Technically, gravel is the material mined from a creek or river bed and consists of rounded rocks that have become smooth over many years of rolling together in the stream of water. However, “gravel” has become a slang term for the material on any rock road, parking lot or driveway. It is common for a customer to ask us for some “gravel for my driveway,” when most likely they probably need a crushed stone product. A crushed stone product is typically mined from below ground and usually has more jagged edges. Every project is different and consideration should be given to the general condition of the construction site, drainage, and use. Some basic “rules of thumb” apply.
While there are many different types of crushed stone out there, these products can be categorized in two groups. One group is materials that are clean and have little or no “fines” or smaller rock in them. The other group consists of materials that do have smaller particles in them including dust. Clean rock is what is used for drainage or to “top off” a driveway. Stone that includes fines are commonly referred to as base materials and are the best used as a base for a driveway or a foundation for a retaining wall. The fines in the product act as a binder that holds the rock together and makes a compacted sturdy base. A clean material lacks the binder and will not compact.
#2 stone – Limestone that is 1 ½ to 2 ½ “in size. Used for Driveway base and temporary drives.
#4 Stone – Limestone that is 1 to 1 1/2” in size. Used for topping driveways and parking lots with heavy equipment traffic. This stone is larger than the typical stone used for personal driveways.
#5 Stone – Limestone that is ½ to 1 1/2” in size. Used for topping driveways and parking lots with heavy equipment traffic. This stone is larger than the typical stone used for personal driveways.
#8 Stone – Limestone that is ½ to 3/4 ” in size. Most common product used for topping residential driveways.
#11 Stone – Limestone that is 3/8 to 1/2:” in size. Used for topping residential driveways. Much smaller than #8 stone.
#53 Stone – Limestone that is fines to 1 ½” in size. Used as a base for driveways, packs well.
Rip Rap – Limestone that is 6” to 9” in size. Used for erosion control and drainage. Used for retention ponds and drainage ditches.
Ag Lime – Limestone product that is used for adjusting the ph in soil, building pads and livestock pins.
Pea Gravel – Gravel that is pea sized. Used as a backfill material in construction. Self-compacting, it is good for under concrete.
#8 Gravel – Gravel that is marble sized. Used for drainage and landscaping.
5 L Gravel, also known as “River Rock” – Gravel that is 1” to 1 ½: in size. Used for septic systems and Landscaping.
Brown Fill Sand – Coarse sand used for a backfill material, patio base, horse arenas, and beach areas.
Mason Sand – Fine Sand used for masonry work, play sandboxes, and under above ground pools.
Pulverized Topsoil – Topsoil that has been ground to a fine consistency by a dirt pulverizer. Great for gardens and flower beds that will be worked by hand.
Non-Pulverized Topsoil – Topsoil that has not been processed but comes from the top layer of the ground. Used for landscaping and gardens.
Fill dirt – Dirt that is not topsoil. Used as fill only, and will most of the time contain stone, gravel and dirt mixed together. Comes from the layer of soil below the topsoil and does not contain the proper nutrients needed to grow vegetation.
Tri-axle holds between 1 and 23 tons of product
Single-axle holds between 1 and 8 tons of product
To calculate tonnage use:
Length x Width x Depth x .0043 =Tonnage
(Length and width should be measured in feet, depth should be measured in inches)
Tri-axle holds 15 cu. yds of dirt
Single-axle holds 5.5 cu yds of dirt
To Calculate cubic yards use:
Length x Width x Depth ÷ 27 = cubic yards
(Length, width, and depth should be measured in feet)