Gravel can serve many purposes in landscaping, from providing mulch to being used as a base for pathways, patios, or foundations. Preparing for your gravel delivery is important so you can avoid problems.
Choose an Accessible Location
There are two types of accessibility to consider when choosing the delivery site. Most important is accessibility for the gravel truck. Gravel is delivered in a large truck that either has a rotating chute that pours the gravel onto the delivery site or that has a dump-style system that requires the truck to back up to the delivery site. Know which type of truck your service is using and choose the site accordingly. In general, the site must be accessible for a larger vehicle. It may also require enough room for the truck to turn around if necessary.
The other type of accessibility is for moving the gravel to the desired areas of the landscape. Make sure you can easily reach the gravel with a wheelbarrow or preferred moving equipment. Otherwise, you may have to move the gravel in smaller containers you can carry alone, which can be back-breaking work.
Prepare the Delivery Site
Once your site is determined, it is time to get it ready. It's best to do this the evening before delivery in case the truck arrives early the next day. Make sure to use some sort of ground cloth to cover the site, even if it is paved. A heavy-duty tarp will help prevent the gravel from damaging the surface, plus it keeps dirt and debris out of the gravel. Further, a tarp prevents the gravel from making its way into nearby soil.
You may also need to place flagging or caution tape around the delivery site, depending on local codes. Plan to protect nearby areas as well, as some gravel may travel further than desired. If there are plants growing near the site, use plywood or similar to create a temporary barrier between them and the gravel pile.
Set a Realistic Timetable
A common mistake is to think that the gravel will be installed much more quickly than is reasonable. This can lead to major issues, particularly if you have the gravel placed in your driveway and you left the car in the garage because you thought you'd have the gravel moved before you needed the car.
Always plan for enough time after the delivery — in other words, assume you won't actually get to the work of moving the gravel to the desired landscape locations until the day after delivery. Further, moving the gravel often takes longer than anticipated, so pad out the installation timetable as well.
Contact a gravel delivery service if you need further assistance.