Your Driveway and Pothole Season

“In the spring a young man’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love…”Alfred, Lord Tennyson

Spring has returned and just as is always the case, it is a time of renewal and rebirth. However, as we welcome the warmer weather, sunnier days and blossoming flowers, there is one part of spring that most people dread – potholes. For not only are potholes unsightly, they also produce a hazard for motorists and pedestrians alike. They are particularly troublesome for people who own a driveway. This is why many people refer to spring as “pothole season.” This is also is why spring is the time when many homeowners inspect and repair the damage done to their driveway in the aftermath of winter.gravel-driveway

 

How Potholes are formed

 

Potholes in the spring form as a result of snow or rain that has seeped into the soil below the surface of the earth. As this moisture freezes temperatures drop. As temperatures continue to rise, the ground returns to normal but the pavement does not. This creates a gap between the pavement and the ground below it. As your car travels over the surface of your driveway the ground (asphalt) falls and leaves potholes. This can significantly affect your driveway grade and require the use of a gravel driveway leveler to correct the damage. A driveway drag grader can make a damaged driveway safe and drivable.

 

Reasons You Should Repair Driveway Potholes

 

The temptation may be great for some people to put off repairs on their driveway especially if the damage does not seem to be extensive. This can be an unwise strategy. At Handover Distributing we recommend that homeowners correct the problem immediately for the following reasons:

  • To reduce long-term repair costs: One pothole can lead to another and often does. Address your pothole problem early before it becomes larger and more expensive to repair.
  • To prevent further damage: Potholes never shrink in size. They only grow. By addressing the problem of small pothole early you will be minimizing the chance that pothole will grow to become an enormous problem.
  • To improve curb appeal: Potholes are unsightly and decrease the curb appeal of your entire home and the neighborhood surrounding it.
  • To improve safety: Potholes increase potential trip and fall accidents for homeowners and their families/guests.
  • To protect your vehicle: Potholes can damage your tires, suspension, etc.

Finally, why mar the beauty of the season by putting off driveway repairs? Potholes are a part of spring but they do not have to be a growing problem for you and your family. Check out our sturdy, American-made pull behind driveway graders and make your driveway match the beauty of the season.

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The Basics of Horse Arena Grooming

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The perfect horse arena surface is not an easy thing to build and/or maintain.  It is a combination of art and science.  Its results should be both imperceptible to spectators and at the same time obvious to the horses, groomers and other workers of the facility.  After all, the ‘sport of kings’ requires no less than meticulous and exact grooming of the surface in which the horses will traverse.  So how do you go about building the perfect horse arena?  Here are some factors that determine the viability of horse arena surfaces and tips for creating the optimum conditions for riders and horses.

Walk around the arena:  Check the consistency of the arena by walking the area to determine whether it feels comfortable.  Two things you are looking for are whether the arena is deeper in some areas than others and if there are holes present.  Either condition could affect performance at the least and injure your horses at most.

Watch the horses:  Watch the horses go back and forwards on the track.  If their hoof prints make marks deeper than 1” then you may have a problem with shifting sand.  Make sure, on the other hand, that the arena’s surface is not too hard.  A surface that is very hard can create high impact shocks that can cause a horse physical discomfort and maladies such as joint problems.

Use the best quality sand:  Once you have assessed the surface using the above tests, be sure to use high quality sand in building and/or maintaining your arena.  Good sand isn’t cheap but it will pay for itself in the form of a consistent, sturdy track that will prevent horses and their riders from injury and won’t adversely affect race outcomes.

Check before you apply the top layer:  Beneath the top layer of sand you want the foundation to be firm, and consistent.  This is because a horse’s hoofs may eventually penetrate the top soil and come into contact with the surface.  You do not want damage done to this layer of the track.

Meticulously maintain the arena:  Horses are very heavy animals.  This means that they are bond to constantly change the surface of any area they constantly travel.  Weather also greatly affects those same surfaces.  This is where Handozer’s groomers come into play.  We offer our D3-MG groomer that is capable of grooming multiple surfaces such as horse arena.  They are sturdy and made of high-grade steel. 

Yes, a sound, well-maintained horse arena helps to protect the horse and the rider.  All the time, money and effort involved in building a horse arena are potentially wasted if it is not properly maintained.  Invest the time, effort, money and equipment in building the “perfect arena.”

