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How To Prevent Gravel Driveway Erosion

gravel driveway erosion

Gravel driveways are one of the best ways to cut costs when installing a new driveway, but they are susceptible to erosion. You’ll need to perform regular maintenance to prevent gravel driveway erosion. That way, you’ll get the most out of your investment! 

How To Prevent Gravel Driveway Erosion

Do you need to know how to prevent gravel driveway erosion? We’re here to help! Read on to learn about our gravel driveway maintenance tips, plus some information about repairs and the perfect tool to keep your driveway in tip-top shape year-round.

Follow These Five Steps:

Step 1:

Start by constructing your driveway with crusher gravel. Typically, crusher gravel will form a more compact surface and resist erosion. 

Step 2:

When you apply the gravel, form a crown in the center of the driveway. It should be higher in the middle and taper out to the sides. The crown’s height will help divert water from the center of the drive to the sides and reduce erosion. 

Step 3:

Install water bars along the driveway at a 30-degree angle to the road. Water bars are cross sections of the driveway fortified with treated lumber and rebar spikes. They help divert water to the sides of the driveway, thus reducing the likelihood of erosion. 

Step 4:

Dig trenches along the driveway and line them with gravel or vegetation. They’ll catch water runoff and prevent erosion over time. 

Step 5:

Plant absorbant shrubs or trees along the gravel driveway to help soak up excess water. It will prevent runoff channels from forming and erosion from occurring. 

How to Repair a Gravel Driveway After Erosion

Over time, it’s almost guaranteed that your gravel driveway will lose volume due to gravel displacement and pressure from vehicles. To prevent major problems and costly repairs, it’s best to perform routine maintenance and make repairs when you notice damage has occurred. 

Perform Routine Maintenance

Walking your driveway regularly with a rake in hand while keeping your eye out for potential issues is best to do periodically. If you spot any stray objects that shouldn’t be there (trash, leaves, limbs, other debris, etc.), go ahead and rake those out. 

Scrape off any soil buildup that occurs along the sides of the driveways, replace any missing or misplaced edging, and fill any depressions up with fresh gravel. If needed, you should also reshape the crown. 

Take matters into your own hands, add an inch of new gravel to your driveway annually, and compact it down after spreading. This will help prevent major erosion from occurring. 

Make Timely Repairs

As soon as you notice any significant damage to your driveway, such as depressions, channels, or areas of gravel thinning, you should take action immediately and make any necessary repairs before erosion worsens. 

Evenly distribute what gravel is left, rake any displaced gravel back onto the driveway, and fill all the grooves or potholes with freshly crushed stones. Using a rake or shovel, level the area, and compact it down with a compactor or drive your vehicle across it several times. Lastly, restore the driveway’s crown. 

Invest in the Best Gravel Driveway Maintenance Tool

Gravel is a fantastic driveway solution, but it requires some maintenance. Take matters into your own hands and invest in the Agritek Driveway Scraper.

The Driveway Scraper is available in multiple sizes and easily attached to your tractor or mower to safely maintain that steep gravel driveway. It has front blades to smooth out high spots, while rear blades use the material from those high spots to fill in any low areas, ensuring everything is even once you’re done. It works on both flat and contour surfaces.

If you’re interested in the Driveway Scraper, give our team a call or contact us online for more information. 

The material and information contained on this website is for general information purposes only. You should not rely upon the material or information on the website as a basis for making business, legal or other decisions.

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Gravel vs. Asphalt Driveways: What’s the Difference?

gravel vs. asphalt driveway

Too often, we neglect our driveways because they’re just one of those difficult problems to solve. But would your life be easier if you had an asphalt driveway, instead of gravel? Let’s take a closer look at the differences between the two, so you can make the best choice for your home. 

When deciding on a driveway material, it’s important to weigh your options. The material you choose can affect its appearance, durability, maintenance, functionality, and of course, your budget. Here’s everything you need to know about the two options:

Gravel vs. Asphalt Driveways

If you’re considering installing a new driveway, you might be considering gravel vs. asphalt driveways. Both options have pros and cons, and we’ll dive into them so you can make an educated decision. 

What Are Gravel Driveways?

Gravel is any loose stone or rock larger than a piece of sand but smaller than cobble. The size range is from 1/10 inch to 2 ½ inches in diameter. Gravel can be used for many applications and is a common material throughout the United States for driveways. 

