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suggestions for grooming / smoothing gravel drive

jprather

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I have a large oval gravel drive way, having trouble keeping it smooth and groomed, i get high spot and low spots, tried using a front end loader bucket to smooth it out, but i think its worse now !

any suggestions ?? I was looking at DR Power graders, anyone here use them ?
 
Find an old horse drawen grader with steel wheels
They work very good and low maintenance. I would sell you mine but way too fat away.
 
I just use a drag harrow from Tractor Supply pulled behind my riding mower. I go over it once or twice a year on maximum tine (there are several positions to pull it in). Add morre rock to freshen as needed.
 
Thabks guys! Will look into these, all I have is a lawn tractor
 
I use this grader that my nephew fabricated for me behind my tractor. That's a grader blade in front mounted 3/4" below the frame rail so it digs and a piece of angle iron mounted flush behind it to smooth the gravel without it building up in the box.

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Having about 1/4 mile long drive, spent years regrading the gravel, filling in holes, at least once a year. Slop when it was wet splashing on the cars, mega dusty when dry. Plowing, had to keep the blade slightly elevated to prevent graveling the yard. Few times had to rent a power brush to get it off the grass. Local grading co came out and laid in crushed asphalt then rolled it. Huge improvement short of asphalting, but less than 1/4 the cost. Just had enuff with the upkeep as I wasn't getting younger. Lasted five years and they came back to do a touch up for a decent cost.
 
Made a box blade for my Gravely garden tractor....it's a belly mower so that's where the box blade went and it did well....if I stood on it. It has up hydraulics but not down so standing on it was the alternative. The box blade was 4' and worked pretty good but dragging it with other means also works ok for minor stuff.....
 
I see guys dragging an old heavy piece of big I-beam with chain bolted on around with a pickup around here, same deal, rocks or more iron on it for weight.
 
Having about 1/4 mile long drive, spent years regrading the gravel, filling in holes, at least once a year. Slop when it was wet splashing on the cars, mega dusty when dry. Plowing, had to keep the blade slightly elevated to prevent graveling the yard. Few times had to rent a power brush to get it off the grass. Local grading co came out and laid in crushed asphalt then rolled it. Huge improvement short of asphalting, but less than 1/4 the cost. Just had enuff with the upkeep as I wasn't getting younger. Lasted five years and they came back to do a touch up for a decent cost.
We did the same. Had a ~75ft crushed concrete driveway initially, but it was getting ruts and low spots after about 10 yrs. Had a guy come to fix it and he laid down "washout" which is what's left in the concrete truck at the end of the day so it was mostly sand with just a little bit of cement. He promised that it would pack down and harden. It never did and we tracked a lot of sand in the house - hated it. Finally had a guy put down asphalt millings, which is ground asphalt from repaving roads. He graded everything out, put down the millings with a small paving machine and then hot rolled it. It's still loose in some spots, but has hardened in the high traffic areas - about the texture of a rough parking lot. Fortunately, the previous materials made a good base.
 
I broke down and concreted mine back in 2018. Cost me $20k back then, hell maybe double now? But was worth every penny of it.
 
I have a D.R. grader that I pull behind my lawn tractor, works awesome. Mine is 10 or 12years old and they have even gotten better.
 
Bolt or chain 3 or 4 old tires together held straight with a pipe and add a cable to hook it to your tractor and drag it around a few times. That's how we smooth sand and dirt out at work.
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If you have a lawn tractor, then old graders and box blades are out for you.
The sink holes won't go away unless you grade down to the base of the sink and then repack. Filling them in only works for like 2 weeks, then the wheels "splash" the fill back out.

You can make stuff though to help.
At a lumber yard I worked at we took a piece of structural I beam about 10 feet long, chain on each end to pull it. You make it so the "ribs" face down so there are two sharp-ish edges in the dirt, rather then the flat sides down. Then, we just mixed a couple bags of hardware store pre-mix and poured it in the channel for weight. It worked pretty good. For you, just make the section of beam shorter like 3 feet so your lawn tractor can handle it, or use a vehicle with a hitch and make it like 6 feet. High speed doesn;t really help much, it's about digging down a bit and the beam sort of leveling the loose that builds in front of it.

For fine grooming, local park used a section of chain link fence with a 2x4 as an attachment point for both the fence and the chain and used it to level the little league infield and other gravel paths. 6 feet of fence(5 feet tall is common) 3/4 of a 2x4, 6 feet of light chain, and some heavy staples or small U bolts and you have a tool. If it wants to curl too much add a 4x4 to the back end to make it stretch out as you pull it. On top of the fence of course, so the 4x4 doesn;t undo all the work the fence did.
 
I have a 300' gravel driveway and yard and need to keep it groomed since it also has a significant grade leaving the house to the road. I have tried all kinds of things including a few of the suggestions here as well but what I have found works the best for me is a nice big heavy duty wood pallet, or a metal pallet like a recently found, with 1 or 2 big heavy tires ( i use a couple 235/85/16's from my truck) strapped to the top and then a rope or chain run in a V from the pallet sides to the ball hitch on my quad. I then just run up and down and around the yard and it knocks down the wash board and spreads the gravel around nicely.
 
I broke down and concreted mine back in 2018. Cost me $20k back then, hell maybe double now? But was worth every penny of it.
Yeah - cost of concrete has skyrocketed. I was too late building my 2nd garage by about a year..
I broke down and concreted mine back in 2018. Cost me $20k back then, hell maybe double now? But was worth every penny of it.
 
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