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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have about a 200' section of trail that is very steep and connects my upper land to a lower field/river. When I got the place 21 years ago, the logging trail had not been used for 10-15 years judging by the size of the trees that were going on it. I cut those down and graded it a little and then dumped #57 stones on it.

It held up pretty well over the years, but over the last 5 years or so, it has gotten really bad to the point that you need a 4x4 or tractor to get up and down it. Back some 15 years ago, you could drive a regular car up and down, which was great for having large parties in the lower field.

So here's what it looks like now. First pic shows the approach to the sharp right downhill turn:

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Middle of turn:

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End of turn looking down the steep descent:

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Past turn looking down. Here you can see of the eroded area cuts from the right side to the left:

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3/4 way down looking back up. As you can see, there's a lot of shale? rock right below the surface that has been exposed over the last few years.

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Like I said, the steep portion starts at the sharp turn at the top, and goes on for about 200' before it levels back out at the bottom. I would say the drop over that distance is about 75', so quite steep.

Just dumping #57's back on it won't work as it will all just wash down to the bottom during the next heavy rain.

So what are my options for restoring this road? Would a regular gravel driveway with 3 layers work? Something like this:

  1. Base rock – large, heavy and angular stones that mesh well together. Size should be like a quarter up to about a softball.
  2. Aggregate layer - #57 stone
  3. Top layer - #411 (mixture of #57 and rock dust)
Or would I be better off looking at something like this?


Curious what experience you guys have with dealing with a steep road/driveway like this?

We a hosting an outdoor wedding this fall and the wife made it clear that I need to do something about that driveway before then, so here I am. :confused:
 
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The only way to do it properly is to bring in a dozer and straighten the road out. The first pic the road needs pitched the opposite way - with a ditch running alongside then straight out into the woods.

Then the turn needs pitched the other direction with again a ditch and runoff.

The straight steep section needs to be crowned with ditches on both sides and runoff ditches into the woods every so often.

Along the bank need a ditch then cross drains every so often to carry the water out into the woods.

Just putting material on it the way it is is just a waste of money. You need proper drainage first - then add aggregate as you see it needs it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Appreciate the feedback! I definitely agree that if the road approaching the turn was pitched the other way and a means for all the runoff to run into the woods was made, it would divert 90% of the water running down the hill.

Also agree that crowning the straight section and adding a few cross drains would help a lot. There actually were 2 cross drains along the straight section from when the logging trail was first put in way back when. I left the first one put took the 2nd one out when I cleared the road initially 21 years ago. Don't know what I was thinking, lol.

I have a 8' Cat2 3-way hydraulic blade and my 5-series tractor is about 10,000 lbs with the loader attached. Not sure that would be up to the task or not? This is the blade:

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Blade is rated for 10,000 lbs tractor and 100hp. Might be up for the task? I guess I can start by changing the pitch on that first section of road leading up to the turn to see if I can bite into it at all.

If not, I'd probably have to pick up one of these for a day:

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I have a 22,000 lbs trailer which should be able to haul that dozer as it is about 16,000 lbs and the trailer is about 5,600 lbs empty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
@hosspuller I appreciate the concern, but I'm no stranger to hauling heavy loads and I admit I do sometimes go over the rated limit of my equipment.

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37,100 lbs. was a wee bit over what the label on the door of my 2002 Duramax listed as my max GVWR... My load on that run was 22,800 lbs. well above the weight of that dozer.

I probably made 25 runs similar to the one above to the lumber yard without incident. I'm quite aware of there not being any room for error when hauling a heavy load and always maintain way more distance that I need to with regards to vehicles in front of me, slowing down for turns, stop lights, etc,, way differently that driving a car.

I also picked this guy up about a month ago that I'll use to haul the aggregate for this job: (I of course have a lot of other stuff planned for it, but I got it for a steal so I pulled the trigger)

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It has a GVWR of 32,000 lbs. so I can haul around 10 tons of aggregate from the quarry at a time but I'll likely only haul around 7 tons per run since I registered it at 26,000 lbs. to stay legal without a CDL. Of course if I get pulled over with hauling more than 26,000 lbs. or the rear axle being above 20,000 lbs. (rated at 23,000 lbs.) I'll have to pay the piper.

@The Satch I think you're spot on that the blade will just skip over everything since I can't provide any downforce, but I'll give it a shot anyway since it will only cost me about 30 minutes of time.
 

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16k isn’t enough for all that shale and such. You need 25k or more weight. And that’s on the light side. Look into renting a flat track 450 or a D5G and have them deliver it. Prolly 80 bucks delivery charge and you don’t have to work your trailer. For a seasoned operator that looks like atleast a long days work maybe 2. You might have to restructure the adjacent grades as you cut in ditches on BOTH sides and flatten out your trail. Once ditches are cut you can bring in some 2-4” quarry rock and line the ditches. A smaller 1” with fines in it for the trail should do. As you apply the bigger rock to the ditches you can install check dams to slow the water down.
A lot of your problem is water running down too fast.
 

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Don'yt Know about VA . but that truck is CDL territory in Oregon.
They go by whats on the door jam tag.

