Road building and maintenance

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
I've been working on building a driveway and parking area at my new home. The driveway is 1/4 mile or so. I've been using my 35g with a grading bucket to crown or slope the road at about 3 degrees. We have pretty heavy clay soil. It all drains pretty well now. I think it is ready to surface soon. I've considered 57s, cursh-n-run, and am now considering road millings. I've talked to a few folks who have used millings. They say they are less costly than stone, provide a better surface, and are less maintenance. They tell me it is best to apply and compress them when it is very hot during the summer. I have a few leads and hope to find a source to begin playing with them this summer.

If folks on here have experience using millings, I'd like to hear your experiences on this thread. If they work out for my driveway and parking area at the retirement property, I'm considering some other uses at the farm. Currently we have a barn with a cement floor. I have most implements on dollies so I can roll them over to the tractor and easily position them for hookup. It works great! I also like implements with mechanical components like PTOs and such to be protected from the weather. I'm not concerned about all steel implements like rear-blades, box-blades, buckets, forks, and such being in the weather, but without dollies, hookup requires a lot of getting on and off the tractor to position it finely enough for hookup. A quick hitch is not a good solution for me. So, I was thinking about just using millings to surface a level area to dolly these kinds of implements outside.

I'd appreciate any thoughts on how to apply millings as well as how well they work compared to the alternatives for driveways and such. Another thing I was considering was to use them as edging around my barn. I'm thinking if I put a two food strip the slopes away from the barn, I could run my tractor mower around the barn with no trimming.

I have watched some videos but would appreciate any thoughts from folks on here.

Thanks,

Jack
 

fishin coyote

5 year old buck +
Millings work great on the drive and parking areas if you have a really good base. I don’t think they’d work to well for rolling dolly’s around on though. Around here some people go as far as spraying kerosene on it after its packed down then lighting it to remelt the asphalt. Seems like overkill to me for a driveway.

I like the idea of a buffer strip around the barn
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Millings work great on the drive and parking areas if you have a really good base. I don’t think they’d work to well for rolling dolly’s around on though. Around here some people go as far as spraying kerosene on it after its packed down then lighting it to remelt the asphalt. Seems like overkill to me for a driveway.

I like the idea of a buffer strip around the barn

Good point that I've been pondering. I had a contractor cut in the initial driveway. He put in the culvert pipes and dressed with stone. It as a bit larger than 57s, but not much. I found several problems over time. The entire driveway was pretty flat. I found a few places where water was pooling, but there was a hard enough base that it was no problem driving through. I decided to take soil from the low side cutting in a 3 degree slope off the road and used the soil to build up the driveway in this low lying area. It now drains well, but there is no stone on the surface, just clay. Where the driveway goes threw the woods (mature oaks) it is also flat. I was concerned about this area because it will get little sun after green up to dry out. Again, I widened it using a 3 degree slope with a crown in the middle and put in a few drains so any water that collects won't collect on the drivable part of the road. This area too, now drains well, but again it is just a clay surface. The road stopped short of the parking area and had a big mud hole where construction vehicles were getting stuck. This area is open again. Once again, I crowned the road and put in drainage, but again it is a clay surface.

The clay is packed well, but I did notice that when it gets wet for long periods, even with the drainage, the top 1/4"-1/2" can get a little sloppy but not too bad. Enough that tires leave tracks.

So, I'm looking for thoughts on base stone size. I probably won't apply millings until summer and was planning on dressing the clay areas with stone in the next few weeks when we get a dry spell. Do you think 57s are large enough to form a good base in this case before applying millings later or should I use something larger. The clay is quite solid with no air pockets.

Thanks,

Jack
 

ruskbucks

5 year old buck +
One thing to be careful with is the consistency of millings.. I have graded out a lot of it. It can have a lot of hard asphalt chunks sometimes. That can make for some frustrating fine grading. Some millings will have a lot of tar others will be dry. If you let them sit in a pile in the heat sometimes it will set up and stick together in a huge chunk . again can cause a lot of frustration. I can u usually track over it with my dozer tracks to break up the chunks. Unlike gravel the inconsistency of millings can be tough. On the positive side it does hold up better than gravel. Cost is usually cheaper, we have even been given it for free. As far as using the dolly on the millings I think it will be tough to roll it around. Some will get rock hard but there will most likely be soft loose spots. I wouldn't be opposed to millings, a lot of times I prefer them you just have to realize it's not going to be perfect like asphalt and will require yearly maintenance just like a stone road. I would just make sure you see the millings before you buy it. There is no specs to it like there is with most stone from a quarry.
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Thanks! I do understand that I should be looking for fines if I can get them. My plan was to have the truck spread them the best it can and then use a box blade and loader to finish it off before packing.

As for the dolly use, In the barn on the cement floor, I need to move implements quite a distance to get them from a storage location to near the door where I park the tractor. My thought for outside with millings was to work hard at getting and even highly compacted area a bit bigger than each implement dolly. I'd put the tractor into position outside. I would expect only to need to move the dolly a foot or less for hookup. Maybe this wouldn't be possible.

