The Best Drain Options for Heavy Duty Driveways

3 Minutes Read

Driveways aren't just for cars; commercial and construction vehicles also rely on driveways, though there are some significant differences in their build. Large, heavy-duty vehicles require an equally heavy-duty driveway. You also need to ensure a driveway drain system is in place to manage water runoff. Here is what you should know about your heavy-duty driveway drainage systems and your options.

What is a Heavy-Duty Driveway?

Residential driveways are typically no more than 4 inches thick. They are designed to hold lightweight vehicles; anything bigger would cause the concrete slab or pavers to break. Bigger vehicles like forklifts, dump trucks, and even RVs require heavy-duty, commercial-grade driveways. 

A heavy-duty driveway slab must have a minimum thickness of 6 inches for vehicles like RVs and buses. If it is for commercial or construction vehicles and equipment, the driveway's thickness can range from 6 to 8 inches, while loading docks and dumpster zones require a slab that is 12 inches thick. A heavy-duty driveway also requires rebar support to reinforce the concrete slab and provide additional strength.

What is a Heavy-Duty Drain? 

Heavy-duty machinery and vehicles can weigh upwards of 1.5 tons. Excessive weight like this can easily ruin the average driveway, however, it can also break a drainage system. To prevent this, you need a heavy-duty driveway with a heavy-duty drain in place.

Non-industrial systems can use materials like fiberglass and blasting, but these heavy-duty systems use stainless steel and are designed for industrial and commercial settings. Stainless steel creates a more durable drainage system and is capable of taking the weight of the industrial equipment and vehicles without bowing, cracking, or breaking. Stainless steel also offers a higher Load Class, with load class ratings ranging from Class C to Class F, the highest rating a system can receive. 

What You Need to Know About Trench Drain Systems

Trench drains are some of the most well-known drainage systems on the market. Trench drains can fit any need; one of the most commonly utilized is the heavy-duty trench drain. 


A heavy-duty trench drain features the same basic build as an average trench drain but with a stainless steel body and grate cover. Using stainless steel for both the drain body and grate creates a more durable system, however it doesn't change the other aspects of a trench drain. Issues with the grate cover and maintenance remain unchanged.

Grate covers can be critical to traditional trench drain systems for preventing large objects from falling into the channel, however they also pose a few issues. First and foremost, even with stainless steel construction, they can wear down and break over time. This creates added expense, since you have to replace the grate, which may not be cheap. Grate covers are also big, bulky, and heavy, which makes removing them to clean the channel difficult; it can result in injury if done incorrectly. Having to remove a grate to clean the drain also adds extra work for employees, which is a more involved maintenance routine. 

What Makes a Slot Drain Different?


The Slot Drain system from Landscape Drains is a newer take on traditional heavy-duty concrete driveway systems. A traditional trench drain system has a wider drain channel opening, however the Slot Drain's opening is slimmer; the smallest opening is 1/2 inch, while the biggest is 1 1/4 inches wide. A smaller opening means that the Slot Drain does not require a grate.

Having a smaller channel opening does not affect the durability or flow rates of the system. The 6,000 and 7,000 Series models use T304 and T316 stainless steel, and it has a Load Class C rating. All Slot Drain systems have flow rates that range from 11 to 27 gallons per minute, per foot of drainage. 

Pre-Sloped Trench Drain 2

Eliminating the grate cover means that the Slot Drain is easier to maintain. The lack of a grate cover makes it easier to get into the drain channel, but it also means that you do not have to worry about needing to replace grate covers. Slot Drain is also compatible with the Flush Flo system, which makes manual cleaning easier and it also allows you to set a time to flush the system on a set schedule. 

The Right Drain for a Heavy-Duty Driveway

When building a heavy-duty driveway, it is essential to do it right. That means ensuring your concrete slab is thick enough and has the necessary rebar and that you've chosen the correct driveway drain system. Trench drains are a traditional choice and, while effective, are not without their flaws.


To avoid extra maintenance and issues with grate covers, the Landscape Drain Slot Drain system provides the perfect solution. The grate-free system is a heavy-duty system that provides an effective drainage solution for driveway drainage.

For the Best Drainage Solutions, Trust in Landscape Drains

Drainage is a critical aspect of any building and driveway, but often neglected or barely considered. For the best, most reliable modern drainage solutions, contact the experts at Landscape Drains today.