I just looked up what various aggregates weigh, and it’s more than I thought. When I first started hauling gravel in my truck 25 some years ago, I asked the guy what a yard of 3/4 minus gravel weighs, and he said “1800 pounds”. So sure, make it a yard. Even if it did make my rear axle ride on the rubber stops (my truck is rated at 1200 lbs).
But for some reason I decided to look that up, and it turns out that a yard of 3/4″ minus weighs some 2600 lbs dry, and as much as 3400 lbs wet, which it typically is here. And this 1 1/2″ round rock also weighs some 2600 lbs too. And then there’s me and Little Man, so we’re right close to 3000 lbs total, more since its probably wet to some degree or another. But I’ve hauled more than that in the past.
I once loaded up (by hand) basalt rocks for a wall, and got carried away, not thinking how much it was weighing. When I weighed out at the quarry, which was some 15 miles out in the country, I paid for 3600 lbs of stone! And the ride home was…a bit interesting. I had loaded them all in the front of the bed, and for the first time ever, I had zero suspension travel front and rear. A genuine low rider. I made sure to keep a very healthy distance from any cars in front of me.
In addition to changing the braking equation, It’s amazing how light and twitchy the front steering can become when loaded thusly! Ask me how I know, LOL!!! 🙂
Yeah, the first time I brought home bags of concrete in the back of an Outback, I thought I must have looked like a bad actor driving in an old movie, sawing the steering back & forth just to keep going straight down the road.
When your tires become your suspension – this was a really, really good time to *not* get a flat rear tire.
Especially if your jack isn’t rated that high!
Love seeing your truck being continually productive! Makes me miss my ’69 every time you post one of these…
That is one tough old truck! I’m smiling at the broom for tidying up afterwards..
Now there’s a truck ripe for a 5/8 conversion! Back when these trucks were 10-15 years old, used to see them fairly often alongside I-5 with 2 tons of crap in the bed….and a broken axle shaft. They break at the wheel flange, just outside the wheel bearing. You should at least invest in some billet steel axles if you want to keep the 9 inch. As a side note, I had 2700lbs of scrap metal in my ’75 Chev LUV one time. It was like someone installed power steering. Terwilliger curves were…ahem…fun 🙂
I’ve been doing this regularly for 25+ years. Sometimes three or four loads of gravel in a day. I have a number of gravel driveways, and I use this round rock as a decorative border around the base of foundations.
It seems that my 9″ axle is a keeper. 🙂
You might want to inspect, those rubber stops. Might be worth replacing them, if your relying on them to prevent axle-tube bending. It would be a shame, to find out they are MIA after so many years.
I do. I can’t miss them, every time I grease the chassis. They’re holding up well.
We’ve all done it, but no, it’s not good to do with a nice old “keeper” truck.
I’m thinking a bit about the wet vs dry weights. Not being argumentative, just musing.
A gallon of water’s weight is roughly 8 (8.3) pounds, its volume .13 cubic feet.
Meanwhile a cubic yard is equal to 27 cubic feet.
With that, for a yard of aggregate to gain 800 pounds from being wet, it would have to hold roughly 100 gallons of water. The volume of 100 gallons of water is roughly 1/2 yard. Of course to stay at 1yd, the 1/2 yard of water would have to be absorbed or fill air space.
Some very fine material made wet to the point of being a muddy slurry might be able to “hold” a lot of water.
However, it’s tough to imagine that a yard of piled washed stone could hold 100 gallons (that’s 1/2 yard) of water.
What say the geologists?
Rock is porous, with some types more porous than others. When there is that much surface area due to that many individual rocks in a single cubic yard, this high rate of absorption can happen quite easily. The scenario Paul described is one I’ve seen many times.
In those instances when one purchases a large volume of aggregate (I’m talking hundreds to thousands of tons), various samples are generally taken to determine moisture content with an adjustment in price based upon moisture content. Who wants to pay for water? Plus, for the less scrupulous vendors soaking rock down is a good way to generate extra money with nearly zero investment.
That’s interesting – never knew about that.
Bulk stone purchases can be rather eye-popping for the uninitiated. My current house has a gravel driveway, which was sparsely gravelled when we moved in, so shortly afterwards I went about ordering gravel. I measured out how much I needed, but when I ordered it, was amazed that it weighed 20 tons. I gulped, and re-checked my calculations. Fortunately, I calculated correctly (and it was delivered via dump truck).
We’ve all done it, but no, it’s not good to do with a nice old “keeper” truck.
It’s my keeper work truck. It needs to earn its keep, regularly. 🙂
What Paul was referring to 3/4 minus has a lot of fines in it including sand size particles and it can hold a lot of water. My local supplier sells 5/8 minus which is in the picture attached. It has a lot of fines in it so that it compacts well and yeah it can be a muddy slurry when we have had rain for days. So I typically only buy that product in the summer when we haven’t had rain for at least a week if not more. That is because the suppliers around here sell by the ton.
