Desperately need to fix driveway

/pine

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In my part of the country, a tractor is a routine piece of equipment on new road construction once trees and rocks have been removed. May not been everywhere. They show up about the same time as earth movers use pull scraper boxes. They are one of the last to leave as they can do so many different jobs simply by changing implements.
The most common implement you will see on a regular sized tractor (commercial/industrial models) working on a DOT approved road job...(not talking about small repair projects) ...is a broom (roller)...it is just not economical to use implements designed for small machines on public road contracts...(minimum 10'+ wide lanes)...
 
  
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Binx

Binx

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My suggestion...fix any/all places where storm water runs down the drive and not across the drive...then get it topped with something like "crusher run" that has fines that will pack down hard...loose gravel will only get worse over time...

Working a gravel drive when it's been dry is not recommended...it tends to separate the fines and leaves nothing but more lose gravel...regardless of the implement used...
Fines are the key to maintaining a gravel lane that is like concrete...

Good Luck...
Thank you /pine. I didn't know that we shouldn't work a gravel driveway when it's dry.
 
  
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Binx

Binx

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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.
Thank you Egon. I put your information together with others and I think we've got a plan now.

Buy a box blade or land plane w/scarifiers. Is 700lbs sufficient?
Hubby nixed the back blade, but he's open to getting a landscape rake depending on it's price.
Scarify.
Spread out the loose gravel.
If we get a landscape rake, get at least an 7' rake and use it to pull gravel back into main driveway.
Make a crown and smooth the drive.
Expand the ditch on the right side of the drive.
Compact it with the tractor.
Lengthen the ditch on the right side of the drive.
Check on what the driveway looks like and decide if we should get crusher run or something in between.
Compact it again and wait for a rain.
Finish off with crusher run.
Compact again.
Don't let UPS or Fed Ex or Amazon drive on it until after the crusher run is spread, it is rained on and has been well compacted.
Maintain after that.
 

BukitCase

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"I'll see if I can convince my husband on the top and tilt. Is it expensive and/or difficult to install if you're handy?"

Graziaka, kind of depends on just HOW handy; I sourced the needed parts for my ancient Allis from surplus center and discount hydraulics.com, did some minor machining on the cylinder for tilt, added a mechanical diverter valve to the ONLY remote that tractor has (so I could choose between top link or tilt cylinder), put it together, and it actually WORKED; but most of my approximately 50 years in the work force was in various tech and mechanical fields, and I have a few machine tools plus 4 welders, plasma cutter, etc...

Also, my last two jobs (total of 34 years) were in industrial instrumentation/control, so I already had most of the knowledge I needed in hydraulics.

The GOOD news - a LOT of our members will be (and HAVE been) ready to help members with ZERO hydraulic knowledge successfully complete TnT projects on their tractors. You mainly need to be tenacious like with ANYTHING that's new to you... Steve
 

bcp

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Just don't start the installation the day before you need it

:)

Bruce
 

ttener

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1) Fix the drainage problem. The road needs to be above the water and shed rainfall to the side(s).
2) Use a well graded, crushed gravel. From the pic it appears the material used is not crushed and therefore has no sharp edges to help it bind and there are no finer gravels to fill the voids. It's like driving over marbles, they will just roll out of the way, since there is nothing binding the materials together.
3) Once the driveway has proper drainage, a crown and proper gravel, compact the surface. The compaction serves 2 purposes, 1) to seal the surface and help it shed rainwater and 2) to bind the materials and make the mixture as dense as possible.

This, in my opinion, is the best advice here, but it still doesn’t help with your question. Use this advise on the new driveway.

In the meantime, both land planes and boxes have their place. In your case, without adding additional material, as most are suggesting, I would go with the land plane. It’s got far less of a learning curve and will give you immediate gratification.

A box blade can be tricky to fiddle with to get the angle just right for a decent crown. It’s not impossible, but it’s a steeper learning curve and can be frustrating at first.

Everything is a trade off though... think about how you could use either implement in a year, 5 years, 10 years. Both of these are implements that only get used occasionally throughout their lifetime and need to be stored for long periods of time. Factor that in as well.

Best of luck! Either one will work for you and toys is toys!
 

fried1765

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This, in my opinion, is the best advice here, but it still doesn’t help with your question. Use this advise on the new driveway.

