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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I have about 200 yards of gravel before I get to the highway, this is a private drive and has some pot holes that continually develop in the same areas.
I'm looking for suggestions as what piece of equipment (size and brand) would work best to grade and level the pot holes.
I have 2025R, thanks

Greg


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You have to keep your driveway with a good crown on it.
Can't have any water standing and drive through it. That's what causes potholes.
My driveway is close to a 1/4 mile long and gravel.
I have been thinking of getting the Frontier 60" land plane myself.
 

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Box blade.
 

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Landscape Rake WITH gauge wheels.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
You have to keep your driveway with a good crown on it.
Can't have any water standing and drive through it. That's what causes potholes.
My driveway is close to a 1/4 mile long and gravel.
I have been thinking of getting the Frontier 60" land plane myself.
I think you hit the nail on the head, no crown! Probably take a road grader or something similar to get get a proper crown.


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I think you hit the nail on the head, no crown! Probably take a road grader or something similar to get get a proper crown.


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Deere makes graders too! Son was checking one out at JD Commons in downtown Moline Friday note. $400,000 should get you a new entry level machine. Add $50,000 for laser grading capability and fwa.
 

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Not too familiar with what can be found to fit the compact tractors -- but we maintained quite a bit of gravel driveway and parking area with just a 322. As mentioned above, proper crown is essential, as is driving slowly and varying your path so your wheels do not form a pronounced 'track' of wear (commonly known as ruts...) This driving over the entire surface given the multiple trips you make also tends to pack the gravel down firmly.

My strong preference for working gravel is a center blade. Here is why, using a woodworking analogy: a front blade is much like a chisel, and as you drive the wheels of the tractor over ripples and ruts the motion is magnified by the blade overhanging the wheelbase. Even with float this is still an issue, unless you are backdragging a blade or the flat of a FEL bucket (I did this with my Johnny Bucket SR -- an improvement over the front blade on float, but not ideal.) A rear box blade is very useful if you need to move material a long way, but its action is like a woodworkers draw knife and still very technique intensive to get good results. A center blade is much more like a woodworking plane, and even with the short wheel base of a garden tractor made for easier use by both my wife and I on our gravel paved areas. Deere used to make a small center blade called the 54C for the 140 and similar GT series machines, but they are a bit hard to find -- so I made my own by cutting down a front blade and adding width extensions and a new, wider cutting edge.

View attachment 140-54C_Center_Blade_Installation.pdf dressing the drive.jpg
1992 left side.jpg 1992 right side.jpg

Adding/keeping a crown with such a simple blade mount consists of working from the driveway edges toward the center in successive passes, with the blade angled such that the excess material is always deposited 'inboard' of your passes toward the center of the drive.

There are 6-way center blades made by Grouser that look to be the hot set-up for small tractors, perhaps even down to SCUT / CUT size -- here is a drawing:
Grouser belly blade 2.JPG

A last comment: If you want to use a landscape rake you WILL need trailing wheels like those found on York Rakes to do a good job as this puts the working edge (in this case the tines) BETWEEN two supporting members and essentially acts as a plane just like the center blade -- reducing surface irregularities with each pass. Box blades with trailing wheels and true land planes also work well, of course.

Just my 2 cents and my limited experience -- your situation(s) may call for different approaches...

Chuck
 

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Deere makes graders too! Son was checking one out at JD Commons in downtown Moline Friday note. $400,000 should get you a new entry level machine. Add $50,000 for laser grading capability and fwa.
I'm guessing a tad more than he was thinking about spending.:gizmo:
 
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What was mentioned about the crown is #1. It depends on what your driveway is made up of for which implement will work best. Loose gravel? Good base underneath?

I maintained 1 mile of dirt road (no gravel) with a back blade for years. Not the best solution but it worked. Had to do the work in the spring - after the real muddy season but before it hardened up too much to move. Start by draggin dirt into the center from the ditch line and make a couple windrows in/near the center then carefully fan that out to create your crown - then pack it in.

If the road is hard pack a box blade is also a good choice but has a bit of a learning curve. Plus you can get frustrated fairly quickly if you don't have a hydraulic Top N Tilt type setup.
 