26,001 is CDL
26,000 or less is regular license
You can only pull a trailer with GVWR of 10,000 with that truck.

This is Oregon Law...Not yours.
 

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It’s going to wash out. Get something with enough grit to recover and replace.

The last hill to my father’s is pretty much natural cement, shale, limestone and river gravel. The washout at the bottom has a quarry list of fillers, but after 18” of rain the washouts were waist deep. It will be great for 2-3 years after repair and another big rain comes along. 24” in a day or 2” in 20 minutes. It will need repair.
 

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Coaltrain has the right approach to create a sustainable trail/path/road..........i deal with this times 50 on my property .......another approach while not correct is to recognise that the water has now created its own ditch and utilize the ditch it has created and just widen the trail to the side of the runnoff ditch and maintain it. it does look like a couple of spots you have little or no room to add road to the side

edit to add ...if you watch youtube videos look at the latest 2-3 videos from DLH Farms and how he fixed a similar issue
 

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@crazydane I think the sage advice from @coaltrain nails it. And I agree that a bigger, heavier, dozer will pay dividends when you want to reshape the roadway. I used to build walking and hiking tracks for a living, all back country stuff with hand-tools, small machines and hand winches, so I have a very good appreciation for the work required to get a job done once and done right.
If you don't mind flicking through a manual, there's two very good ones I refer too, below, which have bucket loads of good, practical knowledge:
and
They share much of the same information and pictures, the second one has some easier diagrams. Anyway, it looks like you have the resources to really get it done, so I look forward to seeing the results and pictures as this projects goes along.
Finally, anyone who's been involved in roading will tell ya, the three most important things about roading are:
1 Drainage
2 Drainage
3 Drainage
 

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Blade is rated for 10,000 lbs tractor and 100hp. Might be up for the task? I guess I can start by changing the pitch on that first section of road leading up to the turn to see if I can bite into it at all.
I’ve always been one to try to use what you have.

You could certainly try to correct the road with what you have - just have to be patient with doing a lot of passes.

What’s the worst thing that can happen? You find that it just can’t be done with what you have and move forward with brining in a dozer. You’re not really loosing anything at that point except some spent fuel - but lots of seat time!
 

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I absolutely agree with all the responses that water in the road is the issue. You've got to get the water off the road. . . or move the road and turn the existing road into the ditch with check dams to slow the speed of the water.

With a hard undersurface take a look at rolling dips and water bars to move water off the road. Generally, I prefer rolling dips in our area as we don't have rock underneath but you might want to look at water bars. Given the soil conditions, milled asphalt packed very hard might be a good choice for water bars. Those are angled to move water off the road and the base is at least twice the width as the height. 3 times width to height or more can be necessary depending on the volume of water and the steepness of the slope.

Water will ultimately kill any and all road surfaces if allowed to flow unimpeded down the road. Get the water off the road which means giving it a place to flow. You either dig ditches or use a lot of fill to raise and crown the road so the water flows off the road and into the adjoining vegetation where it can be slowed and spread out.
 
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16k isn’t enough for all that shale and such. You need 25k or more weight. And that’s on the light side. Look into renting a flat track 450 or a D5G and have them deliver it. Prolly 80 bucks delivery charge and you don’t have to work your trailer. .....snip.....
I was going to make that exact comment about weight, 16k pounds of dozer with a 6 way blade isn't going to work for you. My Komatsu D39P-1 was 20,000 pounds and it was a struggle for it to cut into limestone. You need a D5 with a ripper.
 
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That dozer will do everything you need it to do. Crown your road, ditch it, and use a culvert wherever water needs to cross road. Stay away from asphalt millings on steep grades or anywhere water moves fast. Millings are very light and fluffy and wash off quickly on grades. We use a crushed rock surface on the roads we build for customers with steep grades, otherwise we use a river rock surface on normal roads.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
Really appreciate all the comments! On the CDL thing, that truck has been repainted and there is no door jam tag anymore. When I went to register it at the DMV, their system showed 25,000 lbs. I know that's low since the rear axle is an Eaton 23,000 lbs. and the front axle is 9,000 lbs. It has air brakes. Quarry is only about 10 miles from my house, so the runs will be pretty short. I have no intention of pulling a trailer with the dump truck.

Anyway, back to the road. I went for a quick ride down and back up on the 5 series and did a quick YouTube of it:

Driving logging trail

Didn't realize at the time I recorded it, that the hood and loader takes up most of the view, but it does give an idea about what I have to deal with.

I tried hooking up my blade, but I can't get one of the pins out that holds the ballast box out, so I'll need to get that sorted out first, if I even want to attempt doing anything with that blade, which from what you guys are saying, it very unlikely.

My John Deere dealer rents dozers among other things, so I'll give them a call in the morning to get a feel for rates including delivery. Looks like a 700L dozer is about 31,000 lbs, so something that size will hopefully do the trick, but the blade on that guy is 10 feet wide, which might be too big for this road. I think 8 feet wide will give me more room to work.
 
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You dont need a 700. That 450j pictured will do it. It weighs in around 19k in the LGP version regardless of what the book says. I scaled one of mine once and it weighed 19700 with a dirty track frame. Your pickup and gooseneck will haul it.
 
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