Keeping your farm roads in tip-top shape requires plenty of maintenance.
Depending on where you live and how much rain your roads experience, you will need to service your roads regularly before the trapped water leads to gravel depletion, erosion and more.
If you take the time to fix your roads when potholes arise, you won’t need to bash down large sections at a time to make your road safe and secure again. The longer you leave it, the more expensive it will be to cover a large area, and it will also put your road out of action for quite some time before they bed in again.
Any type of road damage can be restored if you have access to the correct agriculture machinery.
Alongside your tractor, you can expect to use soil ripping equipment and road graders, particularly a universal grader. Rock removal farming equipment is also useful for gravel road projects.
What is the cause of potholes?
In short, potholes occur on farm roads due to the poor drainage and compact finish on the gravel. Once you start to experience plenty of potholes on your gravel roads, the quick fix of re-filling the holes can only work a few times until you need to replace the entire surface. The bigger the potholes, the more dangerous it is for farm workers travelling with heavy machinery and regular vehicles passing through.
In order to save time and money on materials, it is advised that you monitor your roads regularly to avoid having to redo the entire surface at once. It is also helpful to understand the different types of gravel road damage, how to approach each project and which type of farm implements are needed for the job.
Here are a few tips to fixing pothole-ridden roads.
Soil removal: When you design, lay down or maintain your gravel road, you need to remove as much soil as possible, as soil fertility can lead to weeds going beneath your road structure. Of course, the more these weed roots grow, the more they will slowly start to degrade the road’s surface by pushing up and making bumps in the road. Soil also retains water, which needs to be drained through a draining system.
Proper drainage systems: If you don’t have a plan for water drainage, the road will start to pool water which can lead to massive potholes. If you include drainage into your design, general maintenance will be prolonged by this feature as pressure and rainy conditions will not lead to regular restoration.
Rock removal: This type of heavy machinery is used to maintain roads and remove any unnecessary rocks or materials from the area you need to grade. Before you’re able to grade your roads, you will need to remove rocks to smoothen the surface and assist with the development process. If rocks are not removed, they can jump up and damage your equipment or hurt the operator while driving.
Levelling and compact: By adding drainage to your road, it simply means that you will need to level your road with slanted sides to allow for water to run off of the road itself without pooling the water. This is the next level in the pothole maintenance process. Once you’ve removed your rocks, you will be able to level out the road with a grader. A grader will help to compact the surface and ensure the gravel is laid tightly.
Bedding in: The final stage of restoring your gravel is allowing the newly serviced road to set. It will take a few months before the road is ready to be driven on. Which isn’t ideal. This is exactly why farm owners are advised to monitor the wear and tear on their roads, and fix them once they start to see issues.
Any maintenance process that requires heavy machinery and equipment is costly. If you’re going to take the time to restore your gravel roads, be sure to plan properly and avoid accessing the road thereafter. Heavy pressure and aggressive driving behaviour will have a negative impact on your newly serviced road. So, make use of the correct equipment and seek professional help to detect future complications.