Thoughts on Gator Base?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Mr. Midwest, Dec 13, 2013.

  1. Mr. Midwest

    Mr. Midwest LawnSite Member
    Posts: 43

  2. BlockHead23

    BlockHead23 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 39

    I saw the same thing a few weeks ago. Don't think I would trust that and sand as the only base. Seems like a recipe for disaster
     
  3. Mr. Midwest

    Mr. Midwest LawnSite Member
    Posts: 43

    Im thinking the same thing. I don't understand how this could keep a patio from moving. Maybe there is something that I don't see but it looks pretty basic.
     
  4. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,939

    It's the same "system" they sell at the box stores for doing pavers. I sure wouldn't want to be the first contractor to warranty it.
     
  5. GallucciLandscaping

    GallucciLandscaping LawnSite Member
    Posts: 137

    I have to say that it sure is intriguing. I tend to go above and beyond with any base material when installing walls, patios, etc. however an older guy I know who has done landscaping and hardscaping his entire life told me one time that it doesn't matter how much base you have, that you are still installing above the frost line and movement will still occur. I tested his theory at my personal home, I installed a fire pit in my lawn area (compacted the dirt, leveled with 1/2" crushed limestone dust and installed the firepit). After two winters I had zero movement. This will be the third winter.

    I can't see this working for every application but it seems that it could eliminate a ton of work. Let the price slashing begin.....
     
  6. woodwardschris

    woodwardschris LawnSite Member
    Posts: 42

    Gator Base is not cheap. We sell it for @ 2.40 a square foot. If it works, should save a ton in labor.

    My contractors have been skeptical of it, but I have a few that want to give it a try in the spring. I hope to set up a small display of it to test it out, but I guess the jury will be out until I can get a couple of years history.

    In the meantime, could be a viable option for town home applications.

    Anybody have any history using it?
     
  7. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,412

    A gazillion variables.

    I am certain you did not have "zero movement". I believe what you had is zero *disturbance* :) I can assure you - the ground is moving during the winter. A good example is fresh tire prints in mud. Let it freeze up over night and that tire print will balloon up quite a bit! Also, it takes a good deep freeze (maybe you had a deep freeze, I dont know) to get through the paver thickness and so forth, 28-30 degrees isn't cold enough to penetrate through the depth of the pavers.

    Going off of memory, I believe where I live, in the last 10 years the ground has only actually frozen down to 18-inches, and that was in 2010. Yet we do have typical cold winters. Most of the time it's just a few inches on top that freezes. So the best thing to do is operate on wisdom and centuries of knowledge.

    The thickness of aggregate base is actually contigent to soil type. For example, the soil on my property is very structural, so I could probably get away with a minimal aggregate base. But everywhere else - the soil is high in clay content, and utilizing a minimal base could backfire in a reputable contractor's face 8 yrs down the road. Aggregate is cheap, compared to having come back and start over. The name of the game isn't to get the job, the name of the game is to do what it takes so you only have to do the job one time.

    I focus on myself and I like to let the other guys experiment with their profits.
     
    Last edited: Jan 6, 2014
  8. BMB Hardscape

    BMB Hardscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 39

    So, this system replaces the crusher run up to 5 inches?
    Who only uses 5 inches of compacted crusher run? Around here, and on every job I have ever done we've done an absolute bare minimum of 6"....but we're usually around 8-10 inches depending upon the conditions of the soil and the application.

    So, if we're usually installing up to 10" of compacted crushed stone...using this system would we have to use two layers of this Gator Base? I mean I'm not saying I would ever do that, it sounds ridiculous. But I'm just wondering if that's the correct installation method, doubling it up.

    So basically you dig out about 5" total, put down the fabric, screed your setting bed, compact, lay down the gator base and lay pavers?
     
  9. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,412

    Our pavements have 5-inch aggregate bases for pedestrian use.

    Our pavements have 12-inch aggregate bases for vehicular use.

    18 yrs of hardscaping and no problems
     
  10. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,412

    There is a sign at the gym:

    "support equals strength"

    this can apply to our jobs as well.
     

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