On the Road with the Truck Drivers of Swenson Granite Works: Part Two

Swenson Granite Works truck drivers are as hardworking as the natural stone products they deliver throughout the Northeast. Whether they’re installing classic granite steps, mailbox or lamp posts, these guys excel at getting the job done, and getting it done right.

Synonymous with unmatched quality and customer service, Swenson Granite Works has been hand selecting and crafting stone products with precision and passion since 1883. Their dedicated stone professionals deliver exceptional service through every step of the installation process, providing expert support and guidance for each customer’s natural stone needs.

In this second installment profiling our world-class trucking team, we focus on three drivers who bring extensive knowledge and experience to every job. They might live in different states, but each one told us that what they liked best about the job was getting out there and working with our customers.

On the Road With Doug Schmitz

Driver Doug Schmitz has been delivering for the Swenson Granite Works store in Hanover, Massachusetts since 2009. He jokes that the most New England thing about living in New England is sitting in traffic everywhere he goes — which is a lot of different places. What he most loves is the opportunity to work through the various and unique challenges that each new delivery brings, and meeting new people all the time. “No day is ever the same,” he told us. Challenges can range from navigating tight driveways, to tricky landscapes, and the greatest struggle of all…unprepped step pads.

A properly constructed base ensures your steps will remain level for many years. Swenson Granite Works’ printable pad prep guides will help you with each step of the way.

Download the Gravel Pad Prep Guide

Download the Concrete Pad Prep Guide

For both of these projects in Braintree and Marshfield, Massachusetts, Doug delivered and installed classic WOODBURY GRAY® granite steps. When the team at Swenson loaded the truck at the store, they put the platform on the bottom, then the steps and lastly the step fillers on top to make it easier for Doug to build from the ground up.

The first (and longest) two fillers were placed on each side of the pad, and then the first step was set in front of the two fillers, forming a “U” of granite. After pitching this bottom layer (for proper water runoff) and leveling the step to the fillers, the next step and two fillers was set onto the bottom layer. The top platform capped it all off and locked everything into place. The middle step and top landing overlap the one below it by one inch.

Doug tosses a penny into each set of steps before setting the top platform as a gesture of good luck to the homeowner and all who walk on the steps.

Doug shared that his favorite Swenson Granite product to install is rock face steps for their ease of installation and classic good looks.

On the Road With Walter Marsh

Walter Marsh has delivered for the Swenson Granite Works store in Concord, New Hampshire since 2008 and said when he’s not out on the road, you can find him on a boat in the New Hampshire’s Lakes Region. He, too, enjoys all the different people he meets on the job.

For this project in Goffstown, New Hampshire, Walter delivered and installed granite steps, a lamp post and mailbox post.

When digging holes for granite posts, there are certain things you should keep in mind before you start your project.

Before starting the project, contact Dig Safe® (or dial 811) to mark out any utilities. .This not-for-profit clearinghouse notifies participating utility companies of your plans to dig. In most cases, these companies respond quickly to mark out the location of their underground utilities. Once the lines are marked, the hole can be dug using various methods

If you are installing a mailbox post, check with your local post office to confirm their requirements for the height of the box from the road surface, as well as distance from the street that the post needs to be installed. Each individual postal office may have varying regulations.

The hole should be deep enough to submerge the approximate bottom third of the post into the ground. The ideal diameter should measure 12” to 18” around.

You can set the post in either gravel or concrete. At Swenson, we recommend you set the post in gravel unless the soil is too loose and sandy, which would require concrete to set the post.

For more information on the installation process for Swenson’s granite posts, download the Mailbox Post Installation Guide.

Swenson Granite Works drivers deliver and install steps using a 27,000 pound truck

(unloaded) with a bed-mounted crane that can reach approximately 20 feet from the back of the truck. Due to the weight, the truck cannot drive over septic systems, leach fields, irrigation systems, finished walkways or newly-seeded lawns.

Their drivers are trained to install steps using specific tools, including straps, clamps, shims and chisels. A lot of yankee ingenuity goes into maneuvering these heavy pieces of granite into place just right.

Cut from Woodbury Gray granite, the steps at Swenson Granite Works offer a wide variety of styles to choose from, all with a lifetime of maintenance-free enjoyment.

Learn more about the installation process for a set of granite steps here.

On the Road With Chuck Marchetti

Since 2013, Chuck has delivered for the Swenson Granite Works store in Amherst, New Hampshire. He told us he loves living in New England for the change of seasons but he enjoys getting away to warmer environs and tries to spend time in Florida and North Carolina’s Outer Banks during the off-season.

Chuck installed this Woodbury Gray granite mailbox post at a home in Merrimack, New Hampshire.

When digging a hole, it’s important to be prepared for the unexpected. There is always the possibility that you could run into large stones, boulders, or ledge, and utility, gas or irrigation lines. Sometimes the hole might need to be relocated because of these obstacles.

All retail locations carry an extensive supply of steps in a wide assortment of stock sizes to fit most applications. Steps can also be produced to any specification.

A home in Derry, New Hampshire received a half moon Caledonia granite radius step.