Fascinating Facts About the Kentucky Derby

Known for being one of the most popular events in horse racing history, the running of the 143rd Kentucky Derby is set to kick off on Saturday, May 6, 2017. So famous is the event, that people who only have a superficial knowledge of horse racing are familiar with the ethos surrounding it. Just mention the name “Kentucky Derby” and it is bound to evoke in others images of aristocrats sipping mint juleps in the stands and at tables around the venue. But how much of what is presented in our culture about the Derby is true and what is mere legend? Here are some interesting facts about this venerable race for three-year-old Thoroughbreds.

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  • The race itself is only two minutes long. In fact, for this reason the race has been dubbed “the most exciting two minutes in sport.”
  • Dudley Allen, in 1891, was the last African-American trainer to win the Derby.
  • The image we created at the beginning of this post is not entirely incorrect. Each year, more than 100,000 mint juleps (bourbon, water, crushed or shaved ice, and fresh mint) are said to be consumed at Churchill Downs.
  • The legendary Secretariat is the fastest horse to have ever raced there. He finished a 1 1/4 mile distance race with a time of 1:59.40. Only a horse named “Monarchos” has finished the race in less than two minutes (1:59.97). This happened back in 2001.
  • Every year, more than 400 red roses are draped around the winner of the race. According to KentuckyDerby.com, in 1925 this prompted one columnist to call the Derby the “Run for the Roses.”
  • The capacity of Churchill Downs, where the race is held, is roughly 170,000.
  • The Kentucky Derby was first run at 1 1⁄2 miles (2.4 kilometers), and only changed to its current 1 1/4 miles (2 kilometers) in 1896.
  • Fillies have a terrible win record there. Of 39 fillies, only three won — Regret (1915), Genuine Risk (1980) and Winning Colors (1988).
  • The date of the race has not always been on the first Saturday in May. In 1945, the final year of World War II, the date was June 9.

 

Hopefully, this has demystified some of the facts surrounding this world famous event. At Handozer, we wish to acknowledge this event that equestrians all around the globe are eagerly anticipating. We know our customers can appreciate the effort it takes to prepare such a venue so that the horses, their jockeys and the general public are safe and happy. Proper horse arena grooming takes time, effort and the right equipment. Your horse arena may not be Churchill Downs, but the care you put into it can be just as effective with one of our graders.

The Biggest Events in Horse Racing

It has often been called ‘The Sport of Kings’. The best athletes in the world are entitled to the biggest, most ostentatious events in all of professional sports and that is precisely what all of these venues are. Enthusiastic fans from all over the world gather at these events to see the union of man and animal. Some also gather at these events to get ideas for building their own smaller arenas. Horse arena grooming tips aside; here are somgroomed_horse_tracke of the biggest events known to the sport.

 

The Kentucky Derby: Established in 1875, this is the granddaddy of all horse racing events. People who know nothing else about the sport at all are familiar with it. Yearly, more than 150k people attend this August demonstration of what man and animal are capable of when working together.

 

Breeders’ Cup: Much younger than the Kentucky Derby (the Breeder’s Cup was established in 1984), this race has grown to become one of the most important races of all.

 

Belmont Stakes: Older than even the Kentucky Derby, the Belmont Stakes is a part of the Triple Crown races (the others being the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes). It is at this event that in 1973, Secretariat set the track record of 2:24 and won his Triple Crown by 31 lengths. (The Crown is awarded to three-year-old Thoroughbred horses who win the Kentucky Derby, Preakness States and Belmont Stakes.)

 

Preakness Stakes: Held on the third Saturday in May of each year at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland, the Preakness Stakes is run over a distance of 9.5 furlongs on a dirt track.

 

Arlington Million: Designed for thoroughbreds age three and upward, this race offers a prize of $1 million to the winner and is a part of the Breeder’s Cup challenge series. The legendary horse John Henry won twice here.

 

Arkansas Derby: Established in 1936 and run in Hot Springs, Arkansas, this Derby is for three-year-old thoroughbreds and is held on a 9 furlong dirt track. The top prize here is also $1 million.

