Desperately need to fix driveway

   #11  

old and tired

Platinum Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2019
Messages
943
Location
Raleigh, NC / Hillsvlle, VA
Tractor
L2800 hst
Hate to say it but your "gravel" is way too big for a box blade or a landplane to do much good. It's great for a base once it's locked into place but you don't have any "fines" (smaller rocks) to actually to hold the rock in place.

If you have a FEL, I would load it up as much weight as it can handle and back drag it (in float or even put down pressure on it) to flatten what you can. Also, running it over with your tires (with your heaviest implement out back) to try and pack what you got BEFORE buying crushed gravel like Gordon's above photo...

Damn, I'm a slow typist... Egon beat me to it!!!
 
   #12  

shooterdon

Elite Member
Joined
Nov 24, 2012
Messages
3,032
Location
Near Johannesburg MI but in the middle of nowhere
Tractor
2019 LS XR4140 HST Cab; 2020 Kawasaki Mule SX; 2021 Bad Boy 54" ZT Elite
One thing to consider....a box blade is not the easiest implement to use well...and most seem to recommend a hydraulic top link to make using it easier. I have never used one so only reporting what many here have posted.

My drive is also short and this year got a landplane to maintain it. It has worked well and is very simple to use.
 
   #13  

CoyPatton

Veteran Member
Joined
Aug 10, 2015
Messages
1,450
Location
Poplar Bluff, MO
Tractor
Yanmar YM2002D with Koyker 110 FEL
Don’t think the surface material shown will pack or hold its shape. You require a crushed well graded gravel.

A rear blade with gauge wheels would work best for bringing in the sides and shaping the road. Scarifying well first would really help. The gauge wheels will really help with a back blade.

The stages:
scarify
pull up the edges and define ditches
roll a windrow of material back and forth to fill in hollows and get
nice smooth grade. This is very important. One pass just doesn’t
do it. Rolling a windrow will also help mix the aggregate on the road. The vertical angle of the back blade is important to do this
correctly.
You may end up up with a few larger rocks on top. Blade these into the ditch.

Then a vibratory drum compactor.

Now you would be ready for additional crushed gravel. ( 3/4 in. And less )

The tilt of the blade and the angle can be varied so certain tasks can be carried out. Again one setting just don’t do it.

If you fill ruts and other low spots as I understand the comment about wind-rowing material back and forth to fill low spots, expect as heavy trucks come down the drive (ups and others) for the gravel even hard packed to be pushed out of those ruts.
Runs and other low spots need the soil that is higher ‘busted’ up and reshaped. Point in case, if your county maintenance routine is to grade grave into the potholes, how long before the potholes are back often worse than before graded? Depending in traffic a few days!
Number 1 (it also occupies 2-10) thing in my opinion of living on gravel most of my lifetime and having gravel drives!
WATER!
You need at least one ditch (2 is 10x better) beside the entire run of your drive. Drive needs to be sloped so water quickly runs into the ditch and not length of the drive. The drive needs to be at its lowest point (edge(s)) higher than the lip of the ditch next to the drive.

Until the water is dealt with, you will always have issues with your drive way rutting.
A good condition driveway is in my opinion a great selling feature for a home, but may not be an expense that will be recouped in the selling price.

I am a firm believer that their are implements that really shine for a given purpose but may not be worth much in other activities. (A tiller being a point in case, if you need to break up soil for any variety if purposes, it is the implement to have, but to break up gravel covered potholes is pretty useless as the gravel prevents the digging, and if gravel is removed, it general breaks the soil much more finely than desired for a drive way base.
The best implement for routine drive way maintenance in my opinion is a land plane with scarifiers. While not a 1 trick pony, it pretty much is limited to leveling and redistributing material. You can not move material as you could with a box blade.

When you build the new house, make sure the new drive has Water dealt with, a solid compacted base that is higher than ditch lip.
Educate yourself, so that you know what you need in your area. This will let you know when that ‘professional’ is blowing smoke. You can understand the process through education without having done the work.
 
   #14  

Hughman

Silver Member
Joined
May 31, 2011
Messages
146
Location
La Grange, CA
Tractor
NH TC33DA
I think you're looking at this wrong. Rather than buying a tractor implement to fix the driveway, look at this as an opportunity to replace that low slung sedan with a jeep. 😀
 
   #15  

zzvyb6

Elite Member
Joined
Dec 2, 2006
Messages
4,409
Location
michigan
Tractor
jd 1070
My Arps brand landscape would have no trouble smoothing out her driveway. I put 4 suitcase weights on it and it digs and fills as necessary. I used to help q few others on the road with driveways worse than hers. But, Now I'm all 800' of concrete so I sold the rake.
 
   #16  

dodge man

Super Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2008
Messages
8,557
Location
West central Illinois
Tractor
JD 2025R
You have a pretty good size tractor so I’d say a rear blade, land plane or box blade would work. The scarifies in a land plane with them or a box blade would work well on digging up and stirring up the gravel you have. If you have enough material you can just rework what you have. My driveway is paved but was gravel for several years and in the spring was when it got bad, it turned to mush.
 
