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Shoveling gravel

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Doug71

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I have a driveway/carpark which serves 2 shops and 2 houses on which the gravel needs topping up. I put a couple of dumpy bags (850kg each?) on it last year which went nowhere, I can buy it loose cheaper but minimum 6 tonnes. It has to be done on a Monday as only day shops are closed.
Question is can I shovel/rake around 6 tonnes of gravel myself in a day (will need whackering but can do that anytime)? The truck would be able to pull forwards as it tips to spread it a bit or am I better getting bags lifted off and split them where I need?
I have no problem shoveling all day, it's just 6 tonnes sounds a big pile!

Any experience appreciated.

Thanks, Doug
 

MikeG.

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Yes, you can. Six tonnes isn't an awful lot, and you'll do it in under half a day. Get the truck to drop it in multiple locations, and then rake it rather than shovel it. Essentially you'll just be flattening heaps.

As an aside, do you mean chippings or shingle? Shingle is easier to push around than chippings, but go for 18mm (3/4") stone rather than "pea shingle" because it doesn't get stuck in tyres and boots.
 

Doug71

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Thanks Mike.
It's 20mm Nordic granite chippings, a bit angular so not the easiest to rake but does mean it kind of locks together so doesn't move around too much considering the amount of traffic.
 

flying haggis

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when the truck arrives get the driver to reverse to the furthest away point start to tip then drive slowly forward spreading most of it across the area, then you will only have to tidy it up. beer tokens help (i never said no anyway!!!!) six tons sounds a lot but I suspect it wont go far
 

Selwyn

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Yes no bother get him to tip in 4 lumps and it would take hardly any time
 

doctor Bob

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Doug, I see your from Yorkshire ........... couldn't you put up a sign

"Lost 50pence piece in this heap of gravel, will split with finder"

I think if the rumours are correct you'd have a queue with shovels in no time.
 

toolsntat

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doctor Bob":3sxk4qwj said:
Doug, I see your from Yorkshire ........... couldn't you put up a sign

"Lost 50pence piece in this heap of gravel, will split with finder"

I think if the rumours are correct you'd have a queue with shovels in no time.
"I'm in, Have shovel, will travel" :wink: :lol:

Joking aside, I don't know why but I love a good bit of shovelling with a quality flare mouthed shovel. :roll:
Cheers Andy
 

banjerbill

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I live on an unadopted lane and we regularly get 18 ton delivered and two of us shift it in half a day. Tipper drivers deliver this stuff all the time and I never had one who couldn't give a 2 to 4 inch spread with ease. Drop him a drink and you will be amazed at what he can do.

Bill
 

Doug71

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doctor Bob":3vqwqf2c said:
Doug, I see your from Yorkshire ........... couldn't you put up a sign

"Lost 50pence piece in this heap of gravel, will split with finder"

I think if the rumours are correct you'd have a queue with shovels in no time.
Funnily enough my 10yr old got a metal detector for Christmas so I buried 50p in the gravel just outside the front door for him to find, of course he didn't find it and then neither could I, gutted :( .
 

Terry - Somerset

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6 tons is around 4 cu meters.

I don't know the area you need to cover, but if it is parking + access for a number of cars, the total area may be substantial. Just assume the total area is 25m x 10m = 250 sq m.

4 cu m of gravel or stone would cover this to a constant depth of about 1.6cm. You need to put in the real measurements but it is clear that what you put in last year may have filled a few potholes and ruts but not much else!
 

Roland

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Doug71":2jtvge3n said:
Thanks Mike.
It's 20mm Nordic granite chippings, a bit angular so not the easiest to rake ...
My previous neighbour was a landscape gardener. His tips were.
1. Buy a cheap iron rake. They’re heavier than proper garden rakes, and easier to pull stone with.
2. Using the rake upside down shifts more stone. Right way up levels it better.
 

Yojevol

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We were on holiday in France 30 odd years ago. From our room I watched a labourer shift a large pile of sand using a long handled shovel. He appeared to be shovelling with ease and moved the pile surprisingly quickly. At the earliest opportunity I bought one - not easy to come by in this country. It's my go-to tool for that sort of job. The blade is small so it can lift only a small amount at a time and the handle is long so the strain on your back is minimal.
Brian
 

jimmy_s

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6 tonnes wouldn't be that bad if your reasonably fit. I had the joy of shovelling and barrowing the best part of 20 tonnes in a day to sort the in laws drive - my legs were feeling it before the day was out.

A round mouthed shovel is handy - if you can find one anywhere.
 

Lons

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You won't have a problem with that if you're fit, it's just simple mechanical action and boring but you will feel it later if you're not used to physical work. :lol: Great exercise after the excess of Christmas. The key is like digging ditches work steadily and methodically rather than short hard bursts.

As said, a helpful delivery driver, they usually are. Standard garden rakes are pretty useless, a gravel or tarmac rake if you can borrow one is excellent, long handled and a good 400mm wide, I have 2 and if you were nearer I'd be happy to loan one. Use the back of the rake to level off and you can finish it at the end with a broom which levels it out nicely.

My drive is 20mm grey chippings and I spread 20 tonnes single handed in a day though that was 10 years ago. I widened the drive in 2017 which took another 10 tonnes, it goes nowhere.
 

flying haggis

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Inspector":3lrbpxou said:
I get my neighbour to help. He is a couple decades younger and he has a skid steer. :lol:

Pete
thats cheating (bl**dy good idea, but still cheating)
 

Tris

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+1 for the tarmac rake and broom.
If you use the rake tines down you'll leave all the fines in the middle and only have the coarse stuff at the edges.
 

Doug71

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Thanks for all the advice, I do have a big tarmac type rake but never thought of using a broom, will give that a go.

I actually quite enjoy a bit of simple hard labour when you can just switch off and get on with it. I'm young enough to be able to do it but old enough to realise it's not a good idea to go like mad and then be worn out 20 mins later. Slow and steady wins the race.

Will let you know if I'm feeling as positive on Tuesday morning (gravel comes Monday) :|
 

TFrench

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I did my drive a couple of years ago. All the MOT came by truck and was spread around by digger and vibroller (there was 20 odd-tons of it) I did half of it in block paving, then to break it up a bit I did about 1/3 of the area in cotswald buff stone chips. It needed a few more bags of MOT to bring it up to level so I asked travis perkins to hiab the 3 bags of MOT onto the stone and put the top dressing on one side so I could put it down on top easily. Moron dropped them all in one big pile :roll: It was like a puzzle then to get the MOT down and covered all evenly... Me and the old man did it in about 2 hours, including whacking both layers, so you should do it easily.
 

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