Creating a solid foundation is an essential process before starting a wide range of projects. This type of work is achieved using one of the many compaction tools. They are very effective at removing air voids from the soil, which leaves the ground more dense and able to accept the higher load. Let’s take a look at a few of the most common tools to compact soil:
One of the most used tools is the tamping rammer. They can operate with a gas or electric engine. It is a walk-behind tool that is very useful for the many types of cohesive soils, such as silt or clay. The tamping rammer is a versatile tool that makes it very easy to use close to a wall or in tight corners. The bottom plate for compacting is typically in the region of 11 x 13 inches. However, there are also smaller models to fit in the tight spaces. The weight of the tool is a further thing that needs to be considered. Any tool with the ability to deliver about 3,250 pounds of force per square foot is usually enough to reach the desired level of compaction. The gas-powered unit is the most versatile and useful in the remote locations. The tools with an electric motor will need a nearby electrical outlet or a generator to operate.
The plate compactor is a great option for someone planning to work on granular soil, such as dirt, sand or gravel with plenty of aggregate material mixed in. It is a very effective tool at removing air pockets to leave the ground surface extremely compact. The standard plate compactor will operate in a single direction. If the soil isn’t compact enough after the first pass, it will be necessary to fully turn the tool to make a repeat pass. For greater flexibility, there are the plate compactor units with a reversible design which is a lot easier to maneuver and change direction. Also, the plate compactor can include extra features such as a water tank to stop the ground surface sticking to the plate.
A walk-behind roller is the next option and slighter larger than the plate compactor. This type of tool relies on multiple vibrating drums to help compact a wide range of materials, including asphalt and soil. It is a very useful option for working on road building or similar projects.