Advice on a farm road

jyoutz

Veteran Member
Joined
Apr 7, 2000
Messages
1,460
Location
Edgewood, New Mexico
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JD4100
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,,

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This truck was on my existing driveway.

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Heck, EVERYTHING came up my driveway,,

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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.
 

CADplans

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May 27, 2016
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3,327
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near Roanoke VA
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584 IH 4WD
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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Aug 22, 2012
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16,242
Location
AMBER, WA
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2009 Kubota M6040
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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Mar 10, 2015
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881
Location
CavendishVT
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M6040
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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Apr 29, 2021
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182
Location
northern Ontario Canada
Tractor
2076E Massey Ferguson
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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Feb 22, 2009
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24
Location
Southern Pa.
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Ford 1210
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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Aug 18, 2017
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538
Location
Tonasket, WA
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Ford 1715, Poulan Pro 46
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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Apr 5, 2013
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170
Location
Denton NC
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Farm Trac 60
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.
 
 
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