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  #1  
Old 02-08-2016, 04:07 PM
Rick Rick is offline
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Default Gravel Road Construction

Hey,

I have to build up a gravel road and would welcome any advise. Right now I have about 1200 feet of muddy track that is rutted about 4-6 inches.

What I have to work with is a 40 Horse tractor and a box blade. I tried scraping the hump in the middle down using the box blade and the 4 chisel blades...let's call that an experiment that failed. In my mind I saw the chisel plow blades ripping up the earth with the box blade smoothing it all down. What happened was the box blade flipped up 90 degrees and smashed up my rear lights.

My options are to hire somebody with a bulldozer to come in and scrape it flat then go with the gravel. Or, possibly plow the center hump down flat with a borrowed disk plow, scrape it smooth with the box blade then gravel it down. Or just lay down the gravel as is, filling in the ruts with gravel...

Also, does anyone have any suggestions as to what type of gravel. The track is mostly solid with a few spots that turn into a mud hole when it is raining. I was thinking going with all crush and run with maybe some #57 or larger in the mud holes first, then C&R over that.

Thanks in advance for any advise.

Rick
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  #2  
Old 02-08-2016, 09:26 PM
TickFarmer TickFarmer is offline
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That had to have been exciting.... Did you break your top link on the 3 point hitch?

I use my box blade for just about everything except grading. I would have done the same thing, except only put a couple of the points on it (in the middle) and drug it through the hump a few times, digging only a couple inches on each pass. After the hump was loosened up I'd take the points off and just drag the box blade, tilted way back, along to shave the top, letting the scraped dirt fall in the ruts.
As you know the ruts are formed from compaction of the dirt under your tires. The hump is formed from a little mud that gets squished out from under the tires as the weight of the vehicle compacts what is under the tires.

Next up would be to compact the entire roadway. Either rent a compactor (little steamroller), or get a roller to tow with the tractor. You will need it afor a couple passes, so I lean towards buying or borrowing a roller. Mine is just a big lawn roller that I got on a clearance sale. It holds 125 gallons of water, so it isn't real heavy - just under a thousand pounds full. (8 lbs per gallon).
After you get the roadbed flattened, roll it until it stays smooth when you drive over it.
My soft spots were filled with 3" rock, and I also filled in a couple dips while I was at it. Roll the rock until it stays in place and doesn't show any ruts.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=376188749106316&set=a.1770250790226 85.44565.100001455836521&type=3&theater

I call that the sub base; compacted rock and dirt. If you don't compact it you will end up with the same problem you have now - a center hump. It will just take a while for it to form.
Then, by tilting the box blade, cut a ditch on the uphill side of the roadway. It works better if you have room to make a pass or two in both directions, but if you are like me and can't fit the tractor on the outside of the ditch a pass down the road will start the ditch. I relevel the box blade to move the berm I made on the edge of the roadway across the whole surface, so I'm not just running up and down the road. When you get back to the starting point you can make the next pass. Drop the tires in the beginnings of the ditch, tilt your blade and keep making a shallow ditch.

My driveway is covered with 1" crush & run. I had them dump on the run (aka "spread") so it was about 6" deep. If you talk nicely, and they have time, they will run up and down the drive a couple times to compact the loose gravel. After they are done you get to roll it until it sets up again.
Oh, yeah. When they start and stop a dump you get a pile of gravel. I level and spread with the loader on my tractor by dragging it with the front edge tilted slightly down and backing up.

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=532297403495449&set=a.1770250790226 85.44565.100001455836521&type=3&theater

Good luck and let us know how it turns out.
-TickFarmer
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  #3  
Old 02-09-2016, 12:56 AM
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Tim Horton Male Tim Horton is online now
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Broke your tractor and implements... Ouch... That bites... Too bad..

First.. I would check with my county or township road department and see if I could get a free opinion on how to do the job.. Conditions in YOUR county/township make a BIG difference.. Structure of the road from township to township can be different..

With that in mind... If this were my problem... I would think about moving the dirt to both sides of the road.... Leaving a flat bottom hole road wide by 8" or so deep and the length of your drive..

