Read our three tips for grading your gravel driveway or lot

Grading your gravel driveways is vital to its upkeep. In the preparation for colder months, this means making sure any depressions or potholes are smoothened out before the weather gets snowy, frosty, or icey. And after the cold weather has passed, that first grading of spring is vital to keeping your gravel driveway in good quality throughout the warmer months. No matter the season, the way you grade your driveway makes a difference. You’ll feel it when you drive on it, and you’ll reap what you sow when the weather changes. To help you keep your gravel driveway in tip-top shape, year-round, here are three gravel grading tips.  

Tip #1 – Know Your Gravel Grading Patterns

A common mistake made when grading gravel is the operator digging into the gravel in straight lines, back and forth. The problem with this is that if you only rip up and level the gravel in straight lines, it can create a washboard effect—which makes for a bumpy ride as well as poor drainage. Two avoid this, you have two main pattern options:

  • Serpentine Pattern
    Grading in a serpentine pattern reduces your chance of the washboard effect, and, when your tool has a finish rake, creates a smoother surface for you to drive over. The serpentine patterns work well on narrower driveways, because you don’t have to turn the vehicle around as often while grading.
  • Overlapping Circles
    For gravel lots and wide driveways, a tight, overlapping circle pattern will yield the best results. Overlapping circles means every spot is getting maximum attention and it eliminates washboarding effects.
Tip #2 – Get the Best Tool for Your Tow Vehicle

A huge part of getting the best out of your gravel driveway, is getting the right tool for the job. Tools like the TR3 de-compact hardened ground, rip up potholes, and level out the gravel. But many landowners with a gravel driveway or lot don’t have a tractor they can use; or the space they want to grade is too narrow for a big vehicle to grade it well. The good news is, there are powerful attachments for ATVs, UTV, and Skid Steers that can grade your gravel driveway. So before you set out to buy a gravel grader, figure out what tow vehicle would work best on your driveway or lot—then get an implement that can get the job done.

Tip #3 – Grade With Your Driveway in Mind

The best advice we can give for grading your gravel is to follow the contours and constraints of your driveway or lot. Before you get started, figure out where you want your water to drain, because that will affect if you crown your driveway or slope it. When it comes to deciding on a pattern or grading attachments, take into account the space you’re working with and follow the natural contours of it. Don’t work against your land, make it work for you.

For more information on gravel graders, check our full line. If you have questions about your specific gravel grading needs, talk to a Product Specialist today at 877-788-7253.