View Full Version : Scraping Gravel drives

AWJ Services
02-23-2011, 08:22 PM
What are your techniques and tricks to whipping them back into shape?
Here there mostly crush and run( stone with dust) and sometimes 57 stone on top?

Just did one about 1/2 mile long maybe longer.

02-23-2011, 08:50 PM
I use my combo bucket and landplane and kinds rip it up, then lay down an inch of crusher fines.
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02-23-2011, 08:52 PM
My drives that long and my 2 neighbors are about 3/4 that length but I use tractor and box blade. Put the rippers down 1-4" depending on wht kind of base and what shape the drives in and make a few passes till I'm sure the drive will smooth back out the way I want it. Then put the rippers up tilt the box forward if you need to drag alot of materiel to fill in holes if you just need it leveled back out tilt the box back

02-23-2011, 10:47 PM
I use a combo bucket, to tear it up, then regrade.

02-23-2011, 11:39 PM
I sell em more gravel... :weightlifter:

Well, not always, depends on the situation. But I do like to disturb the base as little as possible, and add new material as needed to level things out and dress up the top a bit. Makes for a nicer finished product and seems to hold up longer in my opinion. I just use a regular low profile bucket, teeth if they are really needed, but not usually.

AWJ Services
02-24-2011, 09:33 AM
This driveway had no gravel on it as it appeared when I started. I already had several loads of stone sold to the customer.

I started grading the middle hump out and filling in the potholes and the more I graded the more gravel started appearing. There was also a continous berm of gravel on the outside edge with grass grown over it. I did not have anything but a tooth bucket for my skid and a Hrley Rake for my tractor.

So I angled the harley rake and pushed all the gravle back into the road.
Never harley raked a drive way before but it worked suprisinly well at just moving the rock.

I will snap a few pics today.

I do not own a combo bucket , maybe I will get one an dgive it a whirl.

02-24-2011, 11:43 AM
I just ordered one for my machine. Bobcat 743B. Can't wait to try it out.


02-24-2011, 02:19 PM
I just ordered one for my machine. Bobcat 743B. Can't wait to try it out.


Best investment anyone can make, skid steers are always a bit light on the front and the added weight of a combo bucket will make any loader dig and grade like a mofo.
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02-25-2011, 12:29 PM
I use a motor grader. Angle your moldboard and roll the edges up to build a crown in the center. Then spread some crush and run or 57 stone over that and your done. I've used tractors, skids, dozers and nothing can beat a good road grader
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02-26-2011, 10:48 AM
A motor grader would be great, but not practical in most applications other than a long road/ drive. There is a guy around here with a full size CAT grader who claims he can grade driveways........and makes a mess since the drives are way too small for a machine of that size. He can barely turn around:dizzy: They end up having to get someone with a tractor to put it all together:laugh: I like to use a 3PT grader blade and use the blade backwards when installing new material. It provides a little downpressure and the cutting edge doesn't dig in.

Kiowa Scout
02-26-2011, 01:01 PM
I use my 257B and my Harley rake. It works great.

I'll take out the middle first then I do the sides last.

02-26-2011, 07:25 PM
I've tried a landpride landscape grader, various drags, rear blade, etc, but from my experience nothing works better than a Harley rake. They are expensive, but it quickly works gravel drives into perfect shape.

02-27-2011, 08:32 AM
I was wanting to do some road building as well as refurbishment. The research I did and the experiences I have had showed that a dozer blade on a skid would push stuff but did not lend itself to doing a smooth job for driveways, roads etc due to the short wheelbase of a skid steer.
So I got one of these from eBay



With the wheels out front and independent control of the blade to angle & tilt, its tow point at the front it works like a good grader should. The longer wheelbase enables you to cut the high spots on a road and fill the low areas. It will not dive in in soft soil and then ride over the hard stuff. Mine will push a full bladefull and is good for roads, driveways, building sites, spreading gravel/fill, topsoil etc. Nice and wide too, mine's 7ft. This combined with a 4 in 1 bucket will really give you a versatile setup.


02-28-2011, 12:02 AM
If you've got room for more material I always believe it best to build up a road. It you don't, you may want to ensure that you've got sufficient material underneath to start disturbing first. We've got a box blade with a set of add on runners that works really well for taking out humps and dips. WE've also got a grader for the long runs.

02-28-2011, 12:40 PM
If the base and top dress material is there, I usually just loosen with my tooth bucket down 2" and recrown and smooth with the power rake.

I'd like to try one of the Erskine 6 way blades with the optional grader kit. Seems it with make a versatile combination. The power rake is great if you don't need to move the material around too much. Shakes out the weeds and makes it look just like you hauled in new material.

queen of spades
03-02-2011, 07:24 AM
I use a pulverizer to break up the crust & smooth it out.

03-02-2011, 10:22 PM
My 8' Harley Rake and a dual drum vibratory roller.

10-26-2012, 09:05 PM
Bringing this thread back to life.
I've asked this before and seen mixed answers. On a compacted or severely worn crushed base drive, will a harley style rake bring the road back to shape and level/grade after I make a few passes with a tooth bucket? I bought a landplane that does a good job but I end up cutting more because I haven't got enough finesse with it yet.

