Commercial Uses for Construction Sand

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Commercial Uses for Construction Sand


March 7, 2022


Commercial Uses for Construction Sand

Sand is one of the most important components of any construction project, providing a solid base and adaptability that can’t be beat. If you’re looking for a certain type of sand for your job site, or if you are wondering which type of sand is best for your project, look no further—we’ll cover everything you need to know about the most common types of sand and what they’re used for.


A Brief History of Sand on Job Sites

Sand is one of the most essential materials involved in construction and is an extremely versatile material. Using sand for construction projects has many benefits, including being strong, flexible, and adaptable.

While sand can be used on its own—such as for playgrounds or sand pits—it is most often used with other materials to make it the strongest and most durable it can be. In addition, sand can be used in the walling and flooring of specific buildings or for decorative purposes.

In Texas, there are four main types of sand you can source from our quarry connections—let’s delve deeper into each type and what they are most commonly used for.


Common Types of Sand Used in Construction

Manufactured Sand 

Manufactured sand is, as you may have guessed, formed artificially by crushing large pieces of aggregate into tiny pieces until it eventually becomes sand. While manufactured sand is not as popular as washed/concrete sand, it does have benefits, such as being cost-effective and widely available in areas where natural sand is too difficult to find or too expensive to transport. Most manufactured sand comes in neutral colors, such as tan or gray, and comes in irregular pieces due to the crushing process. 

Manufactured Sand 

Silica Sand

While silica sand is rare in Texas, we can source it for you and make sure you get the specific type of sand necessary for your job site. Silica sand comes in an aesthetically pleasing white color, as it is quartz broken down by erosion. This type of sand is the primary ingredient in glass manufacturing, metal casting, metal production, chemical production, and filtration, though it has many other construction uses as well.

Due to the difficulty involved in sourcing silica sand, it can get quite expensive, which means it is often used for bigger projects like industrial construction jobs. But it’s worth the price if it will make your job site the most successful it can be!

Silica Sand

Washed/Concrete Sand

Washed or concrete sand is produced in quarries and comes in an off-white color. It gets its name from the process of screening and washing, which removes any impurities. While it’s often used in building foundations when mixed with other materials (such as with water and cement to form concrete), it does not provide a good base on its own.

This type of sand is often used for walkways, patios, golf courses, and pool construction.

Concrete Sand


There are two main types of fills: select fill and common fill. Each is made up of tiny pieces of rock, which can be made naturally or artificially. Additionally, because fills are compact, they are helpful for building in areas which are prone to getting wet or which have many holes to fill.

Select fill and common fill have many similarities, but the main difference is that select fill is a more even mixture of sand and clay because it goes through a different type of processing. In addition, common fill is cheaper than select fill and is generally used in large construction projects. Because common fill is a rockier type of sand, it is often used in projects where heavy equipment is available to break it down.

Types of Job Sites That Need Sand

Walls & Flooring

Clearly, sand is important in nearly every type of construction project. However, there are some specific job sites that require sand that may surprise you—such as walls and flooring.

When constructing a building, one of the most important aspects is the walls and flooring that will hold it up. Sand can be easily compressed and therefore is an essential component of walls and flooring, but it becomes stronger and more durable when mixed with other materials like water or cement.

Landscaping & Decoration

Sand is also used for more aesthetic purposes, such as in landscaping or outdoor decoration. While concrete, rock, or gravel will serve their purpose for job sites such as walkways, patios, and the perimeter of pools, using a mix of sand and other materials gives each site a more aesthetically pleasing look while remaining strong and durable.


Even places like playgrounds need careful consideration of materials before construction begins. Sand is a great option for job sites that see high foot traffic because it will not wear away and, for playgrounds in particular, provides a softer surface than gravel or concrete.


Trailers We Haul Sand With

Steel End Dump Trailers

If you’re looking to transport a large or overweight load, a steel end dump trailer might be the best option for you. End dumps allow you to deliver your payload through a back gate that rises up and dumps out the material. Because of the position end dumps must attain, they need to be placed on level ground in order to remain stable.

In general, end dumps are useful for hauling construction materials, aggregate stockpiles, and agricultural materials. In particular, steel end dump trailers are perfect for demolition hauls or large loads of rock or gravel, and they are more durable than aluminum end dump trailers and can therefore be used daily.


Aluminum End Dump Trailers

Aluminum end dump trailers are a lighter alternative to steel trailers. While they can’t handle as much rough or large material as steel trailers, they are flexible and durable like their steel counterparts. Loose aggregates like sand are perfect for aluminum end dump trailers because the lightweight design allows them to pull the maximum payload of looser materials. Due to their light weight, they can be pulled by a small tow vehicle and are excellent over long distances.


