How Much Is a Dump Truck Load of Gravel: Cost Factors and Considerations

Understanding the cost of a dump truck load of gravel is essential for anyone involved in landscaping or construction projects. The price can vary widely depending on factors like the type of gravel, quantity, and transportation distance. Gravel prices are often quoted per cubic yard or ton, and a typical dump truck can carry approximately 10 to 14 cubic yards of material. Knowing the capacity of the truck and the price per unit volume helps in budgeting and planning for the amount of gravel needed for a project.

Identifying the right type of gravel is crucial, as different types serve different purposes and can range in price accordingly. For instance, crushed stone is frequently used for driveways and pathways, while pea gravel is popular for landscaping. Some types of gravel may cost more due to their aesthetic qualities or functional benefits. Additionally, delivery fees can add to the overall expense, as the cost to transport the gravel can increase significantly with the travel distance from the quarry or supplier to the project site.


Key Takeaways

  • The cost of a dump truck load of gravel depends on the gravel type, quantity, and distance to the delivery site.
  • A standard dump truck has the capacity to transport approximately 10 to 14 cubic yards of gravel.
  • Delivery charges, as well as the specific type of gravel, can significantly affect the overall expense.

Understanding Dump Truck Load of Gravel

When it comes to landscaping or construction projects, I find it crucial to understand the amount of gravel a dump truck can carry. This ensures accurate measurements for project planning and efficient material transportation.

Types and Functions

The type of gravel loaded into a dump truck varies depending on its use. Common types include pea gravel, which is small and round and often used for driveways and walkways. Crushed stone is larger and typically used for construction foundations and as an aggregate for concrete. The function of the gravel affects the choice of type—for example, crushed stone is preferred for its compactness in construction projects.

Measuring and Calculating Volume

Measuring the amount of gravel needed for a project involves several steps. First, I recommend measuring the area where the gravel will be used. This involves calculating the length, width, and desired depth in feet to find the cubic footage. One cubic yard (3 feet by 3 feet by 3 feet) is a standard measurement, and I usually convert cubic footage to cubic yards by dividing by 27 (the number of cubic feet in a cubic yard). It’s important to consider factoring in compaction, especially with crushed stone, as it settles and compacts over time, which changes its volume.

Weight Restrictions and Capacity

A standard dump truck can carry between 10 to 14 cubic yards of gravel, depending on the model. However, weight restrictions also play a significant role. A dump truck’s capacity in tons varies by state regulations and can range from 10 to 15 tons—sometimes more. For instance, a ton of gravel typically covers about 80-100 square feet at a 2-inch depth. When scheduling deliveries, I keep in mind the weight of a dump truckload of gravel, so not to exceed the weight restrictions, which can lead to fines or unnecessary wear on transportation vehicles.

In managing construction or landscaping projects, ensuring that the dump trucks used align with these specifics is essential for project execution and budgeting.

Factors Influencing Gravel Prices

In my experience, the cost of a dump truck load of gravel hinges mainly on the quality and size of the gravel as well as the location it’s sourced from and the delivery to the site.

Gravel Quality and Size

The quality of the gravel often dictates price; for example, crushed limestone tends to be more expensive due to its desirable properties for construction and landscaping. The size of the gravel also plays a crucial role. Smaller-sized gravels, like decomposed granite, may cost more per ton because they are typically used for more intricate landscaping. Conversely, larger gravel sizes like crushed concrete are often less costly, but this can vary based on local demand and availability.

Location and Delivery

The location from where the gravel is sourced can considerably affect the overall gravel cost. Gravel that is locally available will typically be cheaper than gravel that needs to be shipped from afar. Delivery cost is a significant factor too; it is usually calculated per ton and can increase the final price, especially for longer distances. Delivery fees can outweigh the gravel costs themselves when transporting over large distances. For instance, delivering white gravel might be costlier if it isn’t commonly found in my local area.

Calculating The Cost of Gravel

When planning for a project that requires gravel, it’s crucial to have an accurate estimate of the cost involved. I’ll guide you through the process of calculating these costs effectively, covering both the price of the gravel itself and the associated expenses.

