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Crazy
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I have so much respect for the romans. I have been cutting a road to a cabin sight I have selected on my property. Do to money restraints I can’t purchase the equipment I need to knock it out. So I cut a 1/4 mile road with a chainsaw. Well every thing was good until it rained every day for a month. So I have a few sections that I need to address mud. I thought about a log road but figured the creek could give me as much stone as I could ever need. So a started pulling a red wagon back and forth to the creek loading stone. Well after a day I have about 10ft of cobble stone road. I might have to rethink the log road idea. 😂
 

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I doubt the logs will last long in wet country. the Romans had a source of slave labor (as much as they needed) to keep a rock road up. During the Civil War in the US, both armies had to build log roads, but they had unlimited manpower, also. None of those survived for long after the war.

Moving enough river rock to pave 1/4 mile is ambitious. I'd just fill the holes as they come out and when you have funds for a tractor, a front end loader needs to be #1 on your list as accessory. That will take away 75% of your labor. You might rent/borrow one if your road was impassible, but in the country, you will learn patience.

WW

shoot straight - stay safe
 

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reluctant sinner
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I once drove my deuce and a half with a generator trailer across about 100m of corduroy road in Germany's black forest. It was destroyed - I can still hear the logs banging into the sides of the truck as they broke.

As a kid dad had me dig/fill 2 wheel path trenches about 30 feet long in the driveway using rocks from the back yard garden. Never had a mud hole in the driveway again. Hard work but its still there and working from the early 70's.

Rome wasn't built or burnt in a day.

Quality never goes out of style.
 

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In the past when doing small small scale logging we would take the branches from the tops of the trees and put them in the muddy spots. When we would drive over them they would sink in the mud, after a dozen or so times of doing that we had a trail that we could drive across without sinking out of sight.

I have also built trails across swamp by laying out several layers of slabs from my sawmill to make the road. As long as nothing to heavy was driven over it it worked for a while.


It was always a short term solution, it was maybe use for a year at the most and anytime an area would start to sink we would throw more wood in.

Although in many cases a short term solution is just fine when a person doesn't have the time, money or tools to do it right and their only other option is to not do it at all.


Do you know anyone with a tractor and a box scraper or pull behind grader that can grade the driveway for you? Ideally the center would be the highest point so water sheds to both sides and doesn't ever stand in the driveway.


I would start with the worst spots(assuming the entire driveway isn't one long mud pit) and go from there. I would also keep in mind that at some times you just won't be able to drive a vehicle up your driveway without getting stuck and tearing up your driveway until you get it fixed up. I know a few families with long driveways that have to park at the road then walk in during the spring melt season. It used to be fairly common for farms to have a garage about 20 feet off the road to park the car in then they would walk the 1/2 mile to the house all winter and spring when the snow was too deep or there was mud.
 

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Just a suggestion, not a cheap or free suggestion but a suggestion. Get yourself some road fabric or if you can, find it some old used greenhouse ground fabric that a greenhouse is getting rid of.

Lay the fabric in over your muddy areas and stake it down on the sides, bring in a dump truck and drop a little gravel over the cloth in the muddy sections. You might also work at the some ditch drainage or piping water away from your road. If you think it is challenging now, wait until you have driven over those areas for two or three years... lol...

Whatever you do, try to avoid putting organic material in those areas, clay passes and or runs off water pretty amazingly well, highly organic topsoil on the other hand does not pass water very well at all, it tends to become goop... I have dropped in waste hay on my driveway a couple times in the spring, it works great and gets me through a spring in a pinch, but I have to make sure and get it up and off of there before the next spring or it is mud slick and bogging time...

When you mention corduroy wood I assume that you mean branches set 90 degrees to the road across the road surface side to side. That would only work well with smaller trees and branches and even then your tires will tend to push down between branches and cause you "more" issues. I knew and old boy Henry Haun that worked on a road crew in "the New deal" during the depression years and they were building roads from cut wood rounds. Those roads were then covered over by rock and gravel though. To use rounds by themselves can be problematic as the wood becomes crazy slick when wet and driven over.

Whatever you do, you eventually want your roadway to be a bit raised from the surrounding area. You want something to keep you from sinking in mud, as I mentioned the road fabric or greenhouse fabrics, they have quite a bit of strength and will pass water while holding your stone up keeping it from sinking into your soil when the ground gets wet. You are also going to need to do some water control, find ways to drain the water from the road areas and keep it from collecting and pooling on or beside your road.

