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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
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? uploadfromtaptalk1456696502245.jpg

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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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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Discussion Starter #3
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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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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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,, :thumbup1gif:,, better than compacting, IMHO

I was not in a rush,,, :flag_of_truce:
 

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Discussion Starter #10
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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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? View attachment 138657

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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Do you have the state do resurfacing of the roads in your area? Here in PA they have grinders that grind down the poor surface of our roads, and a lot of them are, but those grindings make a very good base. If it is run on enough it can be almost as good as asphalt. Especially in low speed areas. Usually if they do a lot of roads in the area, you could quickly get enough to fill just with these materials. My SIL's brother used this for his new house and it made a very hard nice drive parking area.:bigthumb: for cheap. They want to get rid of it usually.
 

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Do you have the state do resurfacing of the roads in your area? Here in PA they have grinders that grind down the poor surface of our roads, and a lot of them are, but those grindings make a very good base. If it is run on enough it can be almost as good as asphalt. Especially in low speed areas. Usually if they do a lot of roads in the area, you could quickly get enough to fill just with these materials. My SIL's brother used this for his new house and it made a very hard nice drive parking area.:bigthumb: for cheap. They want to get rid of it usually.
This is recycled asphalt. On of the other father's in my son's Cub Scout group has an asphalt company and we were talking about this the other day. When they rip up an old driveway they haul it to a place that crushes it into the reusable material. He was commenting about how they once would take it for free as they crush it and then turn around and sell the material for this reuse. However all the places that take basically got together and started charging for the companies dropping off the product and now they make money on both sides.

We have used it in the back yard. Yes, it will pack down quite well. Kind of like the gravel solutions you will want it to settle for a year or two and then it an be paved over.
 
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With as much area as your looking at to expand your driveway; you'll want a riding vibratory compactor of some kind. I've rented them a couple of times and they are easy to operate, and they make a big difference versus just running your tractor over and over again. I've done that too on numerous occasions where I couldn't justify renting a riding compactor; but it's time consuming and tedious.
 

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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,, :thumbup1gif:,, better than compacting, IMHO

I was not in a rush,,, :flag_of_truce:
Your thought process is correct, but your mixing up terminology some.

Gravel is generally a mixed, homogeneous mixture of different size particles from larger stones (say 1") down to fines like some sand and even clay or silt.

Stone on the other hand is generally one size (or nearly the same size) particles.

Think picking up stones on the side of a lake to skip them. You pickup pieces of rock that are all generally the same size. Whereas a "gravel" streamed has a mixture of lots of different sizes of rock, from large to small.

Technically the proper term for any classified, graded material used in the construction of a grade like we are discussing is an aggregate, but I didn't see the need to employ such jargon earlier in the discussion.

And actually all of the above materials will compact. It's just a matter of how much-even a bag of marbles will settle some when shaken-thus achieving some level of compaction over their original loose state. Well graded aggregates will compact better, achieving the most consolidation and strength from the compactive effort which makes them the most valuable to construction. All but clay will drain, again it's just a question of relative speed. Open loose stones will certainly drain more and faster, where tightly compacted well graded aggregates will drain more slowly-but none of them are able to form a watertight seal, thus they are all drain able to one extent or another.


Clay is more tenuous and difficult to work with, it is valuable and usable in the right conditions, but few choose to work with it unless it's cost is right and the application will allow it.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Okay new question all!

So I'm about to order some fill... That back corner area needs to be brought up about 5 good feet before I start to put appropriate gravel for leveling. I've been getting mixed feedback...

Recycled concrete versus fill dirt. The front area I will fill with gravel since it's pretty much at the grade needed. I'm not sure if the concrete will be as stable in Mound that high...im sure it will harden if it has fines. Or will it pack down much easier when I put fill dirt over top and pack it down?

So basically... The total height to elevation is 8ft. What's the best way to fill that huge gap? Recycled Concrete or fill? Sorry for the questions... My background isn't in civil ?

I don't mind getting it wrong though since I have a tractor to fix it lol



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Okay new question all!

So I'm about to order some fill... That back corner area needs to be brought up about 5 good feet before I start to put appropriate gravel for leveling. I've been getting mixed feedback...

Recycled concrete versus fill dirt. The front area I will fill with gravel since it's pretty much at the grade needed. I'm not sure if the concrete will be as stable in Mound that high...im sure it will harden if it has fines. Or will it pack down much easier when I put fill dirt over top and pack it down?

