Anti-skid alternatives for gravel driveway
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Anti-skid alternatives for gravel driveway

    I'm in kind of a conundrum here - looking for some ideas for anti skid for my driveway.

    I've lived here for 20+ years and have always burned wood for heat. Wood ashes for anti-skid are fantastic - only second to actual cinders which can't be had anymore. I have a fairly steep section of my driveway that leads up to the main road which needs to be treated a few times every winter when we get a sleet or ice storm. Because of a physical disability now I am going to have to use our new oil fired furnace for heat and use the wood stove only for backup. I have one garbage can full of ashes left from last winter but when that is gone that is it.

    Since my barn isn't heated getting any bulk anti-skid material isn't an option. Years ago I worked for the highway department and have seen even huge piles (2000+ ton) of seemingly dry anti-skid freeze solid. So my option for storage is in garbage cans in my basement. From there I would have to haul it up the couple outside access stairs to dump in my loader bucket to then spread on the driveway by hand.

    I'm thinking of some kind of sand that would come in bags similar to those of Sakrete. I have no idea what is available at Lowe's as far as sand or anti-skid in bags but we are going to a city that has one the end of this month.

    Any thoughts? What are other folks with gravel/dirt driveways using?
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    Just get a big load of sand delivered and stockpile it so you can grab it as needed with your loader. (not sure what your property looks like, but that's what I'd do for my 4.5 acres.)
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    Quote Originally Posted by sstlaure View Post
    Just get a big load of sand delivered and stockpile it so you can grab it as needed with your loader. (not sure what your property looks like, but that's what I'd do for my 4.5 acres.)
    I think the big concern is that a stock pile is going to freeze solid not allowing the FEL to dig in. I would think some kind of rough gravel may be better than sand, with the larger size there is a better chance that there will be air space and not compact in the pile as much as sand. That way if it did freeze it will be easier for the FEL to break it apart.
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    Quote Originally Posted by felixm22 View Post
    I think the big concern is that a stock pile is going to freeze solid not allowing the FEL to dig in. I would think some kind of rough gravel may be better than sand, with the larger size there is a better chance that there will be air space and not compact in the pile as much as sand. That way if it did freeze it will be easier for the FEL to break it apart.
    Duh....totally missed that section of his post somehow.
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    Lowe's carries 3 different "types" of sand. The first is playsand. (Lowe's Item #10392) That comes in 50 lb bags but it's very fine grit. Not what you want.

    The 2nd is sand for concrete mix. (Lowe's item #98545) That comes in a 50 lb bag as well. That's a medium grit. They might have Sakrete or they may have Quikcrete - depends on the store.

    But the 3rd is, I think, what you'd want. They call it "Tube sand". (Lowe's item #58362) It's a 50 lb bag but it comes in a very heavy plastic and it's intended to be thrown in the bed of a pickup for weight over the rear axle. If you get stuck, you break open a bag and spread it around for traction. That stuff is a coarse grit sand.

    I would guess that Home Depot has the same (or similar) products as well.

    As another option, if you know someone else that burns wood or pellets, you can always ask for their ash. Most people just dump it anyway. They might be very happy to give it to you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JimR View Post
    Lowe's carries 3 different "types" of sand. The first is playsand. (Lowe's Item #10392) That comes in 50 lb bags but it's very fine grit. Not what you want.

    The 2nd is sand for concrete mix. (Lowe's item #98545) That comes in a 50 lb bag as well. That's a medium grit. They might have Sakrete or they may have Quikcrete - depends on the store.

    But the 3rd is, I think, what you'd want. They call it "Tube sand". (Lowe's item #58362) It's a 50 lb bag but it comes in a very heavy plastic and it's intended to be thrown in the bed of a pickup for weight over the rear axle. If you get stuck, you break open a bag and spread it around for traction. That stuff is a coarse grit sand.

    I would guess that Home Depot has the same (or similar) products as well.

    As another option, if you know someone else that burns wood or pellets, you can always ask for their ash. Most people just dump it anyway. They might be very happy to give it to you.
    Only problem with using others ashes are that some people will burn boards with nails in them. If you do use others go over them with a strong magnet before dumping on your drive.
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    Thank you JimR! That is exactly the info I was looking for.

    When thinking about sand in a bag from Lowe's, I had in my mind the sand used for a mortar mix which like you say is very fine which wouldn't work well. The tube sand sounds like exactly what I want. However I just did an on-line search for that part number and also with the words "tube sand" and the results I get are anything but sand. Hoping they might have in stock in the store when we make the trip at the end of the month.

    gimmo - that is exactly the problem with that. I know a guy who runs and outside wood burning boiler year around, but he burns anything and everything in it including pallets etc. Unless I made myself a fine sifter that won't work.

    Hopefully I will find that tube sand. I only need ~100 pounds I think to hold me over.

    Edit to add: - just did a google search for tube sand and it came up for me at Lowe's. Your item number was correct but for some reason the Lowe's search engine didn't give it to me. Funny - doesn't show the weight in the listing even under the specifications tab......

    Last edited by coaltrain; 09-12-2014 at 03:17 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by coaltrain View Post
    Thank you JimR! That is exactly the info I was looking for.

    When thinking about sand in a bag from Lowe's, I had in my mind the sand used for a mortar mix which like you say is very fine which wouldn't work well. The tube sand sounds like exactly what I want. However I just did an on-line search for that part number and also with the words "tube sand" and the results I get are anything but sand. Hoping they might have in stock in the store when we make the trip at the end of the month.

    gimmo - that is exactly the problem with that. I know a guy who runs and outside wood burning boiler year around, but he burns anything and everything in it including pallets etc. Unless I made myself a fine sifter that won't work.

    Hopefully I will find that tube sand. I only need ~100 pounds I think to hold me over.
    Lowes should have tons of tube sand in the next month or so if they don't have it already. It is usually at the contractors entrance.


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    Quote Originally Posted by JimR View Post
    But the 3rd is, I think, what you'd want. They call it "Tube sand". (Lowe's item #58362) It's a 50 lb bag but it comes in a very heavy plastic and it's intended to be thrown in the bed of a pickup for weight over the rear axle. If you get stuck, you break open a bag and spread it around for traction. That stuff is a coarse grit sand.
    Our local Lowes lists the first two types you mentioned but does not show anything for "Tube sand" or item #58362.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jgayman View Post
    Our local Lowes lists the first two types you mentioned but does not show anything for "Tube sand" or item #58362.
    Probably seasonal


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