Chert or Gravel?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by DayBird, Feb 21, 2005.

  1. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    Is that an acceptable Subject for a new thread? ;) I didn't want to upset anyone. I actually wanted to use something much more "colorful" like What a miserable day I've had, What a sticky mess, It was kind of like a ride at Disney World, I hurt my knee, or even Red Mud Slip n Slide.

    Well...you get the idea. I started down the newly graded driveway this morning after a light rain last night. When I realized I was sliding, it was too late. Had to ride it all the way to the bottom. I spent hours trying to shove enough stuff under the tires to get out. I didn't have a phone to call for help. I was expecting my mom and wife to arrive later this afternoon with a cell phone so I just went inside. They didn't show up. I saw that a neighbor (I had not yet met any of the neighbors) had come home so I went to meet her and ask if I could use her phone. $75 later, a tow truck had winched my Taurus to the top of the hill and to dry ground.

    What's best for my driveway? There was chert before but it had a big rut in the middle of it. That apparently has all been graded down so the trailer could make it down the hill. Should I go with chert again or the nicer looking gray gravel? Is there a fundamental difference that will make one better than the other or should I just call up several places and order alot of what ever is cheapest?
     
  2. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    Here we can buy recycled concrete that has been through a crusher for about $4 to $5 per ton. The stuff is great for a base material for a fresh cut road.
     

  3. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    What is the volume for a ton of crushed concrete? I really do not know. How much area would a ton cover? I'm thinking I need at least two really big dumptruck loads to get everything covered the way I think it needs to be done. I may need many more. I don't know.
     
  4. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

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    Duh, just remember we don't have a clue about your driveway. :no:

    The real answer is first you must tell us something about the soil mechanics. There is no one answer. Somethings work in some situations and totally fail in others.

    In terms of mud and getting stuck, usually it relates to a big fancy word "Thixotropic. This is the property of a particular soil and how it reacts to the addition of a fluid like water. Some soils become like quicksand, others simply pass water and drain well.

    If you have the wrong soil type, nothing you can add has much effect. A bit like permafrost or some swamp soils. In the really bad situations, you can't "Fill", the solution is to devise a way to Float Over the "Problem Mud".

    Complex discussion but you must first know a bit about the general subject of soils and how they react under different situations. Example are those darling soils in California that undergo the bad mud slides. They have the Thixotropic characteristic in spades. Usually you attempt to treat horrible Thixotropic soils with additives like maybe cement or some binder to change the soil mechanics at a base level. So when water is added it reacts totally different.
     
  5. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    Wow, you're using big words for a dumb hick to understand. I think we all call this stuff "red mud." I have no idea of it's mechanical ability. :haha:

    The driveway is about 15 feet wide at the top and about 35 feet wide at the bottom with room for a turnaround. The tow truck parked at the top of the hill and let out his 100 feet winch cable. It didn't reach the car at the bottom so he had to back up about 20 feet. I'd say it's about 150 feet from the top to the bottom.

    Does that help?
     
  6. Cosmic

    Cosmic Well-Known Member

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    Nope: :no:

    What do the locals do???

    Does filling the tire track paths with gravel normally work in that particular area????

    In some areas, it is better to first use large flat rocks or something with a lot of area as a base, then progressively smaller materials up to the surface. In some soils, the only thing that really works is to improve their drainage. In others you need some form of additives.

    A good guide is first ask around and find out what is known to work local in most cases??? What type of tricks, bases or materials are used by the local road builders for non-paved roads?

    If your local soils typically become quagmires in the early spring, gravel usually is not the best solutions. Something like chunks of railroad ties buried in a sort of "Corduroy Road" probably is better suited. :D

    The situation has been addressed many times before. I have been stuck in Texas but never in the South in that Red Mud. What did Sherman do in Georgia, probably the same thing required today???? :D Only a long chain and strong truck works on a rental car in Texas. :haha:
     
  7. SouthernThunder

    SouthernThunder Well-Known Member

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    Howdy Daybird! We have just about every soil type you can think of here in oklahoma (short of permafrost ,thank God). I'm just an old country boy so I can't say much for the science of it all but I always approach a road in the same manner. If you drive on wet dirt, you are gonna have mud. I just got finished doing several hundred feet of driveway and did it like this.

    With a backhoe I trench along the side of the road (about 5 feet from the edge) and try to work with the natural flow of the land as far as water runoff is concerned. I grade the road so that it slants on one side to allow water to run off into the trench. What you want to do is have the road bed significantly higher than the surrounding land but you don't want water standing on either side and you sure don't want it standing on the road.