I would fill that hole with 8" of river run rock material up to about 3" diameter.. Pack it as well as you can.. Then cover over with about 3-4" of compaction gravel... Pack well... Dress the edges with the material pushed out of the hole..

Over the next several years it will likely take shallow grading, packing, and added layers of compaction gravel... But in the end you should have a very durable road..

This is kinda/sorta how my gravel drive has turned out..
Good luck..
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  #4  
Old 02-09-2016, 10:42 AM
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Ciderman Male Ciderman is offline
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I am no expert but on my driveway my dad removed about 12" of dirt with the bulldozer. Then he trampled it all done after a rain to compact the soil. Then added some rocks the size of baseballs and trampled that done. Then added no 57 gravel and trampled it down. Then added no 57 with dust and trampled that down. By trampled down I mean he waited for a rain then drove the bulldozer over it many times before adding the next layer. We used no 57 with dust as the last layer mostly because I and my daughter are wheelchair bound. This was much easier to drive on the plain no 57. The only problem with the dust was it tracks in the house. We had a neighbor recommend a load of crushed concrete. The first load was great as it was marble size or smaller. It worked great and I asked for a second load. That was a mistake this time they brought stuff bigger than no 57. Our wheelchairs can not handle it, but it worked great for drainage. That has been almost 2 years ago. Now I need to add more and I will add no 57 with dust. There is a size smaller with dust and I probably will use it. May I suggest you check with your county or state and see if they have any crushed concrete for sell. This was 1/2 the price of no 57 for us. I would use it as part of the base above the bigger stuff. Remember start big at the bottom and go smaller to the top. In my parents barnyard (where semis drive and turn around along with farm equipment) we have only used no 57. Every 2 to 3 years we have to add a few inches. Although after 50 years the base does not disappear as quickly any more. I hope this helps some.
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Old 02-09-2016, 10:59 AM
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coaltrain Male coaltrain is offline
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There is something seriously wrong with how you have the box blade attached. If attached properly there is no way it could come up to hit the rear of the tractor.

A box blade should accomplish exactly what you are trying to do but something is wrong here.....

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  #6  
Old 02-10-2016, 11:54 PM
grumpa Male grumpa is offline
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Sounds like something happened to your top link arm. You need to start with larger rock, about fist size. Fill the ruts with the bigger rock and keep driving on it or if you could get a sheepsfoot roller it would be ideal to compact things. Once you've gotten a base stabilized with larger rock then you add the fine stuff for a smooth surface. The larger rock, they used to be called #2s, will interlock and form a base. Fine gravel will just keep sinking in the mud. Don't know what kind of soil you have but that's what we had to do in the clay around Indianapolis where I grew up many moons ago. No offense intended but if you use smooth roller it's just going to gum up and get stuck. With a sheepsfoot when you see the feet riding on top of the ground you know you have compaction. Hope this helps.
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Old 02-12-2016, 07:49 PM
Rick Rick is offline
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Thanks for all the great replies.

It is definitely amateur hour with the box blade; it was my first go-round. I am not sure yet as to what are the limitations of that implement.

The top link folded down and the box blade flipped up violently 90 degrees. Nothing got injured except the rear lights and my pride, but it was jammed up pretty good. I had to kick the side links loose, as I recollect, in order to get the blade back down. Maybe I had the wrong length of top link...
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Old 02-12-2016, 09:15 PM
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coaltrain Male coaltrain is offline
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What do you mean by the top link being folded down?

The reason I posted the pic above is to show how the box blade should be hooked up. The top link is very important. To start out you adjust the top link so the box blade is level front to back - the you can adjust it in or out which will lift or lower the rear of the blade - having the rear lower will dig more - having the rear higher will carry and disperse more.

Here is a video showing box blade use. if you go to youtube and search for "box blade" there are tons of videos:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LxuEDGSGOZA
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  #9  
Old 02-29-2016, 02:42 AM
Okie-Dokie Male Okie-Dokie is offline
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All roads are only as good as the road base. Move all the top soil out of the run. Get yourself a load of fly ash or kiln dust from a coal fired electric generator, apply that about 4" deep then either till or plow it in to the substrate, water it down good then compact it to the best of your ability. Get yourself some petromat and unroll that the entire length of the road and stake it down with wooden stakes. Call a competent rock hauler and cover with around 4" of 1-1/2 crusher run rock on the flatter portion of the road and 2 to 3 inch on the slopes. Water this down and compact it. After that it will just be a matter of maintaining the road with an angle blade a couple times a year. Never turn the angle blade so the material goes toward the edge of the road, always toward the crown. That's me story and I'm sticking to it.
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Old 05-31-2016, 03:49 AM
Rick Rick is offline
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OK, I went with plan B.

