all the water in the ditch and I want to get the road back into good shape.
 

OzarkChris

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OzarkChris

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Geotextile fabric can make a huge difference as well, keeps the stone from disappearing into the mud below.
My rocks don't disappear into the mud (for long) more times than not, they seem to end up in the garden so they can grow up to be big & strong! I guess I really know how to grow rocks - hmmm, guess I must have one of them lime (stone) colored thumbs?. 🙃😉🙂
 

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Last edited:

JDZ735M

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Never heard of Perma Zyme before but it sure sounds interesting ! Kind of sounds to good to be true. The site map seems to only show 5 states using it, none in Wisconsin, I would love to check it out in person. Perma-Zyme Soil Stabilizer Road Features

Anyone here have any personal experience with Perma Zyme ?
Always a good idea to check it out in person!
 
 
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