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ALMOST BEEKEEPING - RELATED TOPICS => FARMING & COUNTRY LIFE => Topic started by: jalentour on January 30, 2017, 09:31:07 pm

Title: Improving my gravel drive
Post by: jalentour on January 30, 2017, 09:31:07 pm
My 3/4 mile gravel drive starts at a culvert bridge and runs up hill 660 feet.  It's in the Ohio River Valley. 
It's about 5 years old.
I've been putting 1 inch stone mixed with powder on to the tune of about 50 tons per year, less every year.  But the drive still needs improvement.  The steeper parts of it wash out time to time and this month we had so much rain it wouldn't let the water truck up the hill (not having water presents a lot of problems).  Some if not most of it is spongy when it is water logged.  Traction is good with my pickup loaded with 300 gallons of water in 4WD.
The water truck driver suggested I use a 2 inch "road base" in many of the soft spots.  I figure he's been on a few driveways, what the heck.  He mentioned that with good timing and heavy loads on the new stone it would provide a better base than what I have.  He is delivering 3000 gallons of water.
Got a 20 ton delivery and put it on the drive this weekend.  It's a mixed 1-2 inch stone mixed with powder.  I put it down in the areas with the least slope to get an idea how it would work.
I was wondering how this will hold up to erosion?  Anyone have any experience with steep gravel driveways?
When the drive is dry or frozen it presents little problem for delivery. 
Title: Re: Improving my gravel drive
Post by: GSF on January 31, 2017, 08:28:40 am
I've never been to his forum board but tractor Mike has a lot of good you tube videos. Here's his forum board;   
Title: Re: Improving my gravel drive
Post by: GSF on January 31, 2017, 08:35:15 am
I used what we call "crusher run" from a gravel pit. It's a mixture of dust and gravel from what I call slag. Packs down real well but in the end, water wins. You may need to widen your driveway and have someone redo the slope from the center so the water will drain toward the ditch instead of down the road. Good luck, stuff like that is aggravating.
Title: Re: Improving my gravel drive
Post by: sawdstmakr on January 31, 2017, 12:37:12 pm
I just added 3 loads of #1 steal slag to our new driveway. Very flat. Farmers here use #2 to put roads across streams. It is real heavy and holds up well.
Do you have a steal mill near you?
Title: Re: Improving my gravel drive
Post by: divemaster1963 on January 31, 2017, 02:12:12 pm
I have used road millings from where they have resurfaced asphalt roads. works great and one hot summer and it will bind together. if you have a problem area use a cheap grass tourch to melt it and tamp it down with truck. its very cheap at times.

Title: Re: Improving my gravel drive
Post by: 220 on January 31, 2017, 05:31:51 pm
Had a bit of a problem with driveways and tracks at the farm the past year, 48" of rain in 4 months tends to test things out.
One section that was being used every 2-3 days feeding cattle got to the stage it was impassable with a 90hp 4WD tractor.
The biggest thing I have learnt over the years is make sure your drainage is good. Often a driveway/ track is the lowest point and ends up acting as a stream for all the water to get down hill the quickest and easiest way it can, it will cut them out in no time. Best solution is to build it up a little higher than the surrounding ground or at the very least put in good drains to run the water away from it.
Low spots that hold water are a problem I put in a pipe to allow water to drain away and build up the track.
Lots of work in making a track all weather, I spent over 50hrs with the skid steer, tractor and tipper repairing less than 100y that became impassable last winter. It was a low red clay section that didn't drain, every time you drove over it the ruts became a little deeper and in the end they were 3' deep. I dropped large rocks 2' or more in diameter in the bottom to give me a solid base, progressively smaller rocks on top and then river gravel on the very top once I got it back to the natural ground height. I also put a pipe under in the lowest point to allow surface water to get to the other side and flow away following the natural contour of the land.
Title: Re: Improving my gravel drive
Post by: Geoff on January 31, 2017, 10:45:01 pm

   Cross drains leading away from the drive are a must on the steep sections.
Title: Re: Improving my gravel drive
Post by: Acebird on February 01, 2017, 09:51:52 am
It's a mixed 1-2 inch stone mixed with powder.

I wouldn't mix it.  Two inch or larger on the bottom and then the one on top with no dust.  It is a good suggestion to raise the road so rain water cannot run down it and wash it out.  You need vegetation, at least grass, on the sides that can take run off.
Title: Re: Improving my gravel drive
Post by: sawdstmakr on February 01, 2017, 01:00:27 pm
I have the slag in my barn as well as the driveway. They are both 1" but come with a lot of material that goes all the way down to a power. It is a little over a year old. I tried to move some it it after i closed in the wings of my barn. The large gravel floats to the top and the fine gravel goes to the bottom. The fine gravel turns into a solid material. I had to physically break it up to be able to move it. It was almost like a thick layer of cement. It may work better to put down the 2", level it out and then add the 1"  but my guess is the heavy material will float to the top as mine did.
Title: Re: Improving my gravel drive
Post by: Acebird on February 01, 2017, 01:48:38 pm
In heavy water conditions the dust turns to mud and becomes a lubricant like grease which now makes it easier for the stones to slide on each other like marbles would.  The stone should not be round.  It should be fractured with sharp edges.  We call it blue stone.  The stone you have in FL might push up because it is very porous,  I am not sure.  In the olden days stone dust was used and then oiled.  The oil prevents the water from penetrating it and as you say it gets as hard as concrete but unlike concrete it has no bonds.  If water penetrates it to saturation it just becomes mud.  Clay is exactly the same thing.  When dry it is hard as a brick but when it takes on water it expands and becomes just like grease.  If you ever tried to walk through a foot of wet clay you would see how much fun it is.
In our state they no longer use oil and stone dust anymore due to the damage is does to the environment.

The bottom of the hill is the nut to crack because this is where all the water ends up in heavy rain.  If it can be elevated so the water can drain to the side without moving the base the road will stay.  I will stick with the recommendation of large stone on the bottom and smaller above it.  This will yield the best drainage.