Dump Trucks

Not every project requires a specific kind of end dump trailer, especially if you’re not doing any major hauling. In these cases, a dump truck (also known as a tandem) would be your best option.

Dump trucks can transport any kind of loose material, such as gravel, rocks, sand, or demolition waste. To aid you with all your sand hauling and transport needs, dump trucks are equipped with an open-box bed that can be lifted at the front in order to dump out the material.

While dump trucks are perfect for construction projects, residential deliveries, and aggregate hauling, they are not good for heavier projects (over 15-17 tons). Due to their flexibility and shorter wheelbase when compared to trailers, dump trucks cannot handle as much of a haul. In these cases, a steel or aluminum end dump trailer is the better option.


Contact Us for Construction Sand Today

Through our wide range of quarry connections, we can ensure that you receive the right sand for your project in a time- and cost-efficient manner. Our team specializes in aggregate hauling and material hauling services, so we’re here to help you with all your construction sand needs.

Not sure what type or how much sand you need? Looking for a professional opinion? If you’re in the Austin, Bryan, or Waco areas of Texas, give us a call today, and we’ll be happy to help!



An end dumps carry weight depends heavily on the specific road regulations, the power unit weight, and the composition of the trailer. A steel trailer, typically referred to as a Round Bottom, will be heavier and will have a payload of approximately 21 to 23 tons. By contrast, an aluminum end dump is much lighter and can carry anywhere from 23-28 tons, with some set-ups being able to approach 30-ton payloads. 

End dumps are typically loaded by heavy machinery, such as a front-end loader or excavator, or by a series of conveyor belts. End dumps are top load trailers. An owner-operator with an end dump trailer will uncover the trailer via an electric tarp switch in the cab. With the trailer uncovered, the heavy machinery is free to load from the top of the trailer, being careful to evenly distribute the material. Once loaded, the owner-operator flips the tarp switch, covers the load, and continues their run.  

There are several different types of hydraulic lifts that are usually part of dump trailers. These include telescopic, dual-piston, and scissor lifts, among others. Most dump trailers use hydraulics to automatically lift the dump box and unload the materials in a quick, seamless action.

An end dump is an excellent investment for owner operators or construction companies that transport bulk aggregate on a frequent basis. Depending on your needs, a steel or aluminum end dump will ensure that you are able to reliable keep your customers jobsites and stockpiles full. 

Depending on market timing, a typical aluminum end dump will range between $15,000 to $70,000+, with steel round bottoms priced around $10,000-$50,000+. These trailers are also offered for rent or lease, with trailers available for around $850-$2,000 per month. When renting or leasing, it is typical for all repairs to be the responsibility of the renting owner operator. 


Flex base can be an excellent choice for a driveway but is not often used as a primary input in TXDOT construction. Flex base is best suited for farm roads, driveways, RV pads, and for other foundations that will not receive heavy traffic. Flex base is cheaper than most alternative options, such as asphalt or base that meets TXDOT specifications. Additionally, once set and compacted, a flex base road or driveway is cheaper and easier to maintain.

Yes, road base and flex base are the same material family. That said, the differentiating factor is typically the testing results of each material. When shopping for material, it is important to identify exactly what type of material you are buying. Retailers will categorize Base as a broad category and can leave identification to consumers, which is challenging and confusing. In general, if a retailer is selling a Road Base it can be assumed that the material is of higher construction quality than flex base, meaning it will have a wider range of approved uses. However, some vendors will sell Flex Base as a Road Base; this makes it important to understand if the material you are purchasing is a true Flex Base, is ‘Spec 247’, or is TXDOT approved. With each increase in quality comes an increase in cost, so it is important to identify which material will best suit the needs of your project.

Flex Base is a mixture of loose aggregate and coarse aggregate, can be a wide range of color based on source location, and is composed of materials ranging from dirt to rock that are 1”-3” in size. Most Flex Base, particularly around Central Texas, will range from tan to brown, will consist of a dirt material and rocks that range from 1” to 2” in diameter. There are specialty materials that will include rocks up to 3” in size, but these are typically reserved for heavy construction projects.

Any driveway’s depth should be at least 5” to ensure structural integrity and better load capacity. For road base in particular, experts recommend a thickness of 6-8”.

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Twisted Nail is here to help. If you need something hauled in central Texas, we can get your job done, safely, timely, and reliably.

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