While I’m scurrying to meet a tight deadline, He Who Hogs The Power Tools has kindly agreed to offer a masculine perspective on the DIY domestic lifestyle… Can’t you almost smell the testosterone? See, there’s a big truck and everything! ~ Jen

The Real Man’s Way to Gravel a Driveway

I wasn’t looking forward to the day we’d finally have to re-gravel to our 400 feet of driveway. I could just imagine piles of gravel dumped every 30 feet and the endless hours with a wheelbarrow, shovel and rake spreading it.

dumptruck puts gravel on driveway The alternative being, to hire someone with a bulldozer at omigod-per-hour to do it while I sip coffee and calculate the time it would take me to repair the track marks in what passes for the lawn…

After a couple of calls to track down a local hauler who could do the job, I was more optimistic. He’d assured me that he be able to spread it with the truck.


Having spent my formative years as an urbanite, where short driveways and overhead powerlines restrict this option, I hadn’t fully appreciated the advantages of rural living until then. But I was still curious as to exactly how it would work.

Saturday morning, coffee in hand, I’m eagerly awaiting the arrival of load #1…

At the appointed time a shiny black dump truck stops at the end of the drive. The alarm sounds as he backs up the drive and stops to ask me where I want to start. He continues backing up to the starting point and then jumps out and heads to the back of the truck. It only takes him a few seconds to “chain the gate” which is the key to this whole process.

“Chaining the gate” means leaving just enough slack in the chains at the bottom of the gate so that it only opens about eight inches or so, controlling the rate of “dumpage” (as my brother in law would say).

The driver climbs back in to the cab and revs it up. The dump box slowly starts to tilt. As soon as the load begins to slide, the driver takes off — leaving a nice consistent six-inch layer of gravel in his wake. The first load covered about a hundred feet and took about 15 seconds to spread. WOW! He must have been doing at least 15 mph the whole way.

My grin still hadn’t reached it’s full potential as he lowered the box, secured the gate and took off for the second load. Three more loads did the trick and I was a happy camper.

Then, all the Domestik Goddess and I had to do was pick out a few oversize rocks, rake a bit here and there and drive a slightly different track whenever we drove down the driveway. In a week or so it was looking great and I had a much better appreciation for what some people might consider unskilled labour. Next time, maybe I’ll ask the hauler if he’ll let me take a turn at the wheel of his truck…

Technorati Tags: landscaping, driveway, guest post

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. domestika

    Bulldozer is the usual way around here… and boy, do those treads ever make a mess of a lawn!

  2. bluepaintred

    cool photo! it would not have had the same punch if taken on the second trip!

    also. uhm. how esle would they spread gravel. for a normal length and a half driveway you could use a wheelebarrow, but for everything else, you need the truck!

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