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  1. #1

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    Default Making a driveway (insight anyone?)

    Just bought 20 acres (closed last friday). Anyway, it's raw land - will be building a house on it someday. Now, we're starting off with a 'barndominium.'

    First things first...I need a driveway. It will be about 600' long. The soil is sandy loam / clay. Was looking for any tips? My father-in-law has an old cat d4 dozer we'll be using. Plan is take the top soil off, see how deep the loam is, and go from there. Thoughts are making sure there's proper drainage on both sides, lime stabilizing the clay, adding stabilized clay if the sandy loam is deep (taking it out and replacing it), then crushed limestone on top. If only it was easy as it sounds.

    If anyone has done this before, do you have any suggestions? Maybe a quick 'how to'?
    Thanks,
    -Cody
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it

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    Here you go:

    http://theurbanrancher.tamu.edu/cons...ewaydesign.htm

    I would also suggest you catch the local postalperson, introduce yourself as newbie on the route & ask (nicely) for any examples of driveways which appear to have held up over the long haul. Maybe examples of eroded & rutted driveways would be helpful for what NOT to do.

    Your township dozer driver might also be a go-to source. Or show up @ County Shop w/donuts for a roundtable discussion. These are people who have to deal with homeowners' attempts to do road construction without firsthand experience. Your driveway will connect to their workplace. I'd guess there are standards for that culvert at the very least. It is also possible that your County Extension Office have a pamphlet on the topic.

    Best Wishes on Rural Living!

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  3. #3

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    Great advice above^. No desire for a gravel driveway?

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    Quote Originally Posted by steveinaz View Post
    Great advice above^. No desire for a gravel driveway?
    He did say crushed limestone on top...

  5. #5

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    Get off the money and have it paved. You will always regret not doing it now.
    If you can't hear a difference, don't waste your money.

  6. #6

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    Thanks for the link...that article is written by someone at the university I work at.

    No desire for gravel as of now. In time, we might put asphalt on top...but that would be years from now. And everything we do now would serve as a base for that. Gravel would have to be removed.
    -Cody
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    Good idea, actually you don't want to pave the driveway until the house and landscaping is done. Who wants Semi's driving down their paved driveway.

    I might add, everything depends on how your lot is sloped. If water will run off from one side of the drive to the other, might be wise to put some ductile iron pipe under the driveway in a few spots, concrete pipe would work too. Plastic pipe, like a heavy wall SDR26 would be ok for light duty traffic but if you have big trucks using the driveway go with the first 2 choices.
    Last edited by tonyb; 09-30-2013 at 05:01 PM.

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by exalted512 View Post
    ...that article is written by someone at the university I work at.
    -Cody
    That's why I searched for one written in TEXAN. My next door naybore, Dr. Uddernonsense, runs the KSU Dairy program. The Agronomy Farm, Feedlot & Dairy Mgrs' residence is 2 blocks away. My backyard neighbor Prof's specialty is bovine reproduction.

    Unfortunately, KSU is building the National Bio- & Agro-terrorism Defense Facility 1.6 miles (as the germs fly) from my place. The movers & shakers are 3 former Cols (Ret) @ USAMRIID, home of the Anthrax Mailer, so they know how NOT to do it right.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by exalted512 View Post
    Thanks for the link...that article is written by someone at the university I work at.

    No desire for gravel as of now. In time, we might put asphalt on top...but that would be years from now. And everything we do now would serve as a base for that. Gravel would have to be removed.
    -Cody
    That depends Cody. Years ago we had a gravel lane we put asphalt right on top of it. They came out on day one sprayed water on the lane than ran the big roller down the lane to compress the gravel into the dirt. Next day they sprayed tar over the gravel and applied the top coats. To this day 25yrs later it is still in good shape.

  10. #10

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    Definitely. I don't need 80,000 pound cement trucks screwing up my driveway...haha
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it

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    Quote Originally Posted by pitdogg2 View Post
    That depends Cody. Years ago we had a gravel lane we put asphalt right on top of it. They came out on day one sprayed water on the lane than ran the big roller down the lane to compress the gravel into the dirt. Next day they sprayed tar over the gravel and applied the top coats. To this day 25yrs later it is still in good shape.
    Every situation is different. What material the sub base is makes all the difference in the world. Gravel too has many different grades for different purposes. Something compactable is always desired under a driveway like Grade 8, which has a lot of fines in it to compact. Regular rock with little to no fines will just fly all over and never fully compact. Something that long, 600 ft.....you need a roller with a vibrator.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tonyb View Post
    you need a roller with a vibrator.
    That's what she said?
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  13. #13

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    I'm not calling home depot to see if they rent out vibrators...haha
    -Cody
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightfall View Post
    That's what she said?
    LOL...THAT is the difference between men and women. Men spend their lives getting rid of vibrations, women seek out more and more as they age.

