Tips on Choosing the Right Gravel for Your Driveway

Gravel driveways have always been common in rural areas and are rising in popularity due to the lower cost of installation (versus asphalt or concrete), lower maintenance, and flexibility in design and aesthetic. In fact, if you are considering a gravel driveway for your home or business, you may be surprised at the variety of options available.

The most popular option for gravel driveways is crusher run. Crusher run varies from other gravel options because it includes both crushed rock and stone dust. These two materials will naturally adhere to each other, helping prevent shifting and scattering. A crusher run driveway can be machine compacted to further strengthen the bond and limit shifting. With typical use, vehicles only increase the stability of the driveway. On occasion some larger stones may shift away from the edges and need to be manually returned, and any weed growth – which should be minimum with crusher run – is best removed as noticed for the long-term health of the surface.

Another popular option is #57 stone. This material is produced from a combined of limestone, granite and trap rock. The name indicates the size of the individual stones, which are typically between 1” and 1.5” in diameter. #57 stone is readily available and fairly uniform in appearance, making it an attractive choice for gravel driveways. Additionally, the larger stones allow for excellent water drainage. However, this material is less ideal for sloped drives, since the larger size of the stones doesn’t allow for significant compaction, and rocks may slide with use or weather.

Here are some other options you may want to consider, depending on the specific needs of your source:

#89 stone – The size of these stones are smaller in size than #57 stone, though similar in appearance. Their smaller size means the stones themselves are less visually prominent, though since the stones are smaller, they are more likely to shift when driven over, especially along the edges, and benefits from proper edging as part of installation and maintenance.

Pea gravel – The size of these stones are similar in size to #89 stone, though typically softer/more rounded. Pea gravel is commonly used for flower beds and walkways, as well as playgrounds and dog runs. Pea gravel is also a viable option for driveways, giving the area a softer, uniform look. However, like #89 stone, the smaller stones are more likely to shift when driven over, especially along the edges, and benefits from proper edging as part of installation and maintenance. Pea gravel also comes in a variety of colors.

If your driveway will also be used for equestrian activities, consider an equine blend. Additionally, there are also recycled options available, including crushed concrete and recycled asphalt, making it possible to have a gravel driveway that is both attractive and more environmentally friendly.

GL Williams & Daughter Trucking is a full-service trucking company. We offer a variety of services for your property maintenance needs, including mulching, land clearing, demolition and driveway and pondwork. We are a woman-owned business located in Graniteville, SC, to serve Augusta, GA (including Evans, Martinez, Grovetown, Hephzibah), Aiken & North Augusta, SC and the greater CSRA. We are DBE-certified SCDOT and GADOT. Contact us today at 803-663-3715 to discuss your residential or commercial needs.

The Applications and Benefits of Mulching Equipment

Mulching equipment offers a variety of property maintenance applications. Compact tractors and excavators with mulching heads can be used in several key ways, detailed below. Remember, choosing the proper type of equipment for each mulching job is crucial. GL Williams & Daughter Trucking can provide both the equipment and the knowledge to support your mulching needs.

Property clearing:
For property clearing, assess the different types of terrain and your maintenance goals before you begin any project. Compact equipment with mulching heads can do fence line work and can even handle down to the heavier grasses on property lines. The machines can clear brush and trees 4”-6” in diameter and grind stumps down to ground level. For thinning work or selective trees, an excavator mounted mulcher works best. The excavator mulching attachments also work best on pond dam and retention pond cleanup.

Removal of invasive species:
Mulching equipment can be highly effective to remove invasive species. Diseased plants, beetle-killed trees and invasive species of plants can all pose significant threats to native vegetation, water supplies and wildlife habitats. Compact mulching equipment can be an effective tool for vegetation management and can help reestablish the native habitat.

Forest wood fuel removal:
Underbrush allows for fires to elevate quickly to the tops of trees, where fires can spread the most. Removing the underbrush, creating proper clearances and firebreaks around homes that border the forests help create defensible spaces. Mulching can also be used to enhance the desired results of prescribed burns. Mulching is also an additional tool to consider for fire lines. When material is mulched directly into the ground, trees and soils are not pushed outside of the line and can reduce post fire costs and help rehabilitate the area. Mulching attachments can provide a top layer of mulch to prevent soil erosion on slopes. Alternatively, mulching material into the ground can help minimize water pollution.

Silviculture:
Silviculture is the process of maintaining and improving forests. Mulching standing vegetation and trees can help prepare land for reforestation. The shredding action of the mulching attachments creates varied wood particle size with a shred texture. This variety and texture provides an ideal surface area to enhance decomposition and a soil structure that is beneficial to establishing the root system of new seedlings. Maintaining forests also helps with wildlife habitat maintenance and diversification.

GL Williams & Daughter Trucking is a full-service trucking company. We offer a variety of services for your property maintenance needs, including mulching, land clearing, demolition and driveway and pondwork. We are a woman-owned business located in Graniteville, SC, to serve Augusta, GA (including Evans, Martinez, Grovetown, Hephzibah), Aiken & North Augusta, SC and the greater CSRA. We are DBE-certified SCDOT and GADOT. Contact us today at 803-663-3715 to discuss your residential or commercial needs.

How to Improve Your Spring Landscape with Topsoil, Compost and More

Despite the groundhog’s insistence, spring is almost here. A healthy yard needs a strong foundation, but the approaches can be overwhelming. Here are some basic uses for topsoil, fill dirt, sand, mulch and compost, to help your home or business exterior look its best.

1) Topsoil: Use quality-processed topsoil for flowerbeds or raised garden beds or as you plant new shrubs or trees. Full of the organic matter necessary to help your landscape thrive, topsoil can also be used to encourage grass growth if you have dead spots in your lawn or as a base for sowing grass seed or laying sod.

2) Fill dirt: Use fill dirt to address low points or holes on your property. Fill dirt is a mixture of clay, sand, and broken-down rocks that provides a stable base for landscape modifications, as well as building and outbuilding foundations.

3) Sand: Use masonry sand as a reasonably priced option to topdress your lawn and encourage proper drainage.

4) Mulch: Use mulch as the top layer in your landscaping beds. Mulch does not block all weeds, but in most environments, provides a more effective weed barrier than pine straw.

5) Compost: Use compost can be used in combination with topsoil, sand or clay to provide a nutrient-dense soil for landscaping beds or raised garden beds or in container gardens. A thin layer can be used on top of areas of erosion in your yard to help prevent further erosion. Compost can also be used as an alternative to sand or soil for topdressing and aeration.

GL Williams & Daughter Trucking sells and delivers high-quality topsoil, fill dirt, sand, mulch and more. We also produce our own compost. We are a woman-owned business located in Graniteville, SC, to serve Augusta, GA (including Evans, Martinez, Grovetown, Hephzibah), Aiken & North Augusta, SC and the greater CSRA. We are DBE-certified SCDOT and GADOT. Contact us today at 803-663-3715 to discuss your residential or commercial needs.