What Are Asphalt Driveways?

Asphalt is one of the most common materials for driveways, roads, and parking lots. It’s a semi-solid form of petroleum and is made up of a mixture of crushed stone, gravel, sand, and bitumen. Bitumen is a byproduct of petroleum that holds the mixture together. 

What Are the Pros and Cons of Gravel Driveways?

Gravel is a popular option for driveways because it’s cheaper than other materials, but what are the downsides? Do they outweigh the upsides? Take a look and decide for yourself. 

The Pros of Gravel Driveways

  • Budget-friendly – Gravel is one of the most affordable materials for driveways, with the average cost being between $1.25 and $1.80 per square foot.
  • Variety of styles available – Gravel comes in a variety of colors, so it’s easy to find an option that complements your home’s aesthetic. 
  • Quick installation – Laying a gravel driveway can be done in one day and used immediately after finishing. 
  • Easy repairs – If your driveway gets potholes, you can easily repair them by adding fresh gravel to the area. 

The Cons of Gravel Driveways

  • Dirty – When you drive down gravel driveways, dust, dirt, and debris can fly up and cause your vehicle or home to become dirty. 
  • Difficult snow and ice removal – If you live in a cold climate, you might encounter trouble removing snow and ice from your gravel driveway. Some snow blowers and plows can’t be used because they will disturb the crushed rock.
  • Prone to ruts – Gravel driveways with a high traffic level may be prone to developing ruts. 
  • Requires maintenance – To get the most out of your investment, you’ll need to maintain your gravel driveway regularly. This includes regrading, raking, removing debris, pulling weeds, fixing holes, etc. 

What Are the Pros and Cons of Asphalt Driveways?

A high-quality asphalt driveway can perform similarly to concrete driveways but at a fraction of the cost. However, asphalt driveways are far more expensive than gravel driveways. Take a look at the pros and cons of asphalt driveways to decide if it’s the right option for your home. 

The Pros of Asphalt Driveways

  • Long lifespan – With proper maintenance, asphalt driveways can last between 12 and 35 years. 
  • Sleek Appearance – Asphalt offers a sleeker and more orderly appearance compared to gravel driveways. 
  • Flexible in cold climates – Asphalt is a petroleum product, so it’s flexible and less crack resistant than concrete. It’s also less likely to be damaged by salt and ice melt.
  • Easy installation – Professionals can easily install asphalt driveways, usually within one day. 

The Cons of Asphalt Driveways

  • Higher price – Asphalt costs more than gravel driveways, coming in at about $2 to $6 per square foot. 
  • Style limitations – Black is the only color available for asphalt driveways. 
  • Required maintenance – Asphalt driveways should be sealed every two to five years, and cracks and holes should be repaired as soon as possible.
  • Prone to heat – Asphalt can reach high temperatures during hot weather conditions. It can become pliable and soft, which causes indentations and marks.

Should You Install a Gravel or Asphalt Driveway?

To summarize, asphalt driveways provide a strong, flat surface that’s easy to take care of during winter months. Gravel is significantly less expensive and requires maintenance, but it can be done yourself. Plus, it comes in an array of styles and colors. Weigh your options and make an informed decision that’s best for your property. 

Make the Most Out of Your Gravel Driveway Investment

If you’re interested in installing a gravel driveway, invest in Agritek’s Driveway Scraper. You can maintain and grade your gravel driveway anytime you want. You’ll be able to make the most out of your investment and keep your driveway in tip-top condition all year long. 

Need more info? Contact our experienced professionals today! 

The material and information contained on this website is for general information purposes only. You should not rely upon the material or information on the website as a basis for making business, legal or other decisions.

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What’s the Best Way To Grade a Gravel Driveway?

grading gravel driveway

If you have a gravel driveway or road on your home or property, you know that they require regular upkeep and maintenance. Grading your driveway is the best way to fix common problems and prevent them from occurring in the future. But what’s the best way to grade a gravel driveway? Here’s the inside scoop!

Why Should I Grade My Gravel Driveway?

When you grade a driveway or other area, you’ll fill in uneven spots and create drainage with gravel before re-smoothing it into an even surface. 

Every property is different, and there’s an array of issues that can arise when you own a gravel driveway. When you grade the area, it can be a quality fix for many concerns. It can also help to prevent these inconveniences from happening in the future.

