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Old 07-31-2015, 12:40 PM
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Default Cutting a driveway with a bobcat

We need a driveway cut into our property from the nearest road. I am thinking it will be about 10' x 80' -- not too long really. The land is in central Colorado and is mostly flat -- at least the area where we are cutting the driveway. The soil is dark and somewhat dry.

Does anyone have any suggestions on:
  • Would a bobcat do the job? or would I need a dozer?
  • If bobcat, any ideas which type or HP range would be needed?
  • As I mentioned the soil can be dry. The dirt is compacted pretty well. Would I need any kind of landscaping materials between the ground and gravel?
  • What size of gravel would be best in this situation?

Thanks!
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Old 07-31-2015, 08:54 PM
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I assume you are speaking of a Bobcat with the Agriculture Implement attached to clear the area for the driveway. The small one should do just fine unless you have extremely large trees, to be cleared for the driveway.

Then on the other hand if you are speaking of grading, ditching and smoothing out a driveway including spreading or leveling gravel a small one will probably provide acceptable service there also. The exception would be moving large rock and/or other heavy materials from the driveway area, but stating dark soil is not indicative of having to move anything large & heavy.

The rental places should be able to assist you with your needs in HP & size. If thinking of making a purchase consider not only the immediate needs of the machine, but all future uses it might be expected to perform and err to greater HP rather than less HP.

If I remember correctly #57 is what we used for a base roughly dime to quarter size, then came back with pea gravel (#10 I think) as a surface smoothing agent. Talk to the gravel vendors and look at what they offer as well as talking to neighbors, associates and others about what is used locally to best effect for the cost. The best materials in one location is not always the best choice for use in another place. Climate, terrain & conditions vary greatly across the country.
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Old 08-01-2015, 10:35 AM
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Our areas are very different - a bulldozer would be a must to put in a driveway here. A skid steer (Bobcat) is not heavy enough.

To do a driveway properly, as Jjr says above, you need more than just an opening through the woods. It needs to have a proper crown and drainage. Without that you will just have a mess on your hands with any rain/snow.

While I have been a heavy equipment operator most of my life, I would opt to contract this out. You will get a person who knows what he is doing and do it right the first time. See if you can get a quote from a local excavating contractor.
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Old 08-01-2015, 11:54 AM
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Several years ago I built a new garage -side entrance- I used a rented bobcat to cut in a curved drive about 10 ft by 120 ft and used crushed concrete. I put crushed concrete ( lots cheaper than graded rock )down before construction. Started and let traffic compact it. The another 3 inch after construction complete. I Used a rented bobcat and it worked just fine.
This isn't an interstate highway so you'll do just fine. I stripped top soil and used it latter

Good luck. Rubber tired Bobcat will be just fine and is fun.
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Last edited by MissouriFree; 08-02-2015 at 01:23 AM.
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Old 08-01-2015, 08:27 PM
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I have to agree with the part about the most important being a good stable sub base under your finished driveway, and drainage.... Even if the finished product is common compaction gravel...

Check with your county highway department to get info and advise for what works best in that area... What you describe there will be very different from what will work here in my rock pile...

Good luck
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Old 08-02-2015, 01:18 AM
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Crushed concrete will work just fine and it probably cost around 10-15 a ton and if you would elect to pave it later would be a good base . It typically comes in 3/4"(-) so has lots of fines for good compaction. Don't over engineer just for a driveway like I said it isn't a highway .
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Last edited by MissouriFree; 08-02-2015 at 11:05 AM.
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Old 08-03-2015, 06:48 PM
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MissouriFree: thanks for the suggestions on the crushed concrete thing. I'll definitely look into that for this area. That's a lot cheaper than what I was considering.

Wyobuckaroo: Luckily near my property there's no drainage to contend with but I plan on putting in something if we deem it necessary (where it doesn't cause more problems than if we just left it alone).

Coaltrain: I should have said but there's no trees and the land is mostly flat especially the area where we are building the driveway. I do agree about the contractor -- I'll at least get a quote from a company who has done this before so I can compare. I haven't operated something like a Bobcat or Dozer since I was in the service and even then it was just a familiarity exercise.

Jjr: Thanks very much for the extra info on this. That's very helpful to know and gives me more to research.

Guys, all comments gave me a lot to think about. Thanks very much for the comments and ideas. Appreciated a lot!
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Old 08-03-2015, 07:51 PM
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I don't understand when you say you have no drainage to contend with. Does this mean it never rains or snows there?

When I talk about drainage I am saying that if you just push in a perfectly level lane, when it rains, where is the water going to go? You will have on huge mud puddle. The lane you put it needs to be able to drain itself with a crown or sloped angle then you need to deal with that runoff with ditches.
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Old 08-03-2015, 09:43 PM
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Even if the ground is level, years of driving on it will compact it and cause it to sink. That is why crowning the drive and accounting for runoff at the start is important.
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