After a long winter of freezing and thawing and many trips up made by a snowplow, springtime is the perfect time to begin repairing your gravel driveway. You will need a tool that is able to rip, level, and move gravel and other driveway material. Here are some tips on how to get your driveway in perfect shape for summer! Whether you’re using a Gravel Rascal, Gravel Grader, or any other ABI driveway tool, you will be able to do all three of these things and get that signature ABI Finish.

Remove Potholes and Washouts

First, begin with lowering your scarifier teeth down to the depth you want them to rip. If using your ABI Gravel Rascal, your first pass should have the wheels of your Rascal down, to help stabilize for the initial loosening. Travel at a slow, consistent speed, allowing the tool to dig in as you travel. After each pass, raise the wheels of your Rascal until the washouts or potholes are gone. To finish off your driveway, make a few more passes with the initial set up or with just the finish rake to lightly pack the driveway. This will give you the signature ABI Finish.

Creating a Crown

What is a crown? Crowning a driveway stops water from collecting and pooling on the driveway. If you have a long stretch of flat gravel, adding a slight crown to it will prevent puddling in the middle of your drive. A proper crown will help minimize potholes and the washboard effect. The ABI Gravel Grader is a great tool to help establish a crown. The first step in creating the crown is to drag the driveway as normal. After your driveway is pothole-free, choose which side of the grader box you want to have engaged into your driveway and pin the opposite side of the grading box down. Lower the grader box, and the Gravel Grader will engage your work surface on an angle so that material will flow across the box’s blade toward the center of your drive.

Removing The Washboarding Effect

If you notice this on your driveway after grading it, fixing it is time-consuming but easy to do with your ABI Gravel Rascal. Once your material is loose, set up the Rascal in a grading position with the wheels down and remove your scarifiers. This is done by moving the finish rake to almost a 90 degree angle. Once your Rascal is set up, go at a very slow, consistent speed and perform a serpentine pattern to remove the waves. A diagram below is a good representation of the serpentine pattern you should be completing to remove the wash boarding effect. A few things that cause this washboarding effect can be sudden acceleration, or by starting and stopping. Once there is a bump that is not immediately cared for, it will continue to cause more bumps as the Rascal travels over it. Once you have finished running this pattern, you can go back over it again for the signature ABI finish.

Pass 1
Pass 1
Pass 2
Pass 1
Pass 3
Pass 1

With completing these three simple tasks and occasionally bringing in gravel, you will be able to keep your gravel driveway in perfectly smooth condition. Whether your tow vehicle is a lawn mower or an ATV/UTV, ABI has the tools to let you command your land. Make sure to keep up with ordering new wear parts through our customer service team to keep your ABI tool in great grading condition. You can do this by calling in at (877)788-7253 or going to our online store and purchasing them there!