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aostling
06-10-2012, 11:27 PM
My brother Robert is visiting Phoenix. While his wife Iris attended a line-dancing convention in Mesa, Robert and I drove the Apache Trail to Roosevelt Lake in his rented Nissan Rogue. This road was built in 1906 and has sections which have not been widened or improved.

At one view point we encountered a biker who graduated from Ballard High School in 1959. That's the same year I graduated from his school's neighboring rival, Queen Anne High School in Seattle. It made me think: this guy is riding a Harley why aren't I?

http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u183/aostling/BadGuyfromBallard.jpg

The road has a lot of washboarding. Robert (wearing the blue cap in the above photo) asked me if I knew what caused it. I mentioned something about it being due to all vehicle suspensions being sprung to provide the same natural frequency. But my understanding of why this causes washboard roads is vague, at best.

Do you have an explanation for this phenomenon?

http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u183/aostling/washboard.jpg

RetiredFAE
06-10-2012, 11:45 PM
That's the way the "roads" look on my family's cattle ranch right after we grade them with a bulldozer after the spring runoff is done.

The 'dozer's track treads leave that rippled/washboard pattern behind.

winchman
06-11-2012, 12:40 AM
The traction of the tires pushing on the dirt does the same thing as the friction of the wind on water...causes ripples.

A.K. Boomer
06-11-2012, 12:55 AM
There's allot of that where im from, there's a multitude of reasons and much of it is suspension and some of it is what Winchman stated as Iv noticed a pattern that it is generally worse on the climbing side of the roads where I live in the mountains...

Suspension coupled with a car trying retain traction I think is the biggest culprit... braking downhill can be bad to but at least its all four wheels involved unlike most cars climbing...

believe it or not the best car iv ever driven on washboard was a yugo...

I think because everything was so flexy it really didn't get into the common frequency range of other well designed vehicles --- I could do 70 over washboard and be drinking a cup of coffee...

uncle pete
06-11-2012, 12:58 AM
I've been running graders off and on for about 30 years. It's from overuse and excessive brakeing by incompetent drivers.

Actual removal of that washboard so it doesn't come back right away is due to not enough time spent by those grader operators to cut below the washboard and respread the road surface back in place.

Pete

The Artful Bodger
06-11-2012, 01:11 AM
--- I could do 70 over washboard and be drinking a cup of coffee...


I learned to drive in a Ford Customline in an area where all the roads were gravel and mostly washboarded (we called it corrugated).

A moderately heavy car with fairly narrow tires can be driven quite fast but to get there requires accelerating through a speed zone that would shake your back teeth out. If I recall correctly that was about 40mph. Once above that speed the ride was dead smooth but traction was very tenuous and steering required a very gentle touch.

dalee100
06-11-2012, 10:11 AM
I've been running graders off and on for about 30 years. It's from overuse and excessive brakeing by incompetent drivers.

Actual removal of that washboard so it doesn't come back right away is due to not enough time spent by those grader operators to cut below the washboard and respread the road surface back in place.

Pete

Hi,

I used to run a crusher and do a little blade work in my younger days for my late ex-Father-in-law. I agree, to much traffic and too fast of speeds will cause washboarding.

At the very root of the problem is often the gravel itself. Too much sand and not enough crushed rock and then clay to bind it all together properly will allow washboards to easily form. It ain't easy to make proper class 5

dalee

jep24601
06-11-2012, 10:39 AM
I've been running graders off and on for about 30 years. It's from overuse and excessive braking by incompetent drivers.

In the African deserts you can drive for a hundred miles without touching the brakes but the corrugations are just as bad as anywhere else. Nothing to do with "incompetent" drivers.

jep24601
06-11-2012, 10:42 AM
A moderately heavy car with fairly narrow tires can be driven quite fast but to get there requires accelerating through a speed zone that would shake your back teeth out. If I recall correctly that was about 40mph. Once above that speed the ride was dead smooth but traction was very tenuous and steering required a very gentle touch.
I cracked a widshield once at speed on a corrugated gravel road and as soon as I dropped to below 40 mph that darned shaking just dropped the windshield in my lap in pieces.

demerrill
06-11-2012, 10:45 AM
http://www.google.com/#hl=en&sclient=psy-ab&q=washboard+road+cause&oq=washboard+road&aq=1&aqi=g4&aql=&gs_l=hp.1.1.0l4.0.0.2.51963.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0..0.0.. .0.0.T8GXTVSuy1c&pbx=1&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.,cf.osb&fp=76b71a3030273bc6&biw=1329&bih=1036

David Merrill

dp
06-11-2012, 11:09 AM
I'm 66 and still have my Harley but haven't been on it for a couple years owing to my hip problem. Hopefully I'll have my knees in the breeze soon. Here's a scientific explanation of roller-induced rippling:

http://www.autoblog.com/2009/07/09/why-does-a-road-ripple-like-a-washboard-here-comes-the-science/

In the 60's and 70's I used to spend quite a lot of time in the SoCal Mojave desert on dirt bikes and have zillions of miles driving my bikes and trucks on those roads and there is a sweet spot speed you can find to make the ride almost smooth but as has been mentioned you have to get through a total vehicle resonance speed first. What is miserable is if you are in a caravan of vehicles and the lead driver doesn't know enough to get to the sweet spot and you can drive for miles in the chatter zone. Passing in the dust is extremely dangerous as you can't see what is coming the other way so you have to ride it out.