I'm looking at a skid steer rock crusher and/or a harley style rake for road rehabs. I just haven't liked having to haul in so much material that often rivals my labor charges for even a small job. I'd rather work with the existing material if possible. Many roads I get called to look at haven't had any crushed limestone put on them in years and are virtually dirt roads mixed with a lot of rock or clumps of very hard caliche. Simply running the tooth bucket up and down the road exposes or pulls out rocks. If a harley style rake would windrow them, get them off the road, and level the little potholes back out, I could then run my compactor and this alternative would be a lot cheaper than many truck loads of material or buying a rock crusher attachment.

JNB Construction
10-27-2012, 10:55 AM
YellowDog - About 80% of my work involves installing new or refurbishing existing gravel driveways, private roads and parking lots. Over half of the existing driveways I look at don't need more aggregate or can be spruced up with very little new material mixed in with the existing. Customers are so used to being sold more gravel that a lot of the time I bring more gravel in just to appease them.

I use a tractor, but the same theory applies. For years (on existing gravel areas) I started by scarifying down 2" or so and using the box blade to reshape the crown, fix potholes and remove grass and weeds. Hearing how great they were, I decided to purchase a landplane grading scraper. I didn't give it much time, but I wasn't real impressed and resorted back to using the box blade.

A couple of weeks ago I had a job with a lot of area to experiment with, so I decided to take the landplane and give it another shot. I started making passes and adjusting blade depth and all of a sudden the landplane starting working. I ending up with the front blade 3/4" below the skids and the rear maybe an 1/8" above.

Here are a couple driveways that I restored without bringing in any additional material. Both of them had dirt areas showing through.


The Harley Rake is a great tool, but I'm all about doing the job with the least out of pocket expense. I'd give your landplane another shot.

Darryl G
10-27-2012, 11:09 AM
I use my tractor with loader and York rake. I like using the rake because I can break down the berms on the outside edges and drag the material back in by angling it. I prefer to regrade the whole driveway before resurfacing it. Filled potholes always seem to just reappear in the same place.

I don't do a lot of gravel driveway work anymore. It seems like as soon as you touch it, you own it in the customer's mind. Every time there's a pothole or a washout they want it fixed for free even years after the job was done. Now if I messed up and an area is holding water or something that's one thing, but any gravel driveway will need ongoing maintenace. I just hauled in 6 tons of stone yesterday to touch mine up a bit.

JNB Construction
10-27-2012, 11:19 AM
I'll add that when I get a gravel road that's full of utility rock and large clumps of caliche, I don't bother to try to stir them up, except in the area surrounding potholes to repair them and compact. As you've found, it just becomes a mess to deal with. Messing around with the landplane, it looks like it would be pretty easy to spread a thin layer of new gravel over the top.

10-27-2012, 03:02 PM
Sometimes I'm working on a mile of driveway. I consider 600' a small job. I've had trouble pulling dirt to the surface when grading grass and weeds out of existing drives. I've always graded the unsuitable material off and replaced with suitable material. I compact all the drives I work on and very few of my competitors do here. I can't mix dirt with base and compact and expect it to last so I've always brought in a lot of material.

Darryl, I hear ya. Potholes have a trip charge. I also do not guarantee a base road against ruts in a flash flood or heavy storm. They are too frequent here in between droughts. If I created a problem, I'll fix it but if it's normal wear and tear, mother nature, or someone not using common sense (driving a lot on base road after 4" of rain comes to mind), I charge to repair.
I absolutely do not like building roads. The ones I build seem to hold up so I'm doing something right but it's my least favorite thing to do. I don't mind doing some rehab work but I do not like planning a road on virgin ground when there isn't enough money to account for all the problems like unsuitable soil, heavy t-storms, poor quality materials, etc. Because materials are so expensive, new roads are hard to price right. If I cut corners to meet budget expectations, then I'm expected to own it despite warnings that their road will need more frequent maintenance.

JNB Construction
10-27-2012, 04:50 PM
Well, it'd be nice to do every single install or repair the "correct" way, but that's not always in the customer's budget. If it is? Great. All the unsuitable material goes, then grade and compact, cut drainage swales, install geotextile, spread base and compact then maybe spread some pretty stone and compact again. That's not a typical customer, so from a simple re-grade to bringing in their choice of materials based on my suggestions, I give them a few choices. Every re-grade or resurfacing job gets re-crowned, potholes repaired and drainage issues dealt with to some extent. But removing "unsuitable" material and bringing in more gravel on every job alienates an entire group of customers, at least in my area. Many of them can afford what I'll charge for the machine, but material just isn't in their budget. So do I tell them "My way or the highway?" Oh hell no. I offer the best job possible based upon what they can afford. It creates happy customers that turn into wonderful referrals. Heck some of those "small jobs" done inexpensively (because that's what the customer can afford) have even turned into mile+ long private road referrals and even a parking lot or two.

david bailey
10-30-2012, 01:15 PM
I use my B-26 with a 4 in 1 bucket and sometimes I'll take the backhoe off and use a box blade.
I usually start by scarifying the top,then dumping any material down the center and then grading outward to create ormaintain a nice fall from the center out.
Then I'll backdrag with the bucket to smooth it all out. I don't usually get a lot of real long driveways tho and the B-26 is very nimble