Box blade to renew gravel drive?
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    IndianaJim's Avatar
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    Box blade to renew gravel drive?

    Hi all.
    Maybe a dumb question, but as Im not too familiar with the capabilities of some attachments, Im asking anyway.

    Ive got about 400' of gravel drive. Its compacted pretty good, and uneven in spots. Ive tried a few things over the last 3 years weve been here, including:
    Back dragging with the bucket on the 955, which didnt do too much.
    Back dragging with the 54 blade on the 318 which worked a little better, but still not too good.
    Made my own land plane pull behind leveler for the 318, which works better than both.

    The trouble is, even though my homemade attachments works well at moving gravel around, in some spots it takes it down to a point where it wont remove any more. Its a hard compacted surface almost like concrete, and it doesnt drain well.

    In my mind, what I need to do is to tear up all that compacted stuff to loosen it up and get the gravel back "on top" of the other stuff.
    A box blade one of the things I wish Id have gotten when I bought the 2025, but thinking on it now, the only other use right now for it would be flattening out my trails, which it would do well I believe.
    Anyway, Ive watched several videos on box blades trying to figure it out, but Ive not seen too many bad gravel drives like mine renewed in that way.
    I have a couple areas where more stone would be a bad thing, like against the concrete apron around the garage for instance. Adding more will put the gravel above the level of the concrete and thats something I want to avoid.

    Does this make sense to anyone? Is a box blade going to help here or would it be a waste of time?

    I had thought too that if I can get a good bit of gravel loosened up, I can remove some of the "junk" under it and spread the gravel back out having it sit a bit below the concrete level, and doing that may further help drainage.
    Jim B.

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    If it were strictly for the purpose of maintaining a driveway I’d get a land plane with tines. I opted for a box blade because I do more than just driveway maintenance with mine, although with a little more time and patience that works just as well IMO.


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    IndianaJim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PJR832 View Post
    If it were strictly for the purpose of maintaining a driveway I’d get a land plane with tines. I opted for a box blade because I do more than just driveway maintenance with mine, although with a little more time and patience that works just as well IMO.


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    A little more seat time sure wouldnt kill me, so I dont mind that. The land planes are a one trick pony, and I really dont have room for something that cant do more than one job. Well, I do, but hate to leave stuff sitting out in the weather, and dont have a big enough building to store all of it inside.
    It would do other jobs as well, Im just not sure if what I want to do can even be done with a gravel drive, or if I need to remove a bunch of material and redo the drive. I suppose I should have just asked about gravel work in general.
    Im more of a concrete and asphalt drive kinda guy, or was until 3 years ago, .

    I suppose I could go rent one and see if it would do it.
    I know a guy that has one, but its missing its scarifiers and thats the part I need the most.
    Last edited by IndianaJim; 08-05-2018 at 10:43 AM.
    Jim B.

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    A box blade is for sure an implement that can handle driveway projects. I use a box blade regularly for this very purpose. Often I use the box blade and scarifiers to rip through the compaction and to drag gravel to other areas then use my straight blade (with blade turned around) to smooth/level the drive. I could use just the box blade but being that I have both blades and sometimes using both gives me the best results, I use what I have. I would prefer to use a landplane with scarifiers for driveway upkeep but I would rather not have another implement sitting around for one task only. My box blade is used OFTEN for numerous things, some of those having nothing to do with gravel or dirt. The box blade is the most universal 3 point implement I own.
    Last edited by ky_shawn; 08-05-2018 at 11:14 AM.
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    I think a box blade will do the job with the scarfiers lowered, although, you said the driveway material is really compacted so you will have to be patient, not try to lower the scarfiers to low and not go with to wide of a box blade.

    What is too wide, well that is a matter of opinion and depends what you are doing with the box blade. If you are leveling loose dirt, well then you can use a wider blade. If you are using the scarfiers and digging up compacted driveways, well that's another story.
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    My opinion,, (we all have one!!) is that I would NEVER try to move concrete hard compacted material.

    I would only add material, whatever the local name, something like pug or crusher run,,,

    If it is that hard, count your blessings, and move new material,,, only,,,
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    Quote Originally Posted by CADplans View Post
    My opinion,, (we all have one!!) is that I would NEVER try to move concrete hard compacted material.

