Frequently Asked Questions
Will the Driveway Groomer
work well on my driveway?
- We have every confidence it will work well
on almost any gravel driveway. Try it. And if it doesn't
work for you we will refund your purchase price if notified within
30 days of receipt that you might returning it and get it back to us within 60 days. A lot more detail
to answer this can be found in the questions below. If you are
unsure it will work on your GRAVEL DRIVEWAY, e-mail us
with your conditions of the gravel including average stone
size and a description of the problem and we will evaluate it.
We don't want to sell you anything that won't work for you.
- Do I Need Riser Plates? What do they do?
- The riser plates pull more material along. About 1/2 a wheelbarrow load at a time just waiting for a low spot to call home. If condtions are prettty rough they make the job go a lot faster. Specifically, if you need to pull gravel back up a hill, have huge ruts or potholes, need to create a crown because there is none, need to change the basic grade in some areas, or a very long or large area of hard surface with potholes, you will probably be happier with the plates.
- How long will it take to get to me after I order?
- We ship next day, every business day from New Hampshire via UPS. All orders received from Friday to Sunday be to you by Friday of the next week anywhere East of the Rockies and South Texas. Orders West of the Rockies will need to be placed by Thursday to make it there for the following weekend.
- What is the best vehicle to Use?
- Without a doubt, a small SUV is the most convenient and takes the least skill (Explorer, Sante Fe, Rav4, Cherokee etc. etc.). With these, you can not only see the edges but you can open the hatch and see the rear blade doing it's thing. You can manuever easily and back up very close to anything. Take a look at a few of the pictures with mirror shots from a Sante Fe and you will see why. You can do the same with a pick-up, large SUV or a car but a lot of people are not as comfortable with mirrors.
What is a receiver hitch? Can I use it
on the vehicle I have. Will it damage my vehicle?
It is a square tube mounted to your frame
that you insert the ball into and put a pin in for towing. To use
our gravel driveway product , you simply remove the pin
and ball and insert our bar and re-insert the pin. There are 2
basic sizes 2" and 1-1/4". You need the 2" one for
our product. If you have a 1-1/4" one you would need an adapter
to 2" and the hitch rating needs to be at least 250 tounge
load which will be marked right on the hitch. Most late model SUVs
with small hitches have a rating of 350/3500 so adapting it would
be fine. U Haul sells an adapter with a solid steel bar for around
$30. We would sell it to you but we can't compete with that price.
If you have a hitch on your vehicle that has
an adequate load rating, it is designed to tow a lot more load
than our product so dragging the GRAVEL in your DRIVEWAY is nothing
compared to towing a trailer.
- Do I need to back down the whole length
of my DRIVEWAY? I don't feel comfortable backing up with mirrors.
Does that make it more difficult to use?
- You do not need to back down the whole
length of your DRIVEWAY to use it effectively. In most cases,
there are bad sections and not so bad sections of gravel.
What our unique product allows you to do is to work those bad
sectons of GRAVEL in the DRIVEWAY easily by going
back and forth over them, then just continue on.
- As far as using mirrors, if you have a
hatch back, you can open the back and see it the rear blade cutting. If you remove the
tailgate on a pickup you can see it except on 8 ft extended cabs. . It is a lot more
accurate lowering your mirrors and watching the edges of the
Groomer cutting the GRAVEL than to look over your shoulder
and with practice it gets easier. If you are used to towing and backing a trailer, it is a breeze. Again, it is not necessary,
or even recommended, to back the entire length of the DRIVEWAY.
Do we have to buy the Driveway Groomer
off the net or is available elsewhere?
- We sell directly only locally in order
to keep our cost to you down. We have had interest in distribution
but at a retail price of at least $450. If you live in the Lebanon
NH area or plan to be by this way, contact us for an appointment
and you can save packaging and shipping costs on our Driveway Groomer.
How can I tell what
it will do for my driveway?
Take a rake and vigorously
dig back and forth an inch or 2 down about 2 feet long in several
spots on your driveway. This may be very difficult in
really hard packed surfaces. Then rake the gravel back
into the "hole" you just made. Do this in several
locations where the GRAVEL looks different. Those spots
are what your entire driveway will look like using the Driveway Groomer.
