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Discussion Starter #1
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.
 

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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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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
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, :laugh:.

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.
 

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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.
 

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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. :dunno:
 

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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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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.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
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. :dunno:
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.

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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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.
Took me a re/read to figure what you want to do. I love the look of fresh graded gravel too! Problem the right gravel packs down hard and forms a asphalt looking driveway when it is drove on for a while. I use 5/8" Minus so the fines lock it together when drove on. My driveway is solid as a rock right now just when it starts to show some un even ness I will back blade it. My box blade is for fixing my driveway after winter and heavy rains. If you don't want a driveway that compacts go with 3/4" Round River Gravel it seems to never pack but the tires dig in and push it around and you still have to keep it on the driveway. 1 1/4 minus will pack and look like rock all the time but a bear to keep graded nice. When I re/grade my driveway I tear up the top 2-3 inches and then blade my crown back in and clear the ditches using the 8' wide rear blade. Tearing up the top and re/grading is better than filling pot holes they just blow out again. Anything hard 4" and lower leave it alone and try to get the rest to pack out even and looking good. Then any time you want that fresh look, back blade it a couple runs. This is how I do mine.

PS: After this long winter all I have done is back blade my gravel back onto the driveway at the end that I took off plowing snow for 5 months. 4 months of hard travel up my 350' run it still looks the same smooth with a slight crown.
 

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Took me a re/read to figure what you want to do. I love the look of fresh graded gravel too! Problem the right gravel packs down hard and forms a asphalt looking driveway when it is drove on for a while. I use 5/8" Minus so the fines lock it together when drove on. My driveway is solid as a rock right now just when it starts to show some un even ness I will back blade it. My box blade is for fixing my driveway after winter and heavy rains. If you don't want a driveway that compacts go with 3/4" Round River Gravel it seems to never pack but the tires dig in and push it around and you still have to keep it on the driveway. 1 1/4 minus will pack and look like rock all the time but a bear to keep graded nice. When I re/grade my driveway I tear up the top 2-3 inches and then blade my crown back in and clear the ditches using the 8' wide rear blade. Tearing up the top and re/grading is better than filling pot holes they just blow out again. Anything hard 4" and lower leave it alone and try to get the rest to pack out even and looking good. Then any time you want that fresh look, back blade it a couple runs. This is how I do mine.

PS: After this long winter all I have done is back blade my gravel back onto the driveway at the end that I took off plowing snow for 5 months. 4 months of hard travel up my 350' run it still looks the same smooth with a slight crown.
Having the look of a freshly graded driveway really isn't my objective, I would prefer it all to be paved so I didn't have to touch it but that isn't happening. We really don't have much snow or hard winters to deal with. Occasionally we will have an actual winter but it's not often. What we do have is very wet winters/springs which destroys the top of my driveway with the amount of traffic on it. Once summer arrives it becomes extremely dry and stupid hot which causes everything from the driveways to fields to become rock hard. Whatever occurred during the winter/spring is impossible to deal with unless you attack it with scarifiers. The best solution I have found is to leave the base alone and rip up the dense grade, reshape the drive, and repeat the following year. I don't believe there is a true "right way" for dealing with driveways due to the different geography and climates across the country.

Due to everyone (myself included) driving on the driveway like they are trying to beat their previous travel time from one end to the other, the curves in the driveway really get pushed around. The box blade is regularly used to pull gravel back in place.
 

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Where I live it is very important to grade at the right time. Our roads go rock hard to after our very short spring! If you wait to long it turns to Moon Dust when disturbed and will never pack right till you get rain. I don't even remember when it rained last of anything more then a sprinkle? I graded the side road a long time ago and we still waiting for rain to do the last 3 loads of rock??

Now you sound like me telling UPS and others swing wider on the road and don't floor it!
"Due to everyone (myself included) driving on the driveway like they are trying to beat their previous travel time from one end to the other, the curves in the driveway really get pushed around. The box blade is regularly used to pull gravel back in place."
 

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This was all with a 4’ boxblade and the 1025.

Before and after picture of the driveway when all be grass took over. The after picture was just using th boxblade and scarfers to bring the rocks back to the top. It was amazing. I’ve neber owned a tractor before. I assumed I needed another $600 in limestone. I needed $0.
. I thought I had more pictures. If I find more I’ll add them.


The 3rd picture is just random stuff I did with the box blade. All those were first attempts ever. I was impressed all while having a blast.

Now. My recent attempt to fix my driveway didn’t work as well. Not sure what I did wrong. It doesn’t look as good and has a lot of dirt at the top. Maybe I put the scarfers down to far? I don’t know.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thanks everyone for the replies.
Sounds like Im on the right track in my thinking, now to get the CFO to approve said box blade.
 

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This was all with a 4’ boxblade and the 1025.

Before and after picture of the driveway when all be grass took over. The after picture was just using th boxblade and scarfers to bring the rocks back to the top. It was amazing. I’ve neber owned a tractor before. I assumed I needed another $600 in limestone. I needed $0.
. I thought I had more pictures. If I find more I’ll add them.


The 3rd picture is just random stuff I did with the box blade. All those were first attempts ever. I was impressed all while having a blast.

Now. My recent attempt to fix my driveway didn’t work as well. Not sure what I did wrong. It doesn’t look as good and has a lot of dirt at the top. Maybe I put the scarfers down to far? I don’t know.
Littlegreenmachine That turned out nice.
Give it some time with the rains to wash the dirt back in, it will look better. You might also look into getting some commercial weed and grass killer for next spring when sprouts start showing. Give them a good spray and it will kill them roots and all. Repeat as necessary, but wait 2 weeks between spraying for full effect. You'll eventually gain control of the driveway again and need minimal care for a couple years at a time. I use a mix of Killzall (3oz) and Crossbow (6oz) to 2 gallons of water. It kills EVERYTHING, so watch the overspray.
 

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Littlegreenmachine That turned out nice.
Give it some time with the rains to wash the dirt back in, it will look better. You might also look into getting some commercial weed and grass killer for next spring when sprouts start showing. Give them a good spray and it will kill them roots and all. Repeat as necessary, but wait 2 weeks between spraying for full effect. You'll eventually gain control of the driveway again and need minimal care for a couple years at a time. I use a mix of Killzall (3oz) and Crossbow (6oz) to 2 gallons of water. It kills EVERYTHING, so watch the overspray.
Those pictures was from my very first time ever with a tractor or a box blade. I think it came out awesome. And half my driveway was gone.

The pictures I’m adding now was from about 2 weeks ago as it wasn’t really bad but getting overrun with grass. So I hit it with BB again and picked out all the grass. And now it looks like crap.
 

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I never get grass or weeds growing in my main driveway. Each winter near the end we salt the drive heavy to get rid of the Ice Pack. Because we use Hay Salt(not rock but course salt) it killed the soil to grow things. My Daughter is a Taxidermist and we pick it up by the ton and haul most back to the dump. In the Medieval Day they would salt the fields of the enemy to kill off the food they could grow. I do get some weeds and grass where we do not use salt but my rear blade or box blade makes short order of it.
 
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