Some of the most common problems that arise with gravel driveways that can be fixed with grading include:

  • Deep paths formed from driving in the same spot over and over again
  • Ruts develop that are uncomfortable and dangerous to drive over
  • Gravel is compacted and uneven
  • Washouts appear after heavy rain

The 3 Best Ways To Grade a Gravel Driveway

There are several ways to grade and maintain a gravel driveway, including grading by hand, using a driveway grader, and using a tractor. Discover the best option for your property and budget that will leave you with top-notch results that will last. 

  1. Grading a Driveway By Hand

One of the best ways you can maintain your gravel driveway by hand is by regularly raking it to keep it even and avoid debris buildup. Heavy equipment will be needed if you’re looking for a full regrading.

If your driveway has just a few potholes, you can fill them by hand. This is a quick fix that won’t last long-term, and potholes might reappear relatively quickly. However, if you don’t have access to heavy-duty equipment or you’re trying to save money, grading by hand is a solid solution. 

When you’re fixing a pothole by hand, it’s important to remember that the loose fill will wash away the next time it rains. Your main concern should be the compaction of the pothole surface. Loosen up the hole to a depth of a few inches before filling it. 

  • Use a pick or mattock to loosen up the pothole surface. 
  • Add new gravel slowly. Be sure to compact the new gravel as you go. 
    • Hint: Tamping with a post or a five-gallon bucket works, or you can roll over it with your vehicle. 
  • Add water to increase the compaction of the new gravel you filled in. 
  1. Grading a Driveway With a Tractor

If you own a tractor, you can pair it with a box scraper or other attachment to grade your driveway. Before grading, you should fill any potholes’ low spots with new gravel (see above for filling potholes by hand or consider investing in a backhoe attachment).

  • Pull gravel from the left side of your driveway towards the center. 
  • Repeat this step to make sure the gravel is decompacted. 
  • Pull gravel from the right side of your driveway towards the center. 
  • Repeat this step to make sure the gravel is decompacted. 
  • Walk through the center of the driveway with a shovel and remove any debris.
    • While doing this step, create a slight crown down the center of the driveway for proper drainage.
  • Level any piling formed at the driveway’s ends by going back and forth over the area to redistribute the gravel. 
  • Ride up and down the driveway several times to smooth and set the gravel.
  1. Hire a Professional Grading Contractor 

Hiring a professional grading contractor is a solid option if you need to build a new gravel driveway from scratch, grade for maintenance, or have it repaired. The process is time-consuming, and if you’re not comfortable working on your own or don’t have the proper tools, improper grading can happen – resulting in erosion, potholes, and water buildup. 

When hiring a gravel driveway contractor, it’s best to gather multiple quotes and compare them to find the best solution. Don’t be afraid to do some research and look around — you might find that as often as most gravel driveways need to be serviced, it might pay off to have your own tools after all!

Invest in Your Own Gravel Driveway Maintenance Tools

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If you want to avoid hiring professional help for your driveway, take matters into your own hands. You want your gravel to last a long time to get the most of your investment. 

If you’re looking for the best way to grade a gravel driveway, you can’t do better than the Driveway Scraper. This helpful tool attaches to your tractor and efficiently smooths out dirt and gravel driveways. It can also work on any job where gravel needs to be leveled, such as parking lots and golf courses. Beyond gravel and driveways, it can also level out topsoil for planting and landscaping.

The Driveway Scraper attaches to the 3-point hookup on your tractor and uses its front blades to smooth out high spots, while the rear blade uses the material from those high spots to fill in any low spots, ensuring everything is even once you’re done. It also works on both flat and contour surfaces.

For more information, visit the Driveway Scraper page, or get in touch with our team! 

The material and information contained on this website is for general information purposes only. You should not rely upon the material or information on the website as a basis for making business, legal or other decisions.

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Check Out the 7 Best Gravel Driveway Maintenance Tips

gravel driveway maintenance tips

Gravel driveways are beautiful and they’re a popular, affordable solution for many homeowners and businesses. Like any other driveway option, they do require regular maintenance so you can get the most out of them. Here are seven gravel driveway maintenance tips to keep your driveway in tip-top shape for years to come. 

How To Maintain a Gravel Driveway

Are you considering investing in a gravel driveway? This driveway material is becoming more and more popular for an array of reasons, such as:

  • Wide color range
  • Affordability 
  • Quick installation
  • Eco-friendly 
  • Permeability 

Although there are many pros to owning a gravel driveway, it’s important to note that they are not low-maintenance. To get the most out of your investment, routine upkeep is key. 