Weston Bye
06-11-2012, 11:10 AM
I don't know that it qualifies as washboarding, but back in the early '60 I observed the asphalt pavement being formed into ripples, or more accurately waves, at a traffic light on Dort Hwy at Lippincott, where the trucks hauling Buick bodies from Fisher 1 on the south side of Flint to the Buick assembly plant downtown, would come to a juddering halt for a red light. I suppose there were other trucks that contributed, but these were most numerous. It always happened in hot weather, and the suface of the asphalt was smooth but wavy. the worst case was nearly a foot in height from trough to crest. Two or three humps in 8-10 feet. Great fun to ride my bicycle over when there was no traffic. The City would come and repair it periodically, but it never lasted.

A.K. Boomer
06-11-2012, 11:25 AM
Wow, sounds like a job for cement...:eek:

jep24601
06-11-2012, 11:38 AM
I don't know that it qualifies as washboarding, but back in the early '60 I observed the asphalt pavement being formed into ripples, or more accurately waves, at a traffic light on Dort Hwy at Lippincott, where the trucks hauling Buick bodies from Fisher 1 on the south side of Flint to the Buick assembly plant downtown, would come to a juddering halt for a red light. I suppose there were other trucks that contributed, but these were most numerous. It always happened in hot weather, and the suface of the asphalt was smooth but wavy. the worst case was nearly a foot in height from trough to crest. Two or three humps in 8-10 feet. Great fun to ride my bicycle over when there was no traffic. The City would come and repair it periodically, but it never lasted.

That has a very technical term "Pushing" as in the asphalt being pushed. It happens worst where the pavement surface has been built up over the years (overlaid) with thin layers of aspalt (and therefore with fine aggregate) which doesn't have the stability of a properly constructed asphalt pavement where only the thinnest top layer will have the finer aggregate.

bob_s
06-11-2012, 11:55 AM
Wow, sounds like a job for cement...:eek:

I assume you mean concrete. Cement is just the "glue" that holds it together.

A.K. Boomer
06-11-2012, 11:58 AM
Oh thanks for the correction --- wouldn't want to confuse anyone,

sounds like you deciphered the code though and chose the right "variable" as cement can also be placed in a bag in its pure form and left out by the side of the highway:rolleyes: good job. great detective work

jep24601
06-11-2012, 12:43 PM
I assume you mean concrete. Cement is just the "glue" that holds it together.
Cement - pronounced SEEment - is often the US vernacular for concrete.

aostling
06-11-2012, 01:46 PM
Here's a scientific explanation of roller-induced rippling:
http://www.autoblog.com/2009/07/09/why-does-a-road-ripple-like-a-washboard-here-comes-the-science/


Dennis,

Your link shows a clever scientific apparatus for investigating the phenomenon. Apparently they found that it has nothing to do with the natural frequency of the suspension system, since even unsprung plow blades cause washboarding.

It's still not clear to me why wheels (or blades) when bumped up, will tend to come down in at the bottom of a depression in the road, adding to the washboarding. It seems just as likely that they could come down on a crest, which would even things out.

I hope you will soon be on your Harley again, or if you want to levitate above the washboards, on one of these: http://powersports.honda.com/2012/crf450x.aspx

co_farmer
06-11-2012, 02:17 PM
I don't know that it qualifies as washboarding, but back in the early '60 I observed the asphalt pavement being formed into ripples, or more accurately waves, at a traffic light on Dort Hwy at Lippincott, where the trucks hauling Buick bodies from Fisher 1 on the south side of Flint to the Buick assembly plant downtown, would come to a juddering halt for a red light. I suppose there were other trucks that contributed, but these were most numerous. It always happened in hot weather, and the suface of the asphalt was smooth but wavy. the worst case was nearly a foot in height from trough to crest. Two or three humps in 8-10 feet. Great fun to ride my bicycle over when there was no traffic. The City would come and repair it periodically, but it never lasted.
Can happen at other than stop lights. Quite a few years back there was a section of hwy. 217 between Beaverton and Tigard, Oregon that was extremely washboarded asphalt paving. I drove it once at 55 mph in my 1978 International Scout and I am sure all 4 wheels were airborn at once. Some time later, the section of highway was totally ripped out and rebuilt.

May have been faulty construction that started it. Many stories appeared in the local paper before the repair, so, I wasn't the only one with a bad experience, there.

Paul

A.K. Boomer
06-11-2012, 02:29 PM
Yes - i remember sections that would be far worse in the summer and settle back down in the winter too - due to expansion rates of the black asphalt in the mid-day sun...

Abner
06-11-2012, 02:53 PM
The tire crests the ridge of the first bump, gains elevations slightly, looses traction slightly, spins slightly, comes back down, setting up to hit the next ridge with force(packing the ridge) and compressing the suspension, creating the next gain in elevation worse as the suspension decompresses.

The poster above is correct about grader operators having to break down the washboard deeply- to remove the hard spots. After the tires crest the first bump they hit the front edge of the next bump and compress the road material with force.

Pot holes are the same thing- the edges get hardened and compacted by tire impact. If I remove (dig out) the hard spots completely and make a "homogenous" fill - they stay away a lot longer. The biggest waste is filling them with loose material.

IMHO the absolute best thing you can do is drive in 4 wd on gravel roads if you have it, or drive slow to avoid tire slippage. Good luck, it's a maintenance issue.

Carld
06-11-2012, 05:55 PM
Our subdivision road is gravel and the hill at the entrance gets wash boarded a lot. The only way I can get rid of the wash board is to dig the gravel at a sharp angle to the road deep enough to rip up the base rock. If you just grade the surface it will be back in one day.

The cause, as best I can determine is drivers that don't care and slightly spin their wheels as they climb the hill, drivers that enjoy spinning their wheels and limited slip rear axles. How do I know, I watch the smart asses doing it. The reason I know the limited slip axles do it is my truck has limited slip and it wash boards my drive and the road.

I built a road ripper for when it gets real bad but most the time a grader blade will get the job done after a good saturating rain. If it's dry it's a bugger to fix even with the road ripper.

+ or - Zero
06-11-2012, 07:55 PM
aostling, there isn't much I can add about washboard roads, but at least now you (well your brother at least, you may have known already) should know the answer to the "Where the hell is Tortilla Flat?" bumper stickers --assuming that the Superstition Saloon is still operating.

Nice drive isn't it? (washboard road or not).

kf2qd
06-11-2012, 09:18 PM
Washboarding is a pain, but not as bad as the randomnress that seems to be the rule on the dirt roads in the colonias in Matamoros mexico.

On the north side of the border we have Caliche (Ca Lee Chay) that is a mixture of clay and gravel. If the mixture has the right amount of moisture after it is graded, and enough traffic while it is still damp it makes a wonderfull, hard road surface. BUT - get the wrong grades operator and it get worse every time he grades it...

aostling
06-11-2012, 10:15 PM
you may have known already) should know the answer to the "Where the hell is Tortilla Flat?" bumper stickers --assuming that the Superstition Saloon is still operating.

Nice drive isn't it? (washboard road or not).

It had been three years since I'd been on the Apache Trail, and this was the first time in the passenger's seat. I got to admire the view full time.

We stopped at the saloon in Tortilla Flat. I wonder if one of the (+ or -) 100,000 one-dollar bills plastered to all the walls has your name on it?

http://i168.photobucket.com/albums/u183/aostling/TortillaFlatSaloon-2.jpg

dp
06-11-2012, 10:28 PM
On Hwy 84/Rte 66 going west through Morgan, Utah there was one of those road mushrooms in the right lane of the highway, no doubt a pothole filled with a few spades of blacktop and tamped. Doesn't take long for long haul trucks to raise it. I missed it with my Harley by a couple feet but it looked like it was a good foot deep between the crater walls and the bottom of the depression. Not something you'd want to hit at night. It looked like it could snap the front suspension right off the bike.

There's some twisty roads going out of Gillette, WY that has miles of tar snakes. On a hot summer day those are like riding on fresh oil. Just about as nerve wracking as a washboard road.

KiddZimaHater
06-11-2012, 11:04 PM
It seems that 'washboarding' occurs most often in the desert, and on sandy roads.
I lived in El Paso for years, and my buddies and I would always go out into the desert for bonfires & beer.
Every desert/dirt road had that 'washboarding'.
Drive fast enough, and your teeth would rattle out of your head.:D

+ or - Zero
06-11-2012, 11:15 PM
It had been three years since I'd been on the Apache Trail, and this was the first time in the passenger's seat. I got to admire the view full time.

We stopped at the saloon in Tortilla Flat. I wonder if one of the (+ or -) 100,000 one-dollar bills plastered to all the walls has your name on it?