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    I can't imagine the shipping costs on a plate compactor...
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    IF/When you opt to overlay w/asphalt, I'd think about using a nice shade of chat (as seen on This Old House). I don't recall the speficis but the surface wasn't black when finished. The township has used something like this on my neighborhood streets, however it is very light-colored & looks like when they used ice melt on blacktop.

    We have a nearby quarry which is on glacial till, with a clay composition. They sell it by the truckload to counties in NE KS. When it is laid down the gravel portion is held in place by the clay it was dug up with = no dust & little need for grading & reapplication (as with limestone). Perhaps such a mix of clay/gravel is available in your area.

  18. #18

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    Plate compactor ?? On 600 ft of driveway ? LOL.....Don't waste your time or money.

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    Depends what you have in abundance, time or money? There's nothing wrong with doing 2" at a time with a smaller compactor if you have a lot more time then money. A big roller is going to cost a ton more money then a plate compactor. Of course, as tony is pointing out, it's going to take a lot more time. If you have the money, no doubt a roller will save you a ton of time.
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  20. #20

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    I guess I'm assuming a purchase, though. Renting is another...
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  21. #21

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    Last driveway I had put in when I was on acreage was about 200 feet long, and we just used what was called road base. I hesitate to classify it as gravel as the pieces were so large (1" - 2" some larger)



    Basically I put down a single lane for the entry, and as it got closer to the house it moved to 2 car garage wide. I also added two extra parking spaces at a 90 degree ange to the garage entrance that could be used for turning around or guest parking. Didn't really have to worry about drainage, as the water just went through the road base and the ground absorbed it.

    The guy I contracted with to bring in the road base and level it said to call him if I ever wanted it asphalted and they would just put it over the top. He suggested just driving over it for a year would stabilize everything. If needed they would add some road base to the shallow spots before using aspahlt.

    It went in pretty easy. The brought in 4 of the semi long dump trucks and then spread it and leveled it with something that looked like a bobcat but was bigger. Never had any issues with it. If you keep the driveway road base most folks add to it every 5 years or so. Sorry, I don't remember the cost. Considering the option of asphalt or concrete at the time this was a no-brainer with an asphalt option later.

    For reference on what rock is easily available in Texas, take a look here:
    http://selectsg.com/rock__gravel

    Hope that helps a bit,
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  22. #22

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    A few years back the state was cutting up I-20 and replacing sections of the concrete. One guy got the construction company to dump the sections in front of his house. He eventually laid it out into a really nice 500 ft driveway. It should last him a while.

  23. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nightfall View Post
    Depends what you have in abundance, time or money? There's nothing wrong with doing 2" at a time with a smaller compactor if you have a lot more time then money. A big roller is going to cost a ton more money then a plate compactor. Of course, as tony is pointing out, it's going to take a lot more time. If you have the money, no doubt a roller will save you a ton of time.
    It's not just the time, it's the quality of compacting a larger surface area. Plate compacters are good for trenches and patio's, anything else is above their means. I've used both, and operated rollers and plate compactors of all sizes in many different applications. Any asphalt company is going to have one anyway but if you want to roll it and leave it gravel for the future ask any asphalt or construction company to come roll it out for you. Actually now, you did say you had a dozer.....he can grade out the drive and compact it with his tracks if he's a decent operator. Kill 2 birds with one stone.....no pun intended.

  24. #24

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    We plan on letting the cement trucks coming in for the slab doing the compacting.
    -Cody
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    What about using bottom ash.
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  26. #26

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    I think lime is more popular in these parts.
    -Cody
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it

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    I've got about 3/4 of a mile of lane into the house on the ranch in SD. It had to be redone when we leased the ranch. I graded it with my Cat 955 endloader then put down 3" rock roadbase, compacted it good with the Cat, then put down another layer of smaller rock, then the white rock/lime mixture on top. It's been 12 years and we still regularly run big trucks up and down it with no problems.
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  28. #28

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    An 18" culvert, dump truck, and 2 end dump 18-wheelers and voila!

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    Now go get yourself a 3 ft extension piece for that pipe and a flared end. Not to be critical, but the end of that pipe is too close to the road and you have a hellava drop off right there. I might even add 5 ft and a flared end and fill it in over the pipe, maybe a foot less than the road, so the edge of the road doesn't erode away.

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    When we have the slab poured in the next couple months, we're going to do the forms for the ends of the culvert and have them pour it. No worries about being critical...all advice is happily accepted.
    -Cody
    Music is like candy, you have to get rid of the rappers to enjoy it

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