Wednesday, March 8, 2023

Grader Driver

Today I'm going to talk about grader drivers. Grader drivers hold a large part of my mind's life. Anyone who has ever lived down a gravel track will know what I mean. 

The track to my house is ten gravel kilometres long, so six miles in the euro lingo. I travel this track every day, have done for the last seven years and sometimes it's just the fucking worst. It's my car that I feel most for, but secondly my mental health. Sometimes the corrugations and pot holes get so bad that I am crying by nearing home, knowing I'm contributing to the condition of the track as much as suffering those bastardy corrugations, that I'll pay with both travel and maintenance. It gets worse. Every year of driving the track, I pay for broken radiator mounts (three times now), new tyres, shock absorbers and all the shit I've lost off the back of the ute on the way.

Anyway, the grader driver came today. The grader driver is like this kinda Zen doctor who puts everything right with the world. That's how I see him. He grades the road so smooth and flawless that people like me fall at his feet in wonder and worship.

Grader drivers work alone in often lonely landscapes. They grade a road and may never know who silently thanks them for the work they do. They are like garbage collectors or nurses.

Today I pulled up beside the grader. It's a huge machine and he kept the engine running as I spoke. 'Thank you!' I yelled. ''I love grader drivers.' 

I couldn't hear his reply over the grader but he was smiling and giving me a thumbs up. The rest of the track felt like I was floating. So smooth. This guy?

 He should be paid like a CEO.


  1. It must be good when he's been, at least for a while.

  2. I feel your pain with maintaining gravel roadways. I once had a gravel and stone dust (mix) 320 ft. long driveway. It was fine until the Winter and the freeze and thaw cycle plus driving and snow plowing created pot holes and ruts. Yearly, new gravel and stone dust would be delivered and spread throughout. It looked lovely until the next Winter damage occurred. I gave up and had the driveway paved with asphalt. My latest venture is building a parking pad for guest parking. A paving contractor recommended recycled asphalt as a good alternative. It is now about 2 years old and shows no wear. This product works well on a gravel base and you already have the base. It might be worth considering?