Win a copy of 5 Acres & a Dream this week in the Homestead forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • r ranson
  • Mike Haasl
  • James Freyr
stewards:
  • paul wheaton
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Burra Maluca
garden masters:
  • Steve Thorn
  • Greg Martin
gardeners:
  • Kate Downham
  • Jay Angler
  • thomas rubino

I Finally Finished my Driveway Today

 
pollinator
Posts: 4958
1125
transportation duck trees rabbit tiny house chicken earthworks building woodworking
  • Likes 3
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Well I finished my driveway today…it only took me all summer to do it though!

It stared out in the spring with me getting stuck…with a 4 wheel drive SUV no less, because our driveway was lower then the lawn around it, and so water puddled there. So I went on a mission, and I dug ditches on both sides of the driveway, and got my driveway up by 2 feet.

Then it rained…for 3 weeks. The mud was so deep, that even I wondered if I had screwed up. Everyone in town told me I had.

Then the rain let up, and I started hauling gravel. My gravel pit is ¼ mile away, and my dump trailer holds a whopping 1 cubic yard. One trip means hauling it down to my pit, then unhooking it by starting the engine, lowering the outriggers, then moving the backhoe out of the way, and then digging into the gravel bank with my tractor bucket. Since I cannot fill my bucket of my tractor fully, it takes (4) buckets to fill the trailer. Then I hook it back up, start the engine, lift the outriggers, and drive it back up the hill to my driveway, and dump the load. All that for 1 cubic yard.

The first layer of gravel took 100 cubic yards…yep 100 trips, and on a good day I can do about 14 trips. That is what one dump truck hauls for a load. But hey, doing it myself with my own gravel, I save $150.

But there was a problem after I got my driveway surfaced. My driveway is D-shaped, and as we backed up the cars, the turn was too sharp, and the driveway too narrow, so the car went in the ditch. Ford Focus’s and 3 feet deep ditches do not work well, so I hauled another 20 yards and widened out that part of the driveway. Now no more backing up into a ditch because I had gravel to back up on.

But we also have two cars, so this often left us backing one car up all the way around the driveway, if the other car needed to get out. That was kind of a pain. So, I thought I would widen the driveway so it could be (2) cars wide, but I had a ditch, and two bridges on one side, and a hand dug well on the other side. So, I hauled another 10 cubic yards of gravel so I could at least drive around the other car if it was parked, and not back up.

That sort of worked, but there was barely enough room to do so, and no room if you opened the door and stepped out. So, I hauled another ten loads of gravel, and widened the driveway yet again.

But that was the upper driveway, what about the lower driveway? It was not as wide, and did I really want to mow around the hand dug well anyway, So, I hauled another twenty yards of gravel, and widened that part out.

I believe my driveway is now done. It is about 24 feet wide at the upper part, and 30 feet wide at the lower part, and obviously wider at the turn. In all it took about 530 cubic yards of gravel, so over 500 trips with my tractor to complete this mega circular driveway.  BUT at three feet deep, I am pretty sure this spring I will not get stuck.

Of course nothing is to say that in slippery snow I might not get stuck in the 3 foot ditch!
 
pollinator
Posts: 1733
Location: Big Island, Hawaii (2300' elevation, 60" avg. annual rainfall, temp range 55-80 degrees F)
633
forest garden rabbit tiny house books solar woodworking
  • Likes 2
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Quite the job!

We had a similar headache.....a pain the the neck driveway. We widened some spots up at the house for parking vehicles off the driveway itself. Had to remove a few trees to do that and add rock fill -- all done by hand with a wheelbarrow & chainsaw. That improved traffic flow.

Then later we had an excavator come in to remove trees and level out the ground (by moving boulders and rock) to create a circular driveway. That became luxury!! And finally while the excavator was there and we still had a little cash, we had rocks scooped from beside the driveway to increase the height of the road that went through the extinct riverbed. Adding 3' of fill greatly improved the driveway, allowing us to bring the two wheel drive cars up to the house.

We don't have to deal with mud, thankfully. It's been 15 years since we last worked on the driveway. It's now ready for a layer of gravel, which I hope to get to this fall. This should be the last time we need to upgrade the driveway in our lifetime.....unless a major earthquake damages the fill section in the extinct riverbed. Let's hope not.

Congrats on getting the job done. That was work!!!
 
Posts: 73
Location: California Zone 10b / Wyoming Zone 3b
1
building woodworking homestead
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Travis Johnson wrote:Well I finished my driveway today…it only took me all summer to do it though!

It stared out in the spring with me getting stuck…with a 4 wheel drive SUV no less, because our driveway was lower then the lawn around it, and so water puddled there. So I went on a mission, and I dug ditches on both sides of the driveway, and got my driveway up by 2 feet.

Then it rained…for 3 weeks. The mud was so deep, that even I wondered if I had screwed up. Everyone in town told me I had.

Then the rain let up, and I started hauling gravel. My gravel pit is ¼ mile away, and my dump trailer holds a whopping 1 cubic yard. One trip means hauling it down to my pit, then unhooking it by starting the engine, lowering the outriggers, then moving the backhoe out of the way, and then digging into the gravel bank with my tractor bucket. Since I cannot fill my bucket of my tractor fully, it takes (4) buckets to fill the trailer. Then I hook it back up, start the engine, lift the outriggers, and drive it back up the hill to my driveway, and dump the load. All that for 1 cubic yard.

The first layer of gravel took 100 cubic yards…yep 100 trips, and on a good day I can do about 14 trips. That is what one dump truck hauls for a load. But hey, doing it myself with my own gravel, I save $150.

