ABSTRACT Temporally and spatially averaged models of bedload transport are inadequate to describe the highly variable nature of particle motion at low transport stages. The primary sources of this variability are the resisting forces to downstream motion resulting from the geometrical relation (pocket friction angle) of a bed grain to the grains that it rests upon, variability of the near-bed turbulent velocity field and the local modification of this velocity field by upstream, protruding grains. A model of bedload transport is presented that captures these sources of variability by directly integrating the equations of motion of each particle of a simulated mixed grain-size sediment bed. Experimental data from the velocity field downstream and below the tops of upstream, protruding grains are presented. From these data, an empirical relation for the velocity modification resulting from upstream grains is provided to the bedload model. The temporal variability of near-bed turbulence is provided by a measured near-bed time series of velocity over a gravel bed. The distribution of pocket friction angles results as a consequence of directly calculating the initiation and cessation of motion of each particle as a result of the combination of fluid forcing and interaction with other particles. Calculations of bedload flux in a uniform boundary and simulated pocket friction angles agree favourably with previous studies.