We’re here to help! Here are seven helpful tips for gravel driveway maintenance. 

  1. Rake Your Driveway

Investing in a high-quality rake is key for maintaining your gravel driveway. Choose a heavy-duty rake made for gravel so you can effectively sift through the gravel and filter out debris. 

Raking your driveway can also help to keep a smooth surface. Bare spots can develop over time from wind and rain, and keeping the area will keep it looking clean and make it easier to walk on. 

  1. Fix Any Potholes

If potholes develop on your driveway, damage to your car and wheel rims can occur. If you shovel gravel into the holes, the solution won’t last very long. You’ll need to apply a new layer of gravel and compact it with a heavy roller. 

To fix potholes, you can handle the task yourself or use a gravel driveway contractor. 

  1. Don’t Use Snowplows

One of the best tips to keep in mind during winter is to avoid using snowplows. Snowplow blades will catch gravel and distribute it haphazardly. Once the snow melts, you’ll see that you have to redistribute gravel. 

We only recommend using a snowplow if you have a long gravel driveway. Otherwise, it’s best to use a shovel or snow blower to remove snow. 

  1. Leave One Inch of Snow on the Driveway

Typically, snow is removed from sidewalks and driveways because it drastically reduces the amount of traction that tires can get. However, gravel helps provide natural traction, even with a layer of snow on it. 

You can leave about a full inch of snow on your driveway without sacrificing traction or safety. This will help to keep your gravel in place and keep your driveway looking pristine. 

  1. Keep an Eye on Drainage Issues

Water is a dangerous beast and can quickly wreak havoc anywhere. Gravel driveways are no exception. 

If you’re experiencing problems with washout, your driveway probably has some drainage issues. You can either add more gravel to make your driveway higher than the surrounding areas or install a ditch to pull the water away where it’s overflowing. 

  1. Spray Your Driveway Down

Over time, gravel will get crushed into dust, which will get kicked up as you drive over it and leave your car filthy. Proper crushed stone driveway maintenance includes spraying down your driveway from time to time. 

You can spray your driveway with a basic garden hose to keep the dust weighed down and loosen up any dirt clumps that get stuck. Or, you can stabilize your driveway with pavers to help prevent gravel from getting crushed. 

  1. Regularly Grade Your Driveway

Regularly grading your driveway is one of the best ways to keep it in ideal condition and prevent vehicle damage. We recommend that you grade your driveway at least once or twice a year. 

For optimal convenience, invest in your own tools to grade and maintain your gravel driveway. The Agritek Driveway Scraper attaches to the 3-point hookup on your tractor. It allows you to smooth out and recondition your dirt or gravel driveway, path, or lot. 

Keep Your Gravel Driveway in Top-notch Shape With the Driveway Scraper

Now that you know how to maintain a gravel driveway, it’s time to jump into action! If your gravel driveway has seen some wear and tear, Agritek’s Driveway Scraper is just what you need to get it back in shape. 

As an award-winning solution, the Driveway Scraper is perfect for leveling gravel driveways, and is available in three sizes! Contact our team to learn more.

The material and information contained on this website is for general information purposes only. You should not rely upon the material or information on the website as a basis for making business, legal or other decisions.

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5 Steep Driveway Solutions

steep driveway solutions

A steep driveway can be difficult to drive up and down every day for both you and your car. Ideally, a driveway shouldn’t be any steeper than a 12-15% slope, but when you live in a place with lots of hills, that’s not always possible. When your driveway is steeper than that, it can be difficult to maintain — and when your driveway is tough to maintain, that’s even harder on you and your car.

Luckily, there are some easy ways you can fix the problem without spending a ton of money. Your car is sure to thank you for it.

#1. Add Gravel

If you have a steep incline, a gravel driveway is going to work better than a paved one. It will provide more traction, especially in rain and slippery conditions. If you’re building a house and starting from scratch, gravel is the way you want to go.

If you already have a paved driveway in front of your home, installing a gravel one may be your best option. It’s not as attractive, but it’s better than having your car slip down the driveway.

Though gravel can erode as time goes on, this is a problem that’s easily remedied. Simply add more gravel when needed and smooth it out with a Driveway Scraper. If there are any low spots, the Driveway Scraper can easily smooth them out.

