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Starting a lawn care business. How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.

Speading Gravel Help!


Starting a lawn care business.

How to start a lawn mowing business, lawn care business, or landscaping business. If you are starting a lawn care business, ask your questions here.
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Old 02-06-2010, 11:07 PM
Yard Elements Yard Elements is offline
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Default Speading Gravel Help!

I have a gravel Driveway to Bid On I figured I would use 3/4 Minus at 1 in. since it is a re-gravel. About how long would it take to spread 15 yards of it by hand after it is dumped?

How much should I charge for the labor for spreading and grading it by hand?

Any one?
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Old 02-07-2010, 12:54 AM
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I figure I can do it in about 16 Hours?
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Old 02-07-2010, 05:40 AM
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How long and wide is this driveway?

Would it be easier to rent a tractor with a box blade?

Also when the gravel is dumped, can't you have them dump it as they drive to help spread it out a bit before you need to work it?
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Old 02-07-2010, 07:07 AM
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Three Options IMHO:

Have the stone delivered with a stone Singer, here it would cost about an extra $80.00, they sling it so well you could fine rake by hand in about 2 hours then it has to be rolled, add another two hours.

Next Option is to have it delivered with a truck that has spreader chains, hopefully the guy is good, some are, they set the gate to only open about 3" start to dump and drive down the driveway spreading the product, time to rake out manually 5 hours then 2 to roll.

Finally what we do is use a truck with spreader chains and a tractor with a box blade, the results are stunning, time to spread about an hour, time to roll in our case 30 min. Consider renting, doing a really good job by hand is very, very difficult, we do 50+ driveways a year from 16 yards of Crusher Run to 64 Yards I believe was the largest one and it was crushed granit, next to impossible to spread this product by hand. If you can't rent a tractor with a box blade, try to get one with a landscape rake and guage wheels, does just as good a job in this case and we sometimes use this but the box blade is always on at least two tractors so we use it as the results are so good.
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Old 02-08-2010, 04:40 AM
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Quote:
one with a landscape rake and guage wheels
Whats the pros and cons of using a landscape rake vs a box blade?
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Old 02-08-2010, 06:45 AM
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A box blade wins here hands down as it makes the driveway perfectly level in two pass's and when angled properly the back part of the blade compacts the driveway enough that the tractor pulling the roller leaves no marks, then we can use our big ride on roller. As you can apppreciate the ride on doesn't have a great amount of traction on steep driveways which is why we have to use a pull roller first.

If a driveway has pot holes, it is best to use a box blade and drop the rippers and level the old driveway, roll, then add the new product. Potholes have to be dug out or the client will be calling you in a few months saying the potholes have come back.

The advantage of a landscape rake in the spring is snow plows push quite a bit of the gravel off to the side and in places piles, the landscape rake will angle and pull this gravel back in, it will also remove any gravel from their lawns.

We generally roll it once and then spray with water then roll it twice, we do so many I bought a ride on roller.

This is one of my employees Justin on our vibrator roller I bought from a rental shop, it goes around 4,200 pounds and does an amazing job.
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File Type: jpg Andrewgrading.jpg (88.0 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg Driveway1.jpg (57.6 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg roller.jpg (91.5 KB, 9 views)
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Old 02-08-2010, 01:09 PM
Yard Elements Yard Elements is offline
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Talking That would be great

I will have them dump it along the drive way. And I did measure that's how I know how many yards to use. I've done drive ways by hand before and they have turned out pretty well just hard work.


I have never used a tractor with a blade? Isn't it hard to grade with a tractor if I have never done it before?

Thank for your help!
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Old 02-08-2010, 03:15 PM
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I personally would not want to learn on a clients driveway, I train the staff, generally within three hours they are good to go but keep in mind I am beside them all three hours correcting every wrong move and telling them when they are doing it right.

This is why we tend to have so much gear, we can go in and do a job like this and be gone in under two hours, that is a two person crew and get around $450.00, if I plan things right we can do an easy three a day this way and there is a lot of demand where I live, bedrock base means the gravel only stays two to three years, harsh winters means a lot of pot holes, heavy snow means we get to regrade. What's interesting is we can do 200 feet almost as fast as a driveway 100 feet.

It's not that hard once you are onto it however if you have never run a tractor before then yes, it would be very tough for the first driveway.
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Old 02-09-2010, 04:59 AM
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Quote:
Potholes have to be dug out or the client will be calling you in a few months saying the potholes have come back.
Can you tell me more about this? I would figure you'd simply fill the potholes in and be done with them. Why do they need to be dug out?
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Old 02-09-2010, 06:33 AM
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Yes you can fill or patch them but they will appear again as there is something that is causing them, maybe a soft spot with little rock so as an insurance we drop the front ripper teeth and dig them out then level on the second pass, roll, new product and roll.

Here is an image with the teeth upside down, we can go into the ground about 6" on the first pass, quite often we will have to get rid of bigger rocks as they can create problems if you live in a climate like ours.
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