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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
This will be lengthy. I want to convey all the possibly helpful/pertinent info I can. This is in MO near KC so there are thaw/freeze cycles. This is sooo outside my wheelhouse! I’m pretty confident with a 4 series tractor with FEL, box blade and rear blade I have all the capability to do this job. I’m just not an expert at grading or driveway construction! So please bear with me on my stupid questions!

So I moved to this house last Sep; the guy that built the house in 2004 apparently didn’t believe in driveway maintenance/upkeep. Getting a tractor was in my agenda so I thought I’d wait. Then I thought so I don’t screw it up I should hire it done so I don’t mess up resale value as I know I’ll be gone in 4 years. Now after the guy I was going to hire hasn’t communicated in like 5 weeks the more I think...heck I should give it a try! Can’t be any worse than when I moved in! And it gives me some good practice/training for our “forever house” when we move to Houston. I think the odds are high we are dealing with gravel there as the wife and I would like a min of 200 acres.

Well fast forward to Nov after I got said tractor with a box blade (amongst other implements). I thought I could use the scarifiers and find some gravel...well I was wrong. I’m going to need I’d bet 40+ ton to do it right. Depending if I need two different sizes and how thick each type is...those questions are below....lol

So I had a company come out back in Nov...they build roads, highways and do driveway work. He said he would put in some bigger rock...there are SO many different terms depending on the region...but I think he said 2” to start to get a good base going. Then once compacted after a while (whatever that means time wise; no idea) then come back with...I think he said crusher run...on top of that. I think he said for a driveway he would NOT do a fabric underneath.

Then a month or so ago...I had a company come out and give me a quote for extending the concrete portion of the existing driveway....well when he said $10K...I knew that would be a waste when I’m leaving in 4 years! He also said no to a fabric base (his 2 coworkers were also shaking their head no). But he said he would do just crusher run...1-1.5” down to powder/dust however he described it. So NO bigger pieces as a base. He said if it was fresh farm field then he would. Granted this driveway has been here for 17 years but there isn’t much rock left...maybe there never was much...I have no way to know. I want to extend rock to the shop entrance and there doesn’t appear to be much as far as what appears to be much traffic or wear...so I’d think even less chance of ever being much rock there.

I reference the fabric underneath as from my research I thought it would help prevent the rock from disappearing into the ground with thaw/freeze cycles. But I’m thinking it would look/do fine for sure in the time I’m here...as I think that would probably cost me $1000 ish for that fabric....or more!

I’m going to post this just in case the app crashes. I can go in and edit to add things and then add follow on posts with more specific questions and the pics of what I’m starting with!


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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
So I’m going to post pictures. I took them on purpose after a day of heavy rain so you can see what I’m dealing with as far as the sloppy mess. My garage is a disaster with all the mud I drag in!


This is right off the gravel road going to my house. I did use my FEL to make more of a “Y” at the entrance to make getting my trailers in and out easier. It was just straight and the same width all the way out to the road.




So is it safe to assume I need to move some material into those low spots? I think I’ll have some from digging it out from in front of the shop area and concrete. I assume thats better than just throwing down tons of rock with those dips, etc.








I’ll add some edited pics with hand drawn lines to show what I mean as I want to leave this without any drawings. But I’ll want to taper the rock toward the left side of the shop entrance


Here you can see where I have to go muddin’ every time I leave and come home.









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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Follow up questions with edited pics:

So here’s a depiction of how I want to extend the gravel to the shop entrance.

So first stupid question: do I have to remove material so that’s all on the same plane? Depending on how much gravel I put down (say 3-6”) be it all one type (crusher run) or if it’s 3” of bigger rock and 3” of crusher run...or however the split works out: I can’t have it be a 3” or more drop off to the concrete floor into the shop obviously. Or can I just remove the same amount of material equal to the total thickness of rock say 10’ away from the door and have it a few inches higher from that point outward? Removing 6” of dirt in the whole area would take some work! And obviously I’m not a pro heavy equipment operator and it wouldn’t be perfect by any means.





These next two just show how I’m angling from the points where the red and green line intersect to the other side of the shop entrance.