In the meantime, both land planes and boxes have their place. In your case, without adding additional material, as most are suggesting, I would go with the land plane. It’s got far less of a learning curve and will give you immediate gratification.

A box blade can be tricky to fiddle with to get the angle just right for a decent crown. It’s not impossible, but it’s a steeper learning curve and can be frustrating at first.

Everything is a trade off though... think about how you could use either implement in a year, 5 years, 10 years. Both of these are implements that only get used occasionally throughout their lifetime and need to be stored for long periods of time. Factor that in as well.

Best of luck! Either one will work for you and toys is toys!
"A decent crown" with a box blade...... is mostly fantasy!
 

/pine

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"A decent crown" with a box blade...... is mostly fantasy!

LoL...There is a Gary Larson cartoon that shows some birds making some things...the caption reads "Non singing canaries have to take wood shop"...

Those that don't have the patience to master the learning curve of a BB are doomed to failure...

Actually creating a crown on a gravel lane with a box blade is one of the simpler things that a BB can do...
 

fried1765

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LoL...There is a Gary Larson cartoon that shows some birds making some things...the caption reads "Non singing canaries have to take wood shop"...

Those that don't have the patience to master the learning curve of a BB are doomed to failure...

Actually creating a crown on a gravel lane with a box blade is one of the simpler things that a BB can do...
A box blade cannot be angled, and thus cannot bring the migrated edge material to the center to help form a meaningful crown.
Box blades are not used to form the finished grade for new roadways.
A road grader is used......and an angled rear blade is simply a poor man's road grader.
 

ttener

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Here’s a couple YouTube’s that are offer excellent instructions on box blade use in general and one that explains angling. (None of them are mine. I don’t utube.)


 

fried1765

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Here’s a couple YouTube’s that are offer excellent instructions on box blade use in general and one that explains angling. (None of them are mine. I don’t utube.)


Nothing in either of those videos explains how to angle a box blade, because box blades are not normally built to be angled!
Box blades can be tilted, but not angled.
 

deezler

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Exactly, and if you tilt a box blade to the side, they carve a ditch on the road edge, and pull material until it falls out towards the center of the road lane. Repeat on each side, and you have.... a crown. Magical.

Not my favorite way to do it either, but maybe give it a rest now lol.
 

TractorGuy

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If I could only get one attachment to deal with that it would be a grader blade. The biggest one my tractor could pull. Ideally you want it to be as wide as the tractor with it set at 30 degrees or so.
 

CoyPatton

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Thank you Bukit. I'll see if I can convince my husband on the top and tilt. Is it expensive and/or difficult to install if you're handy?

If you have rear remotes already on your tractor it is a breeze to install and consist of a few fittings 4 hoses and a hydraulic top link and a hydraulic tilt linkage.
With out remotes, they will have to be installed as well as control valves and hydraulic supply to the remotes.
 

dirttoys

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Good stuff here, build a road above grade, pack it well, and mess with it as little as possible.

If I was constrained to a single implement it would be a harley/power rack, but unless you have something else to do with it, it sure is expensive. Next would be a simple scrapper, if it was capable of offset for ditching so much the better. I have seen guys make magic from nothing, and it is amazing:) Crowing with a box blade is not magic, but for me it is close, worked them for years, and just don't have the eye to tweak them. Not that it cant be done.

I can do darn near anything with a mini x, and I have seen guys finish grade with a medium dozer better than I could with a skid, but, that doesn't mean either are the correct tool. I still love a land plane for after build maintenance.

Best,

ed
 

MossyDell

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I maintained a looong, uphill gravel driveway for 10 years in SE Ohio with a box blade. I didn't worry about forming a crown. Car tires took care of that. Part of my goal was always to take out the crown cars made. Now I learn here I was doing it all wrong. Probably was. Sure loved my heavy 5' Bush Hog brand box blade though. Got pretty good at using it the wrong way.

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. They do try for ditches on either side. I walk one of these roads all the time and talk to one resident who's always angry that the potholes are never ripped up and fixed right. So they tend to come right back. What amazes me is the county folk seem to hit the road on schedule, about every 6 weeks. To me, it stays pretty nice, and since they work it so often the potholes are small and shallow at least.
 

bearthebruce

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Fried, can you explain what angling accomplishes instead of or in addition to tilting for crowning? I have never used a rear blade.
 

fried1765

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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

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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

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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

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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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