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Old 03-23-2009, 10:09 PM
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tips for grading and potholes on dirt road?

part of my new job is maintaining about 3/4 miles of dirt road - about 1/2 of which on on a moderately steep grade. parts of the road seem to have a fairly good base of probably 1" and under crusher run and fines, other parts seem to be more of the original soil. in my arsenol i have a frontloader with a probably 5-6 ft. blade, which is what ive been using to scrape out the potholes going forwards and respread the mix by dragging in reverse. i can get pretty good results in the short term but the potholes seem to quickly reform once the rains start. ive read this (click here) article about grading which seems pretty informative, and recommends maintaining a crown in the middle of the road to shed water.

my main question is - without a grader, is there a way to use the frontloader (with flat blade) to maintain the crown? and also, how important is compaction - i dont have a roller, so the cars do most of the compaction after i scrape it out, which tends to leave dips, but is not too bad.

lastly, how often should i expect to have to regrade? is every few weeks way too much, or is that pretty regular?

and actually one more - if im adding a new layer of gravel, can i use a finer mix - say 5/8 with fines - over top of the coarser mix. it seems like the larger stones (3/4 and over) cause ruts, and i'd like to cover those with a finer mix to make a smoother surface.

opinions are welcome, but practical advice would be most appreciated. unfortunately im not set up at the moment to post pics, but i will soon if i can... thanks for any help!!

mike
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Old 03-24-2009, 08:18 PM
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I heard one time that if you took your boxblade and flipped the rippers down and went over it like that to get it broken up, then smoothed the road out you can get rid of pot holes easier. as for crowning ,can you angle your blade to bring material into the middle? Then go up and down the road a few times to start crowning it.
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Old 03-25-2009, 07:18 PM
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If you have a 3 point hitch, a couple attachments will get this job done quickly and effectively. A rear pivoting blade equipped carbide point cutters will rough up the material, then it can be finished and graded with the box blade. Compaction will make the job last longer. Depending on the amount of traffic, I'd expect you'd need to tend to it 2 or 3 times a season.
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Old 03-29-2009, 10:10 PM
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thanks for the tips & sorry for not getting back sooner - busy week here. the road was doing pretty good until the rains this week. now pot holes are starting again. i can rough up the road and smooth it out pretty well with just the front loader blade, but it sounds like a box blade is the ticket i need for crowning and grading. hadn't thought of that, so thanks. about $800 bucks for a 6ft boxblade it seems, so i'll have to look at the budget. i havent used one before, so could you clarify for me: which angles can i adjust with the 3 point hitch - can i adjust the horizontal angles (as in blade being farther from the digger in the center of the road) or the vertical angles (as in setting the grade) or both or neither??

anyone know if it would be easy to attach one to a john deere loader which looks about like this
http://www.topgunn.net/photos/john%20deere-3.jpg

thanks again...

mike
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Old 03-30-2009, 05:07 PM
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I think to do it correctly you would need two things,....
first boxblade with rippers to break it up or your backhoe digger( might not be too safe!)
and then a finishing blade that can angle (looks like a snow plow), I've never seen a boxblade angle, If they do then thats all you would need.

Last edited by 4seasons; 03-30-2009 at 05:07 PM.. Reason: spelling
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Old 04-01-2009, 08:53 PM
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A Harley rake works well for finishing if you have the finesse.
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Old 04-02-2009, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by site View Post
A Harley rake works well for finishing if you have the finesse.
And if you have the rake.

We do and we use ours for that kind of thing every once in awhile, and it works pretty well. There's a long gravel drive to our shop that gets rutted up every so often and we use our Harley to smooth it out.
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Old 04-02-2009, 03:43 PM
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i maintain some gravel roads as well, we use the skid with harley rake. First few passes we tilt the harley rake to get material in the center of the road to maintain the crown, then square it back up to smooth it out.
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Old 04-12-2009, 10:07 AM
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It has been my expierence with potholes to dig out all the soft wet soil around and under the hole until you get to solid ground. Then back fill and compact with dry material. Make the excavation wide enough to use your equip to pack it. Pack it back 3" at a time. I don't know what your native soil is like but 3 " of crush is a standard for my area. Do what you can to avoid standing water, that's what starts the pot holes. Good luck, I think you gain more expierence as you continue to maintain.
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Old 04-12-2009, 08:03 PM
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It's been my experience that repairing the potholes in as described above simply causes more potholes to form around the original over time. Any road is going to require maintenance, gravel more frequently than paved.
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Old 04-13-2009, 09:14 PM
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i just wanted to thank everyone for their suggestions and comments. the harley blade looks like it might be of some help. for practical purposes this summer, im probably going to regrade about once a month with just the regular front loader shovel and have a pile of #4 road mix to shore up the tough spots. its been about a month and a half now with a few rain storms, and the holes are a bit annoying but still nowhere near impassible. we have about 600 campers coming in 2 weeks, so ive been waiting until this coming weekend to redo the road, expecting to spend all day on it. ive been sort of thinking of welding an angled blade that i could attach to the frontloader, but probably a pipedream at the moment, or maybe a midnight project with dubious success. but i will post if i have any successes (or failures . . . )

yours, mike
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