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How to Calculate Compacted Gravel for Roads

By Meg Warren ; Updated September 21, 2017
Gravel roads are most comonly used in rural areas with little traffic.

Calculating the amount of gravel needed for a compacted road will prevent buying too much or too little gravel. In most cases, the seller will not allow you to return unused gravel. The process to determine the amount of gravel needed is one most can do on their own without special knowledge. This also will save money and time by making it unnecessary for the gravel company to examine the property themselves.

Measure the width of the desired road. On average, a two-lane road is approximately 12 feet wide.

Measure the length of the road.

Calculate the depth of the desired road. An average gravel road has a depth of 4-6 inches.

Go to the gravel and sand calculator on the earthproducts.net web site. A link to the page is provided in the Resource section.

Enter the appropriate numbers in the boxes on the web page. Click the calculate button to determine the number of tons needed to create a compacted gravel road.


Things You Will Need

  • Tape measure
  • Calculator


  • Larger rocks will cover more area per ton than smaller rocks. This needs to be considered when purchasing gravel.


  • A strong substrate should be put under the rocks to prevent them from sinking into the soil. If this happens, more gravel may be needed.

About the Author


Meg Warren began writing how-to articles professionally in 2009. Born and raised in St. Louis, Miss., Warren has always been a creative person through art, writing and music. She is currently pursuing an associate degree at Patricia Stevens College for interior design.