Gravel Cost Calculator

The cost of gravel typically depends on several factors, including the type of gravel, the quantity needed, and the geographical location of your project. To estimate the cost of a dump truck load of gravel, various tools and methods can be used. A detailed gravel cost calculator can help you assess the price by factoring in the price per cubic yard or ton and multiplying it by the amount required.

  • Type of Gravel: Influences the base price per unit.
  • Volume Needed: Measured in cubic yards or tons.
  • Delivery Distance: Affects the overall cost due to transportation.

For example:

Gravel Type Price per Ton Price per Cubic Yard
Pea Gravel $10 – $50 $15 – $75
Crushed Stone $15 – $75 $20 – $100

To calculate, I would multiply the chosen gravel’s cost per unit by the number of units required for my project.

Total Expenses Calculation

The average cost for a dump truckload of gravel is not solely the material cost. There are additional expenses to consider, such as delivery and spreading:

  • Delivery Fees: Vary by supplier and distance.
  • Spreading: If I need the gravel spread out, this labor will add to the cost.

Moreover, it’s important to understand that the actual cost can fluctuate due to local demand and availability. For instance, the cost calculator should include the following:

  • Material Cost: The subtotal for the type and amount of gravel.
  • Delivery Charge: Usually a flat rate or per mile.
  • Labor for Spreading: If applicable, this could be per hour or per project.

Note: Keep an eye out for minimum load requirements or bulk discount rates that could make a substantial difference in the average cost of your gravel.

Calculating the cost of gravel requires considering both the price of the material and the delivery or service fees. Using a gravel cost calculator tailored to your specific needs ensures that you will have a comprehensive view of the expenses for your project.

Gravel for Landscaping and Construction

When it comes to landscaping and construction, the quantity and type of gravel for your project will vary based on specific needs. I’ll cover how to determine these aspects to ensure success, whether it’s for a gravel patio or a major construction effort.

Project-Specific Requirements

For any landscaping or construction project, I must assess the volume of gravel I need. This involves understanding the coverage area and desired thickness. For instance, a standard driveway may require a three-inch layer of gravel, whereas a gravel patio might do well with just a two-inch layer. Calculating the volume is straightforward: Length x Width x Desired Thickness gives me cubic feet, which I can convert to cubic yards—the standard unit gravel is sold in. Here’s a simplified table for common project dimensions:

Project Length (ft) Width (ft) Depth (in) Volume (yd³)
Driveway 20 10 3 1.85
Patio 12 12 2 1.33

Note: Depths are converted to yards in the calculations for volume.

Gravel Types for Different Uses

Choosing the right type of gravel is crucial for both the functionality and aesthetics of a project. There are numerous types of gravel, each with its own best practices for use:

  • Pea gravel: Small, rounded stones used often in landscaping for a pleasant texture.
  • Crushed stone: Angular pieces more common in construction for a stable base.
  • Quarry process: A mixture of stone dust and small crushed stone, ideal for a solid foundation.

For a gravel patio in my landscaping, pea gravel is a popular choice for its smooth look and feel. However, for construction projects requiring a firmer foundation, like roadways or walkways, I’d opt for quarry process gravel due to its ability to compact and provide a solid base. Always match the gravel type to the project’s requirements for best results.

Additional Expenses to Consider

When calculating the cost of a dump truck load of gravel, it’s essential to account for more than just the price of the material itself. Two key cost factors that significantly affect the bottom line are the labor and equipment expenses, and the impact of weather conditions and timing on the overall operation.

Labor and Equipment Costs

Labor represents a significant portion of the cost. The operation includes not only the drivers but also loading and unloading crews. My experience has shown that labor costs can vary widely depending on the region, the complexity of the job, and overtime rates. Equipment costs, on the other hand, include maintenance and operation costs of the dump trucks and any other machinery used in the excavation, loading, and delivery processes. It’s crucial to keep these machines in top condition to avoid unexpected breakdowns that can hike up the costs.