 

Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe: This race, which is simply known in France as the Arc, is one of Europe’s biggest horse-racing events. Its top prize is 4 million Euros (4,244,340.00 US Dollars). The event even hosts live jazz music performances prior to the actual race.

 

Finally, your horse arena may not be as grand as those listed above but that is no reason that it cannot look its best. Our equipment can create a nice even and safe surface for your horses. Fans of the Sport of Kings are entitled to a secure, attractive and functional place to gather and appreciate these magnificent animals.

What You Need to Know About Horse Track Surfaces

To the uninitiated – those who are have little to no knowledge of horse racing – there probably appears to be no difference between one track and another. But for those who have greater knowledge about the “Sport of Kings,” what a track is made of matters immensely in handicapping the races that will be held there. At Handozer Distributing, not only does our have equipment grade driveways, our sturdy paddock_at_fairmount_park_horse_race_track_in_collinsville_illinoisalso works on indoor and outdoor horse arenas. For those who have recently become interested in horse racing here are the differences in the types of tracks there are and how and why they make a difference in the outcome of races.

Turf: This is the most common kind of racetrack surface in European horse racing. The main drawback to it is that it is vulnerable to weather conditions such as rain. Moreover, wet turf can slow a horse’s pace making even a reliable performer unpredictable. For this reason, races held on turf surfaces are vulnerable to cancellation depending on the weather conditions.

Dirt: In the US, Japan and Canada “dirt” racing is the traditional racing surface and is therefore prominent at most well known races such as the Triple Crown series. Dirt surfaces have the advantage of varying depending on the sand content, drainage, etc. These surfaces also create less friction on the hooves of horses. The disadvantage is that, like turf surfaces, they are vulnerable adverse weather conditions.

Synthetic: Composed of rubber and wax materials, synthetic tracks are strong, weather resistant and resemble dirt in appearance. These kinds of tracks often favor horses that are used to running on turf (grass). Additionally, synthetic surfaces are generally easier on horses causing them fewer injuries and possibly deaths. Finally, synthetic tracks have better drainage which means that races can be held in adverse weather conditions.

Ultimately, horses perform best on the surface(s) upon which they were bred and trained to perform. Some horses – such as the legendary Secretariat – can perform well on any surface. When handicapping races it is important that spectators consider breeding, past experience and the condition of the surface upon which the race will be held to determine which horse might perform best. Of course, surface condition can be customized with our 42” wide Handozer D3.5 MG drag. They are made of steel and are American made.

What You Need to Know about Baseball Field Covers and Tarps

Well, it’s been an exciting year in baseball capped off by the Chicago Cubs first trip to the World Series in 71 years. All over the country, both little league and major league maintenance crews are spreading the big tarp over fields to protect them in anticipation of winter’s icy grip. At Handover Distributing, we know that creating and maintaining an optimum playing surface is not just about proper infield grooming and dragging. We know that it is more than simply using the sturdiest infield groomer which our company provides in its 42” wide Handozer D3.5 MG. It is also about choosing and properly laying out a tarp to protect your field for those months when it will not be in use.

There are basically five types of protection for your baseball field that you can use. They are:

  • Field Covers
  • Mound Covers
  • Wind Weighted Spot Covers
  • Turf Growth Blankets
  • Fence Screens

Baseball field covers are designed to cover and protect the entire field and are used by nearly all major league, college and minor league teams. They come in a wide variety of materials and colors and are designed to fit each ballpark’s specific dimensions. In addition, they are built in order to be installed or removed with minimal effort on the ground crew’s part. Often times, these tarps will have materials that make them waterproof, UV resistant and heat reflective. Mound and plate covers specifically protect these parts of the field from the elements. They reduce maintenance costs and keep the clay dry. Standard dimensions for mound covers include: 10ft by 10ft for base covers, either 26ft or 30ft for home plate covers, and 20ft for the pitching mound.

Wind weighted spot covers protect against high winds that can erode the surface of your field. The perimeter of these covers often contains a galvanized steel chain sewn in for the added weigh. Turf growth blankets are specifically designed to help accelerate the greenhouse effect on fields with natural turf. In other words, it helps retain moisture and heat so that seeds are able to germinate and your field maintains a healthy green surface. Finally, windscreens go on the outside of the field in order to enhance privacy and to cut down on wind shear both of which can detract from the game.

