Large Vehicles And Your Driveway: What Should You Do?
Keeping your driveway in top shape requires regular maintenance when you have moderately sized vehicles. But if your driveway is home to heavy trucks or a recreational vehicle, you have to be even more careful. To keep your driveway functional under these circumstances, you need to take a few precautions or consider a new driveway.
The amount of weight your driveway can hold will vary, of course, depending on the material used as well as the driveway's thickness. Professionals state that your standard residential driveway usually should not be subjected to more than 10,000 pounds. You are risking cracks and permanent dents if you go over that weight. Of course, an expertly installed driveway with the proper thickness will be able to support heavier vehicles. Increasing thickness from 4" to 5" can increase the strength of your concrete driveway by nearly 50%.
If your driveway does not have the proper load-bearing capacity, you should not park your RV or other heavy equipment on your driveway. You may need to keep the vehicle on the street, which is not an ideal solution, or park it on the grass beside your driveway or behind the house. Of course, these actions can wreak havoc on your landscaping. For a long-term solution, you may need to redo your driveway.
If you have an older driveway, it may not be wide enough to accommodate two SUVs, much less a heavy truck and other over-sized vehicles. If you decide to redo your driveway, you should consider widening it as well as making it stronger. You will have to inspect your yard to see if this plan will work for you. If you have prized trees whose roots will be affected, widening the driveway may be a tough choice for you. You will also have to take drainage issues into account. Also, you will be giving up more of your front yard to pavement materials. Your paving contractor will be able to assess your situation and advise you how best to meet your driveway needs while maintaining as much of your landscaping as possible.
You can take steps to protect your older, standard driveway from the excess weight of your bigger vehicles. The best solution may be to replace your old driveway with a thicker and wider version, especially if your need for big vehicles will be ongoing. The expense of the new driveway should be at least partially recouped by keeping your vehicles off the street and away from potential damage.
For more information and options, talk with paving contractors in your area about increasing the weight limit or width through repaving or sealcoating.