Desperately need to fix driveway

bearthebruce

Gold Member
Joined
Jul 26, 2018
Messages
295
Location
Property is in Floyd County VA
Tractor
'05 Massey Ferguson MF1533
I have noticed here in VA that our county's road crews don't seem to form any crown on gravel roads with their big new graders.
Where we are in Floyd County,VA. The main road in has a pretty steep hill and the road is cut into the hill. They never crown the road and they don't do enough on the ditches. The water destroyed the road this winter. They came in late Feb and regraded bringing a lot of stone with them. All of that was washed away by mid-April. End of May, the road was near unpassable by a car. Huge ruts from water washing across the road. The ditches need excavating to handle the flow off the hill.

There are only 7 families back the road. We don't expect much improvement.

There is another way in/out which is pretty flat. That is maintained as you describe @MossyDell. It is also a longer distance.

I give an "A" for attentiveness and being there. I give them a "C" at best for their road surface design and for neglecting the ditches. In fact, my buddy said on his last trip, "It is almost as if they just want to protect their jobs so they can keep coming out to add stone that will just wash away."
 

MossyDell

Silver Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2002
Messages
141
Location
southwestern Virginia
Tractor
B2601 (2021) B6100E (1988) B2100 (1991) JD970 (1998)
Bear, I am just up the road from you, in Riner.

I know one problem with the road I mentioned is that in spots there is solid rock. The gravel won't stay on it! My daughter's driveway has the same issue, and when there's a big rain there goes the gravel.

For those who do want to try crowning, Dave Knows How on YouTube posted this link to a digital angle gauge to put on the blade:

 

MossyDell

Silver Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2002
Messages
141
Location
southwestern Virginia
Tractor
B2601 (2021) B6100E (1988) B2100 (1991) JD970 (1998)
Hello All,

I posted a similar thread about 1.5 years ago regarding our driveway and after much thought, we decided to get a professional to fix it and get it done right. Well, after having a "professional" add gravel and smooth the driveway about 10 months ago, we are back to the same driveway with ruts....but we now have more gravel.

Info on our wonderful driveway. We currently have a .25 mile driveway (future driveway will be around .25 miles also) with surge stone and gravel. When the UPS/Fed Ex/Amazon driver comes down the driveway, they rut it up really bad. I have a small sporty'ish sedan and it's dinging up my skid plate and who knows what else.

My husband has given me the go ahead to purchase an implement to fix the driveway! Woohoo! I'm leaning towards the box blade mainly for the future house we hope to build in the next 2 years if lumber prices ever come down. The box blade would be used to maintain about 1/2 mile of existing trails, smooth out the land around the future house and finish building the rest of the .25 mile driveway.

We have an MX5800 (no hydraulics) and I think a 6-7', >700lb box blade would work best, maybe an EA Severe Extreme (78' or 84') or a Woods (76-84'). My husband thinks a land plane would be better. Any suggestions? I need to purchase it quickly before he changes his mind. :)

Thank you!

This is a great thread. I am learning a lot about crowning a drive. What I have to add from my experience is that it made a huge improvement when I finally got enough crusher run on our long driveway. I think an underlying problem with many drives is there is simply not enough gravel to raise the drive, to work it and shape it. For a couple years it seemed I was buying at least 20 tons a year. The truckers did a good job of spreading it initially. 20 tons doesn't go very far either. But it turned out to be an investment because I was able to stop buying gravel finally and didn't have to work the drive as much.

Good luck graziaka. And I hope you will return soon with a report on what you have learned from this, what you tried, and what worked.
 

fried1765

Super Star Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2015
Messages
10,204
Tractor
Kubota L48 TLB, Ford 1920 FEL, 8N Ford, Gravely 12 HP "Professional", 48" SCAG Liberty
Tractor Mike shows crowning in this video:

Mike describes how to "angle" a box blade.
IMPOSSIBLE! Common box blades cannot be angled!
Common box blades can ONLY be tilted!
For that reason, a rear scrape blade is by far the better tool for driveway maintenance.
Rear scrape blades can be both angled and tilted!
 
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MossyDell

Silver Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2002
Messages
141
Location
southwestern Virginia
Tractor
B2601 (2021) B6100E (1988) B2100 (1991) JD970 (1998)
Fried, can you explain what angling accomplishes instead of or in addition to tilting for crowning? I have never used a rear blade.
 

fried1765

Super Star Member
Joined
Jan 6, 2015
Messages
10,204
Tractor
Kubota L48 TLB, Ford 1920 FEL, 8N Ford, Gravely 12 HP "Professional", 48" SCAG Liberty
Fried, can you explain what angling accomplishes instead of or in addition to tilting for crowning? I have never used a rear blade.
You can create a crown with only box blade tilting, but as your surface material begins to migrate off the edges of your driveway, it will require many short drag movements to try to pull it back onto the driveway.
With a rear blade angled at 30 degrees, and tilted, you can recover material lost to the edges, and steadily move along, bringing that material back up to the driveway center surface as crowning material.

There is a learning curve, but a rear blade is the best tool for driveway maintenance.
Absent the learning curve (the simple way) a land plane is a very easy to use tool, but like the box blade, it lacks the ability to recover material from the extreme edges of the driveway.
A box blade or land plane will tend to cause the owner to buy loads of replacement surface material more frequently, as over time, existing material that has migrated to the edges will be unrecoverable.
 

MossyDell

Silver Member
Joined
Jul 25, 2002
Messages
141
Location
southwestern Virginia
Tractor
B2601 (2021) B6100E (1988) B2100 (1991) JD970 (1998)
Thanks, fried1765. Great explanation. I've only used a box blade but can see how what you describe with a blade could be very useful.
 

PILOON

Super Star Member
Joined
Aug 26, 2004
Messages
10,432
Location
North of Mtl,Que,Can (Ste Adele)
Tractor
MT180D
You can create a crown with only box blade tilting, but as your surface material begins to migrate off the edges of your driveway, it will require many short drag movements to try to pull it back onto the driveway.
With a rear blade angled at 30 degrees, and tilted, you can recover material lost to the edges, and steadily move along, bringing that material back up to the driveway center surface as crowning material.

There is a learning curve, but a rear blade is the best tool for driveway maintenance.
Absent the learning curve (the simple way) a land plane is a very easy to use tool, but like the box blade, it lacks the ability to recover material from the extreme edges of the driveway.
A box blade or land plane will tend to cause the owner to buy loads of replacement surface material more frequently, as over time, existing material that has migrated to the edges will be unrecoverable.
I totally agree.
I've maintained a few drives with a simple rear blade.
Angled and tilted it does a fine job of crowning a drive.
Slow, steady and patience is the way to go.
For that nice finished look I reverse my blade at 'float' it at a rather rapid pace.
Often I promised myself to add hydraulic tilt but just don't do enough to justify that investment, besides I have to dismount anyway to adjust the angle.

About the only better finishing tool is a good 3 bladed drag, now that is the cat's meow.
It cuts the bumps and humps, fills the dips and does so in one pass, maybe 2 if the drive is in rough shape. Depending on how you weight it, it can even make crowns.
 

Egon

Epic Contributor
Joined
Aug 14, 2001
Messages
22,059
Location
Nova Scotia, Canada
The angled blade also rolls the material and mixes it while a straight blade drags and segregates the material. Looking good does not mean it is good.

What counts on a road surface is a well mixed even spread of aggregate.

In the process of rolling a windrow mixed material is also carried forward and deposited in low areas and the cut off from high areas Is added. A straight blade cuts off high areas, segregates material, drops the fines first and then drops the course material.
 
 
 
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