Grading 1-1/2" Crushed stone...which implement
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    Grading 1-1/2" Crushed stone...which implement

    Hi All,

    I will be taking up a section of my lawn and putting in a parking pad for my Son's car. This will be next to my garage and come off my paved driveway, so it will be a 12' x 22' rectangle with a 12' x 21' right-triangle on the short end of the rectangle. I plan on using 1-1/2" crushed blue stone, probably at a depth of 6".

    Will I be able to grade this with a rear scraper blade or will I need a box-blade with scarifiers? I will be buying whichever I need for this and will keep it for future needs.

    I am not a total noob, I used to own a 4100 CUT and had a light duty rear scraper blade (sold it all 15 years ago, now I am slowly buying it all back ), which I had used only for grading dirt. So I have some idea of what I can do with a scraper, which is why I am questioning whether it would be effective on 1-1/2" crushed stone. I fear it might just ride over the stone, as 1-1/2" crushed stone packs together pretty well. However, I've never used a box blade before so I have no feel for what a box blade would do here.

    Any and all thoughts, suggestions will be appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Thumper
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    The scarifiers won't do anything for the rock. You MIGHT need them to dig 6 inches down into your soil, but I'm not familiar with your soil,
    and you posted nothing about your soil conditions, so you'd have a better handle on that than I would.

    What I would suggest, based on experience with my driveway, is:
    Start at the bottom with a geotextile fabric layer.
    Follow up with something large, like 3 or 4 minus, then after that is graded and packed (drive on it a lot, or get a roller),
    cover with 3/4 or 3/4 minus.

    The fabric bridges any soft spots in the underlying soil and minimizes sinking areas when everything is soaking wet.
    The larger base rock packs well, but provides a larger surface area to, again, minimize sinking
    The 3/4 or 3/4 minus on top gives it a nice look and levels out to a nice smooth surface - some people prefer the loose rock on top,
    while others prefer that that layer pack in, so that determines whether you want 3/4 or 3/4 minus. Some even do 3/4 minus and let it pack in for
    a year or so, then surface with 3/4. Or you can use your 1.5" stone.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tquarles View Post
    The scarifiers won't do anything for the rock. You MIGHT need them to dig 6 inches down into your soil, but I'm not familiar with your soil,
    and you posted nothing about your soil conditions, so you'd have a better handle on that than I would.
    Thanks. I'm not worried about digging up the lawn, I've dug out the lawn before with the FEL just fine. This time I will kill it with Roundup, then till up the sod to break it up then just dig it up with the loader. The scraper/box will be used to grade the crushed stone.

    Which do you use to grade your driveway, a rear scraper or a box blade?




    Quote Originally Posted by tquarles View Post
    What I would suggest, based on experience with my driveway, is:
    Start at the bottom with a geotextile fabric layer.
    Follow up with something large, like 3 or 4 minus, then after that is graded and packed (drive on it a lot, or get a roller),
    cover with 3/4 or 3/4 minus.

    The fabric bridges any soft spots in the underlying soil and minimizes sinking areas when everything is soaking wet.
    The larger base rock packs well, but provides a larger surface area to, again, minimize sinking
    The 3/4 or 3/4 minus on top gives it a nice look and levels out to a nice smooth surface - some people prefer the loose rock on top,
    while others prefer that that layer pack in, so that determines whether you want 3/4 or 3/4 minus. Some even do 3/4 minus and let it pack in for
    a year or so, then surface with 3/4. Or you can use your 1.5" stone.
    Yeah, if I were doing a permanent solution, I would be doing something more like what you suggest here. This is a 5-10 year solution, after which I want to be able to dig up the crushed stone (and repurpose it somewhere else) and put the lawn back in. So, the 1-1/2" stone will be a compromise. Won't displace too much, and will come up more easily in the future and be more generally useful. I will be using some sort of geotextile though.