Anyway that you look at it, a driveway is generally not a "cheap" thing. When I bought my last farm 150 acres of dryland wheat farm and 50 acres of timber I had to build a driveway into the place. I had to cut out a 15 foot embankment on the county road to a "reverse" grade for 20 feet off the county road. I had been working for a place called Germer construction for about six months in preparation for all of this as I figured that as a good employee I would get a bit of a break for anything that I might need done. I asked them for a quote on the first 90 feet of my driveway coming off the county road.... they told me a minimum of $20K...

I went out and found an old 1942 2U D8DL cable blade cat dozer for $5K and had it hauled to my farm for $500. I then found a 67 Case backhoe and bought that for $3K and then I spent the next 6 months digging and dozing soil. I spent at least a couple thousand on diesel alone and then came time for the road fabric that was spendy but too bad I think I paid $300 for a 200 foot roll though keep in mind that was 17-18 years ago. The real spendy part became the gravel, I was being charged about $370 a dump truck load for gravel, after about four loads spring came and the county shut down heavy travel on the county roads so the company wouldn't deliver anymore. I noticed the neighbors who owned a logging company could run on the road all he wanted with full loads and found that the weight limits didn't apply to those of living out there. I went and picked an old 1946 GMC grain truck with a dump bed for $350, blew the engine driving it home and so I put an old 350 race car engine I had been building into it. (One crazy sounding dump truck, people would look from blocks around to see where that sound was coming from).

With that truck I could then haul 6 yards of gravel at a time myself but I had to drive for half an hour to get to the quarry. Each load would only cost me about $18 but the fuel was a killer as loaded I was getting around 3 to 5 mpg and empty I was topping out at about 8 or 9 mpg. It was still far cheaper than having it delivered and I was able to haul in rock when they were not able to.

As crazy as that $20K seemed to me, by the time I was done I had spent a good $15K to $16K building it myself. Though I had an old beat up backhoe, an old D8 dozer and an old dump truck to show for that money spent. The vast amount of time I wasted building all that myself on the other hand was insane.

LOL... Then a year later I logged some of the back forest and the guys brought in their equipment and offered to do anything I needed road wise for free.... Live and learn...

Roads are definitely not cheap or easy and you will get out of it what you invest into it.
 

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I cleared out 200 foot of driveway in the woods by hand myself. Chainsaw and wheelbarrow. The way I deal with holes and ruts, is digging out the soft material as soon as it is dry enough. When I get to firm material I pack the crap out of it with my hand tamper. I then mix the soil in the wheelbarrow with cement adding a little water if needed but looking for a dry mix. Dump in hole in stages tamping as I go. Add rocks or metal fencing if you have it. Sand helps it not stick to the tamper. Bring up a inch over ground level and slope it a little by hand. This will dry out rock hard and solid. I have filled 5 holes this way and 1 rut that was about 8 feet long. No more problems.
I had a small run off across my drive and cut 2 55 gallon drums in half length ways, and cut out most of the ends and screwed all 4 pieces together end to end. Forming a kind of half culvert. Dug out a little and placed across the road and put down metal fencing on barrels and started dumping cement mixed with dirt. Packing as I went and kind of rounding into a hump when finished. I have had a full dump truck drive over this without any problem. I expect this will last for at least my lifetime.
 

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Corduroy roads can last quite a long time.. I have one on my property that was put in in the late 70s that is still good, It is a tractor road not my main driveway.

here is a link to a video about a corduroy road they think was put in in the Civil War era

Having said that I would never make a corduroy road / driveway today. You need to bring proper base material (rock) and build up the driveway. Road fabric in wet areas will save you its cost in extra rock and make the driveway last a lot longer.. If you don't have equipment to do this, buy it or get quotes from someone that does.
 

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Here is an interesting video on how the military build "expedient" roads


Expedient may have different meaning when you have 50 people and access to material compared to what you are doing on your own.
 

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I doubt the logs will last long in wet country. the Romans had a source of slave labor (as much as they needed) to keep a rock road up. During the Civil War in the US, both armies had to build log roads, but they had unlimited manpower, also. None of those survived for long after the war.

Moving enough river rock to pave 1/4 mile is ambitious. I'd just fill the holes as they come out and when you have funds for a tractor, a front end loader needs to be #1 on your list as accessory. That will take away 75% of your labor. You might rent/borrow one if your road was impassible, but in the country, you will learn patience.

WW

shoot straight - stay safe
You would be surprised. I know of a couple of dirt roads in my county that are old corduroy roads left over from the logging days. When they grade in the spring they expose the logs in the real swampy areas. They just throw more gravel on and grade again.
 

