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The Importance of Compacting Soil — and How to Do It

Category: Equipment and Solutions

Compacting soil is an essential part of all construction projects, whether they be completed by professionals or done at home. Soil naturally shifts and moves because there’s space between the individual particles. While this is important for absorbing water and allowing plants to spread roots, it isn’t ideal for building concrete pads, fences or buildings.

Why Is Soil Compaction Important?

Properly compacting soil can make a substantial impact on the quality of a finished product. Structures will be more stable and secure on compacted foundations. Conversely, construction without performing soil compaction is unlikely to last. Pipes and walls can crack, and roads are more likely to develop potholes. As a result, it is vital to compact soil before any project that could be affected by the ground moving underneath it.

Soil Compactor Rental Tips

Often, it is easier to rent a compactor for a project instead of buying one, especially if you won’t need it often. In this case, make sure to do the necessary research when choosing a compactor for your project. The composition of soil varies based on location, so it is possible to either compact too much or too little if you do not have the proper equipment for the job.

Here are some tips for renting and operating a soil compactor to make sure that you compact the soil just right for your project:

  • Know the soil you are working with: Understanding what type of soil is present at your job site can help you choose the correct compaction equipment. The two main types of soil that you will encounter are granular and cohesive soil. Granular soil consists of coarse elements like gravel and sand, and it usually requires more compacting. Cohesive soil is more clay-based, so it will not need as much.
  • Compact the correct amount of passes: One major cause of poorly compacted soil is the operator not going over the area the proper number of times. Based on the soil and the compactor you choose, make sure to go over the area until it’s stable.
  • Choose the appropriate size compactor: Using a compactor that’s the wrong size can result in over- or under-compacted soil. Assess the depth of the soil you will be compacting and, using the equipment’s compaction rating, choose what will do the best job.

NMC The Cat® Rental Store Can Help

We are confident that we can help you find the perfect compactor to rent at NMC The Cat® Rental Store. We have 80 years of experience serving clients with rentals for jobs of virtually any size. Contact us to learn more about our range of soil compactors and how they can help you with your project.