What Is PUG Base?

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What Is PUG Base?


September 2, 2022


PUG base is a lesser-known construction material that nonetheless serves a crucial purpose in the building of roads and driveways. If you’ve ever wondered what PUG base is or wanted to learn more about it, you’ve come to the right place!

Table Of Contents

What Is PUG Base

Common Ways PUG Base Is Used on Job Sites

What Is a Pugmill

What can a pugmill do

What are the different types of pugmill

Call Twisted Nail for PUG Base in Texas

What Is PUG Base?

PUG Base is a byproduct of concrete that is made in a pugmill (more on pugmills later). Unlike regular concrete, PUG Base is cement-treated road base and is a mix of sand, gravel, lime powder, and water. As such, it is of a lower grade than normal concrete.

While PUG Base is strong and durable on its own, some experts choose to use a sub base in addition to PUG Base in order to better support it. Using a sub base provides a more solid foundation, but it’s not absolutely necessary.

PUG Base is a wonderful alternative to concrete, asphalt, or gravel. Using PUG Base for roads or driveways results in smooth, hard gravel that will last for decades and be just as effective as other types of aggregate.

Common Ways PUG Base Is Used on Job Sites

Road Base

A well-graded and uniform aggregate, road base is perfect as a foundation for driveways and roads. It is generally used under pavement when laying down roads and other paths.


PUG Base can be used as a replacement for asphalt. It sometimes uses a lime addition with asphalt in order to strengthen its binding properties

Roller-Compacted Concrete (RCC)

Also called rolled concrete, RCC is a particular mix of concrete that includes the same materials as regular concrete but proportioned differently. While it does include water, RCC is a much drier type of concrete. However, it can still be used for standard purposes such as paving driveways and roads—the main difference in the paving process is that it must be compacted by vibratory rollers (hence “roller-compacted”).

Landfill Bentonite Liners

Bentonite clay serves as a perfect liner for landfills because of its ability to absorb water and expand. However, it must be mixed with water before the bentonite powder can become clay. Only then can it be applied and used effectively to prevent water and other materials from escaping the waste in the landfill and contaminating the surrounding area.

Cement-Treated Base

While cement-treated base does involve cement, it also includes water, soil, and small amounts of other aggregates. When mixed, these ingredients form a durable and frost-resistant material to use for paving.

Flex Base

Flex base is most commonly used under concrete and asphalt, so it shares some similarities with road base. Flex base plays a crucial role in the longevity of roads and driveways, and it serves as the foundation upon which concrete and asphalt can be placed.

Fly ash Conditioning

Dust can be a major problem on construction sites, so stabilizing ash using PUG Base is one way to help eliminate dust. The fly ash is simply moistened in a pugmill and can then be used to bust dust or even to stabilize other materials.

What Is a Pugmill?

Pugmills, or pug mills, are fast-acting mixers that combine multiple materials or aggregates, into one singular material. Some pugmills can create homogenous mixtures within 10 seconds or less. Pugmills are especially good for mixing abrasive materials quickly and repeatedly, with most pugmills able to produce anywhere from 50-1000 tons per hour. However, they can be somewhat cumbersome to operate because each aggregate must be accurately weighed and separated before entering the mixer. One of the most common places where you can find pugmills is in rock quarries. In these quarries, pugmills are used to add water to aggregate materials in order to make road base and other materials.

What can a pugmill do?

On job sites, pugmills are basically used for the same purposes as PUG Base because they are the mechanism through which PUG Base is made. However, they can also:

- Take away air from a mixture and then add moisture to make it reusable

- Mix a group of dry materials together

- Mix a group of dry and wet materials together

- Dry large volumes of liquids or sludges with reagents

- Dry drilling liquids from the oil and gas industries

- Stabilize waste by mixing the waste with remediation agents

What are the different types of pugmill?

There are two main types of mixers that are often compared: the continuous pugmill and the batch mixer. A continuous pugmill mixes materials that are constantly entering and leaving the mixer. As such, each aggregate must be entered in the right proportions, or else an error cannot be corrected by the mixer. In a batch mixer, all the materials must be entered according to pre-defined specifications and in a pre-approved sequence. This often results in a smaller number of errors because the materials must follow these prerequisites before they even enter the mixer.

Call Twisted Nail for PUG Base in Texas

Looking for a trusted, reliable provider of PUG Base in Texas? Our professionals at Twisted Nail are here to help with all your hauling and aggregate needs. We haul PUG Base across the state of Texas and are happy to guide you every step of the way. Contact us today to get started!


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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