Driveway Extension Question
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    JamesCE's Avatar
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    Driveway Extension Question

    So now that I have my tractor I plan on attempting to expand my driveway and it needs about 8ft of dirt at the highest point.

    Moving fill dirt is one thing but I would like recommendations on how to compact the dirt. I'm not sure if a walk behind tamper/vibratory is enough if I did it every six inches or not. I plan on doing about a 8-12in gravel fill prior to the tipping... Which I don't know if I will asphalt this year or the next to settle. So thoughts on compacting? I know I can rent anything but I like to work on my time so the cheapest is usually my preference... Unless I could just buy a walk behind for a reasonable. Jumping jack out of the question? Click image for larger version. 

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    I'm not sure if the pictures help or not but I was considering a retaining wall ( So I could have space to access the rear of the property to the left.) but the home already has a small driveway extention without a wall. I lose real estate but it works...for now. So I figured I would backfill and see how I feel about the space. Btw many of the trees in that area are gone already.

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    Last edited by JamesCE; 02-28-2016 at 04:03 PM.
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    If your trying to do this on your own time and don't mind the repetition of a walk behind plate style compactor I think that's the route you should go-I would buy a decent used one if possible. Look around on CL, rental places, small engine repair shops, etc.

    I have a Stone brand one with a Honda motor I bought from a concrete flatwork guy who was selling out along with a few other tools. I use it to compact sand and gravel as I work on my driveway. I think 6" for each pass of sand is good, depending on the size of the machine you use. Gravel might take additional work or thinner layers to be as effective.

    I would try to get things in place this year, and get it paved next year to let things settle and compact with time, rain, freeze thaw and driving on it.

    If you aren't t working with sand you have clay disregard the above, different methods and equipment are necessary.
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    Quote Originally Posted by balrog006 View Post
    If your trying to do this on your own time and don't mind the repetition of a walk behind plate style compactor I think that's the route you should go-I would buy a decent used one if possible. Look around on CL, rental places, small engine repair shops, etc.

    I have a Stone brand one with a Honda motor I bought from a concrete flatwork guy who was selling out along with a few other tools. I use it to compact sand and gravel as I work on my driveway. I think 6" for each pass of sand is good, depending on the size of the machine you use. Gravel might take additional work or thinner layers to be as effective.

    I would try to get things in place this year, and get it paved next year to let things settle and compact with time, rain, freeze thaw and driving on it.

    If you aren't t working with sand you have clay disregard the above, different methods and equipment are necessary.
    Yeah I have very soft clay but I will take small bites at a time...

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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCE View Post
    Yeah I have very soft clay but I will take small bites at a time...

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    With clay you might be better off just rolling it in with the wheels of your tractor. A plate compactor or a jumping jack style will just stick to the clay and sit there vibrating....

    Pump the tires up to the max, put on as much rear ballast a you can and load up the bucket with as much as it can carry. Spread the clay out in nice thin layers, 3-4" at most (a box blade would be good for breaking and spreading the material) and let it dry to the point it's almost breaking up as you roll over it. Make lots of passes back and forth, overlapping wheel tracks, compacting the clay. If the top gets wet from rain, let it dry before continuing. You can spread wet material but it's best to compact it and place the next layer after it dries.

    Once you get things built up close to the grade of your pavement I would suggest a layer of sand to provide isolation between the pavement and the clay. The clay will swell with moisture and heave if it freezes so 6-8" of sand minimum before you put gravel down 4-6" is good, compact as I described above then let it all settle until the next year before paving.
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    This is what You need....

    Click image for larger version. 

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    As previously mentioned, the vibrating things you push only work for granular materials.
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    Quote Originally Posted by arlen View Post
    This is what You need....

    Click image for larger version. 

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    As previously mentioned, the vibrating things you push only work for granular materials.
    Oh wow... So you mean pay someone to do the work essentially....


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    Quote Originally Posted by JamesCE View Post
    Oh wow... So you mean pay someone to do the work essentially....


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    Well, a depth of 8 feet IS allot of fill to put down. I think I would want to make sure it is compacted pretty well especially if you are going to pave it.
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    8' is a serious amount of dirt/fill. You'll want to pack it good or risk it going down hill when you get heavy rains.

    Arlen's right. Big project means big gear. OR you can wait a few years and let the rain/snow settle it for you and then pave it.

    IMO, retaining wall is a good idea or you're going to fill a lot more to keep your toe from failing.
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    From what I have read,,, "gravel" does not compact.

    Think of marbles in a glass jar. pour them in,,, they are at 100% compaction.

    I refer to material that drains well,,, all one size,, or "57's".

    Other crushed materials will compact,,, but they do not drain. Those materials have lots of fines.

    I have changed my driveway like that,, a couple years of settling was my technique.
    It worked well,, ,, better than compacting, IMHO

    I was not in a rush,,,
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    JamesCE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by arlen View Post
    Well, a depth of 8 feet IS allot of fill to put down. I think I would want to make sure it is compacted pretty well especially if you are going to pave it.
    I understand and it's only at the peak. But my drive is long and I have no idea how a large truck would get down to unload it without destroying my current drive. That's my other reason for going small with tiny steps. I guess I could buy a lot of OSB board to put down.

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