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11/20/2019 5:07:11 PM
Posted: 11/1/2009 2:48:50 PM EST
I mean, doing it right.

I have a 150 foot driveway I want to build to connect an asphalt road to an existing gravel driveway. It's level ground and is currently covered with a nice lawn.

What steps do I need to take to make a lasting gravel drive.

BTW, I have the following tools: Compact diesel tractor, 48" 2-row disc harrow, a chain harrow, and a 48" blade for the tractor. (and shovels, rakes, and my back).

Thanks for any ideas.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:05:21 PM EST
First use the blade to pull off the first 6 inches of soil.
This is a must, if you don't you will fight it forever.
Put in some kind of barrier to keep the rock from move into your yard.
Lay down 2" of #4 rock and have it compacted very well. Hire a roller for this.
Buy the Fabric for a drive. Never leave this out, you will thank me later. It is not cheap but worth it.
Lay down 4" of #53 rock, wet it and have it rolled alot.
This will give a good gravel drive that will last.
But I only know how it done for the construction industry for heavy trucks.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:06:17 PM EST
What are the soils and sub soils like?
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:06:52 PM EST

Originally Posted By snarfbatt:
First use the blade to pull off the first 6 inches of soil.
This is a must, if you don't you will fight it forever.
Put in some kind of barrier to keep the rock from move into your yard.
Lay down 2" of #4 rock and have it compacted very well. Hire a roller for this.
Buy the Fabric for a drive. Never leave this out, you will thank me later. It is not cheap but worth it.
Lay down 4" of #53 rock, wet it and have it rolled alot.
This will give a good gravel drive that will last.
But I only know how it done for the construction industry for heavy trucks.

This is good advice, right here. Wish I asked for it, before I did mine.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:10:17 PM EST
I'd go for about 18" of 3"- road base, then about 4"-6" of 3/4"- gravel to finish.


You might be able to rent a sheepsfoot vibratory compactor. Go in 6" lifts maximum and compact it. Keep it damp, while you blade in and compact.

Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:11:09 PM EST
Originally Posted By tyrex13:
What are the soils and sub soils like?


Black clay, not pretty stuff at all. Cracks open in the dry heat, turns into grease when it gets wet.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:14:54 PM EST
Scrape off topsoil and grass.

Level it up.

Put down large gravel first

Level that up

And then put down your layer of fine gravel.

Make sure you have drainage taken care of before putting gravel down
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:15:07 PM EST
all good advise, but i would suggest using the dirt removed to build a shooting berm.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:16:35 PM EST
Originally Posted By Danner130:
Originally Posted By tyrex13:
What are the soils and sub soils like?


Black clay, not pretty stuff at all. Cracks open in the dry heat, turns into grease when it gets wet.


That sucks, how deep is the clay? What will you be driving on the road?
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:16:36 PM EST
By the way, I was planing on putting down a first layer of "road base" which is crushed stone from 1" down to sand, then use 1-2" sized stone for the top layer.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:17:42 PM EST
Originally Posted By Danner130:
By the way, I was planing on putting down a first layer of "road base" which is crushed stone from 1" down to sand, then use 1-2" sized stone for the top layer.


Big rocks on bottom, little ones on top
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:17:59 PM EST
Originally Posted By tyrex13:
Originally Posted By Danner130:
Originally Posted By tyrex13:
What are the soils and sub soils like?


Black clay, not pretty stuff at all. Cracks open in the dry heat, turns into grease when it gets wet.


That sucks, how deep is the clay? What will you be driving on the road?


Cars and light trucks only. It will get daily use, but not a lot of traffic.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:20:18 PM EST
Originally Posted By Danner130:
Originally Posted By tyrex13:
What are the soils and sub soils like?


Black clay, not pretty stuff at all. Cracks open in the dry heat, turns into grease when it gets wet.