    Thanks,
    Thumper
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThumperACC View Post
    Which do you use to grade your driveway, a rear scraper or a box blade?
    What's wrong with just using the FEL / bucket? I've always had a gravel driveway and recently spread out and graded 30 tons of new crushed stones using the FEL / bucket. Back dragging with the loader in float is just like icing a cake. :-)
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgayman View Post
    What's wrong with just using the FEL / bucket? I've always had a gravel driveway and recently spread out and graded 30 tons of new crushed stones using the FEL / bucket. Back dragging with the loader in float is just like icing a cake. :-)
    Thank you.

    I have an 850’ driveway - have spread multiple tri-axle loads using just my loader. I prefer that to anything else unless we are talking miles of roadway - then a grader is my tool of choice.

    With the loader I feel I can make more precise adjustments on the fly plus utilize float a lot. Plus I can see what I am doing without killing my neck.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jgayman View Post
    What's wrong with just using the FEL / bucket? I've always had a gravel driveway and recently spread out and graded 30 tons of new crushed stones using the FEL / bucket. Back dragging with the loader in float is just like icing a cake. :-)
    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    Thank you.

    I have an 850’ driveway - have spread multiple tri-axle loads using just my loader. I prefer that to anything else unless we are talking miles of roadway - then a grader is my tool of choice.

    With the loader I feel I can make more precise adjustments on the fly plus utilize float a lot. Plus I can see what I am doing without killing my neck.
    Well, I've done lots of grading with my FEL in the past, with pretty good results I might add.
    But I was figuring that since a rear grading blade and/or box blade are designed for grading that they might do a better job. Thought I might try a purpose built tool instead of the jack of all trades (FEL).
    If I am mistaken and the FEL is the tool of choice then I can save myself some money.

    Thumper
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThumperACC View Post
    Well, I've done lots of grading with my FEL in the past, with pretty good results I might add.
    But I was figuring that since a rear grading blade and/or box blade are designed for grading that they might do a better job. Thought I might try a purpose built tool instead of the jack of all trades (FEL).
    If I am mistaken and the FEL is the tool of choice then I can save myself some money.

    Thumper
    If your wanting an implement designed for grading with excellent results, go with a landplane. It depends on the job at hand as to which implement I use but at some point the loader/bucket/float gets used every time when working with gravel.
    Last edited by ky_shawn; 07-11-2018 at 09:34 PM.
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    I agree using the loader is probably the fastest way to lay down gravel. That's how I installed my driveway and parking pad. Now, I maintain it using a land plane which is super simple to use and gives great results. However it's kind of expensive and is meant for long runs. Since you just doing a parking pad I would just use a the bucket. If I was to do anything else to I would get a roller and run over it to pack down and lock in the gravel. You can do that with a heavy vehicle as well. Prior to installing the gravel I would roll and pack down as hard/flat as you can the base you are putting the gravel on. Makes things easier to deal with, at least for me it did. I used clay sand for a base. Probably the wrong thing to do but it was the cheapest dirt available and it seems like most folks use it around here for that purpose. Like everything else money played a role in the decision making on the driveway.

    You may want to give a quick call to your gravel supplier on what they do in your area or maybe you already have.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ThumperACC View Post
    If I am mistaken and the FEL is the tool of choice then I can save myself some money.
    I should have mentioned that I also have a rear blade but still pretty much use the FEL when dealing with crushed stones. A box blade is definitely handy for smoothing and grading dirt but it can be a bit less effective with crushed stones. I also run my 900 lb. lawn roller over the stones to take out the lumps and pack the stones a bit.

    What I have found works BEST is to use the FEL for all of the transporting, dumping and rough smoothing of the crushed stones. Then, follow up with some type of drag to smooth out the remaining imperfections in the stones. Something like a bed spring works great but I've also had good success with a gizmo like shown below.



    A mesh mat is also very handy and won't leave marks in the stones like a conventional drag harrow.

    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails drag_bar.jpg   mesh.jpg  
    Last edited by jgayman; 07-11-2018 at 09:34 PM.
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    I'm becoming a real fan of the box blade. I use it for driveway grading, root ripping,pushing logs, etc, and it makes great ballast.
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