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Heavy Equipment Articles

Know all about soil density and moisture and understand the need of compaction!

Construction is a huge industry and to complete a construction project, a number of factors have to be completed. Amongst them, soil compaction is one of the most important one. Before soil compaction is conducted, why it is done and how it is done, must be understood.

About soil compaction:

Soil compaction is a mechanical process in which weight is applied to the soil to increase its density. Soil usually contains air and water particles. Thus, when weight is applied on it, the air gaps are removed or reduced. Therefore, the soil becomes compacted and denser. The process only removes the air and does not have any significant impact on the water particles.

Importance of soil compaction:

The soil compaction technique is a mechanical one and it is very important in the construction field. In order to make a site suitable for construction, the site needs to be turned into a flat base. The flat construction base is mandatory for various construction requirements such as –

  • Buildings
  • Roads
  • Pavements.

With this compaction process, the soil becomes denser and thus, it gains more stability. The resistance power of the soil is also increased.

What happens without soil compaction?

If the soil is not compacted, there is always a chance that after the construction is complete, moisture will be absorbed and penetrated within the soil particles. Thus, the soil and the construction will start to encounter movement, resulting in damage and failure of the construction. Without proper and quality soil compaction –

  • Building walls may experience cracks and they might even fall down
  • As the roads and pavements start to encounter movement, the pipes beneath these construction sites will encounter holes, cracks and leaks.
  • Entire construction may collapse.

Types of soil compaction equipment:

Though a mechanical process, the technique of compaction differs, depending on the type of soil. There are two types of soils, cohesive and non-cohesive and both require different compaction methods. In order to yield proper compaction, right heavy construction equipment must be chosen. There are a number of soil compaction equipment types. The most popular ones are –

  • Smooth wheeled rollers
  • Sheepsfoot rollers
  • Grid rollers
  • Pneumatic tyred rollers
  • Trench tamper or power rammer
  • Vibrating plates.

The right soil density:

Whether the right soil density and moisture level is achieved or not is a factor that must be taken into consideration. For that a number of lab tests are done for the soil. These are proctor test, field test, sand cone test, soil modulus test and nuclear density test. All these tests can determine, whether the right soil density is achieved or not. These tests can also determine the impact of moisture on the soil density. Optimum moisture level can be identified with these tests through a moisture density curve.

If you want to compact the soil for a construction purpose, you must understand these factors in details and then choose the right equipment for compaction. This will ensure that the construction is done properly, with no worries of soil movement and moisture penetration.


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Caterpillar 815 Compaction Roller

While you are working on a project, you need to ensure that the path on which the construction workers will walk and heavy equipment will move is smooth as butter because if it is not smooth then it will cause enormous problems for the workers to move on it and it may also lead to an unprecedented incident in the site. Government of any state gives a lot of stress on having real good roads. They understand the need as well as the importance of transportation for the economic progress of the country and therefore it is very crucial that the roads are well maintained with no potholes after every couple of meters away. In order to keep the roads smooth, compaction rollers play a mightier role and when we talk about compaction rollers, we can’t trust any other brands other than CAT. Caterpillar is known for producing hi-end heavy equipment for its huge customer base all across US and compaction rollers is one such make from them.

We will be discussing about CAT 815 compaction roller in particular and the specifications of the machine.

The gross and net power of CAT 815 compaction roller is 253 hp and 240 hp respectively. It has a displacement of 628.5 cu in. The operational weight of the machine is 20755 kg and its fuel capacity is 446 liters. It has been fitted with hydraulic system fluid capacity which is around 88 liters and the engine oil capacity is 34 liters. The cooling system fluid capacity and transmission fluid capacity is 55 liters and 50 liters respectively. The operating voltage of the machine is 24 V with the alternator supplied amperage is around 70 amps.

If we talk about its gears, then it has 3 forward gears and 3 backward gears and the maximum speed that it can take is around 18 km per hour. The width of the front wheels drum is 39 in and the drum diameter is 40.5 in. The width and diameter of the rear wheels are also the same as it is of the front wheels. The height and width of the blade of the compaction roller is 34 in and 12 ft in respectively. If we talk about the dimension of the machine the length with its blade on the ground is 6845 mm and the width over wheels is 3243 mm. The height of the machine from the bottom to the top of the cab is 11 ft in and the ground clearance is 1.3 ft in.

Buyers ideally do not experience issues buying this model and there are great reviews all over the internet from buyers all over the globe. If you are in US, you can order this machine by calling the company’s sales number or an authorized dealer who will help you with the sales proceeds. You can pay them all in check if you have sufficient money in your bank or can take a loan at minimal rate of interest to buy the machine.