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Discussion Starter #1
I have some nasty potholes in my gravel driveway. I am unsure if the driveway has a proper "base" of large gravel beneath the top layer we all see. My mom and dad always just brought in more tailgated gravel when it was needed but the same potholes always come back in the same spots.
To complicate matters, when the driveway wraps around the side of the house, there was a railroad tie retaining wall built. From my gravel driveway to the bottom of the gulley is about 3ft. The retaining wall is rotting, failing, and is need of a different solution (it lasted about 25 years). I want a permanent solution for the retaining wall, thinking either bring in fill dirt and build it up or pay $$$ and have a beefy concrete wall poured (my guess this will cost $5k). My concern with fill dirt is creating a soggy condition in my neighbors yard.

What are my options for the driveway and the retaining wall?

I would like to knock out one of these project this year.

3038e, loader, ballast box, back blade, and tiller. I suspect I will need to buy a box blade...


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I would use a box blade and use scarifiers to rough it up first then get a load of rock and spread it and try to pack it down. When it rains drive the heavest unit with wide tires and pack it down. has far has the railroad ties go either spend a lot of money or start over with ties level and buried in the ground If they lasted 25 years that's a lifetime for me.
 

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Well, the retaining wall is seeing lots of force from the driveway being close. It would probably be better to move the retaining wall a little further away from the driveway. Whatever you use to build the retaining wall, you need allot of drainage stone behind the wall.

I have retaining wall blocks that I used for all my retaining walls with lots of drainage stone behind and geogrid every other course that holds the wall into the backfill.

https://www.nitterhousemasonry.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/AB-Classic-1-Sq.-Ft..pdf

As far as the driveway, put a 2A modified base, roll it good, and pave it.
 

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I would use a box blade and use scarifiers to rough it up first then get a load of rock and spread it and try to pack it down. When it rains drive the heavest unit with wide tires and pack it down.
I agree. It's almost impossible to just fill a pot hole and have it last. The new material just doesn't bind with the old.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
So if I really scarfier the crap out if it, do I need to remove the loose stuff and start from scratch? Or can I pack the bejesus out of it after I scarfier the crap out of it and I'm done?

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I agree with Ray on the retaining wall, I built one with those blocks for our basement entrance which is also right beside the driveway. Bury the first layer and drill holes and drive some heavy ribar down through to lock the base layer and just fill and build. As for the driveway, well, paving that would be costly. But get a box blade and work the base real good then top with a few inches of limestone crusher run. If you know anyone with a vibratory roller wet it down and hit with that, it will out live you.
 

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So if I really scarfier the crap out if it, do I need to remove the loose stuff and start from scratch? Or can I pack the bejesus out of it after I scarfier the crap out of it and I'm done?

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I was always taught to take a dirt driveway or road down to the lowest point. So whichever pot hole is the deepest, try to get the rest of it loosened up to that point. Once you've done that, then you can pack it down and add to it.
 

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have to agree what everyone else here has said about using a BB and take it down to the lowest point. One thing I would add to these comments is to taper your driveway once you are done. You seem to have a pretty flat driveway. Where water lays is where your potholes will begin. I had the same problem with my 900+ foot driveway. I use a BB took it down to the base, tapered the drive to make a slight crown in the driveway. Then brought in some dirty crush and run spread it with the FEL and the BB then ran a yard compacter over it that weight about 350 - 400 lbs. That was 5 years ago and I have yet to have a pothole show up. As for the wall, block, wall pavers and good drainage like everyone else said.
 

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I was always taught to take a dirt driveway or road down to the lowest point. So whichever pot hole is the deepest, try to get the rest of it loosened up to that point. Once you've done that, then you can pack it down and add to it.
:thumbup1gif:
 

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Can’t disagree with the driveway advice at all good pool of knowledge there. I caved in and ordered a land plane with scarifiers about a month ago to deal with my drive that’s in a similar condition. Hoping it comes in next week.

Are there more pictures of the retaining wall you would care to share?

Maybe the pictures aren’t doing the situation justice, but it looks like there is only one tie exposed in the pics.
That top tie acting somewhat like a curb. Can you mow the bank to the left of the curb tie in the pics?

If that’s the extent of the wall that you need, I’d get the driveway reworked and in good order, pull out only the exposed ties and get a load of topsoil to back up the edge of the drive and blend it into the bank you have. Then enjoy not having to deal with a wall at all!
 