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You would be surprised. I know of a couple of dirt roads in my county that are old corduroy roads left over from the logging days. When they grade in the spring they expose the logs in the real swampy areas. They just throw more gravel on and grade again.
In our area when roads were being built it was common for the stumps and any waste wood that was removed in the process of building the road to be dumped in the low spots, covered in dirt then the road build over it. It worked just fine for awhile, but now 60-70 every two or three years the roads over those fills need to have sink holes filled from the buried material rotting and shrinking.
 

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Crazy
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Discussion Starter #13
I doubt the logs will last long in wet country. the Romans had a source of slave labor (as much as they needed) to keep a rock road up. During the Civil War in the US, both armies had to build log roads, but they had unlimited manpower, also. None of those survived for long after the war.

Moving enough river rock to pave 1/4 mile is ambitious. I'd just fill the holes as they come out and when you have funds for a tractor, a front end loader needs to be #1 on your list as accessory. That will take away 75% of your labor. You might rent/borrow one if your road was impassible, but in the country, you will learn patience.

WW

shoot straight - stay safe
That’s what I’m doing. I’m filling in the ruts
 

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Drainage first, you need to direct the water so its not carving up your careful work. Intercepting water with a diagonal drain across the track, run drains down the sides and build up track from there.

Save up for gear, either rented or brought. Your going to need to move lots of hard material to build up a road to help avoid mud holes in the future. And roll the crap out to compact it.

There are materials to help, I have used geogrid and triax mesh in the past, but you have a lot to read up on to work it all out.

Time to make very good friends with a good guy who has a skid steer or excavator or backhoe or even well set up tractor
 

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Militant Normal
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I doubt the logs will last long in wet country. the Romans had a source of slave labor (as much as they needed) to keep a rock road up. During the Civil War in the US, both armies had to build log roads, but they had unlimited manpower, also. None of those survived for long after the war.

Moving enough river rock to pave 1/4 mile is ambitious. I'd just fill the holes as they come out and when you have funds for a tractor, a front end loader needs to be #1 on your list as accessory. That will take away 75% of your labor. You might rent/borrow one if your road was impassible, but in the country, you will learn patience.

WW

shoot straight - stay safe
The Roman roads were mostly built by the army, not by slaves. After all, their purpose was to enable rapid movement of troops and logistical support.

In soft ground, rocks will sink out of sight in a short while. Been there, done that.

18th century wheeled artillery was pulled over soft ground on temporary "corduroy" roads made of "fascines", (brush, saplings and small diameter trees, whatever was available). I can recall seeing where a logger had done this, while hunting in the Maine woods, many decades ago.

Here in West Virginia I've come across short stretches of corduroy made of discarded drill pipe from old gas wells. Slippery as he11 for a dirt bike.
 

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I have so much respect for the romans. I have been cutting a road to a cabin sight I have selected on my property. Do to money restraints I can’t purchase the equipment I need to knock it out. So I cut a 1/4 mile road with a chainsaw. Well every thing was good until it rained every day for a month. So I have a few sections that I need to address mud. I thought about a log road but figured the creek could give me as much stone as I could ever need. So a started pulling a red wagon back and forth to the creek loading stone. Well after a day I have about 10ft of cobble stone road. I might have to rethink the log road idea. 😂
That is a lot of stones for a days work.

Efficient repetition over time may work for you.
if you have a source of gravel or stones that is on your way in,
where you could quickly load a couple hundred pounds on your tailgate
And then quickly dump the load using a piece of plywood.
Over time you could build a 4 lane.
 

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I built a corduroy road through a swamp to our cabin build site last spring. Yes through a swamp, so wet you needed 12in tall boots to stay dry.

I just placed logs down across the road touching each other, then dug ditches on each side and put the dirt over the logs. After that dried for about a month I used driveway fabric over the dirt then spread 3-5in of gravel crowned up in the center. About 2months after the start of this driveway through a swamp we had a 26klb stone truck drive over the area where you couldn't walk prior...not a rut.

Any good road is only as good as the ditches along side it. A wet road will be a muddy rutted up mess in very short time.

Part of keeping the logs from breaking is totally covering them in dirt. This should help spread the load of a vehicle out.
 

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old gunsel
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Instead of gravel, you can specify “pit run” which is unprocessed or ungraded.
That is to say “dig it up, fill the truck, and send it over...”
It may be cheaper and will be about what you can dig out of the creek.
If you want a better surface then put the gravel over that.
:zombie:whip:
 

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When I was in my early twenties I worked with a crew that built one as part of a road giving access into a state park just north of Fairbanks Alaska. Laid down about four hundred feet of Birch and spruce logs two layers deep through a swamp. After that three feet of gravel was put over the logs. The trunks were to keep the gravel from pushing into the mud. From what I gleaned from the men in charge, the logs wouldn't rot because they would be always wet.
 
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