    I would only add material, whatever the local name, something like pug or crusher run,,,

    If it is that hard, count your blessings, and move new material,,, only,,,
    Generally I get what your typing here but perhaps different locations of the country have different scenarios to contend with. If I added new gravel every time it became compacted my drive would be built up 4'. My drive is traveled heavily with a lot of weight, it becomes dang compacted with the only solution for getting it back in shape is taking the scarifiers and ripping the heck out of it.
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    IndianaJim, I never saw any mention as/to the time of year when you attempt to work on the compacted material in your drive.
    My parking /drive area has a base of 3" minus Quarry Crush (think Shale). As a topper, 1-1/4" minus with a LOT of fines. That stuff packs in SOLID after a few years of rains.
    Considering water loosens and makes the finer particulates "pack", water is also a natural lubricant. I suggest you get yourself a Box Blade for your needs. Prior to wanting to work the compacted areas, Set out some water sprinklers and soak the area (at minimum) over night, to add some fluidity. Then test an area to see the depth of penetration. Add more water as needed. Once enough liquid is applied, I'd be willing to bet that once you bust through an area, the work would become a LOT easier than what you've had to deal with prior.

    The wet season would really soak it down. But who wants to be working in the rain?

    Rethinking a bit now. Depending the equipment?/vehicles and loads traveling on your areas, it may come to using a bigger piece of equipment. Think "what's a core aerators function and purpose"..to create "pockets" for moisture to penetrate. Now think in bigger perspective if necessary... to create them divots for the water to work it's way into the compactness to give workability.
    Last edited by Boonie; 08-05-2018 at 11:49 AM.
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    IndianaJim's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ray_PA View Post
    I think a box blade will do the job with the scarfiers lowered, although, you said the driveway material is really compacted so you will have to be patient, not try to lower the scarfiers to low and not go with to wide of a box blade.

    What is too wide, well that is a matter of opinion and depends what you are doing with the box blade. If you are leveling loose dirt, well then you can use a wider blade. If you are using the scarfiers and digging up compacted driveways, well that's another story.
    Best I can tell, it looks like the 54" from ETA is my best option for me and my 2025. I dont want any bigger for sure, mostly due to fitting down my trails. Working heavier stuff it will have its advantages over larger too.
    This is actually why Im hesitant to rent one. Sunbelt here has a 6', and thats too big based on what Ive seen.

    Quote Originally Posted by Boonie View Post
    IndianaJim, I never saw any mention as/to the time of year when you attempt to work on the compacted material in your drive.
    My parking /drive area has a base of 3" minus Quarry Crush (think Shale). As a topper, 1-1/4" minus with a LOT of fines. That stuff packs in SOLID after a few years of rains.
    Considering water loosens and makes the finer particulates "pack", water is also a natural lubricant. I suggest you get yourself a Box Blade for your needs. Prior to wanting to work the compacted areas, Set out some water sprinklers and soak the area (at minimum) over night, to add some fluidity. Then test an area to see the depth of penetration. Add more water as needed. Once enough liquid is applied, I'd be willing to bet that once you bust through an area, the work would become a LOT easier than what you've had to deal with prior.

    The wet season would really soak it down. But who wants to be working in the rain?

    Rethinking a bit now. Depending the equipment?/vehicles and loads traveling on your areas, it may come to using a bigger piece of equipment. Think "what's a core aerators function and purpose"..to create "pockets" for moisture to penetrate. Now think in bigger perspective if necessary... to create them divots for the water to work it's way into the compactness to give workability.
    Biggest vehicles are the FedEx and UPS trucks.
    Occasionally Ill need to have a dumpster brought in, but I expect to only need that maybe twice. 99% of the traffic on the drive is cars and light trucks.
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    Jim B.

    318, 49 Thrower, 2 80 Carts, 17AT cart, 54 Blade, 12" Brinly Plow, 30 Hydraulic Tiller w/extension & Briney 3-Pt hitch, 50 deck w/JRCO Cart Bagger.
    2025R, 120R loader w/Kens Bolt On Hooks, 260B backhoe w/8" & 16" buckets, Titan 36" forks, Imatch hitch, Weight Bracket/Hitch.

    Exmark Lazer Z HP 52"
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