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The retaining wall is 3 ties deep (vertical), I remember from my childhood. It has 4ft of 1/2" rebar driven down thru all the ties into the ground, every 4ft. I have already had about 4 ties rot away in the last 5 years. It is pushing away now. In the 2nd pic, that was taken with me standing at the low spot of the gulley looking at my house. I really can only do 1 project this summer, either fix the pot holes or re-do the retaining wall. The driveway is pretty straight forward, just gotta do it. Just need opinions on the retaining wall. I want it to be able to handle a dump truck going back there as I intend to build a pole barn once I'm debt free.

Potholes: buy a $900 EA Extreme Box Blade and do the work.

Retaining wall idea 1: pay a company to pour a beefy concrete retaining wall $5k (guess). I view this as a forever fix and this is what I would really like to have done but expensive.

Retaining wall idea 2: rip out the old ties and replace with new ones. Guess $200 in material. Will last another 20 years, so I will have to do it again when I'm 50

Retaining wall idea 3: rip out old ties and bring in a bunch of fill dirt and level it off as best I can. Guess $1000 in material.

I prefer 1 or 3 if given a choice.



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JD Where is your property line on the left side of your drive way in relation to the RR ties? What do you remove snow with? JD-Don:greentractorride:
 

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JD Where is your property line on the left side of your drive way in relation to the RR ties? What do you remove snow with? JD-Don:greentractorride:
Property line is roughly 6-8 feet from RR ties. I remove snow with a Sportsman and a Moose plow, I tried a loader mounted blade and it's not for me.

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Jd.......I would avoid a wall, I don't think you don't need one. Pull the RR ties and fill that area with bank run gravel. No more concerns with slipping off the edge while plowing. It appears that the ground on the left side of the drive drains toward the street which is good.
The key is to keep water off the drive. To do that the drive surface has to be higher or the grass lower. I noticed that you have two gutter drains on the house that may be contributing to your problem. I would make a shallow swale on the right side of the drive from the house to the street and then channel the down spouts to the swale which will also drain off the front lawn. You will then have plenty of dirt to back up and blend the new slope behind the gravel on the left side where the RR ties were. Be sure and crown the drive slightly.
A box blade is your best friend here for making the swale and smoothing the drive. As you know, plowing snow/dirt drives is a PIA. I'll leave it up to you as to what type surface to use.

JD -Don :greentractorride:
 

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I think JD Don is giving some logical and sound advice.

The box blade will serve you well for all these tasks and you may be pleasantly surprised at how little topping stone you will need after ripping up your drive, crowning and smooothing it all back out.
 

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In the meantime

Thanks guys! Now on to hunting a decent deal on a box blade, willing to travel!

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In the meantime, you can start with your back blade. It won't loosen everything like the box blade scarifiers will but you can pull rock back into the potholes, start the crown and generally make things better. Just go slow because too much speed will make it chatter on the packed material. You'll probably want to extend the top link to make the cutting edge dig in, even a little but you can definitely improve what you've got now with the back blade.

Treefarmer
 

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The retaining wall is 3 ties deep (vertical), I remember from my childhood. It has 4ft of 1/2" rebar driven down thru all the ties into the ground, every 4ft. I have already had about 4 ties rot away in the last 5 years. It is pushing away now. In the 2nd pic, that was taken with me standing at the low spot of the gulley looking at my house. I really can only do 1 project this summer, either fix the pot holes or re-do the retaining wall. The driveway is pretty straight forward, just gotta do it. Just need opinions on the retaining wall. I want it to be able to handle a dump truck going back there as I intend to build a pole barn once I'm debt free.

Potholes: buy a $900 EA Extreme Box Blade and do the work.

Retaining wall idea 1: pay a company to pour a beefy concrete retaining wall $5k (guess). I view this as a forever fix and this is what I would really like to have done but expensive.

Retaining wall idea 2: rip out the old ties and replace with new ones. Guess $200 in material. Will last another 20 years, so I will have to do it again when I'm 50

Retaining wall idea 3: rip out old ties and bring in a bunch of fill dirt and level it off as best I can. Guess $1000 in material.

I prefer 1 or 3 if given a choice.

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Property line is roughly 6-8 feet from RR ties. I remove snow with a Sportsman and a Moose plow, I tried a loader mounted blade and it's not for me.

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I would prefer 1 or 3 myself. Truthfully 3 would be my first choice. The property line question is a good one. In trying to do choice 3, I would make sure you don't alter the drainage pattern enough to have an upset neighbor due to runoff.

I'm all about making things simpler and less to maintain, and IMHO, eliminating that wall would accomplish both.:good2:
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Well I found a smoking deal on a Land Pride 6' box blade with scarfiers. It was 20min from my house, so bonus there! It's been painted once but the cutting edge has never been flipped that I can see. This thing is really heavy, has a curved cutting edge and another cutting edge on the back. Also has a 2" receiver hitch in the back. Only 1 pic right now since it's dark.

$550


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