Considering it’s one of the cheapest driveway materials, gravel is the best way to go for those on a budget as well.

#2. Add Curves to Your Steep Driveway

Redesigning your existing driveway can also work if you’re dealing with a particularly steep one. You will have to do some significant reconfiguring, so it’s not always the cheapest option, but it is one of the most effective way to make a steep driveway more manageable, and longer-lasting. 

Redesigning your driveway to have more curves can make descending to the street much more gradual and not such a steep drop. When you’re driving in the dark or during a storm, you’ll feel a whole lot better going up or down your driveway when it has a few more curves.

#3. Add Safety Barriers

If you’re worried about skidding off your driveway because of how steep it is, consider adding a safety barrier on either side of the path. If you happen to slide, the barriers can stop you before you slide too far and end up sliding into oncoming traffic. 

You don’t necessarily have to have barriers along the edge of the whole path either. You can put them in the spots that make you the most nervous.

These barriers can be made of just about anything including stone, wood, brick, or even bushes. Whatever material you choose, this option is much cheaper than redoing your whole driveway.

#4. Add a Ramp

To reduce the steepness in different areas of your driveway, you can also add a ramp. Whether your driveway has gradually eroded over the years or there’s simply a natural dip that you don’t like, adding a ramp (or a gap ramp) can help fill in that space and make the drive a lot more manageable.

These ramps can be made of concrete, wood, or steel and you can either buy a premade one or hire someone to make one for you. It really depends on how much you want to pay.

You’ll also want to make sure there is a tread plate on the ramp so it doesn’t become too slippery.

#5. Invest in the Right Tools

No matter what, proper maintenance of a steep driveway is what will keep it as safe as possible. A steep driveway that no one has cared for is much more dangerous than one that is regularly maintained to remove potholes and ensure that the grade is as low as it possibly can be. 

If you have a steep gravel driveway, the best tool available to you is the Driveway Scraper. Available in multiple sizes, it is easily attached to your tractor or mower to maintain that steep gravel driveway safely. 

Fix your steep gravel driveway in no time. The Driveway Scraper from Agritek offers the robust, easy-to-use solution you need to get your driveway back in shape. Give us a call or contact us online to learn more. 

The material and information contained on this website is for general information purposes only. You should not rely upon the material or information on the website as a basis for making business, legal or other decisions.

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7 Most Useful Tractor Attachments

Tractor Attatchment

Many people use tractors as part of their everyday lives. Homeowners, ranchers, farmers, and landscapers all use tractors for numerous jobs and chores. But if you’re using a tractor and not using any attachments, you may be missing out on all the ways a tractor can support those many daily tasks. Let’s take a look at a few of the most useful tractor attachments that will lighten up your workload, and even make your time outdoors more efficient. 

1. Rotary Tiller

Whether you have a large vegetable garden or you need to till a field to put in new crops, the rotary tiller attachment is one of the best tools you can use for this job. It cuts deep into the soil and turns it up so you can have a fresh layer that’s perfect to lay down seeds.

It can also be used to mulch organic matter, blend fertilizer into the soil, or mix gravel.

The rotary tiller has curved forks that are attached to a rotating shaft and it’s all powered by the tractor itself. They also come in sizes from very compact to quite large. And the larger the rotary tiller, the deeper it goes into the soil.

2. Spreader

The spreader attachment is one of the most useful tractor attachments available. Whether you are spreading seeds across a field or salt on an icy road, the job doesn’t get much easier when you have a spreader. 

You simply fill the hopper with whatever material you’re looking to spread and then, once you get going, it spreads the material evenly over the land behind the tractor. It certainly makes it much easier than trying to do it by hand!

3. Front-End Loader

One of the more popular tractor attachments is the front-end loader. While it can certainly scoop up dirt or gravel, it can also do a whole lot more than that. The attachment can haul rocks, move manure or plant materials, and even carry firewood.

A front-end loader usually comes with a general-sized bucket but you can also connect a grapple bucket, a rock and root bucket, a manure fork, or blades. You can also connect it to a pallet loader and pull pallets off a trailer.

4. Landscape Rake

Landscape rakes look exactly like you think they would. They look like a massive rake that you attach to your tractor. They are also known as rock rakes or york rakes and are used to scrape through dirt, grass, rocks, or other types of soil. 

