Get Ready for a Fill Dirt Delivery
You need fill dirt to fill in a low spot, elevate the grade of a building site, or build a pad to support a building structure of some sort. It usually consists of subsoil and should be free of roots, rocks, or organic matter that will decompose and cause unacceptable settling.
One typical full truckload of fill dirt is about 18 cubic yards weighs about 11 tons. With that much size and weight coming onto your site, you need to make sure you are ready to take delivery of it.
First, understand the different types of fill and the type you need. For example, you need inorganic fill that is compactable for building pads, driveway or road base, and under concrete slabs. This will require compacting with a machine and compliance with local building codes for the required compaction density. However, if you are grading or filling an area in your yard, you can use fill that is non-compactable and not suitable for building. To support plant material, you will want topsoil fill. Using the wrong type of fill dirt for your project will cause the project to fail, resulting in a waste of your time and money.
Second, contact your local municipal office to inquire whether you need any kind of permit from the state, county, or city. Follow the applicable permitting procedures. Failing to get the necessary permits can cause legal problems for you and almost certainly will cause problems for you when it is time to insure or sell the property when the project is completed.
Finally, before ordering a delivery of fill dirt, you should get a full site safety inspection especially if you have a large project or a building project. The bigger your project, the more important the inspection is to make sure your site is ready to take a fill dirt delivery. Here are some things the inspector will do for you to help you get the right type and amount of fill and advise you on the steps you should take to prepare:
Conduct a Full Safety Evaluation
Many fill dirt contractors will not deliver the fill until you have had a full site safety inspection. The site inspector will evaluate the site, the soil, what structures may be underneath the surface, the shape and nature of the proposed project, and any other factor pertaining to the project site that could impact the soundness of the proposed structure. The composition of the site’s soil and other characteristics will inform the inspectors about the type of fill you need and the quantity of fill that will best ensure success of the project.
If the inspection finds hazards or contaminants under the surface, you will need to address it before you bring in fill. Depending on the substance and the amount, leaving it in place could undermine the integrity of your project, causing it to collapse or fail. You are well-advised to follow the recommendations of the inspectors for remediation before taking delivery of fill.
Identify Any Structures in the Ground that Must Be Removed or Protected
The inspector will be able to identify such structures as underground pipes, cables, tanks, and so forth that could be damaged or interfere with the project. Before bringing in fill, you need to remove or relocate those structures or take appropriate steps to protect them. For example, if your project is near a septic cleanout, make sure it is well marked and not buried. It may need an extension added to keep it above ground. Likewise, if you are grading an area around your house, you will need to protect windows and doors.
Accurately Determine the Amount of Fill Dirt Necessary for the Project
When you arrange for fill dirt delivery, you need to know exactly how much you need. Whether your site is circular in shape or rectangular, the inspector will measure the length, width, and depth. Instead of estimating how much you need, the inspector’s measurement will be correct, and you will know precisely how many cubic yards of fill you need to order. A regular dump truck holds about 10-14 cubic yards. A pile of fill dirt from one of these dump trucks is about as large as a car. Make sure you have space on your project to accommodate the amount of fill you need until you are able to spread it.
Contact a Reputable Supplier
As you can see, you need to take some steps to get your site ready for a fill dirt delivery. Adequate preparation will add a little time in the short run to completing your project, but in the long run you will save yourself time, money, and hassle. An established and reputable supplier can discuss your needs and answer all of your questions about the dirt you need for your project and help you with all of those important preparations.