  • Labor Costs Details:

    • Drivers: $15-$30 per hour
    • Loading Crew: $12-$25 per hour
    • Overtime Rates: 1.5x normal rate
  • Equipment Costs Breakdown:

    • Maintenance: 5% of purchase price annually
    • Fuel: Variable by current rates
    • Depreciation: Approximately 10% per year

Weather Conditions and Timing

The timing of the gravel delivery and associated work can also incur additional costs. Weather conditions, such as rain or snow, can slow down the operation dramatically or halt it completely, leading to potential financial losses and project delays. Delays not only affect project timelines but often result in paying crews for time when they cannot work. I always plan contingencies for weather disruptions to minimize financial impact.

  • Weather-Related Cost Factors:
    • Delays: Potential crew costs without productivity
    • Damage to roads: Increased maintenance costs
    • Safety: Additional measures in extreme conditions

By considering these extra expenses upfront, I can provide more accurate estimates and reduce the risk of cost overruns.

Types of Gravel and Their Uses

When selecting gravel for various projects, it’s essential to consider the different types available and their intended purpose. I will discuss the characteristics and common uses of pea gravel and river rock, as well as crushed stone and decomposed granite, to help you make an informed decision for your needs.

Pea Gravel and River Rock

Pea Gravel

  • Size: Approximately 3/8 inch
  • Shape: Rounded
  • Texture: Smooth

Common Uses:

  • Landscaping
  • Walkways
  • Playgrounds

River Rock

  • Size: Varies from 1 to 2 inches
  • Shape: Varies from rounded to irregular
  • Texture: Often polished by water

Common Uses:

  • Garden edging
  • Drainage solutions
  • Decorative features in landscaping

Crushed Stone and Decomposed Granite

Crushed Stone

  • Size: Various, typically 1/2 inch and up
  • Shape: Angular
  • Texture: Coarse and jagged

Common Uses:

  • Driveways
  • Foundation support
  • Drainage systems

Decomposed Granite

  • Size: Fine particles
  • Shape: Grainy
  • Texture: Sandy and loose

Common Uses:

  • Pathways
  • Patios
  • Mulch alternative in gardens

Each type of gravel material has unique physical properties that suit certain applications better than others. Pea gravel and river rock, for instance, are ideal for aesthetic purposes in landscaping, while crushed stone and decomposed granite offer stability and are commonly used in construction-related projects.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, I’ll address some of the most common inquiries regarding the cost and logistics associated with purchasing and using gravel for various projects.

What is the price per ton for gravel in my area?

The price of gravel per ton varies depending on the region. Factors such as transportation costs and the type of gravel can affect the overall price. To get an accurate figure, you should contact local suppliers.

How much area can one dump truck load of gravel cover?

A standard dump truck load of gravel covers approximately 80 to 100 square feet when spread 2 inches deep. Coverage will depend on the size of the gravel and the depth at which it’s spread.

What are the typical costs for labor when spreading gravel?

Labor costs for spreading gravel typically range from $20 to $50 per hour depending on the complexity of the job and local labor rates. Larger projects may warrant a fixed price rather than an hourly rate.

What quantity of gravel is typically found in one dump truck?

One dump truck can typically carry about 10 to 14 cubic yards of gravel. However, legal load limits can affect this, so the actual amount may vary.

Which type of gravel is most economical for paving a driveway?

Crushed stone and pea gravel tend to be the most economical choices for paving a driveway. They offer durability and a good balance between cost and quality.

What kind of gravel is preferable for driveway construction?

For driveway construction, dense-grade aggregate (DGA) is preferable due to its mixture of stone dust and small crushed stone particles, providing stability and a solid foundation.

About the author, Laurence Perkins

Laurence Perkins is the passionate car enthusiast behind the blog My Auto Machine. With over a decade of experience in the automotive industry, Perkins has knowledge and experience with a wide range of car makes and models. His particular interests lie in performance and modification, and his blog covers these topics in-depth. In addition to his own blog, Perkins is a respected voice in the automotive community and writes for various automotive publications. His insights and opinions on cars are highly sought-after.