I disked/plowed up the middle of the road with a disk plow to get the hump loosened up then went at it with the box blade. This worked pretty well.

In my earlier attempt I had tried to dig too deep with the box blade and I suspect that the top link was too short, which allowed the box blade to fold up with a resounding thump.

This was just an experiment as I am not ready going to get any rock until mid to late June. Possibly I may need to scrape the road a wee bit more then. I will probably try to build a base with 2" rock, drive on it for a while and then put down a layer of C&R

You guys are awesome, thanks for the advise. I don't have the resources to follow all of your suggestions, but they were good ones, nonetheless.

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Old 05-31-2016, 10:51 AM
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coaltrain Male coaltrain is offline
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Thanks for coming back with your results. Sounds like you have made good progress.

Just try to make your final grade before you get stone so that water will drain off the road. The easiest way to do this is watch what is happening during a good rainfall.

Good idea to get the larger stone down first and let it pack in. Might be a slow rough ride for a while but this will also let you see if you have any soft spots or water laying after a rain.
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  #12  
Old 08-04-2016, 03:59 PM
newenglandjim Male newenglandjim is offline
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Hi Rick, I just put a road in on my land in central Maine. The problem I faced was when they cleared the way for my road last fall it was good and dry, unfortunately for me they couldn't finish the road till lafe spring after mud season. Even after waiting there were some bad spots that needed a tons of fill so the dump trucks wouldn't get stuck, 5500 dollars, later I have an 800 ft road into my land that doesn't flood. I was used to my property in rhode island which is high and dry and thought I could just carve a road in, after failed attempts I finally bit the bullet and hired a professional for my road. It was a lot of money but it was worth it to me to have a good road and pad that wouldn't flood out. Build your road up as much as you can afford and do it now when it's dry. Build it up and put in culverts where needed you'll be glad you did. I'm limited on how much I can do myself due to an injury but luckily I still work full time for mow so I can save up for the expensive work.
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  #13  
Old 08-08-2016, 06:34 AM
Kachad Male Kachad is offline
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We had a 1400' track heading back to our build site. Was a two track, with it getting worse every year. We ended up hiring out for building a gravel road, with a local company, two Brothers. Had several quotes, ranging from $5K (Brothers) to $12K.

Ended up spending the $5K and happy with the results.

I have a Yanmar YM2410D that I was going to use to build it myself, but gave in to the advice the Wife was supporting - and hired out.

Glad I did, saved a lot of time and in the end, the total cost was about what I could have bought the gravel for.

The Yanmar still has plenty of work, keeping the road in good condition - but in the end, thought the $5K investment was worth it.

These Guys finished the road in two days, probably would have taken me two solid weeks and would have had an inferior job.

Sometimes, it's worth it to hire out, IMO.
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  #14  
Old 02-28-2017, 11:10 AM
Okie-Dokie Male Okie-Dokie is offline
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First, you will never have a great driveway by knocking down the high spots. Works for a while but the more times you grade the road the deeper the road will get and the more problems with mud and run off erosion. Get a smaller flat bed dump with side boards and start hauling the free washout from the ready mix concrete plant and start spreading it on your road. That stuff has all the stuff in it that concrete has, just not consolidated. It will be a little dusty for a while but will eventually pack almost as hard as concrete. When you get enough of this stuff spread use your angle blade to put a crown on it and the road will last for years with minimal work. Best of all it's free. The ready mix plant will be happy to load it for you or maybe just a little charge for them to use their loader. Good luck.
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  #15  
Old 03-16-2017, 05:40 PM
blackpowderbill Male blackpowderbill is offline
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Default road paper

Get some road paper and lay it down on the dirt. This way the mud will not seep up through as much and the road will last longer.

Fill as much as you can like the others mantioned
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