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Compaction of trench lines

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Dirty Water, Jan 15, 2006.

  1. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    What do you guys do for compaction when you backfill trenches? We use a plow most of the time, but when we do use our trencher we usually pick out the rocks, push one side of the trench in with the backfill blade and then hand tamp.

    Then we push the other side in and hand tamp again. I'm pretty good at operating a 4 way blade (I wish we had a 6 way) and as long as I'm not on ground thats really uneven I can backfill without scraping, about as good as you can do without having a 6-way.

    Does anyone run a compactor on their lines? I'm picturing something like a jumping jack whacker with a small foot.

    Our area is either 90% rock, or pure very hard clay.

    The Rocky area compacts good, the clay is impossible to get tight by hand.
  2. LandscapePro

    LandscapePro LawnSite Member
    Posts: 138


    I heap the backfill then fill the trench with water. Once it's settled,( that afternoon or next day) I fill whatever void that's left with sand and I'm done.

    La. Landscape Contractor #2576
  3. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,694

    Vermeer makes a <a href=http://www.vermeermfg.com/vcom/TrenchingEquipment/Line.jsp?PrdlnID=3606>trenching compactor</a> - I've seen job specs that required sand to be brought in to backfill around the PVC pipe.
  4. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    We have bed our pipe before on some commercial jobs if required.
  5. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,781

    A piece of 1/2" sch40 adapted back to a garden hose will do wonders. With the water on, shove the pipe to the bottom of the ditch. I'm assuming a 4" ditch or bigger, so walk it down after it won't take any more water. Move the hose about 4-6' each time and while the water runs, move back and walk down what is already wet.

    Also, do you have an old blade for the 410? Have a 6" x 10-12" 1/2" steel plate welded to an old broken blade. Now, you have a trench compactor that you have to be careful with and will most likely have you hauling in dirt when your done.
  6. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    We mostly backfill and foot compact the smaller trenches and water jet larger areas and main lines.

    Most of the time we don't double back and regrade everything because the "dirt boyz" will follow to clean things up and get athletic facilities ready for play.
  7. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    I prefer bedding my wife... but not in sand. :)

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