Ugh, that's what I'm facing, but I need to do about 1/3 mile.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:23:25 PM EST
Without knowing the sensitivity of the materials, it is impossible to tell how deep you need to go. Since there is cracking when it dries, lime (calcium hydroxide) would be required. This binds clays, reducing sensitivity (swelling when wet).
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:25:57 PM EST

Originally Posted By Keith_J:
Without knowing the sensitivity of the materials, it is impossible to tell how deep you need to go. Since there is cracking when it dries, lime (calcium hydroxide) would be required. This binds clays, reducing sensitivity (swelling when wet).

If he is using limestone gravel he may be able to get away with not doing this.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:29:34 PM EST
You REALLY need to talk to someonein your area who knows the soil type. The above advice is probably good for thier area, here in central Mo. I could build you a road that would hold up to semi truck traffic, just by putting down 4-6" of 1/2" clean white rock, provided you get it packed in in summer when it's dry, but if you wait until it gets wet,and it's pumped and rutted ,it will need to be taken down 12" or more filled with al least 4" rock and you will still have some spots/holes that you'll dump another 8 ton in.

All that and you probably only need a drive to hold a small car, but talk to someone in your area who knows the soil type.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:30:45 PM EST
Dig a test hole to see how deep it is to good soil. If only 3-4 feet to sand or gravel I would consider it. Otherwise I would go down 18"-24", lay fabric, fill with a 12"-18" of sub grade and top with 6" of D1.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:35:37 PM EST
Originally Posted By Molotov357:

Originally Posted By Keith_J:
Without knowing the sensitivity of the materials, it is impossible to tell how deep you need to go. Since there is cracking when it dries, lime (calcium hydroxide) would be required. This binds clays, reducing sensitivity (swelling when wet).

If he is using limestone gravel he may be able to get away with not doing this.


I'm pretty sure the "road base" is crushed limestone. I'll call the quarry tomorrow. I have been advised to start with road base from the locals, and maybe that's why.

Right now, I'm thinking of pulling off the organic top, and leveling it with the harrows, then putting down 2-3" of road base, compact that, and then larger crushed rock followed by the top gravel.

I think?
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:36:06 PM EST
[Last Edit: 11/1/2009 3:38:44 PM EST by RenegadeX]
I put one in 15 years ago and it is still going strong.

Build up the driveway by creating drainage on both sides. Basically use a blade or grade to push dirt to the center. I had Black Clay so it worked fine. You may have to truck in dirt if you do not have good dirt. Drainage is a must though, you do not want the road to be in sitting water.

Pack it down.

6-8 inches of crushed White Rock.

Pack it down.

2-3 inches of Chico Rock.

I have re-surfaced the Chico Rock once. The base has not needed any work.


Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:37:13 PM EST
Originally Posted By tyrex13:
Dig a test hole to see how deep it is to good soil. If only 3-4 feet to sand or gravel I would consider it. Otherwise I would go down 18"-24", lay fabric, fill with a 12"-18" of sub grade and top with 6" of D1.


I'm sure that would be awesome, but there's no way I can go that deep and deal with all that that implies. Just sayin'.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:38:16 PM EST
Originally Posted By toothandnail:
You REALLY need to talk to someonein your area who knows the soil type. The above advice is probably good for thier area, here in central Mo. I could build you a road that would hold up to semi truck traffic, just by putting down 4-6" of 1/2" clean white rock, provided you get it packed in in summer when it's dry, but if you wait until it gets wet,and it's pumped and rutted ,it will need to be taken down 12" or more filled with al least 4" rock and you will still have some spots/holes that you'll dump another 8 ton in.

All that and you probably only need a drive to hold a small car, but talk to someone in your area who knows the soil type.


and this
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:39:02 PM EST
Originally Posted By RenegadeX:
I put one in 15 years ago and it is still going strong.

Build up the driveway by creating drainage on both sides. Basically use a blade or grade to push dirt to the center. I had Black Clay so it worked fine. You may have to truck in dirt if you do not have good dirt. Drainage is a must though, you do not want the road to be in sitting water.