So basically... The total height to elevation is 8ft. What's the best way to fill that huge gap? Recycled Concrete or fill? Sorry for the questions... My background isn't in civil ?

I don't mind getting it wrong though since I have a tractor to fix it lol



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We have used the recycled concrete in a lot of places building up a base in our yard. In fact we grow grass on it in many places and we don't have to worry about digging ruts in the yard when we drive back there. The back 1/4 of my pole barn is cold storage and I have to drive out in the back yard to get around there and the base is thick enough that when my In-law's owned this place they would drive their motor home back there and not worry about it. Heck last year we had my neighbor haul in a couple loads of black dirt with his fully loaded full sized dump truck and no sign of a rut as well as fully loaded cement trucks back there when pouring a pad for the camper.

It is a great product, that said we have never put in 8' of it. Can it be done? Sure, but here is my thought as a non-professional. I don't know that I would dump all 8' and try and pack it at once. Maybe do a couple feet at a time and give it a chance to settle in. Also what is the cost difference between that and other options like regular fill. It isn't like you need a high quality black dirt. You are just looking at fill so you don't care if there are rocks in it.

Again just my 2 cents on this but I don't specialize in this. I will vouch for how well of a base recycled cement gives you but we have never used 8' of it. At most 2-3' as that is plenty and there is no need to dig down 10' when using it.
 
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Okay new question all!

So I'm about to order some fill... That back corner area needs to be brought up about 5 good feet before I start to put appropriate gravel for leveling. I've been getting mixed feedback...

Recycled concrete versus fill dirt. The front area I will fill with gravel since it's pretty much at the grade needed. I'm not sure if the concrete will be as stable in Mound that high...im sure it will harden if it has fines. Or will it pack down much easier when I put fill dirt over top and pack it down?

So basically... The total height to elevation is 8ft. What's the best way to fill that huge gap? Recycled Concrete or fill? Sorry for the questions... My background isn't in civil ?

I don't mind getting it wrong though since I have a tractor to fix it lol



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Crushed concrete makes excellent fill. With it your back to being able to use a plate compactor to compact it and build grade, and won't be so dependent on needing big expensive equipment to do the work.

In order to get the height you need you MUST make the base wider than the top-the extra width at the top needs to be a 1:1 ratio of the height so if your fill is 5' tall the bottom layer needs to be 5' wider than the finished width, i.e. 15' for a 10' lane.

Pull all of the topsoil and organically off the grade, build your lifts in 6" layers or so, pack each one with the packer while the material is damp to wet. If it's too dry it will pack like marbles-you may need to hose it down-it will look too wet, but after packing and drying out it will be like concrete if you did it right.

Once you start building the fill you need to finish the side of the slope with some topsoil and seed it to hold it in place, otherwise eventually whatever you build the fill with will wash down.

On the plus side building with the crushed Conc there won't be any need to do anything but grade and pave once you reach the top. Though I would still let it set and settle out for the winter or so just because your fill is so tall.
 

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If you use recycled concrete as fill, make sure it's mostly fines; otherwise you have marbles to pack so to speak.

Our driveway is recycled concrete and I'm glad I got rid of the recycled asphalt that the builder put in.

I suggest you check your state's website and see what the DOT uses for fill and road base.

Whatever you do; don't just dump a few feet and then compact it. Put the fill down in 6" - 12" lifts and compact. As I recall the civil engineers here specified compaction to 98% of the Proctor test I believe it was called. However; just make sure you compact the crap out of the stuff.

Also, the advice a previous poster mentioned about the 'angle of repose' was good; however different materials have different angles.

Once again I really suggest you rent a riding vibratory compactor as they make quick work of what you're planning to do.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Removing stumps now since I figured I'd do it right and not just cover them... So here I clearly see the soil variations. Is this what we are talking about removing the top soil prior to getting to backfill and compacting? uploadfromtaptalk1458175281529.jpg

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Removing stumps now since I figured I'd do it right and not just cover them... So here I clearly see the soil variations. Is this what we are talking about removing the top soil prior to getting to backfill and compacting? View attachment 148017

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Yes, that's it exactly.

You would be best to remove the top soil before adding any fill. It's unstable and under fill it will pack some but does so at different rates at different places and is more likely to shift, push, slide and squeeze than good fill.

This can lead to settlement, shifting or shearing (think landslide) of your fill and many more undesirable problems.
 
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