Unlike a tiller, they do not go too deep into the soil. They barely break through the surface. They are typically used if you want to clear away rocks, roots, or debris from the area you’re working on. They also do a great job breaking up clumps of dirt. They leave the soil perfect for laying down seeds.

5. Finish Mower

The finish mower attachment has three blades and you can control the mowing height with four gauge wheels. There are also usually belts that move the blades.

This attachment is built for mowing open areas and for cutting your lawn short but without scalping it. It’s perfect for sporting fields. 

It works well for fine and groomed mowing and will have your grass looking like it should be in a landscaping magazine. And it’s a whole lot easier than taking a regular lawn mower over a big expanse of land.

6. Grading Blade

A grading blade does exactly what it says it does. It’s great for grading a driveway, preparing the ground for plants, and even removing snow after a big storm. 

When purchasing a grading blade, you want to look for one that is the same width as your tractor. Choosing one wider and your tractor may not have enough power to operate it. If it’s too narrow, the blade won’t cover as great a distance and it will take you much more time to get the job done. Grading blades usually range anywhere from 5-8 feet.

7. Driveway Scrapers and Graders

A driveway grading tool is the ultimate tool for any tractor, as it has multiple uses across different property types. The Driveway Scraper, for example, can smooth out your dirt or gravel driveway as the name suggests, but it also works on any job where gravel needs to be leveled out, from parking lots to golf courses.

The Driveway Scraper attaches to the 3-point hookup on your tractor and uses its front blades to smooth out high spots while the rear blade uses the material from those high spots to fill in any low spots ensuring everything is even once you’re done. It also works on both flat and contour surfaces.

Beyond gravel and driveways, it can also level out topsoil for planting and landscaping.

At Rapidtek, we do grading blades like nobody else in the industry. Our DS Series Driveway Scrapers can be easily attached to your tractor, then used to level dirt and gravel driveways, parking lots, playing surfaces, and more. If you’re looking to purchase one of your own, contact our team for more information. We’re happy to find the product that suits your application best. 

The material and information contained on this website is for general information purposes only. You should not rely upon the material or information on the website as a basis for making business, legal or other decisions.

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How to Grade a Driveway

grading gravel driveway

Regularly grading your driveway is key to keeping it in good condition and preventing damage to vehicles that drive on it. But having a driveway graded professionally on a regular basis can be costly, especially if you have a long driveway, or have a series of gravel drives on your property. In such cases, doing it yourself can be a great option. But first, you need to know how to grade a driveway.

Why grade your driveway?

Gravel and dirt driveways (and parking lots and roads) degrade over time. Rain, snow, and ice can all affect the surface of the driveway, as can dry conditions and poor drainage. Even just driving on dirt and gravel driveways can cause compaction and settling of the materials, altering the driving surface.

If you don’t grade your driveway, you may experience

  • Washouts during heavy rain
  • Washboard ruts
  • Potholes
  • Compaction of the dirt or gravel

These can pose problems for your vehicle, as ruts and potholes can wreak havoc on your suspension or bend your rims. It can also mean that you’ll have to replace the lost soil or gravel to make the surface safe and driveable. Regularly grading your driveway can prevent or mitigate these issues, saving you damage to your vehicle and the cost of replacing lost gravel.

How do you grade a driveway?

Grading a driveway is relatively simple, provided you have the right tools, and a solid understanding of how to complete the task. Let’s take a closer look at what you need to grade a driveway. 

Start with the Right Equipment

  • Driveway grader — a driveway grader (a.k.a. a box grader or motor grader) is a tow-behind tool that grades (i.e., smooths) dirt and gravel surfaces. Graders have front blades or teeth that cut down material that has built up above the rest of the surface and side or back blades or teeth that push the excess material into dips, ruts, or holes in the surface.
  • Lawnmower, tractor, or truck with towing capabilities
  • Quick-tach adapter, if using a larger tractor with Class 2 hookups or with a quick-tach system
  • Gravel rake
  • Gravel, if it’s necessary to replace missing gravel

Follow these 6 Steps to Properly Grade Your Driveway

  1. Attach your driveway grader to your towing vehicle.
  2. Set your driveway grader to the deepest possible grading setting to loosen the gravel or dirt, possibly adding weight to the grader.
  3. Perform two or three passes over each section of the driveway to ensure that the gravel is de-compacted
  4. Sweep any gravel that has moved off the driveway and into the yard back onto the driveway and fill in any washed-out areas.
  5. Set your driveway grader to a shallower setting.
  6. Perform another two or three passes over each section of the driveway. This should evenly distribute the gravel over the surface of the driveway.