    For areas that are already problems or that look like potential holes I sink some big stones that are usually available on site. I then dump the dirt from the trench on the road bed to help build it up a little and cover the big rocks.

    Then I haul in the large concrete washout, quite a bit in fact because its free around here. Then regrade. Then if you want to have a realy durn good road you can use geotextile (found out about that from this site) and cover with pea gravel.

    Word of advice... look into getting your own dumptruck. My old '67 was around 500 bux so after hauling a couple loads of gravel it paid for itself. Good luck!
     
  8. gobug

    gobug Well-Known Member Supporter

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    cement weighs 3 tons per cubic yard
     
  9. BCR

    BCR Well-Known Member

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    Our driveway is not as wide as yours throughout but about as long. We had a solid base already and I bought 25 tons of clean 3/4 inch gravel to dress it up/fix problem spots. I really need another 15 tons to finish now that the first is settled. I had asked a local farmer to help me estimate as he gets gravel all the time, and then I added 5 tons to it, but I would have liked more to put on the parking 'pad' itself. 50,000 pounds sounds like a lot, but it isn't when it comes to rocks.

    Call your local quarry/limestone dealer. Ask them what they recommend. They may even come out and give you an estimate. Have them deliver it and have the driver 'tail-gate' it for you. This is where he carefully lets out gravel from his dumptruck as he drives along. Some of the trucks can haul over 30 ton per truck. Remember to ask about the total fee for purchase of the materials and delivery. You can pick it up piece-meal by yourself and shovel it out, but consider the time and effort this will take you, as well as the cost of running your trcuk out for only a half-ton or so at a time. The 25 tons I ordered was on the ground in less than 20 minutes, very much worth it to us.
     
  10. angus_guy

    angus_guy Well-Known Member

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    Chert is much like clay with chunks very good as a base packs very hard but will wash out quickly

    My advise would be after it dries grade the chert and put crush and run on top of this but as a previous post suggest use the natural slope of the land to get the "h20 run off" off of the drive as quickly as possible if water begins to "stream" you will constantly be dragging the gravel back to the top of the hill
     
  11. Darren

    Darren Still an :censored:

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    Here's a reference to figure out how much stone you'll need.

    http://www.pavainc.com/pages/conversion.html

    You need to divert the water so it doesn't run down your driveway. Next time you find yourself sliding in an automatic transmission car, put it in neutral and feather the brakes.
     
  12. halfpint

    halfpint Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Daybird:
    I'm assuming what you have is Alabama Red Clay, which when wet can be slicker than ice. In this area, people either use chirt or Red Dog to build up a base, which is what you will need to do first to fill in your ruts and make sure you have it graded so that water runs off the sides and that runoff from other areas does not go onto the driveway. After you get this base in, you will need to put in gravel. Usually the people who deliver this can look at your driveway and tell you what size you need. If you have a steep drive, you will in the long term spend more on replacing it than if you can concrete or pave it. We concreted our drive, and our neighbors with about the same slope have had to replace their gravel about three times, so over the period of the 17 years we have both lived here they have spent significantly more than our initial cost.
    halfpint
     
  13. DayBird

    DayBird Big Bird

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    Thanks to everyone for the help, especially those who gave a simple answer as I'm a simple man.

    What is red dog? How does it differ from chert? I just remember as a kid, my dad got chert for our driveway but it had no slope to it at all. It packed down very tight.

    Our driveway angles down the hill so as not to be so steep. There is no way that I can think of to keep water off of it. The grader guy cut into the bank even deeper than was there. There's at least a 3 feet wall of red clay on the left side and the right side is higher than the left. The water runs off the hill, drops down the wall and hits the driveway. Water from the right side of the driveway runs into this wall and then travels down the hill. I would eventually like to concrete it. I will probably have this done by next winter. This move has taken every cent I have.

    Thankfully, my property has more than one driveway. There is no easy way to explain it but there is one when you first approach the driveway. It just curves around and comes back out at the road. From that second driveway, there is a straight path down to the chicken shed. It's the third driveway that I slid in.

    This is the one that was graded. This one goes all the way down to the bottom of the hill where the trailer sits. About a quarter of the way down is still graveled nicely and is passable. It's at this point that a circular drive curving around to in front of the house come from the muddy drive and goes back to it. I know it's hard to follow. I can make due without gravelling this drive for the time being, but I know the longer I wait, the more likely it is to wash out.