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I have operated a grader for the township during my off season snowplowing.
if you can have a blade that leans back while grading, it will carry gravel to
areas you need it, just tilt the blade ahead to drop the amount you need
to the area you need it in.

If you are into large stones on your drive, you may need 2 and a half loads
of gravel 35ton a load 4" thick 11' wide. this a guesstimate on not seeing
your drive.

Large stones indicate you are into the base of your drive.
 
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A crown in a road is 1 to 2 % grade. 1"-2" over 10'.
place a level center of crown to outer edge should
be 1/2" using 1" over 5.5' crown.
Sorry I am being nitty gritty, but I only know how
to build roads.:cheers:
 

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For nearly 20 years I had a half mile of gravel road from my place to the highway to maintain. Keeping a crown on it was critical as others have mentioned.

I have one of those 54C center blades that I remodeled to be a rear 3pt blade. It's on my 2320 now but at that time I was using my 318 with it. I rigged up a swivel caster wheel that I could adjust to help gauge how much I was cutting with the blade. I also would adjust one of the lift arms on the three point so was cutting a little deeper on one side to get started and it seemed easier to get that crown in the middle of the road. The other thing I did was remove the top center link on the three point which eliminated some of the blade movement from the front wheels of the tractor going through a depression in the road. This made it work a bit more like a land plane. The other thing was I always went out shortly after a rain when the gravel was still a bit soft. If there were deeper ruts I tried to do multiple passes with the first one cut deeper so that the gravel was all worked up and it seemed to pack in more evenly.
 
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I use a box blade, but I'd prefer a land plane for road maintenance. They leave a smoother surface and are easier to use for roads. Box blades are the "Swiss Army Knife" in the dirt work world.

One of these days, I'll get one.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
I appreciate the reply's, lots of good information.
The drive is clay, dirt with gravel mixed in. When dry it's like concrete, when wet its soupy on top, water sits in the holes and along the edges because there is hardly a crown.
I think it would need to be wet before my little tractor would change the grade.
I have enough ideas here to start researching, without POWERSTROKE's thoughts of purchasing a grader. Lol.


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Maybe rig up a side shovel to carve a ditch?

Water management is certainly my biggest concern as I start working on my road.

The town's road in front of my property has a good 8" of frost heaving at the moment because they failed to properly install the culvert that my swamp drains into the lake through. As such, the whole road bed is saturated and will likely fail the next significant rain we get.
 

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I appreciate the reply's, lots of good information.
The drive is clay, dirt with gravel mixed in. When dry it's like concrete, when wet its soupy on top, water sits in the holes and along the edges because there is hardly a crown.
I think it would need to be wet before my little tractor would change the grade.
I have enough ideas here to start researching, without POWERSTROKE's thoughts of purchasing a grader. Lol.


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You've got plenty of tractor. Just go at it a little at a time and enjoy the seat time.

I re-worked 500 yards of drive with a 2305 and a rear blade. A little here, a little there. Took a couple years but I had fun doing it. :kidw_truck_smiley:
 
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Repairing Pot Holes In Gravel Driveways

I have about 200 yards of gravel before I get to the highway, this is a private drive and has some pot holes that continually develop in the same areas.
I'm looking for suggestions as what piece of equipment (size and brand) would work best to grade and level the pot holes.
I have 2025R, thanks
Greg

Hello Greg,
I use a rear box blade (Frontier BB2048L) on my 1026R to groom my 5/8" minus driveway. It takes some practice to get the right cut angle and speed combination. Pot holes need to be cut out with the blade. I blade to the base/bottom of the pot hole. For me, that's usually about a 1/2" or so. If you have real deep ones, you might try packing new rock in them, kind of like the city does with asphalt. I find a wet, not frozen driveway, blades best. Gravel naturally, is tire washed to the side of the driveway over time. It's best to not drive constantly in the same track in and out of your driveway. Staggering your tire track/travel to the left and right, will reduce rutting your driveway. (Let me know if you find a way to train a wife to do that. Mine has a mental block to the concept.) I'm assuming you have a good shale or 1 1/2" rock compacted base under your gravel. My gravel drive is around 400 yards. I tend to have new 5/8" minus rock laid every other year. It depends on your traffic how much new gravel you need to bring in to maintain it. Good luck :)


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