That’s actually a poor job of drawing by hand on my iPhone. That green line should go farther out. I’ll take that out maybe to within 1’ of the property line which is just to the left of the electric pole. But nonetheless it will then go from that point to the left side of the shop entrance.





So really the same question here as I had for mating up the rock to the concrete floor in shop. Once I know the depth of rock and it’s makeup; I have to dig down an equal amount so you don’t “fall” off the rock onto the concrete drive....which would be dragging a lot of rock onto the pavement....

So do I have to get all that in red on the same plane? Or can I dig that out just a certain distance then have it sloping down toward the pavement? If that makes sense. As you can see there’s a lot of water...so now I begin to wonder if I need some sort of drainage in there? Which is a whole other can of worms on how the heck to do that lol.




Then I guess the final question...for now anyway!....is do I need bigger rock to get a base going? If so how thick? Then after it’s been compacted a while...how thick of a crusher run?

If bigger rock isn’t necessary: then how thick to make the crusher run?

I guess it should probably be defined as the sizes...as my research shows “crusher run” may be different based on the part of the country you’re in. As well as any of the other names used!


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First
What I see is a lot of water collecting on your driveway. You know what that means? It needs to be raised and crowned to shed water away from it in both sides.
There are 2 ways to do it.
1- bring in a bunch of aggregate and raise the grade so it drains away onto the adjacent areas
2- dig swales along side of the driveway to collect the water and have them flow away or to a collection system.
You want your driveway to be “high and dry” or it’ll continue to saturate causing the gravel to deteriorate.
If you are going to go the fabric route, you need to be prepared to dig out all the unsuitable stuff and then apply un contaminated aggregate.
For the fabric to do it’s job, you’re going to need close to 12” of aggregate on top of it. The point load of a tire from a truck or tractor will sink in and create ruts unless there’s sufficient aggregate to bridge over it. Hence the fabric needs to stay tight to do it’s job. It’s kinda like a tennis racket. Stick your finger in between the strings and you can poke a hole. Then wear some thick gloves and try it. Not happening. See what I mean kinda?

Now, when you say 2 contractors told you fabric wasn’tneeded, it leads me to believe that you just need more aggregate to fitn it up AND raise the grade to drain the ever damaging water.

I like the 2” rocks with some 3/4” minus on top of that (crusher run I guess it’s what they call it in your neck of the woods). This is a smaller rock with smaller “fines” in it. These fines (silty powdery material) jam down between the rocks to tighten it up and lock it all together once compacted.

Theres no need to wait or whatever someone told you. If your serious about doing all this yourself, go rent a roller. Each lift (layer) roll it with the vibratory function on.

Smooth out the rutted areas, apply a good woven geotextile fabric . The higher the weight rating the better. Start at one end and spread the big 2” rocks on top of the fabric keeping ng the tractor on top of the aggregate at all times.
Once you got a good layer (Atleast 6-8” minimum” roll it with vibratory. A couple times should suffice.
Then do the same thing with the smaller aggregate with fines. 4-6” should suffice. Roll it
Try to do this when it’s as dry as possible if you can. That wet squishy subgrade will fight you the whole way so if you can let it dry out.

Good luck and have fun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
First
What I see is a lot of water collecting on your driveway. You know what that means? It needs to be raised and crowned to shed water away from it in both sides.
There are 2 ways to do it.
1- bring in a bunch of aggregate and raise the grade so it drains away onto the adjacent areas
2- dig swales along side of the driveway to collect the water and have them flow away or to a collection system.
You want your driveway to be “high and dry” or it’ll continue to saturate causing the gravel to deteriorate.
If you are going to go the fabric route, you need to be prepared to dig out all the unsuitable stuff and then apply un contaminated aggregate.
For the fabric to do it’s job, you’re going to need close to 12” of aggregate on top of it. The point load of a tire from a truck or tractor will sink in and create ruts unless there’s sufficient aggregate to bridge over it. Hence the fabric needs to stay tight to do it’s job. It’s kinda like a tennis racket. Stick your finger in between the strings and you can poke a hole. Then wear some thick gloves and try it. Not happening. See what I mean kinda?

