Stone Delivery

Sidney Dumping Stone

The last time the concrete truck came to pour for the greenhouse foundation he mired a little bit on the upper ramp of the driveway that we use for turning around big trucks so I ordered a load of crushed stone (2.5″ minus) to firm up the driveway. Over that last several years we’ve gradually added quite a few loads of stone to the driveway. On the worst places we used the junk granite from the local quarries and stone cutters. On top of that went a bed of 4″ stone which we topped off with 2.5″ minus and 1.5″ minus. I topped that with gravel dirt from our place.

The minus means stones that are up to that size and smaller. By that size, it means they can fit through a grating at some angle. This means that in 4″ stone you may well get some that are 8″ long but none have greater than 4″ on their smallest dimension.

The large granite chunks sets the form of the road bed but are too rough and sharp for the wheels of vehicles. The 4″ fills in the gaps of the granite and won’t wash away in a heavy storm but even the 4″ is rough to walk and drive on. Plowing’s a pain until the snow builds up.

The smaller 2.5″ and 1.5″ minus stone provide a grippy road surface, something we need on our hill. With just them we could get wash outs during bad rain storms but the 4″ prevents that. We also have water bars, ditches, crown and tilt to the road to keep the water where I want it and not digging out the roadway.

By adding the loads of stone and dirt gradually over a period of years we’ve had a chance to spread out the cost (about $250/load for 12 tons) and the driveway has gotten well packed between each load from the deliveries of whey. If we had tried to do it all at once it would have been a much bigger bite into our pockets as well as more difficult to get so well packed. Hidden benefits of going slowly.

Making the whey tank road and maintaining it are some of those times I really appreciate our tractor.

Outdoors: 16°F/12°F Partially Sunny, Somewhat windy, 1/2″ Snow
Farm House: 53°F/42°F Insulated Whey Tank Valves, 2 round bales out
Tiny Cottage: 59°F/65°F

About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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10 Responses to Stone Delivery

  1. Anonymous says:

    I see the kids tree fort in the background of your cottage. They must have a grate view! What are all those blue things on the right?

  2. Nance, The blue things are half barrels filled with concrete which will become the footers for the pillars of our greenhouse. In each is an 立 shaped piece of rebar which I used to pick them up with the tractor to transport them down to the greenhouse construction site. Then that piece of rebar will tie in with the upper part of the pillars when we pour them next week. -Walter

  3. farmwife says:

    We’re waiting on a load of gravel here ourselves. With any luck, it’ll show up this weekend. It sure doesn’t ever seem to get cheaper to buy it.

    The school bus has to turn around in our drive, and the far end is getting more than a bit sloppy.
    It will make it a lot nicer in the spring as well not to have to splash through the muck.

    Boy, buying the skid steer was the best purchase I think we’ve ever made. It has a huge snow blower that I can’t wait to use this winter. No more climbing over mountains of snow to do chores! (I hope)

  4. pablo says:

    I knew there was a good reason I haven’t been getting loads of gravel delivered to refresh my roads. I’m busy keeping it compacted first. Good me!

  5. Angie says:

    You will keep adding gravel year after year if you didn’t/don’t lay down road fabric.It lets the water through and keeps the gravel in place and won’t let it “vanish” in the mud.

  6. Angie, that is true on deep soils using grave except for two things in our case:

    1) We laid down granite. The chunks vary from 4″ up to 8′ (feet!) in length with comparable widths.

    2) We live on ledge and the road is just a little bit above ledge. Nothing sinks there. In the process of building the road I scraped right down, and in some cases through, the ledge. I cut away a bit over 1 million pounds of granite ledge in the process. See the post about burning rock. It took years.

    At this point the lower 300 feet of the road is very solid. I may raise a section of that up a little more over the next years to get the slopes to the point I want but fortunately I don’t have to worry about the gravel sinking into the dirt.



  7. Mike says:

    Walter that dump truck looks bigger than your house! Maybe it is because it s back is up dumping.

  8. It’s close to as big as the cottage. The truck is probably 30′ long by 8′ wide by 10′ tall. Our cottage is 20′ x 14′ x 11′ at the peak although the roof is curved so the two come out to be almost exactly the same volume. Hmm… A mobile home that’s easy to clean!

  9. Farmerbob1 says:

    Walter, if you have any sections of roadway on the farm that wash away in storms, you might also consider slag from steel recycling. The stuff is amazingly stable when used for roadbeds. Imagine petrified sponge, broken into small pieces.

    Since slag is what floats to the top of recycled steel, it rarely contains heavy metals in significant quantities, but it might be worth checking around for studies on slag chemical content before putting it on your farm roads. I know a lot of rural areas use the stuff heavily, but I don’t know how many livestock farms do.

    • We use rocks. Granite. We start with huge ones and bury them into the ground. Then we put a size down over those and keep doing that to sand. It lasts longer than steel and is what we have locally available. No slag around here.

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