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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have a 900 foot driveway leading to my ranch house and have been putting down a mixed bag of I believe river rock or varying sizes about every 5 years and looking for suggestions of other rock material for a smoother finish and longer lasting. The drive has been there for over 30 years so the base is there. Asphalt and concrete are not an option for I am looking for a more natural look.

In addition, any tips on who to hire, what machinery does the best job, amount of yards I would need, etc would be great! I am near Wallis Texas, which is an hour west of Houston.

Thanks,

Mark
 

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For that type of project I would say a good layer of asphalt millings although they may not look real natural......but they do well and don't get caught in the tire treads.
 

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I use CA6 (waste rock) because the different sizes seem to fit together better over time and the lime locks it in place. I put down about 5-6" and it makes for a really solid, level drive.

Ralph
 

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Here we put down crusher dust, really 1/4 minus. Packs, stays put, not dusty in summer.
 

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My 1,200-foot farm driveway used to wash out after every severe storm. It has a 175-foot vertical climb from township road to house site. Every few years, I would bring in more 2B (medium sized) gravel, spread it then rent a roller and compact it in. Eventually I got tired of doing this and last summer, I hired a paving contractor to Tar & Chip it.

He sprayed two coats of sealer and then one coat of light tar and immediately after that he spread 2A stone (pea gravel) and rolled it in. Looks like a natural, gravel road but now the gravel stays put.

Around here, Tar & Chip is about one third the cost of asphalt. Of course, he had a good base to start with so there was no grading or other prep work required.

Gary
 

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Railroad rock here, have three quarters of a mile of the stuff behind the farm. Take the whole bed though, not just the rock, the mix of sand, clay and cinders pack into a consistency like concrete after awhile. When I installed a insulated underground line to the shop took me longer to dig across the 25 foot of main driveway than it did the other 100 foot.
 

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Mark,

You should be able to get washout and or crushed concrete from a local independent trucker. It's the cheapest thing I've found that works. River rock is hard to compact because of the smooth rounded edges....like trying to compact marbles. If you've got a good base down, milled asphalt works well also but it's more work. You can spread the stuff with a boxblade, but then I'd run a (rented) vibratory roller on it.

Mike
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Anyone have any experience with limestone and caliche mix? Price a 100 more per truck than the river rock and clay. The bidder says he can roll to smooth and it will last longer than river rock and clay mix?

Thoughts?
 

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Anyone have any experience with limestone and caliche mix? Price a 100 more per truck than the river rock and clay. The bidder says he can roll to smooth and it will last longer than river rock and clay mix?

Thoughts?
I would agree with the bidder....Caliche will lock into place like crushed limestone......hard to get river rock to "lock in". I think Caliche is a type of limestone actually....my cousin built a home in McKinney several years ago and used Caliche stone on the exterior some ....gave a beautiful light colored effect.

Regards, Mike
 

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I've had good luck with "top ash" and "bottom ash" from the coal-burning power plant nearby... Can't remember which is which at the moment but I *think* the top ash is also called "fly ash" and is a light whitish-tan color, and rather fine, like wood ashes, but grittier. The stuff will make a terrific road bed once it "sets up". Had a new city neighbor move in and laid a bunch out on his driveway across his little wethole couple acres to his house site, and he hired me to come spread it for him. It had rained like four inches that week and I told him it'd be a mess, but he wanted it spread and was paying what I asked for, so "the customer's always right"... I took the grader blade over on the tractor and spread it out where he wanted it, and due to the water it basically was rolling like mayonnaise off the grader blade by the time I was through. Looked pretty lousy, but next summer I was shocked and amazed... once we got some dry weather, the stuff settled down and firmed up and was about like a concrete drive by the middle of that summer.

We did the old man's drive the same way when he needed it reworked, as well as our own after I'd laid a base with gravel/caliche mix I cut up and hauled in from an old oil well road on the other end of the farm with a rented pull-type scraper/ dirt pan. The fly ash is pretty mushy starting out after a few rains, but once it firms up, it's like concrete.

The old man wanted his smoother, so we top-dressed it that summer with bottom ash-- the bottom ash is actually melted "inclusions" in the coal-- when the peat forms into coal, any embedded sand or dirt gets trapped in the coal. As the coal burns in the power plant, it's exposed at the surface of the burning lignite as the carbon of the coal burns away around it. Of course being exposed to the very hottest part of the flame ends up melting the sand and dirt into something akin to welding slag or volcanic "glass"... these bits of molten "slag" or "clinkers" drop to the bottom of the ash left by the coal. The stuff looks like black sand when spread, only larger texture (like halfway between sand and pea gravel... little balls and broken bits about 1/8 inch in diameter). The stuff spreads very smoothly and fills well, but really you only want to topdress with it and fill holes and stuff-- by itself it never will really "lock in" to itself and form a hard base. Mixed with top ash though or used to top dress top ash so that the top ash locks it in place, it makes a poor-mans version of blacktop...

The nice thing about it is, it's CHEAP too...

Wash-out from a concrete plant is also really nice stuff... so long as you have something underneath it to help "lock it in place"...

Later and good luck! OL JR :)
 

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I get 3/4"to 1.5" clean limestone. $7.25 per ton. The Quarry is 1 mile from one place and 2.5 from the other. I like the bigger clean rock because the mud I drag in with my tires fills into it and it all sets up nice and hard eventually.
 

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Sounds like my driveway was until I put about a 2 inch layer of 3/4 crushed gravel over it The. Jagged edges binds it together real good . Nice and smooth now . I like it .
 

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Anyone have any experience with limestone and caliche mix? Price a 100 more per truck than the river rock and clay. The bidder says he can roll to smooth and it will last longer than river rock and clay mix?

Thoughts?
I live in the middle of a rangeland pasture , I hired a bunch of belly dumps to top a road I built with a road grader , it is a caliche / flint rock, was hell on tires for a while but it NEVER gets ruts or muddy . .................if you have a buddy who hauls from salt water from oil wells , dump it down the road and top it with fly ash .
 
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