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Gravel Driveway Maintenance

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Watwood, Jul 18, 2013.

  1. Watwood

    Watwood LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    Hey guys, few questions.

    Need my driveway recovered with gravel. My local dealer can run the #5 stone (3/4") through a "spreader" on the rear of the dump truck, but if I go for #56 stone with powder they cannot run it through the spreader, though they can use the tailgate method.

    Question 1: The driveway is 8 feet or so wide and ~450 feet long. Would you prefer the guaranteed nice spread of the #5 stone through the spreader or go for the #56 with powder that helps hold the stone together, in hopes the driver skilled in spreading using the tailgate?

    Issue 2: I have a 8 foot rise over a 100 foot run in the middle of the driveway that is having a mild problem with erosion (ditch has developed in one tire track around 2 feet wide and 6 inches deep). This is the only portion of the driveway that is lower than the surrounding yard, because mature trees are keeping the surrounding land in place and each pass of vehicles over the past 30 years has slowly lowered the height of the driveway. How would you recommend remedying this issue?

    Build it up with larger stone 2 inches to 6 inches in diameter, then place the #5 or #56 on top?

    Or bring in some truckloads of dirt, place on top of existing old gravel driveway making driveway higher than surrounding land, compact the dirt well, then spread new #5 or #56 on top of that, or would this turn into erosion **** in a few years?

    Or would you recommend something else?

    Here are some pics for reference.

    At the crest of the hill in pic below the driveway is around 1.5 feet lower than the bottom of the trees on each side of the driveway, causing water to flow down the left tire track and subsequent erosion.


    Top looking down hill:



    Erosion pics:


  2. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,996

    I live in a rural part of VA and our county has a soil and water conservation office that provides guidance on proper construction of gravel roads and driveways (in-person advice as well as publications). You may want to see if you have something like that locally, as they'll know what works in your area with soil types, rainfall amounts, etc.

    As for spreading off the truck, I've only ever had it done via the tailgate method and I've always been impressed at how perfectly smooth and even they get it. We did a long looping driveway in the woods for a client and every load was about perfectly spread, we didn't need a lot of machine work except for dealing with the sides.
  3. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,602

    My area of expertise! Cept we're leaving town as I type.

    Wanna know one thing I discovered with my property?? The less the gravel......the better. We have always spread 4 plus inches of gravel. Well I spread about 1" over a logging road on my property and do you know that the road is more solid and firm than the area that has 4-inches? Because the thin layer gets worked into the ground better and locks into the soil, Creating the cobblestone effect.
  4. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    Your diagram looks like 2 upside down cordless drills.....

    Was this helpful ??
  5. Watwood

    Watwood LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    Forgot to put a dimension in there. The bottom of the trees are around 1.5 ft higher than the top of the gravel driveway, so it would take a lot of "building up" to get the driveway above the surrounding land through this section.
  6. monoshock

    monoshock LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,325

    I allways put a crown in my gravel driveway. It helps the water roll off the edges and not down hill.
  7. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    WHAT??? No geotechnical fabric?
  8. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,602


    again, you want the cobblestone effect
  9. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Messages: 3,498

    Or get some ground up asphalt millings for cheap or even free and then roll it. They're compact and stick together almost like regular asphalt.

    It's a Maryland thing I hear..... ;)
  10. cutbetterthanyou

    cutbetterthanyou LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,178

    I would put down CR6 or CR8 (stone with stone dust mixed in),It doesn't roll as bad as regular stone. Liked already said, smaller layers pack better, so thats your call on how much you want to put in. And, BTW they should be able to gate spread it as long as its not soaking wet.

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