How often should you grade a driveway?

Professionally maintained gravel and dirt roads are generally graded twice per year, once in the fall and once in the spring. This is generally to help prevent and mitigate damage that will happen to the road in the high precipitation and cold temperatures of the winter months, and then to repair some of that damage in the spring.

For a driveway, semiannual grading in the fall and spring is a good place to start. You may find that you need to grade your particular driveway with greater frequency, depending on your soil and weather conditions and the amount of weight and traffic your driveway sees. You may also find that you need to grade your driveway after large storm events or when significant ruts or potholes appear.

As a general rule, a driveway should be graded when its crown—the higher part in the middle—is no longer maintained. This is because the crown aids in effectively draining the driveway, ameliorating some of the effects of stormwater and runoff. When the crown of the driveway is flattened, potholes and ruts are more likely to develop.

If you need to grade a driveway, parking lot, or other dirt or gravel surface, look to the DS Series Driveway Scrapers. Available in three different sizes and with a couple of optional accessories, it’s a versatile tool that can help you get the job done easily and effectively. If you have any questions, contact our team online.

The material and information contained on this website is for general information purposes only. You should not rely upon the material or information on the website as a basis for making business, legal or other decisions.

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What’s the Best Gravel for a Driveway? 

gravel for your driveway

Choosing the right gravel for your driveway is an important, yet often overlooked task. While it may seem fairly straightforward, it’s imperative to do a bit of research before making a selection. 

Let’s take a closer look at the different types of gravel, and which may be the best one for your driveway. 

Why Choose a Gravel Driveway?

But first, what makes gravel a good driveway material in the first place? With other options, like concrete, out there, what makes it desirable? 

Simply put, it’s the perfect choice for a person or business with a long driveway and a cost-conscious budget. It compacts well and sheds water easily, while also being relatively simple to maintain. 

On top of that, there are plenty of different types of gravel to choose from, with different rocks, stones, colors, shapes, and performance capabilities. In fact, there are so many choices — all with their own strengths and weaknesses — that the decision can get a bit overwhelming. You want a driveway that looks as nice as possible, but also one that performs well and won’t wash or roll away before you can even start to enjoy it. 

Gravel for Driveways: Which Is the Best Option? 

Which leads us back to our original question: what really is the best gravel for a driveway? It depends on your unique wants and needs. We know that’s not the most straightforward answer, but it really can vary based on a few different factors, such as your land, your climate, your aesthetic preferences, and more. 

But while we can’t quite make that decision for you, we can point you to some good options to start your search. Here are some of our favorites. 

2 Main Categories of Gravel for Driveways

First thing’s first — there are two overarching categories of gravel that each type can be sorted into: crushed stone and naturally formed gravel. There are several differences between these two, though they’re easily distinguishable based on appearance. 

  • Crushed stone has a jagged edge due to the manual crushing process. 
  • Naturally formed gravel has a smoother look due to natural weathering over time. 

4 Best Types of Gravel for Driveways

Within those two categories are many subtypes of gravel. Here are four that we’ve found to be the best types of gravel for driveways — along with some of their unique features, advantages, and disadvantages. 

1. #3 Gravel 

#3 gravel is a type of crushed stone, and it’s perfect for the base layer of a driveway. It’s made up of larger stone to create a solid base, and it encourages the draining process. It’s also one of the most affordable options. 

Since #3 gravel works well as a base layer, it can be combined with other types of gravels to complete a more aesthetically pleasing look. 

2. Crushed Stone #57

As the name suggests, this is a crushed stone. It’s a popular gravel for the middle layer of a driveway, but can complete a full driveway as well. It’s smaller than #3 gravel, it’s great for drainage, and the rocks don’t stick together the way some other gravel options do.

3. Pea Gravel

Pea gravel is a type of naturally formed gravel, measuring about ⅜ to ½ of an inch in size. It’s more aesthetically pleasing than most other gravels, and it’s a great choice for dressing up the top layer of a driveway. It also comes in many color options based on personal preference.

That said, pea gravel is a bit more expensive due to its visual appeal. In addition, due to its small size and inability to lock together like other gravels, it can migrate to other areas of the property over time after it’s been driven over. Proper upkeep is key with a pea gravel driveway.