Now, when you say 2 contractors told you fabric wasn’tneeded, it leads me to believe that you just need more aggregate to fitn it up AND raise the grade to drain the ever damaging water.

I like the 2” rocks with some 3/4” minus on top of that (crusher run I guess it’s what they call it in your neck of the woods). This is a smaller rock with smaller “fines” in it. These fines (silty powdery material) jam down between the rocks to tighten it up and lock it all together once compacted.

Theres no need to wait or whatever someone told you. If your serious about doing all this yourself, go rent a roller. Each lift (layer) roll it with the vibratory function on.

Smooth out the rutted areas, apply a good woven geotextile fabric . The higher the weight rating the better. Start at one end and spread the big 2” rocks on top of the fabric keeping ng the tractor on top of the aggregate at all times.
Once you got a good layer (Atleast 6-8” minimum” roll it with vibratory. A couple times should suffice.
Then do the same thing with the smaller aggregate with fines. 4-6” should suffice. Roll it
Try to do this when it’s as dry as possible if you can. That wet squishy subgrade will fight you the whole way so if you can let it dry out.

Good luck and have fun.
This is what I was thinking....the water issues seem to me to make this a little more complex! Lol. I have no idea how the guy that built this place lived here and dealt with this for 17 years! I’ve been here 7 months and it’s driving me crazy!

I was thinking (based on seeing people on YouTube dig a small “v” next to their driveways for drainage that I could do that with my BB and the top n tilt....but how and where to take said water makes it a little more interesting....

Since the one side would be next to property line. The other is next to yard but then would have no where to go since you have to take that 90 degree turn to get into the garage.

Ugggh!


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One question I have is, what kind of ground do you have underneath the topsoil?

@Kbar has excellent suggestions, I believe he is a heavy equipment operator and would have good experience in this field!

To me when I look at the pictures (that sometimes can be deceiving) it appears that the ground elevation (grassy areas) actually slopes towards the driveway! It’s one thing to have a low driveway but if the water runoff is sloped towards the drive to start with I would think that you might have a bigger challenge, not saying it can’t be corrected, just more challenging!
I built a driveway years ago and used limestone, i dug down a good 8” to 10” and layed down fist sized ( 2”- 3”) limestone 5”to 6” deep, packed that and let it settle for a week or so the used 3/4 minus limestone on top of that, having a small trucking company I needed a driveway that would support a loaded semi so that’s the route I took, I have a sandy soil about 1’ under the ground level so I have excellent drainage to start with so that helps a lot, that’s why my first question was “what’s underneath”.
If you go this route and have a quarry somewhat close, chances are they have trucking companies that haul their materiels for them that could bring in the rock, ask if they can spread the material for you, meaning as they dump they idle the truck ahead with the box up in the air with the tailgate chained to only allow it to open so far and spread the material, but it does take a experienced driver to do this, a lot less tractor work for you. Spreading larger rock can be somewhat challenging and some trucking companies might not do that, depends on there experience, getting the 3/4 minus material spread should not be a problem for an experienced driver to do, obviously you have to make sure of overhead obstacles, power lines, trees etc while spreading with the dump box in the air, from the pics that doesn’t look like much of an issue.
Like Kbar mentioned, that driveway has to be a bit higher so figure that into how far down you have to remove existing material.
I live in Minnesota so I understand the freeze/thaw cycle you have in mind!

Good luck with your project and let us know!
I did all my work with an older John Deere 2550 with a loader and a rear blade.
 

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As I look at your first picture, it does look like the area on the left slopes towards your drive. The area on the right I’m not sure. I’m more or less agreeing with Jdw1. It looks like it might be tough to redirect this water. That’s not the end of the world , it seems pretty common and my drive was that way, it’s paved now. It looks like if you crown it you will probably trap water on the left side as you look at your house.

Just my opinion but without some elevations and some kind of plan, I’d just add more rock. If you add some crusher run you can cap it off with a material that has no fines in it. If you get enough of that on top it won’t turn so mushy when it gets wet.
 
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