Saturday, March 28, 2009

Using the harley rake to lay out driveway gravel

yes, its not an animal post, but I've been getting questions about my harley rake, so i took pictures of my brothers driveway that we're using it on.

The project summary is to make a circular driveway in front of my brothers garage. So the tractor bucket got used to pull up the existing slab and break it up. (get bucket under the edge of the slab, lift, hit the slab with a sledge hammer, slab breaks, repeat)

Then we dug out some dirt and tossed the riprap into the hole, and then dumped some 2-4" quarry spalls and did a rough grade with the bucket.

You can see a pile of 2x4 quarry spalls to the left. On the right is a pass from the harley rake, and then another pass. Quarry spalls are big rocks; they are hard to spread with something like a box blade, but the harley does a pretty good job of it. The thing that the harley does not do is compact the rocks after the pass. The surface is pretty level, but if you were to drive a car over it you'd get pockets because of the rocks shifting to "lock" themselves in. The goal at this stage is to get a rough level 4" or so below the level of the blacktop. So we're not using the grading wheels on the back of the harley rake, we're using the roller. You do that by tightening the toplink on the implement.

These two pictures show a pretty typical run with the rake. I'm dragging a half yard of the 2-4" quarry spalls behind me at this point but leaving a 7' wide smooth bed of them. Look at the position of the dirt pile in the background and you can get an idea. These shots taken while the tractor is moving forward at 1mph

Could I get results like this from a box blade? I couldn't. The quarry spalls tend to get under the blade and lift the box blade up; it requires constant up-and-down for a box blade to leave a rough level. The harley does it in one pass, but this isn't really where the harley shines.

Here's a look at the bed after this pass. Notice that there's a 'curb' on the right side of the picture where the edge of the rake was. I was cutting down to the level we wanted the finished grade to be. You can spread, take up, or drop gravel with this tool.

Here's a truckload of 3/4" clear gravel that will be the finished surface. The bucket drops small piles over the work area and the harley rake will spread it.

Here's the finished gravel spread over the area at a uniform depth of about 4". There were a few quarry spalls that stuck up through the gravel. I used the harley rake to rake the big rocks out of the small gravel and drop them in a low spot nearby. That sort of sorting on the ground is where this tool really shines.
This is the finished grade. 4-6" of quarry spalls on clay with 4" of clear on top of it. Eventually he'll want to pour concrete over the clear, but he wanted to drive around on it and compact it for a few months. so we left it in a pretty good place. No more dirt into the garage.

No comments: