tire ruts

xroxJanuary 21, 2008

Situation: over the past 18months we have had 5 incidents of what I think is deliberate vandalism to our lawn (new home). Each incedent I've come home from work to find long tire ruts in our lawn. I personally think it is the construction supervisor himself doing the damage as we've also had mortar powder dumped on our car and tractor parts left on our lawn. The motive comes from me forcing him to fix improperly installed hardwood after he insisted it was "my problem" (I had to complain to his boss). Anyway I have normally just levelled the lawn with topsoil over time with good success. But this most recent time the damage was done in -12C temperature and the ruts are 2-4" deep and he turned his wheel to dig into the frozen lawn. So my 2 questions are:

1) - how to fix deep ruts (heavy roller, new sod...??)

2) - what to do about this ongoing problem? Is there a way to prevent this? I have no proof of who is actually doing it?

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turf_toes(SE Pennsylvania KBG)

A web cam sounds like your best bet. I put one together from an old G4 Mac running Quicktime Streaming server. (for other reasons, not to view my yard. :>)

With a dynamic dns service, you can view your yard from anywhere in the world. You can also set it up so that it takes snap shots when it detects motion.

I've seen inexpensive pre-built ones sold at Home Depot for $99.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2008 at 10:10PM
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Or a VCR recorder camera. Go buy a few 8 hour tapes. Put in the tape, fire up the cam, and (unobtrusively) point the camera out the window. Come home, and scan the tape on your high speed setting on your VCR ( you'll have bars but you'll be moving right along) in about fifteen minutes for the whole 8 hours.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 9:01AM
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davidandkasie(Z8 MS)

bury some spikes in the ground. put the tips of them about an inch below grade. people walking/running/falling on them won't get hurt, but something like a tire digging the ground up will be ruptured.

the above is a worst case extreme measure.

for now, plant some shrubs/trees or put a rock garden out there where they are running thru the yard. as long as you follow any local set back laws, no one can do a thing to you.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 1:34PM
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turf_toes(SE Pennsylvania KBG)

bury some spikes in the ground. put the tips of them about an inch below grade

Wow. Who would have thought that pungee sticks could be employed in lawn care!

I'm not sure I would follow the advice though. I'm not a lawyer; but it would seem to be a bit risky from a liability point of view.

    Bookmark   January 22, 2008 at 2:12PM
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deerslayer(Z5 NE IL KBG)

Here's the definition of "booby trap" from a website on legal matters:

"booby trap n. a device set up to be triggered to harm or kill anyone entering the trap, such as a shot gun which will go off if a room is entered, or dynamite which will explode if the ignition key on an auto is turned. If a person sets up such a trap to protect his/her property he/she will be liable for any injury or death even to an unwanted intruder such as a burglar. Setting a booby trap is also a crime."


    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 1:08AM
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davidandkasie(Z8 MS)

read what i said, burying them BELOW GRADE. no person or animal will be harmed. anyone rutting up the yard will get a flat. i also said that was a worst case extreme meassure the and the best coruse was laid out at the end of my post.

i know several people who have spikes in their yard. and not one of them has ever been in trouble from it either. maybe it is just the cops here, but they don't look at it as being harmful to anyone other than idiots driving thru yards. my parents neighborhood had issues a few years back with teens rutting up yards. both teh HOA AND THE COPS recommended either shurbs or spikes. the cops did say that you must bury them deep enough that someone stepping on them won't be injured. they do not even have to be very sharp, just a hint of a point will puncture a tire.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 1:19PM
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deerslayer(Z5 NE IL KBG)

I think that buried spikes would be considered a booby trap. Sometimes the police aren't familiar with the finer points of the law. Keep in mind that the vandal could puncture a tire and loose control of his/her vehicle. If injured, the vandal can sue the person that rigged the trap. Also, keep in mind that simply rigging a booby trap is against the law.

I don't think that the above is necessarily fair but it is the law. I agree that sometimes local law enforcement will look the other way if they think that an individual is justified. However, you can't count on it. A good attorney may take everything that a booby trapper owns.


    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 6:38PM
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Thanks for the resposes. Actually, my first thought was to put spikes in the lawn. My second thought was that if I could prove that it was the construction supervisor I would go to his house and do donuts on his lawn. But my wife had a good point. In this day and age you never know what people are capable of. This guy might start throwing bricks through windows or lighting fires if I try and get back at him. So I think it is best to just get a video of him doing it and report it to the police and the builder. A web cam seems like a great idea. I didn't know they can work that way. Do I need a special web-cam or special software?

Also, any advice on what to do with deep ruts when spring rolls around?


    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 7:04PM
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dchall_san_antonio(8 San Antonio)

I vote for the camera, but read on.

If the area is near the road, are you sure you want to continue with grass there? Perhaps a rock garden made from boulders??? I've seen strategically located boulders placed just short of a car's width along side roads. I've also seen 3/4-inch fiberglass poles (sometimes used for agricultural electric fence) have considerable effectiveness at keeping cattle in and keeping vehicles out. Drive the poles a couple feet into the ground at about 6 feet apart. They look like skinny plastic poles, and they are clearly obviously out in front of you, but as a car drives over one, the pole will bend over and can pop back up under the car to lift it off the ground. Your vandal may see the skinny poles and assume they will break right off. Basically he'll need a tow truck to lift the car up and off the pole. While all that's going on, you can report the car to the police.

Fixing the current ruts can be done with any tool that removes dirt. A power rake, aerator, shovel. Basically move dirt from the high area into the low area. Be careful though. You don't want to move one high place to create another high place.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 8:16PM
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jimtnc(7b Raleigh tttf)

dchall - I like that pole idea. I'd love to see some little punks, that have been tearing stuff, up get their car lifted. Seems to me like a real good way to slow 'em down. Anyway, it gave me chuckle. :)

    Bookmark   January 24, 2008 at 6:24AM
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