How to Construct a Gravel Parking Area for Heavy Trucks

Written by rick warden
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How to Construct a Gravel Parking Area for Heavy Trucks
A wide turning radius on big rigs calls for a wide parking area. (line of trucks 1 image by Aaron Kohr from

A gravel car park will require less repairs and costly maintenance than a paved surface. However, ruts can form fairly quickly if the gravel surface is not properly constructed. There are prefabricated mesh systems by Eco Terr and Terra Firm which support heavy loads, but these systems are more expensive than traditional gravel road surface preparation. The maximum allowable truck load in the U.S. for the "turnpike double" tractor trailer is 66678kg. (66,680kg) but not all states allow this. The interstate DOT legal weight for an 18 wheeler is 36.3kg. (36,000kg). In the UK, the maximum weight of a lorry is 44kg. (44,000kg).

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Sketch paper
  • Pencil
  • Ruler
  • Bulldozer
  • Road compactor
  • Gravel rake
  • Gravel grades

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  1. 1

    Design and sketch out the parking area shape and size based on the amount of trucks you need to accommodate and the sizes and weights of the vehicles. The largest U.S. "turnpike double" combination tractor trailer has a total overall length of 120 feet (36.6m), while in the EU and EEA member states, the maximum overall lorry and cargo length is 18.75 meters. For a U.S. eighteen wheeler, an area of approximately 33 feet wide is required for an 180 degree turn, according to "Truckers Report."

  2. 2

    Excavate the parking area with a bulldozer to allow for a new 18-inch thick substrate and gravel surface using the same construction standards as a government gravel road. Plan for the final surface area to be elevated slightly higher than the surrounding terrain to allow for good drainage. Remove any boulders or roots and compact this exposed surface down with a heavy-duty roller or vibrating compactor.

  3. 3

    Add 12-inch base of bank-run gravel, which is a natural composite mixture of gravel and sand. Make sure it is free of organic material and then compact this layer down.

  4. 4

    Add a 4-inch layer of crushed fist-size stones to allow for drainage and compact these down well. Then add a final 2-inch layer of finer crushed stones and compact these. Crushed stone gravel is better than round shaped gravel because it locks together better and is less likely to shift out of place.

Tips and warnings

  • Consult with a local engineer and your local department of buildings to determine the local building codes and requirements for large truck parking areas.

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