Thanks,

Jack
 

MRBB

5 year old buck +
this topic was brought up a few months back, if you care to search

but I have used milling many time building drive ways and such
best advice I can give you is when BUYING millings, make sure you know what your getting as there is a difference in them
you want/NO < need FINE milling for the top layer, other wise if you ever plow drive way or/ you will pull up the larger chunks, plus they just don't pack as tight!
you basically want either double ground millings and or milling JUST after they put new cutters in on a milling machine
as time passes the milling will get chunkier and chunkier!

when putting them down, put them down in thinner layers and pack them tight!, by either running them over carefully to get them ALL packed tight with a heavy vehicle, , I like to drive on things a few times in as many directions as possible, in about 3-4 inch thickness at a time!!
but doing that on a 1/4 mile drive way would be very time consuming
however, as in life, you get what you put into things in the end,
or, better yet a vibrating roller if you have access to one!(gather they can be rented, just not sure how close to you you could rent one??)
I have great luck using
I have never really tried the Kerosene trick mentioned above, , I would find it hard to believe it would make enough heat to re heat millings, as they take a LOT to get HOT like fresh pavement/assault)
BUT it might work more like what we do here, as in my area a lot of folks will spray them down with diesel fuel(off road diesel fuel is cheapest)
the diesel fuel actually makes the milling soft, NO fire needed, and allows them to be packed tighter m, then when things dry off, they get very hard!

one thing to consider, or look into, is the legality of using them, more and more states are cracking down ion there usage, the DEP and tree huggerrs getting there fingers into this
as it would; really suck to do a 1/4 mile drive way p[l;us?? and have some noisy unhappy neighbor turn you in!
and last word of advice, if you find GOOD Millings, keep an extra tri axle load or two on hand, as down the road they are NOT always easy to find, and if you need to fill in any softer spots or pot holes, its nice to have some extra on hand
a tri axle load NEVER goes as far as you hope either

as for weather, warmer weather is nicer as it give things time to settle before freeze and thaws, but I have done two driveways in the past 2 yrs , in Dec here, just days before snow came, and there holding there own, after several snow plowing,s,
they MAYBE lost about 10 % of millings that got carried away with snow, but not that bad if that's the only time you have to do things!

BUT keep this in mind, ALL driveways and or roads, or parking lots , will always ONLY be as good as the BASE things are put on!

if this drive way gets freeze thaws, and is say GOOEY in spring thaws
if you DON"T build a solid base, your going to have ruts in spring time if you use the drive way much at them times
only way to resolve that is with a good thick base of larger stone, then top dress that with the millings as a finishing layer
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
Thanks, Great Info. I think I started asking about this on my barn thread. I've been clearing the hedge row next to the driveway this winter. There were lots of tree of heaven, multifloral rose, Virginia creeper, and such strangling some very old cedars. I wanted to get all that cleaned up before dealing with the driveway itself. I just got finished seeding that adjoining area with tetraploid ryegrass last weekend and am ready to start thinking more near term about the driveway finish itself.

Thanks again!
 

MRBB

5 year old buck +
if possible check about your area for Shale, if you can find a quarry that has shale, its normally cheapest stuff out there, and you can put in a pretty thick layer, about a ft or so!
and then drive the crap out of it till summer, and then top dress with millings, if you do the base right, it will then last forever!
like Is aid, if this is a long term place, doing it right the first time, will make life easier on you down the road!
but I also get we all have budgets to work with LOL
 

yoderjac

5 year old buck +
The shale quarries are quite a distance away. The cost of stone is more driven by delivery cost than the product cost, but I'll check into it.
 

MRBB

5 year old buck +
yeah I know that all too well, 2 B gravel last truck I got was 7 bucks a ton at quarry, so a full tri alxe about 22 ton, is about a 150 bucks, then add in 200-250 for delivery for me and I am only about 25 miles from quarry??
I can only imagine what costs will be with fuel prices this high and climbing!
if your friendly with any road workers in the area, ask them to keep you in mind mind when doing local roads, (tell them you pay cash, , as never know, some times you can get millings that way for a deal!, saving them a longer haul to where ever they take them!, most small towns even list when and what roads they will be doing and when(ball park time frames) so, some times you can look into things and do a drive by and talk to drivers waiting for a load!, or the on site foreman!
cash talks still to some , but getting harder, as I said, some company's doing road work now recycle and won't sell, and or again legally they cannot, but
never hurts to ask I say!
 

3I0

Yearling... With promise
I'd recommend putting down a geotextile road fabric on top of the clay, underneath whatever you ultimately use as a base. Cheap insurance.

My driveway is crowned + ditched clay, geotextile, B gravel base, and topped with A gravel. No rutting issues with big trucks driving on it so far... and my clay turns into peanut butter whenever it gets wet.
 
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