some thoughts from Dozer
builder image

Putting in a public road

image dsc21094.jpgThe first step is buying some land and then next is figuring out how to get to it, hopefully with a vehicle. After a successful venture in step 1, we realized that the ‘said’ rather large plot of land was basically inaccessible except maybe by tank. The so called road was only passable by foot by rock climbers and the like. Now on to the next logical step: a road. In this case what was needed was a upside down ‘L’ shaped road, 200 meters up and 100 meters left. The first 200 meters being a public road, then another dogleg 100 meters left as a private road.

image dsc20984.jpgAs you may of guessed by now, getting a public road laid down isn’t a matter of just calling up a public official and asking them to do it. That would require a preallocated budget which might arrive in a couple years from anytime you check. If you waited a couple of years, sadly, you’d find out that you still had a couple of years more to wait. Of course if it is a main thoroughfare you might have lucked out, but this wasn’t the case here.

road hair cut

image dsc21096.jpgAlthough this shot does look more encouraging (ie more like a road), it is just a picture of what can be said was not really a road, with a hair cut. This was just a matter of getting a tractor out for a few hours of fun at a rate of 5000 per day, or about 800 per hour. !@—

JCB doing some prep work

image dsc21105.jpgThe so called ‘JCB’ is a handy critter, not only can it level, but can dig out and move such things as coconut trees.

image dsc21117.jpgThis might be considered misuse of the JCB, but id does beat having to climb a tree to get the coconut.

image dsc21121.jpgAlthough I was firmly against it Mrs. Dozer can be pretty persuasive. How I got talked into taking home 3 full grown coconut trees I’ll never really know. Oh, I remember: they’re free! !@—

engineer: a most lucky find

image dsc21140.jpgAfter being ‘walked down the primrose path’ a number of times, or should I say ‘nearly walked down the primrose path’ – we discovered the only real way to do a road is by getting an engineer out to do a survey. Estimates of cost before this are normally inflated. Most expensive of all we the bids by some in government employ, gosh, it would just be cheaper just to do a cement road.

image dsc21149.jpgimage dsc21151.jpgMeasurements are taken each 30 meters. Then a map of the area can be produced which will let us know how much dirt needs to go out and how much needs to come back in. What, a calculator? I was specifically told they didn’t use those here.

image dsc21160.jpgThis not very high tech leveling method is being used to ascertain a level from one side of the road to the other. It is a hose filled with water held up simultaneously on both sides to determine true level. !@—

road project setup

Anything of this magnitude in my estimation can only be done via the friend of the risk adverse, ‘fixed priced contract’. After bids were entertained, again we were lucky to use the services of a road man to whom reputation is very important. The stated goal: dig out about 50 centimeters worth of soil, compact it with a 30 metric ton steamroller, put on a layer of road soil to the tune of 20 centimeters, compact it again with a steam roller, and then come in with 5 centimeters of road dirt compacted at two different levels. Of course a water truck would also be used to wet down the road prior to compression. Separate legs of the project would be to install drainage rounds at road joints and put in a 50 centimeter wide gutter running the length of the road.

I have to say the team was good, the road man, and one of the workers doing a project in the back of my house – who has 10 years experience as a road man, could it be one of the best road crews ever?? — what luck! Will I still be saying that in 6 months???

road equipment

image dsc21207.jpgHere the Makro is taking out about 50 centimeters of soil.

image dsc21212.jpg6 wheel trucks were on stand-by to move some dirt. !@—

image dsc21223.jpgHere about 1/2 the road is dug out.

image dsc21231.jpgThis is 15 meter or so long road grader (ie. mega road grader class) setting in the initial road level. !@—

image dsc21233.jpgThe two masterminds of the whole operation busy discussing advanced road theory and water flow.

image dsc21237.jpgBeware of any road project that skims on the road compactor, only 30 ton will do! Seriously, many came to complement the road subcontractor, saying normally a road this small would only warrant an 8 ton road compactor. !@—

image dsc21266.jpgThe steam roller followed the grader around most of the time. What cooperation!

image dsc21254.jpgThere were a team of workers who would simply go around making sure all impurities were removed from the road, after all, this was a work of art in progress. !@—

image dsc21245.jpgHere it is really staring to look like a road. !@—

day 3, road dirt arrives

image dsc21269.jpgThe long awaited moment finally arrived, load of road dirt started appearing at predetermined intervals on the face of the road.

image dsc21272.jpgimage dsc21276.jpgGrader busy with road dirt.

image dsc21278.jpg.The grader and road compactor busy at work. !@—

image dsc21290.jpg.That’s not gold in them thar hills — it is road dirt! !@—

day 4, setting in drainage

image dsc21293.jpgThe drainage at this road joint was set in before I got there! Darn. Anyway, it is 60 centimeters below road level and the drainage rounds are 60 centimeters. Remind me to tell these guys not to work so fast.

image dsc21301.jpgIf I ever need to do real work again I want this guys job.

day 4 or 5, road gravel arrives

image dsc21304.jpgMuch like the road dirt, amazingly, road gravel appeared at periodic intervals along the road, much to our amazement.

image dsc21305.jpgHas anybody seen my Stanley tape measure? Although a little out of focus, this shows some really fine road gravel. It is so fine that you can spread it on bread and eat it with strawberry jam.

image dsc21308.jpgWho is the odd lady with two hats? And what is she trying to say? Whatever it is, she seems to have the attention of the road meisters. !@—

image dsc21345.jpgTest run down a fine compact gravel road. !@—

Next time: Why a road needs a gutter and how to install one in your spare time. Interesting things that happened on the way to getting a road installed. Setting drainage rounds in a road joint.


  1. Wow! a project acturally done well. Too bad more projects don’t get the same detail and attention.


  2. Hi Dozer

    any cost data on this you can share


    Ive often wondered why you cant put a single drain down the middle of the road (only suitable for a side raod with slow moving traffic of course cos of the camber of vehicle steering


    half the cost of 2 ditches drains

    less likely to get filled with neighbours rubbish

    cant put unofficial foul drains into a surface water drain so easily

    why not?

  3. I should clarify, in this case the road is done with a slight tilt to the side with the gutter, therefore only one side has a gutter. In this case there wouldn’t be enough road space to put one on each side anyway. Putting on in the middle, might be tough on larger vehicles not having enough room.

    Cost summary. Phase 1, contract bid for road work including prep, 20 cm road dirt + gravel = just over 100 baht per square meter. Phase 2, gutter. I expect the cost to be about 300 baht per linear meter. Misc costs (ie. placing drainage rounds at junctions, excess dirt disposal and smoothing etc.) around 50k.

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