Do you have a driveway with a deep “rollover” curb that is hard to get over when pulling in or out of your driveway? Have you ever wondered what long-term effects these jarring scenarios have on your vehicles? In addition to being annoying, the damage to your car, truck or RV can be significant, affecting the frame of your car, its wheels, steering components, alignment , tire wear and, ultimately, decreasing gas mileage. Before we can correct the problem, however, we need to understand it.
These troublesome curbs started occurring in subdivisions built in North America after 1980 when developers installed extruded curbs and gutters and paved streets before the construction of the actual homes that would utilize them. This method saved developers money by eliminating the need for more expensive swale-type driveways and detailed planning, but it created curbs and gutters that were rounded but with a blunt top leading to the driveway.
Unfortunately, this design can cause significant damage to the underside of the vehicles that drive over them including cars, trucks, SUVs, RVs, motorcycles, trailered boats, golf carts and more. The jarring effect on the vehicle can also impact the driver and passengers. Despite the damage, developers continue to use this type of rollover curb design in new neighborhoods nationwide.
To save the wear and tear to your vehicles and reduce the “jar to your car,” there are several potential solutions to consider:
1) Tear up your driveway and curb and have them redesigned and repoured to even out the grade to create a smoother entry. Pros: permanent correction of the rollover curb. Cons: expense, potential difficulty getting approval from your local municipality and homeowner’s association for a design change.
2) Fill in the rollover curb with cement, asphalt or steel so that the steepness of the rollover curb is lessened. Pros: relatively easy to implement. Cons: permanent, noisy, very heavy to move for maintenance.
3) Purchase curb ramps specifically designed to fit into the curb and gutter to create a smooth transition from your driveway to the street. Pros: convenient, inexpensive, made of recycled materials, made in the USA, water and debris flow freely underneath, sturdy but movable. Cons: Once you buy curb ramps, everyone in your neighborhood will want them.
Of course, the choice is yours as to how to best correct the problem. Whatever solution you choose, we encourage you to consider it wisely and to correct the problem soon. The long-term effects on your vehicles can be costly.
Copyright (c) 2008 John Curry.