## 01 Aug How Much Road Base Do I Need?

One of the essential elements of doing road construction work is making sure you have the right amount of the materials you need for the job. If you don’t have enough, you’ll have to stop and wait to finish the job until you resupply. If you have too much, you’ve wasted money and material. While you may be able to use the extra material for a future job, it’s still better to avoid that when you can. So how do you figure out how much road base you need to avoid these problems?

## Step 1: How Big Is Your Project’s Area?

To start figuring out how much road base you need for your project, you need first to determine the area you’re going to be covering. If the area you’re covering is rectangular, the calculations are quite straightforward: multiply the length by the width. For irregularly shaped areas, divide it into regular shapes such as triangles, rectangles, and circles. Find the area of those shapes with their respective formulas and then add them together. The combined area will give you the square footage of the area you’ll be covering.

## Step 2: How Big Is Your Material Volume?

Once you have the area, you need to turn that into cubic yards. To do so, determine the thickness you intend your road base to be. Multiply the area you calculated in step 1 by the desired thickness. The result of that calculation will give you the cubic feet for your project.

When you make the cubic feet calculation, be careful to keep track of your units. For example, if you’re using feet squared for your area unit, it’s best to convert your thickness to feet as well. Otherwise, you might accidentally multiply the area by four feet instead of four inches, which would only be a third of a foot. After you’ve carefully and correctly calculated your project’s cubic footage, divide that by 27 to convert it into cubic yards.

## Step 3: What Material Are You Using?

The other crucial measurement you need to calculate the amount of road base is your material density. Material density varies from material to material, so it will have a substantial impact on the amount of road base you’ll need for your project.

Two factors impact the density of your road base. The first is the geological composition of the material. Different types of rock naturally have different densities. Granite, limestone, and concrete are examples of commonly used materials for road base. Out of these three, limestone has the highest density, with concrete being the least dense. The other factor affecting density is the product you’re using. The aggregates’ size, whether they are broken into 1/2 inch pieces, 3/8 inch pieces, or another dimension, will impact how it compacts and how dense the product is.

## Step 4: Putting It All Together

Once you have your cubic yardage and the density of the material you’re using, it’s time to put it together. Multiply the two figures together, again maintaining awareness of your units to get an accurate result. If you’re using cubic yards, have the density measured in pounds per cubic yard, so the units match up well, and you have fewer conversions to do. This calculation should give you the number of pounds of rock base you need. Once you have that number, divide it by 2000. The result is the number of tons of road base you need for your project. Consider adding a little extra to your total to make sure you have enough in case you accidentally waste some product.

Calculating the amount of road base you need for a road construction project requires some basic calculations. To get an accurate result, carefully measure the area and make sure you do your unit conversions correctly, and you will have the right amount of road base for your project.