Yep. They say one should leave his mark on the world. Sorta unrelated to Apache Trail, but I even have one of my ties & an old business card hanging from the rafters at Pinnacle Peak.

Guess that doesn't say as much about leaving my mark on the world as it does about my ability to litter it up. But I sure had fun doing it.

Absolutely beautiful drive down through Fish Creek, it's been many years since I was there, but I used to go there quite often --it's not a place one forgets.

dp
06-11-2012, 11:20 PM
Washington State has some of the most remarkable ripples every laid down. And they're huge.

http://www.detectingdesign.org/?page_id=703

BudB
06-11-2012, 11:40 PM
I know some "ranch" communities in Colorado require 4-wheel engaged when driving on any of they community roads.

+ or - Zero
06-11-2012, 11:41 PM
And they're huge.

http://www.detectingdesign.org/?page_id=703

It's just possible that you now hold a record in understatement.

x39
06-12-2012, 12:19 AM
Cement - pronounced SEEment - is often the US vernacular for concrete.
Hmmmm... I thought that was something else entirely.

jep24601
06-12-2012, 05:02 PM
Hmmmm... I thought that was something else entirely.
It's one of the few words where yanks enunciate the "t" more clearly than they normally do (or fail to).

sasquatch
06-12-2012, 06:56 PM
Like "Jed Clampet" he had a Ceement pond at his mansion,, mostly used by "Ellie-May".:D

rohart
06-12-2012, 07:47 PM
Artful, your description of getting up to speed on the washboard was perfect. And jep, yes, I've done the Kenyan safari parks. I remember the road from Malindi into Tsavo East as being the worst.

The grip at speed is so little you have trouble taking even the
gentlest of bends.

Reminds me of the day I got the car stuck in 9 inches of water swept sand two miles from Buffalo Wallows, but thats off the point.

x39
06-12-2012, 08:46 PM
Like "Jed Clampet" he had a Ceement pond at his mansion,, mostly used by "Ellie-May".:D
Then Mr. Clampet was a better man than I. Notwithstanding, that is no reason to cast aspersion on Ellie-May's virtue.

sasquatch
06-12-2012, 09:42 PM
Wonder what "ellie-May" looks like today??:D :eek:

(She was pretty "HOT" in those days, but Jethro would have been a clueless brother-in law):D

jep24601
06-12-2012, 11:45 PM
Artful, your description of getting up to speed on the washboard was perfect. And jep, yes, I've done the Kenyan safari parks. I remember the road from Malindi into Tsavo East as being the worst.

The grip at speed is so little you have trouble taking even the
gentlest of bends.

Reminds me of the day I got the car stuck in 9 inches of water swept sand two miles from Buffalo Wallows, but thats off the point.
Yes, I've driven Tsavo East to Malinda. Washboarding wasn't too bad when we did it but it may have been recently regraded because we went around one corner and there was this this huge sharp rock right in the middle of the road and pretty unavoidable at speed gliding on the washboards. Well it was my wife's driving turn and she hits this rock dead square on with an almighty crash under the car. Well I said: ""#%$#@*, why did you hit that rock dead center instead of off to the side". "Well I thought that was the best place" she said. "Well stop the car and let me look at the sump" I say. I would never have believed a pressed steel sump could get that big of a creased dent and not be leaking, but it wasn't. I sure breathed a sigh of relief at not being stranded in the middle of Tsavo East.

The worst washboarding we came across was on the Isiolo to Marsabit road - that's where we lost the windshield trying to pass a slow moving truck. Managed to hit an antelope that same evening.

A.K. Boomer
06-13-2012, 12:43 AM
Wonder what "ellie-May" looks like today??:D :eek:

(She was pretty "HOT" in those days, but Jethro would have been a clueless brother-in law):D


Ellie may was smokin hot, easy going, not a brain in her head but didn't matter cuz she was comfortable just being her,
I hope she aged good - she deserved that much...

she owned the patent on the front shirt tie down. lol damn...

x39
06-13-2012, 12:45 AM
but Jethro would have been a clueless brother-in law
Yes, but he would be the man to tend the ceement pond. Maybe Mr. Clampet would have provided some assistance.

saltmine
06-13-2012, 12:31 PM
Yeah, I heard once that Jed used to take pictures of Ellie-May whenever she went a skinny-dippin' down at the cement pond with his Camry.

That's where Toyota got the name....

It's hard to say if she aged well or not.

http://i643.photobucket.com/albums/uu155/saltmine_album/ellie-may.jpg

but she's still around.

A.K. Boomer
06-13-2012, 01:30 PM
Oh man Ellie, still kinda cute in a granny kinda way...

speaking of granny, she was a tough ole gal,

and speaking of Jethro -- I brought up Ellie being a little light with her playing deck but she's a dang rocket scientist compared to Jethro...

That was a funny show.