Tips for More Effective Soil Compaction

Many construction businesses today have to excavate soil for foundations and work like building roads and parking facilities. After backfilling, it is important to compact the soil to prevent erosion and provide firm footing. Equipment may range from a smooth to a sheepsfoot roller, and some offer vibration effects. Here are some helpful tips to make the job a little easier and efficient when you need to compact the soil.

Before You Start Compacting

There are three kinds of soil, and each one requires a different kind of compacting to the job right. Here are the three main kinds:

 * Cohesive – clay, loam, or silt. The fine particles stick together and form large clumps of soil. When wet, cohesive soil easily sticks to compaction equipment and the tires too. However, you do not have to worry about crumbling, so cave-ins for trench digging are not much of a problem. A sheepsfoot roller works well for this kind of soil.

 * Granular – this soil is cohesion-less. The particles do not clump together, and this includes gravel, sand and sandy soil. It is often compacted with vibration equipment.

 * Organic – unlike cohesive and granular soil (which is inorganic) organic soils are cohesive or non-cohesive. It is important to test the soil first. A simple test involves squeezing a handful and checking for cohesiveness

How Wet?

If the soil is too dry, it does not compact well and may need watering. Very wet soil can give you reduced stability. You may need to wait for drying to occur.

Use the Right Equipment

If you try to use a sheepsfoot roller on gravel or sand, you may not like the results. On the other hand, a vibratory compactor used on clay may give you poor results too. The weight of your machine has a large effect on soil compaction.

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