My driveway is
so hard I can't even cut it with a rake. Will the Driveway Groomer
- If there is aggregate in the gravel,
it will cut it. For extremely hard surfaces where all the aggregate
is buried, it may be need to be done after a rain, but not when
muddy, to be more efficient. Hard gravel surfaces can
take a few passes to get some things loosened up and it is critical
to use 4" solid blocks for weighting. It goes faster and faster
with each pass. If you look on the site for the picture that
says "if you end up with a few passes looking like this
you are doing it right" that small amount of smoothing took 3
passes as it was very hard gravel. That driveway is
about 250 long and the first time it was done took them about
2 hours. It is not always fast and easy. Actually the picture
with the big rut only took about 20 minutes to fill and 1 hour
for the whole driveway because she had the gravel professionally
done every year so there was a lot of surface aggregate to grab
on to. Once the aggregate in the gravel is back to the
surface, future maintenance is always easier.
My driveway gets
muddy and puddles in spots when it rains. Will the Driveway Groomer
Mud is caused mostly by
poor drainage, sometimes by not enough aggregate in the gravel.
If you don't have enough aggregate, even heavy equipment can't
fix it adequately. If you have enough aggregate after the rake
test and need a few inches of change in the slope or bump removal
in some sections you will be able to fix that with the Driveway Groomer.
You can fix some pretty large holes and ruts too as shown in
the before and after pictures. If you need to move more than
a few inches of material over a large area to get it to drain,
it will take a long time with the Driveway Groomer,
less time of course with the plates, but no matter what product you use designed for the homeowner, you will either need a lot of patience, just enjoy playing
in your driveway, spot fill with crushed stone, or hire
heavy equipment. If you do the rake test above and there is
mostly stone when you are done, you can fill the depressions
and ruts with that and it will be fine. If mostly dirt after
this test, nothing but more aggregate will fix your DRIVEWAY.
If you have puddles that form, people have had success by filling
them with crushed stone so the excess water flows off.
Then drive over the stone filled areas after it dries a little
bit butthe gravel is still damp. Then you can use the Driveaway Groomer
without too much difficulty and it will last. If you mix gravel with
mud in a depression that won't drain, you still get mud. We
hear all the time, "someone told me to just add more gravel.
Wrong!! Without proper drainage, it just won't help for long!!
Depending on your situation, and the ease of using the Driveway Groomer,
this may not be of concern to you. If you spend a few hours
a month mowing your lawn, you may not mind spending an hour
on your driveway. That is up to you, we in no way want
to sell you something that won't work for you. " Will I need
more gravel before using it? We recommend giving it
a try first. Most times people are pleasantly surprised. Occasionally,
as mentioned above, you may need to spot fill with Stone.
I get ruts in my driveway like
that picture on the website when it rains hard. Will I keep
getting the ruts?
- If you have no crown, or slant to the driveway,
or drainage of some sort, and the rain finds one path to go,
the gravel may wash out again. There are a couple of things
you can do with the Driveway Groomer to fix it. First,
while you are filling a rut, it is important to get a tire right
in the gravel as it is filling to pack it. Second, you
need to get as much gravel from the edge as possible and
pull it to the center to help restore the crown which is covered
in the manual. Our riser plates, along with the ability to angle the unit and use half a plate are an excellent way of doing this (please refer to our manuals on the site). Third, you need to cut off and divert the start
of the runoff. One way to do this with the Driveway Groomer
is to make "water bars". By angling it and lifting one blade,
you can pull small mounds of gravel at an angle to the
edge of the driveway at the start of the problem. By driving
over these little mounds of GRAVEL and packing them tight,
you can divert the water.
- If you are on a slope wher the GRAVEL continually
washes out or have bad spots that form over and over in the DRIVEWAY,
putting landscape fabric in those areas and covering with stone and
packing has a good chance of fixing the problem permanently.
The Landscape fabric allows the water to pass through but prevents
the aggregate in the Gravel from setting back down into
Do you have any suggestions
for other ways to fix my gravel driveway myself?
- Yes. Mostly, people pay to have more gravel brought
in and graded. Only problem is, many times, they need to keep
coming back year after year and it can be quite costly. Sad truth
is that gravel driveways require maintenance. No matter
how well they are done they eventually need help. Even if you
have a perfectly made driveway that holds up well, the
aggregate in the gravel ends up getting driven into the
surface. If you want to keep a fresh look to the surface stone,
more stone needs to added or it needs to be re-groomed.
The DRIVEWAY GROOMER is designed to bring the right mix
of aggregate and binding material back to the surface of the gravel.
