Grading--what am I doing to cause this?

   / Grading--what am I doing to cause this? #131  

ovrszd

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mechtheist,

I absolutely agree with your slope theory. I would eliminate crown and create a drainage slope to the surface of the roadbed. That would eliminate the puddles in your pictures. Obviously your soil conditions can handle the load of traffic. All you need to do is create drainage.

I'm not sure you will ever get a glass smooth surface. As you describe, the rocks are natural and you are going to always have to deal with them.

I am completely opposed to using a scarifier or ripping the roadbed in any manner. If you do this you will have to deal with the dozens or hundreds of fist sized rocks that you will dislodge. In the end your roadbed elevation will erode down to the depth you ripped. Which would be the exact opposite of what you are trying to do.

I would start working the loose material toward the high side of the natural ground slope. You know where the puddles are so try to bring more loose material into those areas. This is going to take time so be patient. Always end with your loose material on the high side. Create a straight side slope toward the low side of the natural slope.

I think you have a very good natural roadbed that most of us can only dream about. My Aunt/Uncle used to live near Lamar Oklahoma. Traveled 2 miles of natural material roadbed to get to pavement. I was there when it rained. It looked just like your road. A few hours later it wouldn't even pick up on the vehicle tires. I've lived with the jealousy of that most of my life. :)
 
   / Grading--what am I doing to cause this? #132  

KWentling

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Jun 22, 2002
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Rozet, Wyoming
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I have a lot of options to try.

ovrszd I think I could get the same effect by spinning the blade around and dragging it backwards as some have recommended.
So the pix above were from Friday late afternoon, we then got 1 1/4" rain overnight so a good test and it will allow me to go abuse my poor road some more.

In the way too much information department, below pix show what the rain did, overall, I'm pretty happy with it. The problem spot I've mentioned is the trapezoid area, before my latest attempts, it was a fairly deep mudhole after a rain like this. With the wonders of google, it turns out it's about 315 ft of drive and varies in altitude by about 4 feet. I've labeled a few spots with elevation, distance from start and some trees for orientation. I got rid of the worst spot and turned a couple of other deep-ish holes into broader but very shallow puddles that will dry in a day or two.

I don't think the former/original owner who built the road in the early '70s ever added any extra material, the line along the road is where there was a long hump that must have been material removed to cut the road. You can see what he did in these photos, kinda draw a line down the slope to go over the road to meet with ground level on the downhill side. The top middle photo is what the land looks like in a lot of areas. I think you'll get a gravelly road without doing much of anything. The roughly 50'x50' parking area by the house has no soft spots or mud holes, it's like a gravel road, always very solid/hard with occasional fist or so sized rocks popping out once in a while. I even changed its shape with different usage patterns and the new areas are just like the rest of it.

If anyone who understands these things is still paying attention, I was thinking it seems like in this particular case, maybe trying to establish a crown isn't very useful, wouldn't it be better to try for a flat-ish but slightly inclined surface sloping downhill? I'm getting no erosion, the road doesn't rut into the usual two tire tracks, water would just run off downhill along the whole length. Trying to put in a drainage ditch kind of thing on the uphill side doesn't really make sense.

That rain was substantial enough to thoroughly wet the ground and except for a couple of places, my truck tires didn't sink in appreciably. You can tell I was digging down on the downhill side but what I think I should have been doing is grabbing material from the uphill side and using that to build up any low spots and also establish a more definite incline. The lowest spot, if google is right, is the 1043 spot and there's no water collected there.

I'll keep trying, figure out what works, it's a good excuse to go do stuff on the tractor.View attachment 725591
View attachment 725592
View attachment 725593
You need to get that water off the road if you want long lasting results from you grading efforts. You need to do some drainage work.
 
   / Grading--what am I doing to cause this?
  • Thread Starter
#133  
OP
M

mechtheist

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Joined
Oct 20, 2016
Messages
108
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Canyon Lake
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Branson 3520H
mechtheist,

I absolutely agree with your slope theory. I would eliminate crown and create a drainage slope to the surface of the roadbed. That would eliminate the puddles in your pictures. Obviously your soil conditions can handle the load of traffic. All you need to do is create drainage.

I'm not sure you will ever get a glass smooth surface. As you describe, the rocks are natural and you are going to always have to deal with them.