4. Quarry Process (or Crusher Run

Quarry process is a type of crushed stone, measuring about a ¾ of an inch in size. It contains different rocks such as granite, limestone, trap rock, etc.

Quarry process can be used for driveways, but there are some things you should be aware of. It has more dust than other gravels, and as the dust settles between the rocks, it creates a smooth, solid surface. As a result, this type of gravel doesn’t drain as well as others if not installed properly. In order for it to not be washed away, it must be higher on the sides than in the middle, and must be put together by a skilled worker. 

Keep Your Gravel Driveway Compact & Level with the Driveway Scraper

No matter what kind of gravel you choose, you’ll likely need a tool to level it. For that, choose our award-winning Driveway Scraper (DS). Our DS Series is available in three sizes and includes both rigid and flat modes for flat or contoured surfaces. Contact our team for more information.

The material and information contained on this website is for general information purposes only. You should not rely upon the material or information on the website as a basis for making business, legal or other decisions.

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What is a Driveway Grader?

driveway scraper

If you have a gravel driveway or road on your property, you are probably aware of the problems that come with them. Ruts can develop which become uncomfortable or even dangerous to drive a vehicle over, and the gravel can become compacted and may need to be replaced after a few years. 

Sure, you can try to fix these issues by hand, but be aware that this is a short-term solution. To fix these problems and prevent them from happening in the future, you need to grade your driveway regularly using a driveway grader.

What is a Driveway Grader?

Also called box graders or motor graders, driveway graders are tools that you tow behind a truck or lawn tractor to smooth, or grade, a driveway or gravel roadway. Driveway graders rely on a straight-leveling blade and sometimes metal teeth to dig into the gravel and decompact it. 

The front blades of the grader cut down any high spots of dirt or gravel and move and mix that material to the sides. The wings then collect the excess material and push it into any dips and ruts on your path or surface area.

3 Types of Driveway Graders, Designed to Suit Your Application

Owning a driveway grader will save you money in the long run since you won’t have to continue to buy gravel to fill in potholes or replace areas that have been washed out. There is more than one option, however, when looking to buy a grader. Driveway Scrapers come in three different sizes to meet the needs of every customer.

DS-72

At 6 feet wide and 400 pounds, the DS-72 is perfect for use on golf courses or for customers who are looking for a more compact scraper than our most popular — the DS-96. The DS-72 has the added benefit of being able to leave it attached to your tractor when transporting to and from a location.

DS-96

Our most popular grader, the DS-96 is best suited for parking lots, gravel and dirt driveways, and playing area surfaces. With a width of 8 feet, this grader will make quick work of any unlevel areas on your property.

DS-120

Containing all of the same unique features as the DS-96, our 10-foot wide DS-120 allows you to grade larger areas that our smaller models are not suited for.

Key Features of the Driveway Scraper

All of the DS Series Driveway Scrapers have these particular features:

  • Grader can attach to a standard 3-point hookup.
  • They fill in ruts, removing the “washboard effect”
  • Front and rear blades are 1/2″ thick and are reversible
  • Do not create dips, swells, or gouging
  • Rigid mode (default mode) for flat surfaces
  • Float mode for contoured surfaces
  • Extra weight can easily be added to the center frame for added cutting power
  • Ideal for two-tracks & weed control in pastures
  • Leveling fill & topsoil in landscaping
  • Tractor pulls

Optional accessories to make your grading job even easier include the DS Quick-Tatch Adapter and the DS Ripper Blades. The Quick-Tatch Adapter bolts onto the frame of the DS Series Driveway Scrapers and provides easy access to hook-up to tractors with a Class 1 or 2 quick-attach system. It is adjustable to work with your existing system. The DS Ripper Blades offer a more aggressive cutting edge for your grading surface.

Looking to buy a driveway grader of your own? Check out the selection at Driveway Scraper! In business since 1987, our mission is to provide innovative solutions in engineered metal components, maintaining the flexibility to serve emerging needs in changing markets. 

Our award-winning DS Series Driveway Scrapers are perfect for leveling dirt and gravel driveways, as well as parking lots and playing surfaces. Available in three sizes, you’re sure to find one that suits your needs. Contact our team to learn more.

The material and information contained on this website is for general information purposes only. You should not rely upon the material or information on the website as a basis for making business, legal or other decisions.

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