Another thing you can do to get great long lasting results is get a tailgate spred done by a trucker who knows what he/she is doing. They can get a load of dry driveway gravel, put chains on their gate to allow it to open only a small amount and with just the dump truck spread a load pretty evenly. Then you can use our product to finish it off without paying heavy equipment. There are other products on the market and we invite you to research them but we still feel ours is the best for the homeowner at any price. There are spike harrows but they just follow the contour. There are similar products like box graders with wheels and even automatic lift motors but the problem with that is that the blade stays flat and if you are not careful, you can do more harm than good, especially with a 4 foot wide unit. Not to mention the 2-3 times cost for something you will use just a few times a year. Unless you have a utility tractor or 4WD ATV, pulling anything up a hill with any of these products with a garden tractor is futile at best. Your own vehicle has 5-10 times the weight and 5-10 times the power, there is just no comparison. At any rate, we are not marketers telling you that there is finally an easy way to do your driveway, or that this is the greatest thing since sliced bread etc.etc. It will take a little work at first no matter what you buy but consider the following:
o Does it cut
the gravel both ways?
o Will I be able
to turn it around?
o Will the equipment
I have move it effectively?
o How much weight
does it apply to the gravel surface?
o Do you think that
amount of force on that product can cut the GRAVEL?
o Is there a convenient
way to weight it to apply more force to cut the GRAVEL?
o How does the horsepower
and packing weight of what I am using for a tow vehicle
o Can I use it with
what I have? How wide does it cut?
o Will it just ride
over the DRIVEWAY surface or actually help grade
o Which one is really
best for my driveway situation?
|o How often will I use it?
|o Is it light enough for me to handle and store?
o How much cost?
o How much to ship?
How does it remove bumps
and washboard since it is just dragging?
The blades are angled and
therefore only cut the GRAVEL in one direction individually.
When either blade is driven in the non cutting direction, it
just rides over the DRIVEWAY surface much like the skid
plates on a snow blower so it doesn't dig the low spots. So
if there are big bumps, you can back over them and pull or
push the gravel into the depressions. The side rails
also support the Driveway Groomer over the high spots
and the material drops into the low spots. Angling the unit
itself, by adjusting the chain lengths, helps cut washboard quickly.
Can I use the Driveway Groomer
on my 4 wheeler ATV?
Yes, if it has a receiver
with the right load requirements. And some do.
- Can I just drag it with my Garden
- Yes, but some smaller ones will just
spin the tires with a full load on hard gravel surfaces.
Without the overhead support and bi-directionality it is not
as convenient and you need room to turn around. You also you
can't go back and forth in the really rough spots in the driveway so
it takes longer in most cases. If you do drag it, it is best
to put both blades in the same direction. When you are doing
routine maintenance or have a relatively soft gravel surface
it works fine. Doing loam for a lawn is no problem.
- How much do the blocks cost? What
size are they?
- Depending on your area, about $.80 to
$1.50. The Driveway Groomer uses standard 8 X16 X 4
inch SOLID blocks.
- How do the blocks stay in the pocket?
- There are nuts in the channels to help
keep them in. Gravity does the rest. For most applications,
they stay in. In severe cases, we have provided holes in the
supports for bungee chords or rope to be used to hold them
in place which is covered in the manual. Tying them in is usually
only required where the gravel has a lot of larger stones that
get pulled up while using the DRIVEWAY Groomer such
as a lot of the bank run gravel we have p here in the
- What does reversible blade mean?
- The cutting blades can be used as a flat
blade or a toothed blade. You can put the teeth in one direction
to scarify the gravel surface and flat in the other
direction to smooth. This is primarily an advantage for flat driveways where
there a lot of potholes that form in the GRAVEL. You
use the scarifying toothed blade on one side and the flat blade
on the other. That way, you cut a minimum of material and the
flat blade drops the loosened gravel into the potholes..
The flat blade is also good for small loose aggregate. On some driveway surfaces,
just flat blades work fine. You can also put both blades in
the same direction either flat or toothed which can be helpful
in a situation where you want to move a lot of gravel one
- How long will the blades last?
- The sharp point on the blades will obviously
wear. Because they are angled, they actually keep the front cutting edge sharp as they wear and our testing shows that the points on the blade are not
very important for good results. Rounded teeth cut just as well but are much more expensive to produce. Depending on the surface and use,
the average homeowner should be able to use them for many years
before blade replacement is needed. We could use more expensive materials such as carbide but for the homeowner it is not necessary. As of 2006, since 2003, we have still only sold one set of replacement blades to a company in Texas keeping up a 5 acre parking lot made of recycled crush concrete. We still use our original prototypes and the teeth are all but gone and it still works great.
- Can the blades be re-sharpened?
- Yes. If the rounding of the points gets
to the point where it is not cutting the gravel well,
the teeth can be reground. But it is unlikely you will ever want to. Our replacement blades are under $50 anyway.
All of the pictures
on the website are smaller SUVs, will it work on larger pickup
Yes, the groomer comes
with 18 feet of chain in 4 41/2 foot lengths. Enough for all
heavy duty trucks. We even had one person hook it up to his