I am completely opposed to using a scarifier or ripping the roadbed in any manner. If you do this you will have to deal with the dozens or hundreds of fist sized rocks that you will dislodge. In the end your roadbed elevation will erode down to the depth you ripped. Which would be the exact opposite of what you are trying to do.

I would start working the loose material toward the high side of the natural ground slope. You know where the puddles are so try to bring more loose material into those areas. This is going to take time so be patient. Always end with your loose material on the high side. Create a straight side slope toward the low side of the natural slope.

I think you have a very good natural roadbed that most of us can only dream about. My Aunt/Uncle used to live near Lamar Oklahoma. Traveled 2 miles of natural material roadbed to get to pavement. I was there when it rained. It looked just like your road. A few hours later it wouldn't even pick up on the vehicle tires. I've lived with the jealousy of that most of my life. :)
That all sounds good, close to what I was letting nebulously rattle around in my head but you laid it out in detail, thanks. There is actually a fair amount of loose material there, I don't think I would need to do any ripping, plus, I can drag in some from the uphill side which would probably be returning a lot of it to where it was initially

It is great land for roads, not so much for ANYTHING that requires a little digging, like ground rod, fence posts, garden, etc. An atom bomb might do the glass surface, hoping that isn't in the future.
 
   / Grading--what am I doing to cause this?
  • Thread Starter
#134  
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mechtheist

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Canyon Lake
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Branson 3520H
I angle the grader blade to scrape all loose gravel to the center making at least one pass in each direction. Then I use the blade backwards with no angle to smooth the gravel to the edges of the road. I takes some practice and if you switch to a different tractor or blade you have to relearn your technique. Big rocks and potholes make it difficult and sometimes I just have to resort to good old hand raking and shovel work.
Yeah, it kinda sucks when you do all this tractor work and then end up still needing to do the manual labor. It seemed like the more I tried to get rid of the rocks popping up to the surface just created more and rearranged a lot of the ones I was trying to get rid of.
 
   / Grading--what am I doing to cause this? #136  

nwut05

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Maybe already said but weight and speed have a lot to do with the ripples. weight because the 3pt has no down pressure and just bounces with every rock and bump. angle will help with the grader blading and some of the ripple effect. The speed effects box blading a lot. But the box blade could bounce also if it's not heavy enough to prevent it. I have sometimes used the rippers just barely in the ground also. A lot of it will be trial and error with your soil and your equipment. just my 2cents i wish you better luck.
 
   / Grading--what am I doing to cause this?
  • Thread Starter
#137  
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mechtheist

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Canyon Lake
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Branson 3520H
Weight is the most popular suggestion followed by speed. A lot of the rippling is also dependent on how dry the ground is. I often don't have a huge window to get the job done. This is about 25 hours past the previous pix, you can see almost all puddling is gone.

road-1-day-later.jpg
 
   / Grading--what am I doing to cause this? #138  

airbiscuit

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I always thought this was a clever design

 
   / Grading--what am I doing to cause this?
  • Thread Starter
#139  
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M

mechtheist

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Oct 20, 2016
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Canyon Lake
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Branson 3520H
I always thought this was a clever design

Did you see kpsp50's post here, he built something similar, it doesn't have the scarfiers but it looks a lot more heavy-duty than what's in the video.
 
   / Grading--what am I doing to cause this? #140  

swreeder

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Wimberley, TX
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LS MT3 52HC
Mechthiest, you don't live too far from me. What you are dealing with is a Caliche driveway and while there is some good advice on this thread, there is also some that doesn't apply.

If you have never lived in this area of Texas, it is tough to understand how hard of a material this is to work with. I've got a mile long driveway of this stuff and in 8 years I still haven't figured out the right way to work it. I have a landplane, boxblade, drag harrow, and landscaping rake. All of them do something, but there is not one thing that I have found that works well.

Problems with caliche are that it is predominantly fine materials that is a unique limestone to the area, with 20% or more mix of stones from golf ball to baseball size. It has a clay consistency when wet and dries rockhard very quickly. When wet enough to work it tends to clog up my landplane / boxblade. Scarcifers seem to pull too many large rocks to the surface and make it worse. Without scarcifers implements will "chatter" when the surface is too hard to work.

Ideally for me I hope someday to cover the entire driveway with a material that is easier to work with as a top layer, but for now I live with the challenges.

Since you are not far away from me, you can reach out directly if you ever want to stop by, see my drive and the equipment I have to work it.
 
 
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