But there was a problem after I got my driveway surfaced. My driveway is D-shaped, and as we backed up the cars, the turn was too sharp, and the driveway too narrow, so the car went in the ditch. Ford Focus’s and 3 feet deep ditches do not work well, so I hauled another 20 yards and widened out that part of the driveway. Now no more backing up into a ditch because I had gravel to back up on.

But we also have two cars, so this often left us backing one car up all the way around the driveway, if the other car needed to get out. That was kind of a pain. So, I thought I would widen the driveway so it could be (2) cars wide, but I had a ditch, and two bridges on one side, and a hand dug well on the other side. So, I hauled another 10 cubic yards of gravel so I could at least drive around the other car if it was parked, and not back up.

That sort of worked, but there was barely enough room to do so, and no room if you opened the door and stepped out. So, I hauled another ten loads of gravel, and widened the driveway yet again.

But that was the upper driveway, what about the lower driveway? It was not as wide, and did I really want to mow around the hand dug well anyway, So, I hauled another twenty yards of gravel, and widened that part out.

I believe my driveway is now done. It is about 24 feet wide at the upper part, and 30 feet wide at the lower part, and obviously wider at the turn. In all it took about 530 cubic yards of gravel, so over 500 trips with my tractor to complete this mega circular driveway.  BUT at three feet deep, I am pretty sure this spring I will not get stuck.

Of course nothing is to say that in slippery snow I might not get stuck in the 3 foot ditch!



Well it may oh been a pain but I bet you saved quite a bit; the quote to re-do our driveway is 18k (its a half mile long and has not been maintained in decades).
 
Travis Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 4958
1125
transportation duck trees rabbit tiny house chicken earthworks building woodworking
  • Likes 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Alex Arn wrote:Well it may oh been a pain but I bet you saved quite a bit; the quote to re-do our driveway is 18k (its a half mile long and has not been maintained in decades).



Yeah that is what started me on this road of hauling my own gravel.

Two years ago I got a grant to build an access road on my farm, the grant was for $9000 to build 400 feet or road. So I had a contractor give me an estimate, and he said $7000 just to haul the gravel out of MY pit, 1/2 mile away.

Well that seemed high because I would only net $2000 profit off the grant, so I told my wife, we have the gravel, we just need to move it, and at first I thought moving 1 cubic yard at a time would be too much. I mean we needed 350 cubic yards of gravel. But I figured out, if we moved 10 loads per day, in just 35 days, we would have moved all 350 cubic yards.

So that is what we did. I loaded the trailer in the pit, and my wife hauled the gravel with the SUV and dump trailer. In the end we kept all $9000 of the grant. So the point is, as long as you can dedicate the time to it, you can save a lot of money.
 
gardener
Posts: 943
Location: Galicia, Spain zone 9a
202
dog duck chicken cooking food preservation fiber arts pig bike bee solar ungarbage
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Travis Johnson wrote: as long as you can dedicate the time to it, you can save a lot of money.



So true of many things. Saving seed, permanent planting beds, sewing, knitting, woodworking. Well said Sir!
 
Travis Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 4958
1125
transportation duck trees rabbit tiny house chicken earthworks building woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mandy Launchbury-Rainey wrote:

Travis Johnson wrote: as long as you can dedicate the time to it, you can save a lot of money.



So true of many things. Saving seed, permanent planting beds, sewing, knitting, woodworking. Well said Sir!




Well said, because it is well lived out. I have always tried to do as much for myself as I could.

But it is almost circular. When I retired early, I had less cash, but more time, so I really started saving money on things. I also noticed I was investing in really meaningful projects. I was not making a lot of cash to spend, but my time was being invested in assets like houses, and farming infrastructure; which is really some forever stuff (clearing land, building roads, building houses, etc)

Like last year, my wife and I together made $6500 for the whole year. That is not a typo, it was six-thouand and five hundred dollars for a family of six! Yet in 5 weeks time I was able to fix up a vacant house for $1700 in cash, and increase its value by $40,000, all by using my sawmill to fix it up. I did not make any immediate cash doing that, but I did increase my net worth by $40,000. Now where could I ever earn, in a real job, $7500 a week? But i could farming because I had the time to devote to the project.
 
Travis Johnson
pollinator
Posts: 4958
1125
transportation duck trees rabbit tiny house chicken earthworks building woodworking
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator

Mandy Launchbury-Rainey wrote:

Travis Johnson wrote: as long as you can dedicate the time to it, you can save a lot of money.



So true of many things. Saving seed, permanent planting beds, sewing, knitting, woodworking. Well said Sir!




One thing I did find out when I retired and started working on my farm full time was, that first year I fixed a lot of stuff. This was really because two things happened.


Before, when something I was using broke, I would either cobble it together as quick as I could because I lacked the time to properly fix the implement. Or I jus left it broke for a time when I could fix it. Now that I was not working, I had the time to fix stuff, and fix it properly, and there was a lot of stuff to fix that first year.

The second reason was, before I used stuff minimally because I had minimal time to use it, just weekends and holidays when I was not working my real job. When I retired, suddenly that plow that I only used for a few hours the year before, was suddenly getting used 3 days at a time, and the strain was breaking stuff. especially the stuff that had been patched, and not really fixed.

That was something I was not ready for in the first year, and I mention that point in my book on taking a farm from Homesteader to Full-Time Farm Status. It really is something that needs to be factored in.
 
Get out of my mind! Look! A tiny ad!
Switching from electric heat to a rocket mass heater reduces your carbon footprint as much as parking 7 cars
http://woodheat.net
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!