Incorrect and unproductive methods of operating earthmoving equipment reduces profit. As an earthmoving equipment operator who usually runs a compactor or a scraper, I have learned techniques that may be helpful to other operators.
- A consistent pattern and smooth surface are vital for proper compaction.
- Always begin a fill by outlining the fill perimeter with the compactor blade, or dirt spreader. This ensures that scrapers or trucks know where & how far to spread material.
- When starting a fill slope, always outline the toe with the edge of the compactor blade.
- With every lift, compact the edge of the slope to overbuild at least 5 tenths wide. This shows scrapers how wide to build the slope, and gives the dozer something to trim off. Different types of materials and designs require more or less overbuild. When in doubt of how much to overbuild, ask the dozer operator who will be grading the slope, or the grade checker.
- Always ensure enough material is spread out to the edge of the slope to build it slightly higher than the rest of the fill. This prevent scrapers from sliding off of the slope, and ensures that the slope is not under-built.
- Compact the slope more than the rest of the fill to ensure future stability. Also, it will be solid when the dozer grades it.
- Always key into existing slopes that are in the fill.
- Examine existing slopes for any obstructions or underground installations. When unsure of what to do, & to ensure no utilities are in danger, contact supervision before proceeding.
Compact each fill using a pattern that is appropriate for each situation.
- This is the quickest way to get across the fill for use when:
- compaction is attained primarily by scraper travel;
- compactor makes u-turn after each pass;
- just "knock it down" with dirt spreader as time is short;
- small windrow is left between pass lanes;
- do not split tracks.
- The next quickest way across the fill is for use when:
- compaction is easily gained, but dependent upon compactor;
- compactor rollers need to travel across entire fill to densify soil, therefore splitting tracks is necessary;
- spread dirt on 1st pass, then back up during 2nd pass to split tracks as time is short;
- for 3rd & 4th passes, repeat "c" above.
- The next quickest way to get across the fill is similar to No. 2 above, and is used when more effort is required to gain a smooth surface:
- back drag when backing up;
OR - ( & this takes more time because the compactor turns around after each pass)
- use No. 2 above, but don't back up;
- instead, go forward on each pass;
- split tracks and spread dirt on each pass.
- back drag when backing up;
- When there is time more compaction can be achieved by:
- spreading material on 1st pass, then backing up in the same tracks just made;
- after backing up, split tracks & spread dirt forward, then back up in same tracks again;
- for next pass, begin next to edge of last pass;
- backdrag as time permits if needed to smooth surface;
- if time permits, and more effort is needed to achieve compaction, after backing up move over 1 roller width for each forward pass.
- Experiment by discovering patterns not mentioned here.
- Mix the material and moisture by tilting the blade. One corner will dig while part of the blade will spread & mix.