Yes, a playable field is one that is properly cared for all year round even when it is not in use. These covers help extend the life of your field and enhance the game for everyone.

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Tips for Maintaining Your Gravel Driveway

Gravel driveways have many advantages over driveways made from other materials. For one thing gravel is relatively inexpensive. For another thing, gravel is quite durable and can last many years if properly maintained. Next, having a driveway made from gravel can be very aesthetically pleasing. You can easily contrast or match the exterior of your home depending on the color of the gravel in your driveway. Finally, gravel driveways are relatively easy and quick to install. All these reasons and more are why many people choose gravel for their driveway material. But how difficult is it to maintain a gravel driveway? Here are some tips for maintaining the gravel in your driveway.

Buy the correct size gravel: The optimum size for driveway gravel is about ¼”. This is about the size of a pea. Finally, use pieces that have sharp edges as larger blunt pieces can cause pits, ruts, or potholes

Properly grade your driveway: When grading your driveway you should pack the gravel in a way that ensures that your driveway is level and has a proper base. This is absolutely critical in maintaining a gravel driveway. Our driveway drag graders are tough, sturdy and designed to handle large and small jobs alike. They help loosen hard packed gravel and help keep potholes from forming.

Watch for drainage problems: If you have ruts or washouts in your driveway resolve the problem by adding more gravel in order to make your driveway higher than the surrounding areas or install a culvert or ditch to pull excess water away from the gravel. In either case, having a high quality gravel driveway grader is a necessity.

Watch for snow plow damage: Using a snowplow at some point during the approaching winter is evitable for most homeowners. Unfortunately, snowplows can quickly and rather significantly damage gravel driveways. In order to mitigate the damage done to your driveway by snowplowing, make sure that you replace the gravel that is pushed outward by your plow back to the center of your drive.

Stay on top of potholes: The best strategy for combating potholes that form in your gravel driveway is to refill the holes quickly and to compact each layer tightly before adding another. You may have to remove large sections of gravel depending on the size of the pothole before accomplishing this.

Finally, gravel driveways are not without their challenges but many homeowners consider the pluses to outweigh the minuses. The important thing to remember is that with proper maintenance a gravel driveway can be a beautiful addition to your property that will last for a lifetime and be well worth the effort you put into it.handozer blog

Rain and Its Effect on the Infield

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Rain, rain go away come again some other day. When it comes to infield maintenance more planning and thought is needed than invoking this children’s rhyme. Excessive moisture can ruin the playability of infield so it is important to know how to recover from rain. Here are some types to help maintenance crews maintain the viability of the infield.

Keep the infield properly graded: Ideally, infields should be graded in a manner that makes the pitcher’s mound the highest point on the field and so that the surface grade then slopes away from the mound in all directions. This contributes to better drainage. Infield grooming is a task that takes vigilance, careful measurements and the proper equipment. Our 42” wide Handozer D3.5 MG is perfect for grooming baseball infields or any size be it a high school infield or a professional level field.turner_field_during_rain_delay

Maintain your turf edges: Properly maintaining the turf edges of your infield to prevent lip buildup allows water to easily pass from the infield to the turf areas.

Choose the right soil material: The right soiling material can have a huge impact on how quickly your infield recovers from heavy downpours. For example, soil with proper amounts of medium to coarse sand and with the correct mixture of silt to clay, can mean the difference between the infield recovering from rain events in days as opposed hours. The proper infield groomer can help disperse and grade the materials over the infield so that conditions return to normal swiftly after a rain event.

Know your field: Keep meticulous records on weather conditions, soil analysis, player performance and equipment used to maintain the field.

Do it right the first time: Make sure that if you are responsible for building the infield from scratch that you do the job right. Money, time and effort spent creating the infield will pay off in huge dividends later.

Use Proper dragging techniques: Vary your dragging patterns so that you can maintain a level, consistent surface throughout the season. Also use a nail drag and a mat drag when grading the infield surface, so that the surface drains and plays properly. Using the same dragging pattern constantly can cause the field to develop inconsistencies such as high and low spots.

Remember, the ultimate goal is to always make the infield as playable as possible regardless of what weather conditions it inevitably undergoes. Rain events can be an excellent time to evaluate and even improve upon the viability of your field. Your field will recover from excessive water faster and game play will improve tenfold.