Pack it down.

6-8 inches of crushed White Rock.

Pack it down.

2-3 inches of Chico Rock.

I have re-surfaced the Chico Rock once. The base has not needed any work.




That's awesome
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:40:01 PM EST

Originally Posted By Molotov357:

Originally Posted By Keith_J:
Without knowing the sensitivity of the materials, it is impossible to tell how deep you need to go. Since there is cracking when it dries, lime (calcium hydroxide) would be required. This binds clays, reducing sensitivity (swelling when wet).

If he is using limestone gravel he may be able to get away with not doing this.

Ineffective. That is calcium carbonate, slaked lime is calcium hydroxide. Unless you were to burn the limestone which would form quicklime...

Clay is sub micron particles and the calcium needs to dissolve in water to displace the sodium/potassium which is on the surface of the clay particles. Calcium carbonate does not dissolve to any extent, unlike calcium hydroxide.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:41:42 PM EST
I agree with the base of number 4's but I would put GAB over top of that ...... GAB stands for Gradable Aggregate Base ...... its crshed rock with the dust left in it instead of filtered out .... itll pack better in and around the 4's
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:42:05 PM EST
Originally Posted By Subnet:

Originally Posted By snarfbatt:
First use the blade to pull off the first 6 inches of soil.
This is a must, if you don't you will fight it forever.
Put in some kind of barrier to keep the rock from move into your yard.
Lay down 2" of #4 rock and have it compacted very well. Hire a roller for this.
Buy the Fabric for a drive. Never leave this out, you will thank me later. It is not cheap but worth it.
Lay down 4" of #53 rock, wet it and have it rolled alot.
This will give a good gravel drive that will last.
But I only know how it done for the construction industry for heavy trucks.

This is good advice, right here. Wish I asked for it, before I did mine.


Nothing better than a walking all over the fucking property driveway huh?
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 3:49:09 PM EST
Originally Posted By Outsydlooknin75:
I agree with the base of number 4's but I would put GAB over top of that ...... GAB stands for Gradable Aggregate Base ...... its crshed rock with the dust left in it instead of filtered out .... itll pack better in and around the 4's


I'll bet dollars to donuts that "road base" is GAB. I've used it before, and your can push it around with a blade, no problem. It's all crushed and has dusty stuff, sand, little gravel and decent sized (1-2") crushed stones too.

Link Posted: 11/1/2009 4:33:43 PM EST
If you're anywhere in East Texas I'll help you build yours if you help me build mine....
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 4:41:18 PM EST
Step 1. Buy some filter fabric or become a slave to the Roundup god.
Link Posted: 11/1/2009 6:13:21 PM EST
I used to have a place in ohio and I had a lot of clay. In making a pond and removing a drain tube from under part of a long gravel driveway a neighbor and I got to mess with part of the gravel drive.

We did not do it all that well, but it worked.

Basically we did a few loads of number 4s tailgated down over the clay and we let the cars and trucks pack it in. As it got packed in I would call for another load of big stuff. Due to lots of rain and me living there it got driven on every day and got packed down into the clay pretty well.

Once the number 4s were holding their own we got some smaller stuff tailgated in to make the road smoother.

To some extent I did not mind packing the number 4s down into the clay because while it did spread some and take a while it made a heck of a deep driveway and whenever we had big equipment in it could dig down and get itself out. We were rednecks with redneck neighbors so we had all sorts of silly ideads and projects we got into on the weekends.

And while I would have to go in and fix ruts now and then after something big dug through the normal surface of the drive we never had to get anything big towed out of the driveway.

I would probably use some of the above advice if I could afford to do it all at once. By going slow we spread the cost over time and since I could always get in and out once we had gravel down I did not mind it being a slow and muddy process.

To some extent I would consider using number 2s the next time around.
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 8:10:16 AM EST
Bump for the day crew...
Link Posted: 11/2/2009 8:23:52 AM EST
Interesting thread....

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