The most roughed-up roads on a farm are probably the ranch driveways and the access roads. The sheer force of heavy vehicle after vehicle and the occasional crossing of ranch animals can make any good pavement look like it’s done a few tours in service. While construction of a road tends to be the central focus, pavement maintenance counts too!
The average ranch road is designed to be strong over stable soil and with the strength to bear traffic loads the likes of a marching armored cavalry. Repairs to damaged pavement have to be prompt since any of these vehicles could topple over a pothole and cause harm to people and transported farm animals.
Here are some robust ideas on how to keep your ranch’s pavement looking dandy all year round!
- Avoiding a stronger pavement in favor of dirt and gravel roads is a grave mistake if you have farm vehicles, people, and clients coming over to your farm. It’s best to upgrade to either asphalt or concrete, focusing on installing road culverts and drains.
- Water is the bane of solid pavement. Provided the pavement was built with considerations to surface drainage, it wouldn’t hurt to regularly check up on the drain grates, especially in rainy weather, to ensure the grates are open. While you’re at it, do check for the state of the trenches as well.
- Never skip on seal coating your pavement as this prevents and protects from water damage. If the road starts to form potholes, hire a capable and accredited paving repair contractor to patch the route according to the seasonal requirement (hot or cold patch mix).
- Weeds, bushes, and even trees can encroach on less-used access roads. The best way is to trim the bushes and cut off any pokey branches without ruining the aesthetics of the tree. For weeds, a DCPA based herbicide spray is suitable as it targets the weeds without harming the environment.
- Even though snow isn’t all that heavy in winters in Texas, there are some rare flurries in some areas. So don’t forget to have your pavement plowed since snow and ice tend to cause conditions leading to potholes. Do excavate ditches on the sides of the pavement for plowers to shove snow or slush into. Your pavement needs to be crowned well enough to allow any excess spring thaw to run off as well. If you want to install concrete trenches, opt for the U-shaped ones and plant vegetation around to protect the canal against erosion.
- Farms can also be muddy places depending on the season. If your road is gravel, dirt, or old asphalt, a road washout will incapacitate your ranch functions by making it hard for you, your vehicles, and your livestock to get through the mud. That’s why we stressed culverts and ditches.
- If you have a dirt road, you can harden it by adding sand and gravel to the topsoil and compacting it in. But then again, gravel is not an ideal road type despite being quite common on ranches. The gravel road can be maintained, too, with constant upkeep to prevent potholes and depressions.
- Possibly the best maintenance advice is to ensure a mindset where you have to protect your investment, i.e., the pavement, from damages small and large.
At Prime Asphalt, we deal in constructing pavement, but we have dedicated services for ranch road maintenance. If you are ranching in the Waco, TX area and have seen a few too many potholes parading around your asphalt, it’s time to get your free quote on that pavement repair job you definitely would need us for. We also offer pavement construction and repair services all across Texas, but we’re here for you in Waco so don’t forget to get in touch to ranch up that road of yours!