Gravel vs aspalt for driveway - Snow

Discussion in 'Homeowner Assistance Forum' started by georgio, Jan 15, 2002.

  1. georgio

    georgio LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 2

    What are the advantages or disadvantages of having a driveway
    gravel vs apshalt for snow
    Live in central NJ
  2. rodney

    rodney LawnSite Member
    from sw,ohio
    Messages: 103

    on a gravel drive it will rut where your tires are and grass will grow in the center .not shure on a truck plow but with it not being flat it would wear the wear board in the center faster than the out side edge. most gravel drives around here are cleared with a back blade on a tractor.
    you have to spray round up to keep grass&weeds down in the gravel.
    your truck & cars will stay dirty (dusty) on long driveways
    your mower blades will need sharpend more.
    track dirt in the house .
    you will get pot holes .makes it rough on cars&trucks,and will need to keep it graded .

    if its a short drive use concrete if long use ashalt
  3. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    I have had both. Where i used to live we had a decent lenght gravel one. It got humped and we mowed it with the snapper. we did not have a plow on tractor or truck, just used a shovel. we occasionally got a new dump load on it which made it level again. Here we have blacktop and it has it's share of buttaches and backaches. Every 6 years you have to clean it good (hose off and let dry or use a walk behind lawn vacuum with a bar on it, like a billy goat etc, or just sweep it good) and use whatever you like to put on a coat of the black surface sealer. First you have to take crack sealer and fill in cracks, then use either roller or brush or rubber scraper to smear on the sealer. We have used about all of them and found this to work best:
    for crack filler, use the bottle and liquidy stuff that just pours out the spout vs the thick stuff you scrape on. It will take alittle longer to firm enough to put on sealer but it's alot faster and easier. Don't go cheap on sealer, get better stuff. It does make a difference. as for what to apply it with, we found that it works best to use a rubber scraper thing to apply it (pour some outta bucket and use scraper to move and smear it around) and go over that with a roller (work cross ways with roller, first one way then the other to get in small cracks) to smooth it and get it in cracks. This seems to work best for us. My neighbors, who i mow and snowplow for, has a gravel drive that was humped. I took the garden plow on my garden tractor and plowed the gravel hump (too packed for grader blade) and then used my dozer grader blade to smooth and level it. Would've helped to get aload of gravel on it but this way it's cheap and still packed hard, which i prefer for snowplowing. my snowplow on my GT floats and it works fine there as well as on our blacktop. Last year i had a steel edge and this past winter i put on a rubber edge, it absorbs small cracks and the gravel drive and is easier on our blacktop and i don't wanna repeat that seal job more than necessary. I hear that for truck plows you want asphalt/or blacktop. I don't know about that cause i don't have one.
    just my two cents and sorry it turned into a driveway fixing post, didn't mean to lol... just sharing some thoughts. both drives have good and bad. for just a GT with plow i'd probably go with gravel or concrete but not blacktop. gravel is alot cheaper and easier to fix... but it has bad sides too.
  4. Doogiegh

    Doogiegh LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 871

    I'm also in New Jersey and my driveway is about 400 feet long. It is gravel.

    What you have heard about having ruts where the tires always go and a patch of green down the center is absolutly correct. Even though it's gravel, the constant tire traffic from our vehicles causes ruts.. And when it gets real sloppy out (I find October/November and then April weather) to really make the driveway very messy in general. It does pick up a bit on the cars tires so on the rear quarter panel there is always a "splash" pattern, even if I go real slow down the driveway.

    My friend came over and snowplowed it once or twice. He set the blade at a higher level and just cleared off the top 8 inches of snow but still left about 1 inch on the ground. He couldn't get down to low to the gravel cause otherwise he'd be moving all the rocks around in the center.

    The other pain is that when the grass is growing, I have to mow the center strip right down the middle of the driveway, which of course the mower picks up some rocks every time and throws them out the shoot onto the lawn every time.. Which I'm sure is wearing out the blade faster then normal.

    Good thing is that for something like $200, I can get an entire dump truck load of new stones dropped on the driveway, (they open the back gate and drive down the driveway real slow, lifting the rear bed as they go down the driveway, spreading the rocks fairly evenly).. It never has to be sealed and will last forever and ever.

    And being that I have a 4 wheel drive vehicle, it doesn't matter if I have 10 inches of snow and it's plowed with still 2-3 or more inches left.. 4WD vehicles have no problem in such low accumulations, and I'm sure with the gravel as a base, it'd be real real hard to get stuck, even in a normal 2wd car.

    good luck
  5. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Messages: 1,484

    if u have a tractor with any type of blade or loader the ruts are not a problem, once or twice a year get a new load and put it down, i do prefer blacktop but its very expensive to instal and to maintain.

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