Road grading

Yarra Ranges Council maintains over 720 kilometres of dirt roads each year. These roads are graded between 1 and 6 times a year based on a schedule, depending on how much they're used, weather and local conditions. This adds up to about 2,570 kilometres of graded road every year.

Council maintains public declared roads, not privately owned roads or property accesses along unmaintained road reserve. The property owner/s are responsible for maintaining these access points, including the vehicle crossing and associated drainage pipes.

To keep these roads in shape, the council uses a Grader machine. It cuts through potholes and bumps/corrugations, mixing the rocks and road material to even the surface. Crushed rock is only added when necessary to maintain the roads shape and may not be required on every grade. 

Any debris that cannot be added back into the road is pushed to the side to be cleaned up later. During the grading process the road is watered, this helps bind the fines in the road and this needs a few days to settle and dry.

Crushed rock is only added when necessary to maintain the road's shape. Sometimes, only part of the road needs grading, not the whole road, this is referred to as a ‘spot’ grade. An inspection officer will decide this when inspecting the road before the next programmed grade.

Since dirt roads change frequently due to traffic and weather, drivers should always adjust their speed accordingly and drive to the conditions of the road.

When will my road be graded?

To find out when a road will be graded enter a road name below. As you enter the road name, your information will appear within the predictive list.

Please note: the dates are a guide only as the program may be delayed during all weather events. 

Click here to view form.

Unsealed roads FAQ

Why do potholes sometimes reappear after grading?

Potholes recur often due to their depth, as graders can only cut as deep as the gravel extends. Graders use their blades to cut into the road surface and reshape the road, which can help repair the recurrence of shallow potholes.

If roads are cut too deep, clay and other soil are brought to the surface, further degrading the road surface and damaging the surface layer.

Recurring deeper potholes can sometimes be resolved through re-sheeting, and we may apply this treatment when the road has many deep potholes. However, this may not always fix pothole reoccurrence if the issue is a weak sub-layer.

Applications for road sealing may be applied for under Council’s Special Charge Scheme.

Why is my road wet and slippery after the grader has finished?

The road is watered during the grading process to assist bind and compact the road adequately. The road requires a few days to settle, dry out and ‘seal off’. Taking extra caution and driving to the road conditions after the grading process is essential.

Can my gravel driveway be maintained?

No, driveways, also known as vehicle crossings, located from the property boundary to the edge of the road are the owner's responsibility to maintain, including installing, maintaining, or replacing the driveway culvert pipe if required. Vehicle crossings are private property accesses and not public roads.

Can operators change the shape / slope of the road?

No, the grader operator is maintaining the existing road design. The roads and runoffs have been designed for the safety of road users and the longevity of the road network. Any concerns regarding the slope or shape of the road should be directed to the council for investigation by calling 1300 368 333 or emailing

Can residents request additional grading of a road due to potholes or corrugations?

Additional grades outside of the annual program are very unlikely as the grader is required to stay on the program to avoid delays.  As such, the road grading process is not reactive to customer requests. 

Temporary works, such as filling potholes with rock, may be completed in between scheduled grades if required, and a request for an inspection to decide this can be raised. Please note that corrugations that can form during warmer weather can only be removed through the grading process, and additional grades are very unlikely due to grading being on the program. 

Can residents make a request to the operator not to have their road graded?

No, as these works are completed as per the Council’s Road Maintenance Program. Any further queries or concerns should be directed to the Council by calling 1300 368 333 or by emailing the Council at, as operators are only completing works as directed. 

Why are you putting rock on my road?

Rock is placed on the roads, as required, for ongoing road surface maintenance. Rock ensures the road has the correct shape and surface for road users' safety. Over time, however, rock is lost due to traffic and environmental conditions and needs to be replaced. 

What is the speed limit on unsealed roads?

The default speed limits apply if there are no posted speed limits on an unsealed road.

The default speed limit in built-up areas is 50km/h, and it is 100km/h on country roads.

To alter a speed zone on a local road, the Council must receive approval from VicRoads. VicRoads is unlikely to approve a speed zone other than the default speeds on unsealed roads.

Unsealed roads change often because of traffic and weather. Drivers should adjust their speed accordingly depending on the road condition, slowing down when necessary.

Police enforcement of speed limits can be requested at your local Police Station or by calling Crime Stoppers on 1800 333 000.

What do I do when I am driving and a grader is approaching me?

Graders are large, heavy vehicles with limited vision. If a grader is approaching you, the safest thing to do is pull up safely and wait for the grader to pass you.

Graders can struggle to pull over or reverse up the road. Further, other construction vehicles may often follow the grader. 

For your safety, it is important to stay a safe distance away from the machinery. This means maintaining 3 metres on either side and 10 metres in front and behind the machinery. This ensures your safety and allows the operator to see you. 

Grader image.png

More information  

The Council's road maintenance responsibilities can be found here.

Report an issue with a road here.