Now if you are talking about the drain rock pictured or washed gravel then yeah it doesn’t hold nearly as much water.
Our local yard uses scales, though another one further away has (they say) half yard buckets and just counts loader buckets. But I hate paying for water. By the way, with all the fancy features on modern truck beds, like fold-out steps and multi-function tailgates, I wish they’d keep the stake pockets Or at least one stake pocket, for the broom. My favorite dump broom got buried and ground up for compost when I set it down and left it at the green waste site last year for want of a convenient spot to stow it.
What truck do you have? I know my son’s friend’s 2019 F-350 still has them as does my 06 F-250 and 02 F150. There is a plastic cover that snaps out to access them but they are there.
Around here most of places use scales as well. On the plus side you are paying for what you are getting vs the yard measured by the calibrated eye. On the minus side if you happen to have an encounter with the police on the way home and you are way over weight you’ll have the proof in the cab showing that you rolled out at X,XXX over the GVW listed on the sticker.
Can confirm that all modern full-size trucks, at least, still have stake pockets. My old man still uses the ones in his ’16 F1-50 for a ladder rack.
My stake pocket-less truck is a Tacoma. Come to think of it, my T100 had ‘em.
I hadn’t thought of using stake pockets as broom holders. My truck has tie down loops in the stake pockets for miscellaneous hauling. So far the only landscape materials I’ve hauled are bark dust and bagged soil but my truck bed came pre bashed so I’m OK with gravel if needed
I once carried a pallet of Pennsylvania field stone about 10 miles from the landscaping yard to home (conservative est. 3000lbs). It was a family affair. My boys were too young to stay home and my wife had to give the ok on the color, God forbid I had to return it. After picking the perfect pallet out, paying and refusing to pay for delivery, we decided to haul it ourselves. The operator on the old forklift gave me the hairy eyeball as he noticed Ram 1500 on the side of the majestic silver ram. “Are you sure you want to take this all in one load?”-Of course I was going to get it in one load! Nothing worse than unloading 1/2 a pallet only to have to go back nasty and tired for the second half. “Load it up! I carried stone with my father alot this is nothing” I replied over confident of my trucks abilities. My father had a dually ram 3500. More than capable in the spring and brake department. I though the 1500 could make the haul with little issue.
Well, when the operator lowered the pallet half on the tailgate, half in the truck bed the suspension dropped like a stone into the sea. The once cavernous wheel wells turned into a lowrider as quick as the operator lowered the controls to the forklift. I was on the bumps stops and I still had 500lbs of family to put in. The parking paw protested as he pushed the pallet forward the whole truck lerched forward only being kept in place by a single piece of steel and the friction of undersized parking brake pads.. This was truely going to be the longest 10 miles of my life. The first 1/4 mile my wife tried to talk me into pulling over and calling my brother inlaw to take the other half load of stone in a roadside hand off. No way was that happening on my watch. Like the ill fated charges over the trenches in the first
World War, I was committed and wasn’t turning back. No turn arounds were made, every imperfection in the road was felt. My only suspension was the provided by the bump stops on the axles.. The load was home and set that night! Victorious I sat back with my Gin and tonic and marveled at my handy work, not giving a second thought to what I had did to my 2014 Ram 1500.
Fast forward one year down the road the stock truck wasn’t scratching the itch anymore, so like any red blooded American man I wanted to put bigger wheels and a lift on my truck. I was able to install the struts and suspension myself the tires had to be installed at a garage and naturally an alignment for the fresh tires. The technician came out after an unusually long 2 hours and said “Mr. Wiseman I can’t align your truck the rear axle is bent!” One insurance claim, a deductible payment and a week in the shop my lesson was learned about payload capacity of a 4th gen Ram 1500. All 990lbs of it!
TLDR; ram 1500 payload 990lbs.
my cargo 3000lbs, 500 lbs of humans, 240lbs of gas. I was 4x my max payload and bent my axle.
Sorry to hear that. I guess that old Ford 9″ rear end is a bit stouter, like the rest of the truck. But yes, everything does have a limit, and there’s been times I wondered if I had exceeded mine. Not yet.
Decades ago there was probably a wider gap between ‘limit’ and ‘breaking (or bending) point’!
Happy Motoring, Mark
What on Earth did you file a claim for? Intentional Misuse/Abuse? Or, did you lie your head off?
Sorry for the damage, but that’s a tale of caution entertainingly told—would’ve made a great CC story.
I’m still impressed by what Paul’s truck stands up to—and without a monster engine, either.
Jason Shafer: I hadn’t thought about “excess water weight” in terms of buying gravel, and I’ll keep this in mind in the future….