   #17  

Egon

Epic Contributor
Joined
Aug 14, 2001
Messages
22,305
Location
Nova Scotia, Canada
If you fill ruts and other low spots as I understand the comment about wind-rowing material back and forth to fill low spots, expect as heavy trucks come down the drive (ups and others) for the gravel even hard packed to be pushed out of those ruts.
Runs and other low spots need the soil that is higher ‘busted’ up and reshaped. Point in case, if your county maintenance routine is to grade grave into the potholes, how long before the potholes are back often worse than before graded? Depending in traffic a few days!
Number 1 (it also occupies 2-10) thing in my opinion of living on gravel most of my lifetime and having gravel drives!
WATER!
You need at least one ditch (2 is 10x better) beside the entire run of your drive. Drive needs to be sloped so water quickly runs into the ditch and not length of the drive. The drive needs to be at its lowest point (edge(s)) higher than the lip of the ditch next to the drive.

Until the water is dealt with, you will always have issues with your drive way rutting.
A good condition driveway is in my opinion a great selling feature for a home, but may not be an expense that will be recouped in the selling price.

I am a firm believer that their are implements that really shine for a given purpose but may not be worth much in other activities. (A tiller being a point in case, if you need to break up soil for any variety if purposes, it is the implement to have, but to break up gravel covered potholes is pretty useless as the gravel prevents the digging, and if gravel is removed, it general breaks the soil much more finely than desired for a drive way base.
The best implement for routine drive way maintenance in my opinion is a land plane with scarifiers. While not a 1 trick pony, it pretty much is limited to leveling and redistributing material. You can not move material as you could with a box blade.

When you build the new house, make sure the new drive has Water dealt with, a solid compacted base that is higher than ditch lip.
Educate yourself, so that you know what you need in your area. This will let you know when that ‘professional’ is blowing smoke. You can understand the process through education without having done the work.

Notice:
The first word on the list is scarify. In road building this implies much more than just a toothed blade Scratching the surface.

Next comes pulling up the sides & defining ditches. ( water control )

Then the surface material is windowed back and forth actually being rolled over. This mixes and pulls and distributes the material.

Followed by compaction and the addition of more aggregate.

No Smoke Required.

The land plane works for maintaining a well finished road.
 
   #18  

repete

Platinum Member
Joined
May 26, 2008
Messages
826
Location
SW Washington
Tractor
L2550DT IH584-4WD
The key to any driveway success is drainage. This passes through what would be a swamp. Only a landscape rake touches it.
 

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   #19  

duffer

Platinum Member
Joined
Mar 11, 2017
Messages
569
Location
Aiken, SC
Tractor
Mahindra 2538
In taking a close look at your first picture, it appears as though your driveway is actually doubling as a drainage swale for all water run-off from both sides. Tough to tell if the dark areas at the bottom of your picture are shade, or dampness from water running across it.

You can rake, comb, or groom the driveway all you want, but until you solve your water shed issue, you will continue to have this problem. The driveway must be above the water shed areas. Thus you need to install drainage swales/ditches along each side, or at least where the water empties into the driveway. An installation of a drain culvert under the driveway could work wonders on the worst areas.

From the picture it appears you have an "inverted crown" in your driveway. No doubt from the water running down it. You need to reverse that flow, and redirect it to the sides of the driveway, and into the newly installed drainage ditches. Without actually seeing it in person it's hard to tell exactly what you need and where you need it to actually fix the problem (not treat to symptoms). I would suggest getting an excavator contractor out there to eye-ball it, and give you some recommendations.

Don't waste your money (like I did) trying to groom the driveway out of the problem. You have to address the drainage issues first. Otherwise you're just dumping money into a never ending pit. Depending on the severity of the drainage issues, you might want to rent a mini-excavator back hoe, and dig the drainage trenches, rather than trying to have a tractor implement do that job. Better yet, let the excavator contractor do it. They will do more work in far less time, and you'll get a better job from the pros. (Maybe a neighbor with a large back-hoe could do the work?) Might only cost you a case of beer, or dinner maybe.

The land plane is a good implement to groom it, but it won't fix it. I use a landscape/York rake to groom my ½ mile drive. Either implement will work, just personal choice.
 
   #20  

Egon

Epic Contributor
Joined
Aug 14, 2001
Messages
22,305
Location
Nova Scotia, Canada
Notice:
The first word on the list is scarify. In road building this implies much more than just a toothed blade Scratching the surface.

Next comes pulling up the sides & defining ditches. ( water control )

Then the surface material is windowed back and forth actually being rolled over. This mixes and pulls and distributes the material.

Followed by compaction and the addition of more aggregate.

No Smoke Required.

The land plane works for maintaining a well finished road.

A Cat grader at work. The rear blade With gauge wheels tries to emulate this action.
 
 
 
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