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Granular soils such as sand can be loaded directly, but densification is often required prior to construction to increase the load-bearing capacity.

Also, granular soil saturated with water can lose its strength and stiffness in response to an earthquake or other rapid stress. This process, known as liquefaction, can result in very serious damage. Re-arranging the soil particles into a denser state lowers the risk of both settlement and liquefaction.

Wicks uses various compaction techniques to improve granular soils. The best compaction equipment for the job depends mainly on the layer thickness of the sand. The ability to compact thicker layers saves money and time. Wicks owns and operates a wide range of compaction equipment suited to your needs.

Electric-powered vibrating pokers

For thick sand layers, Wicks uses electric- powered vibrating pokers to densify the soil. The pokers are operated from a crawler crane in a single or tandem configuration.

Combining the vibration with air and/or water reduces the friction between the sand particles, allowing them to re-arrange into a denser configuration even at great depths. The pokers are inserted to full depth and retracted in stages. This method is suitable for soil layers down to more than 50 metres depth.