The Importance of Infield Grooming and Maintenance

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It is a fact that probably escapes all but the most ardent baseball fan but the vast majority of baseball play takes place on the “skinned” surfaces of a baseball field.  For this reason, the condition of the infield can literally make or break the game.  There are several factors that affect the quality of the infield and all of them should be considered carefully. handozer infield grooming

Drainage:  The most important component of infield drainage is the surface grade.  If the soil is packed too tightly water will not be able to drain off the infield effectively.  Using the proper infield groomer along with the right kind of infield soil can be critical in helping an infield drain properly.

The proper soil type:  Another important element that helps make a well maintained and “skinned” infield surface is the correct kind of soil.  The base soil should ideally be between 4 – 6 inches and it should be packed tightly but not too tightly.  Here just the right soil and sand combination are critical.  There are several studies online that address the ideal combination of the two.  Remember, however that sand absorbs water.

Moisture control:  It is important to remember that your infield will constantly be exposed to varying temperatures, humidity, rain and wind.  You should take this into account and know the rate at which your infield will absorb water.  You will need to apply water to your infield surface regularly anyway.  This is why it is so important to choose the correct sand/soil mixture and why it is important to groom the infield regularly.  Proper watering will also help promote uniform bounce on the infield surface.

Another thing to remember about infield grooming is that it allows maintenance people to contribute greatly to a game in their own way.  This may go unnoticed by spectators but a properly maintained infield using durable infield grooming techniques will be appreciated by players and managers alike.  Proper infield maintenance allows grounds crews to leave their distinct signature on the field of play.  Our levelers are affordable, durable and can handle other surfaces too such as driveways and horse arenas.  Our American made pull behind road grader/lawn tractor graders will help your driveway, horse arena or infield to be more attractive and most importantly safer and more resilient.  Ask us for help in determining which implement is best for meeting your personal requirements.

Handozer: The Perfect Solution to Driveway Grading

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Is water seeping into the asphalt or gravel in your driveway?  Is this causing problems such as cracking, chipping and uneven surfaces?  Does this water then freeze in winter causing even more problems? If the answer to any of these questions is yes then chances are your driveway is improperly graded and you need help creating a flat, even surface that is divot and rut-free. smooth-finish-drives These imperfections affect not only the appearance on your driveway but also its safety and its longevity.  The first step is to acknowledge and examine the problem.  The second step is to excavate the gravel/asphalt.  The final step is to grade your driveway.

Evaluating and Understanding the Problem

The impact improper grading makes on surfaces such as driveways, horse arenas and baseball infield is enormous and should not be underestimated.  First, if water is not draining correctly then flooding or pooling up or corrosion can occur.  If these things take place water may then flow towards your garage, shed or building foundation.  Improper draining also shortens the life of your investment in your home and/or driveway.  Lastly, gravel or asphalt that is uneven and has perfections creates a dangerous trip hazard for you and your family.  All of this is why understanding the scope of the problem is such a vital first step.

Excavation and Removal

Proper excavating is the second important step to replacing your imperfect driveway surface with a new flat, surface.  First, check to see if excavating will disrupt underground utilities by calling your local utility company.  Next, you should test to see how fast the soil absorbs water.  Finally, removal can begin with any number of machines that are easily found on the Internet such as a back hoe.

Grading

This is where Handozer comes in.  We can provide you with quality driveway grading equipment that will get the job done.  Our ATV driveway grader and accessories are durable and are homemade (USA only).  (That is, providing that the soil beneath has been properly prepared.)  When you’ve decided that you want to replace the gravel/asphalt in your driveway with a more functional surface we are here.  As a company with much practical experience we offer you the following tips to grading.

  • Be sure to dig deeply in order to loosen up the gravel. Dig as deep as your deepest pothole.
  • Make several passes in order to further loosen up the gravel.
  • Scan for washouts or floating gravel.
  • Distribute loose gravel evenly over the fresh surface.

Any job doing is a job worth doing well.  Once you’ve committed to the job of replacing your worn or cracked surface – be it a baseball infield, driveway or horse arena – make sure that your project will be a successful one by buying one of our pull behind road grader/lawn tractor graders.