| Gravel road maintenance with a grader|
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|I'm trying to figure out how to do a nice job on our lane with a 550 Dresser. I'm making two passes (north and south) pulling into the middle of the road from the edges say an inch deep, but am struggling on the technique to feather it out nice from there. Do I need to do it in four passes perhaps? The grass is giving me fits and it won't feather properly. The county guys are running blades with fingers on them and they don't seem to have near the problems that I do with a straight blade.|
It takes time, on my road I pull it all to the center, then make 2-3 passes blade lifted off the ground with the wheels of the grader or tractor lined up on top of the windrow to pack and break the fines loose. You need to pull these fines back with the gravel to help pack and hold the grave in placel. The fingered blades pull a lot of gravel back off the side but leave the grass and fines, then you end up with loose gravel in the center of the road that is easily thrown back to the edges by traffic. If it's been too long between gradings it may have to stay in the road for a couple days before it gets smoothed out. I find it works best to grade when you think it's too wet, that way you have enough moisture to get a good pack on the material. Grading a road dry probably does more harm than good. A Harely rake type device or smooth packer would be best. Just my opinion, but I commend you for pulling it to the middle, county grader "here" just 2 passes it flat and leaves giant pile on the side of the road.
Edited by Matt NCOK 3/28/2012 07:07
|I volunteered to run my township blade this year and i am having the same problem you have. Our township has a one way disk, about 4 feet wide and at a steep angle. That chops the grass up and also pulls the gravel out of the ditch as well. Our roads are so bad that they no longer have a crown on the roads so trying to build a crown back up is proving very difficult!!! Once the grass is chopped up it flows through the blade alot better. I think the township payed $500-$600, money well spent!!|
|Thanks for the input! So you make 2-3 passes with your blade at zero degrees and rotated back? I don't have a roller on my rig or did you mean the wheels of the grader? It had been a year so it's been awhile. Thanks again.|
|We have a lot of trouble with grass and leaves on our road. Round-up will take care of the grass and I usually spray three times a summer with left over spray. The leaves are another story. About the only way I can do much with them is set the blade at a high angle and throw everything in the middle when there is some moisture in it so it will flow off the blade. This results in a big lumpy middle that the blade will not smooth out. We run over this with the disc several times, first w/o the board to chew it up, then 2-3 more with the board and the disc set to throw towards the middle to smooth it out. This results in a real nice road with lots of crown but it needs to be packed down good before the next rain or you will have a real mess. Packs best if you can run some heavy trucks over it lots of times.|
SW Minnesota, Lyon County
|If you have sod mixed in, it is going to be a mess for awhile. You will need to have traffic on it to break up the pieces and then reblade it to try to smooth it out. It will probably take at least a couple more times of blading to make it smooth. I just bladed a lane for a resident of the township and he wanted shoulders cut and a crown built. I was up and down the lane at least a dozen times trying to bust the sod apart. He put gravel on top and it was good until it drizzled all week and then was a mess again. I bladed it again yesterday and put a crown on it. It is still going to take some time to get it into shape.|
|The more dirt and gravel you bring with the grass the better for leveling the road. The grass will be a problem until it dry's and you can regrade the road. You can't do the job you are trying to do with one grading. Cut the road with the grader below the depth of any potholes, grade to the middle, blade just enough to spread the turf and rock about tread width for a single lane road. When you get a rain, not mud, regrade and build the crown like you want it. |
This is how it worked for me when I used to grade roads.
Good luck, and take care, it's that time of the year.
|Good advice all. I was closer than I thought to doing it right but definitely learned a few things. |
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