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Road Base Calculator

Table of contents

What is road base?Road base materialsHow to use our road base calculator?FAQs

If you're thinking of creating your own paved driveway, Omni's road base calculator might be the tool for you! Use our road base calculator to determine how much road base gravel you need, as well as the amount of it. You will also learn how to calculate the road base costs.

Keep reading to understand how to use our calculator and to answer the questions:

  • What is road base?
  • How much road base gravel do I need?
  • What is the road base cost?
  • How to use our road base calculator?

💡 If you're only planning to make a small pathway, maybe you will find Omni's paver sand calculator more interesting.

What is road base?

A road base is a layer of material placed on the subgrade of a road. Roads consist of layers that are designed to distribute the forces generated by traffic, allowing comfortable use of the road and ensuring safety. These structures must be durable and resistant to all loads that arise from vehicles rolling over them, which is why they require several construction stages, such as good compaction.

The main function of the compacted road base is to distribute the weight of vehicles and contribute to the performance of the road, thereby avoiding cracking or deformation. This layer serves as a foundation for the pavement — it is responsible for providing structural support to the pavement and dissipating the loads to the next layers, reducing their impact. If it is not done with excellence, this structure can compromise the entire road.

Of course, if you are thinking of constructing only a driveway, you won't need to be worried about heavy traffic on it. But just for safety, check out our paver calculator and our concrete driveway cost calculator if you plan to use either of these materials on your driveway or on any pathway you are planning to make.

Road base materials

When we talk about road base materials, we're not talking only about highways, but also about paving substrates, hard stands, parking areas, footpaths, driveways, and so on. Road base materials typically consist of crushed rock or gravel – usually granite or limestone. The material should be compacted to form a compacted road base with a hard surface prepared to receive the next layer of pavement.

If you want to learn more about these materials, you should definitely check out our gravel calculator and our gravel driveway calculator and see different types of gravel, as well as its sizes, and shapes.

How to use our road base calculator?

Using our calculator is easy, as you will soon see. You just need to follow the steps below, and you will have the area and volume of gravel you need.

  1. Determine the length and the width of your road.
  2. Choose the depth of your base road. Generally, road base is laid to a total depth of 100 to 150mm. You should always check the regulations of roads in your region and make sure to follow them.
  3. Consider the compaction of your base road, so you don't have to buy more material later. You can use 10-15%.
  4. The calculator will give you the area and volume of gravel that you will need for your project.

How much road base do I need?

It depends on the dimensions of your road. To calculate it, follow the steps below:

  1. Determine the area you need to cover with gravel by finding the length and width of your road.
  2. Once you have the surface area, multiply it by the depth you must fill to obtain the volume.
  3. Find out the density of the gravel you are using.
  4. Multiply the volume you calculated by the gravel density. Now, you have the mass of gravel you need.

You can always use Omni's road base calculator!

What is road base gravel?

Road base gravel is the material used as a layer of pavement, serving as a foundation for the pavement. This material is typically gravel and should be compacted to form a road base with a hard surface prepared to receive the next layer of pavement.

How much does a yard of road base weigh?

1.09 ton. You will get this result if you estimate 1,430 kg/m³ as the gravel density. Since you already know the volume, use the equation d=m/V, where d is density, m is mass, and V is volume. Don't forget to use the same units and remember that 1 cubic yard = 0.76 m³.

d = m / V
m = d × V
m = 1,430 kg/m³ × 0.76 m³
m = 1.09 ton

How do I calculate the road base cost?

To calculate the costs of your project:

  1. Determine the volume of your road by multiplying the width, length, and depth of your road base.
  2. Find the density of your material to obtain the mass needed. In our calculator, we already set a value for gravel density, but feel free to change it if you know your specific density.
  3. Verify with your supplier the cost of the material – per weight or per volume.
  4. Use our calculator to get the total cost of your road base.



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