Back at the end of June, I cut a 14 x 16 section of sod out of my back yard for a free-standing deck. The sod and dirt went in the back of the Isuzu Pickup and off to the local yard waste site. Two trips, two feet over the sides of the bed each. I don’t know what the loads weighed, but a lot. I wasn’t on the bump stops, but I had to pump the tires up to 44 psi. The truck handled it like a champ, and I also had the “benefit” of temporary power steering.
Hmm, you’re now sort of motivating me, I need to go and get 2 yards of 3/4″ gravel for a shed base after I take the tonneau cover (trunk lid…) off the truck. After looking at those weights I guess I shouldn’t try to haul it all in one go.
But do take pictures if you decide to do so. It could be interesting. 🙂
Oh, just wait for one of those test trucks you get periodically. “The bed was all dented and dirty? I think it was that way when I got it . . . . ” 🙂
We ended up making three trips, the first for 1500 pounds which put it just over the GVWR including myself, the second for 2000 pounds, and then one last one for 1000 as we had short-eyeball figured, so about 2.25 yds of bone dry 3/4″ Wyoming Crushed Granite…With the second batch the bed wasn’t even half full and the rear springs were barely compressed which I found interesting. It drove and rode fine although braking distances were compromised a bit and it bounced a bit more over a dip. The place is about 3 miles away and the repeat trips became welcome rest breaks. The good part of having the truck was being able to back it up my neighbors driveway to the extra back gate just feet from where it needed to end up.
I now wonder exactly how overloaded it was this summer when we removed 2″ river rock mixed with dirt from a flip and filled (filled!) the bed twice within a few inches of the brim of the bed. We dumped it as yardage, not weight. It was squatting a bit but still drove and rode ok…Won’t be doing that again anytime soon, I guess.
Being able to get it right to where you need it is a big plus. For that reason I’ve used my Scout II Cab Top for hauling gravel many times. It can go places a full size truck can’t and handles 1500lbs just fine.
I had a’68 F250 4×4 with a factory Ford flatbed from an F350 on it (one foot longer than the Ford flatbed you could have ordered on my truck originally) that I loaded with a Ford 8N tractor with a Wagner loader for a trip home via secondary roads. The twists and hills of the road were far less challenging than the visibility problems when the leaky loader hydraulics allowed the bucket to slowly droop down in front of the windshield progressively as we approached home. The truck, with its 300 cubic inch 6 and 4 speed, had no trouble at all with this overload, although the State Police might have taken a dim view of my expedition! I should never have sold that truck during the gas crisis of forty years ago. Aside from rust, I’m certain that truck would still be running strong even now.
One time back in the mid ’90s, I loaded a huge pile of wet, pressure-treated 4″ x 6′ cedar fence pickets in the back of my tiny ’87 Isuzu pup – enough to do a 100-foot privacy fence. My poor truck sat lower than I’d ever seen it – before or since. I don’t know if it was on the bump stops – but the drive home was interesting. By the way, that little Isuzu had factory overload springs and six-lug rims – neither of which are on my ’96 Tacoma!
Happy Motoring, Mark
This truck is destined for the Smithsonian. 🙂
I never cease to be amazed at what you‘ve put that old F-100 through over the years and yet it keeps on coming back for more. A lot of newer trucks are history and yet that one never misses a beat. I agree – it’s destined for a museum one day, but there’s still plenty of stuff to be hauled before that happens.
My old 1985 F-250 6.9 carried as much as 4400 pounds of topsoil per load when I was regrading our previous house.
This was verified by the scale at the landfill where I dumped it.
I believe I probably moved 70k pounds that way. It only took 7 full buckets with my Kubota to reach that weight, took somewhat more time to offload it..but the Harbor Freight unloader started working pretty well once I raked off the first ton.
No harm done to the engine, C6 tranny or rear end. That truck was a beast!
There is something to be said for a heavier truck, back when I worked at the rental yard I ended up hauling a 3500lb pallet of blasting sand to another location. The 87 F350 diesel dually flatbed we used for deliveries wasn’t any slower and rode better with the load than empty. Its sibling the 85 F350 with the rollback bed hauled even more since we routinely hauled a Bobcat with a backhoe attachment that weighed 7500 lbs.
For lot’s of gravel an F600 dump truck like Caleb Jacobs from The Drive has would be just the ticket https://www.thedrive.com/news/33291/i-decoded-the-history-behind-my-1966-ford-f600-dump-truck
my local gravel place will loan you a trailer to tow your purchase, a very good deal as i can credibly tow 3600 lbs (2600 for 3/4 yard aggregate plus 800 lbs trailer) in my 2004 Ranger. well ok pushing it a bit but its a short three mile tow. there is no way i’d even think about putting 2600 lbs in the bed
These stories bring to mind all of those small aluminum boats filled with firewood that I see on the shoulder of I-75, with one tiny wheel/tire missing!