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Country Discussion Topics
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Driveway / lane
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Homesteader    Posted 08-19-2003 at 14:46:33       [Reply]  [No Email]
I've got a simple cut-path back through the woods that
runs maybe 200 yards or so. 250, probably, back to a little
cabin. It's rained so much here that I've gotten both my
pickup and my tractor stuck. Gotta put in a driveway of
some sort, which is tough since I'm so poor I can't pay
attention. One guy recommended "crush & wash" with a
swaile and a simple drainage ditch beside it. What do y'all
think? Any advice? Thanks.

Okie-Dokie    Posted 08-19-2003 at 16:35:52       [Reply]  [No Email]
From one homesteader to another, what I did is visit the closest redi-mix co.and asked about the waste matl. the mixers bring back. They dump it out on the ground and work it with an old motor patrol till it dries and just push it up in a big pile waiting for some one like me (so poor I couldn't even change my mind) to come along with an old truck and haul it off for free. They will even load it for me for nothing. This stuff makes excellent drive way rock, even better than crusher run because it has all the stuff they put in concrete. After it rains on it and it gets compacted, it gets almost as hard as concrete.

Randy    Posted 08-19-2003 at 16:29:08       [Reply]  [Send Email]
With the others, I think get the drainage thing done first. Maybe you could use woodchips from a local tree company. They usually give them away. Might be good enough.

Hal/WA    Posted 08-19-2003 at 16:21:24       [Reply]  [No Email]
A lot depends on what you have available to you for cheap gravelly fill. In my area we have some pits that sell "pit run", which is some dirt, some gravel and some rocks up to about 4 or 5 inches in diameter. This material makes a good roadbed and is almost free--most of the cost is the hauling. Many driveways start with someone driving on them for awhile to produce a packed path and then when the soft spots show up, pit run is added to the soft spots. Depending on what is under your soft spot, it can take a lot of additional material. Drainage also helps a lot, with shallow ditches along both sides of the road, culverts under the road where needed and preferrably a way for your roadside ditches to drain to a lower area. I like good crushed rock for a finish coat on the driveway. I have covered my entire driveway with several 2" applications of local crushed rock with the fines included. I havent got stuck on my driveway for years, but in the Spring of most years, I would get stuck almost anywhere off the gravel.

If you know someone with a dozer or a roadgrader, maybe you could get them to build up the crown of your road by creating some ditches along your lane. That might do enough to get by, but in most areas, you are going to need some gravel or crushed rock, at least in places. It always seemed to me that I got stuck at the least convenient times! I considered building a good driveway as being a good investment and also good insurance against aggravation.

I have seen some new driveways that seem to be made with crushed recycled concrete. It looks real good and should be very durable. I never checked on costs though.

Good luck with the mud. If you always have trouble in the same area, you might consider moving your road around that spot or concentrating your road building there. Sometimes just rocks picked up around the place and dumped into a mudhole will get you by for about no cost. But maybe you don't have any rocks. Good luck--roadbuilding and maintainance is always an ongoing project.

Mike D.    Posted 08-19-2003 at 15:06:11       [Reply]  [No Email]
Our farm lane has been an eye opener over the years. I've hung my share of trucks, cars, and an odd assortment of worn out equipment in it. So, I think I know where you are coming from. Heres what we did for our 1/2 mile lane.

1. Where water was frequently standing I put pipes, and cut drainage away. Twelve inch culvert has served us in most weather.

2. I used 'pit waste' for the base before I spread 'crush & run'. Pit waste is what ever the loader scoops up at the loading area at the gravel pit. Usually you get it for about 1/2 of what crush & run sells for. It has all sizes of crushed rock in it. Makes a super bed for your crush and run to settled into.

3. Really bad and soupy areas can be floated over. Use a geotechtic fiber cloth over the wet area and lay crush & run over that. Works amazinly well, but is expensive.

4. Lead the water away from your roadbed wherever you can. Sometimes that is easier to write about than it is to do. I know that for a fact.

Good luck in getting that lane right. Let us know how it goes- Mike D

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