Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays’ take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘asphalt driveway

This Why

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This is why we can’t have a nice paved driveway like the other folks around here whose asphalt looks incredibly well-maintained.

We have an ongoing need for dump-truck loads of lime screenings for our paddocks.

That loaded dump-truck really makes an impression on the land. As he prepared to depart, I asked the driver to NOT center his truck on the driveway on the way out, and instead to run one set of wheels right down the middle. I’ve been trying to do the same with our vehicles ever since his visit last year, but haven’t had much effect on the eruption of cracked pavement the truck left for us that time.

Household discussion last night:

John: “Should I try to spread some lime screenings tomorrow?”

Cyndie: “Maybe.”

J: “Should I pull the T-posts instead?”

C: “Maybe.”

J: “Should I move the composted manure out?”

C: “Maybe.”

J: “Should I work on dividing the chicken coop?”

C: “Maybe.”

I think she got my point, and seeing as how I wasn’t getting any help with prioritizing, I chose not to continue with the thirteen other things also deserving attention.

It’s a good thing we are so smitten with each other, or these kinds of exchanges would take on additional unstated intentions. In our case, it just added to the love already present. Her refusal to take my bait brought a smile to my face. Our current healthy communication is a return on an investment we made long ago toward a few years of couples therapy.

This is why we can have nice conversations unburdened by alternate unstated agendas.

Well, that and the fact Cyndie gracefully puts up with my endless ribbing. If she wasn’t so saintly, I’d have needed to make myself a bed out in Delilah’s kennel years ago.

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Good Footing

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It’s the time of year again when the thawing ground turns to mud, especially in areas where the horses walk. The first couple of years after we moved here were extremely wet in the spring, so we got a thorough lesson in worst case scenarios. The best thing that came from that was a recommendation for using limestone screenings in our paddocks.

I was unsure, at first. The searches for information we conducted tended toward extensive projects involving removal of all topsoil to some significant depth, and then installing expensive plastic grids and laying down thick layers of sand or crushed stone.

We opted for the least complicated idea, as a first test. We simply spread a thick layer of limestone screenings over the existing soil. The first time it rained, I figured we had made a big mistake. The lime screenings took on the water and became like thick, wet concrete. The horses sank right down in it. If it got below freezing overnight, the endless craters of their hoof prints would create an almost unnavigable landscape until the next thaw.

All it took was added time for the screenings to cycle through being packed down by the horses and baked by the sun, to set into a firm base that could support the horse’s weight. Other than the setbacks of losing a lot of material when heavy downpours created deep rills and washed screenings away, the overall result was proving to be worthy.

We simply ordered more limestone screenings and filled in the voids. So far this year, the surface is holding. Look at the dramatic difference from the areas we haven’t covered yet:

IMG_iP1148eIMG_iP1154e.

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We definitely need to order more, as we have yet to cover the critical heavy traffic areas around, and through, gate openings. The big challenge with bringing in more loads of screenings is the damage caused by the trucks delivering the heavy weight. We need to determine the right compromise of cost per benefit. A smaller truck would do less damage, but having smaller loads delivered drives up the cost a huge amount.

I find it hard to decide how to calculate the cost of damage that the full-sized truck does. Mostly, it costs me peace of mind, as it bums me out to break up more of the asphalt or get deep compressed ruts on our land. We figure the driveway is already a lost cause, so it becomes a matter of tolerating the additional damage until we take on the project of resurfacing it. Getting rid of the deep ruts hasn’t been a piece of cake, either, and who knows what damage it is doing to roots or my buried drain tubes.

For the most part, we plan to confine dump trucks to our driveway, and we will just have to move the delivered loads to any final destinations using our tractor.

Here’s a shot of Hunter showing how nice and dry the footing is on the well-set limestone screenings up near the barn. Niiiiice.

IMG_iP1147eNo complex process of soil removal and inorganic sub-surface installation. Just limestone screenings dumped on top of the existing surface and spread out to a depth of 6-8 inches. Oh, and time. About a year of horse traffic, hot sun interspersed with soaking rain, more limestone screenings to replace what runs off, more sun, and more packing. Walaah. Good footing.

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Written by johnwhays

March 3, 2016 at 7:00 am