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#220619 - 06/08/10 12:43 AM Sheepsfoot roller survey
cheezy1963 Offline
Lunker

Registered: 06/14/03
Posts: 209
Loc: oklahoma
Anyone have a leaking/seeping pond that was constructed using a sheepsfoot roller?

I know there are allot more things to consider when constructing a pond like the soil type and having a good core but I wonder if anyone has had poor results by using a sheepsfoot roller.

Cody Note: Link to how well various methods will compact soil:
http://extension.missouri.edu/webster/pond-seal.aspx


Edited by Bill Cody (10/08/14 02:51 PM)

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#220624 - 06/08/10 01:14 AM Re: Sheepsfoot roller survey [Re: cheezy1963]
tim pinney Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 05/08/10
Posts: 173
Loc: osage county, oklahoma
i dont see how it could do anything but help. the only way i can think of it doing something bad would be using it to much because a sheepsfoot brings the moisture to the top allowing the soil to become to dry. i usually dont use one and build to shrinkage only because of the added cost most people dont want to pay and our nrcs offices dont require it. but using it can only be better in my opinion. but if you dont get a good core nothings gonna stop that water from leaking


Edited by tim pinney (06/08/10 01:18 AM)

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#220686 - 06/08/10 12:19 PM Re: Sheepsfoot roller survey [Re: tim pinney]
Mark Brown Offline
Lunker

Registered: 07/15/06
Posts: 331
Loc: Warrenton, VA
My 2 ac. pond was built in '05 and the builder did not use a sheepsfoot roller and it has leaked ever since. I spent a fortune trying to fix it with no luck, Finally gave up, drained the pond and am relining with new clay and bentonite.

As soon as I finish typing this I am going to call another rental place for a quote on renting a 12 ton sheepsfoot roller. One quote was for $2400 for 30 days delivered and picked up.

I would NEVER build another pond without using one. Trust me, the cost is well worth it if you have poor soils.
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#220791 - 06/08/10 09:27 PM Re: Sheepsfoot roller survey [Re: Mark Brown]
FCM67693 Offline
Ambassador <br /> Field Correspondent
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Registered: 10/07/08
Posts: 199
Loc: North Liberty, Indiana
My pond was dug in July 2008. The excavator compacted the core trench with a sheepsfoot roller and as they came out of the core trench, they compacted the entire dam with it. The other important thing is to compact it in lifts. They rolled my dam every 6" - 12". No leaks or problems in sight. I am confident that this will still be standing strong for my grandchildren someday.

Soil moisture is the other issue. Too wet and it impossible to roll. Too dry and is won't compact to the optimum level.

I definately vote for the roller.
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#220823 - 06/09/10 12:54 AM Re: Sheepsfoot roller survey [Re: FCM67693]
cheezy1963 Offline
Lunker

Registered: 06/14/03
Posts: 209
Loc: oklahoma
thanks for the feedback guys. I had no idea that you could use a sheepsfoot roller too much. Very interesting.

Like some other people here, I found this site after having my pond built. I have allot of confidence with the information I've gathered over the years that my next pond will not leak. I feel real lucky because it looks like I'm in the same county as one of the other forum members who seems to be an pond building expert. I'll be looking him up for pond #2 and the same mistakes won't be made.

Hopefully, if anyone has had problems with a sheepsfoot roller they will see this and provide some helpful feedback.

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#220866 - 06/09/10 11:00 AM Re: Sheepsfoot roller survey [Re: cheezy1963]
JoeG Offline
Lunker

Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 530
Loc: Cambridge Springs, PA
I guess it is a matter of perspective to say one can use sheepsfoot too much. You could also say that you added too little water to maintain soil moisture and optimize your compaction efforts. I don't claim to be an expert but the technically correct use of a sheepsfoot really just means rolling until it "walks out" of the fill, if moisture is a problem, then you need to add it until you have achieved desired compaction, then add the next lift or begin final grading. I realize not always practical or cost effective to add water and not every job gets tested for compaction, especially a private pond job, but in my experience to say you can roll too much only applies to black top or pavement work, not dirt. If you are not allowing the sheeps foot to walk out of the fill, you cannot say you are consitantly getting compaction.
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#221053 - 06/10/10 02:20 AM Re: Sheepsfoot roller survey [Re: JoeG]
tim pinney Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 05/08/10
Posts: 173
Loc: osage county, oklahoma
your probably right but i'd have to agree to disagree on the overpacking. if you beat all the moisture out of your dirt you usually get a 105% or above on your density test but your 4% or more under your optimum moisture which flunks the test. this leaves your dirt unsealed ready to absorb water which is not a good thing.obviously if you were to dry before packing you didnt beat the moisture out but if you have optimum moisture and beat on it to much your losing compaction through your moisture. on a 6" lift with a good packer 2 to 3 passes should get you over 95% every pass after that you start losing compaction if moisture is a issue. i'm kinda new to this site but find it very interesting. i hear a lot about lifts and packers and understand the why to of them but i hear very little about moisture in the dirt. if i dont think the dirt has enough moisture in it i will stop building the dam load up and do something else until it rains if i have to. in 25yrs i have only had to do it 4 times all during droughts. but thats just my opinion on a packer. they are definetly better when properly used but in my country not neccessary very often on a pond.


Edited by tim pinney (06/10/10 02:27 AM)

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#221072 - 06/10/10 08:51 AM Re: Sheepsfoot roller survey [Re: tim pinney]
JoeG Offline
Lunker

Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 530
Loc: Cambridge Springs, PA
So do you test your compaction when building pond dams? Just curious is all. I have never heard of a contractor building a pond doing that, usually only see the tester come out on federal or state funded jobs where large fills are being put down. It may be the difference in our locations but we don't get many droughts here, and it is rare to have too little moisture in the type of material we usually encounter. I whole heartedly agree that very dry conditions can change how effective any machine is at compacting. As I said, it's perspective, if the material dries out before you have it compacted, it was too dry to begin with. I guess it comes from geography, we usually battle the rain here, you more than likely contend with the heat more where you are.
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#221103 - 06/10/10 11:23 AM Re: Sheepsfoot roller survey [Re: JoeG]
jeffhasapond Offline
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
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Registered: 07/28/06
Posts: 7613
Loc: Pond in No CA, Me in So CA
Great discussion JoeG and Tim Penney, this type of discussion helps all of us.

One question, what do you mean by the phase "allowing the sheeps foot to walk out of the fill?"
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JHAP
~~~~~~~~~~

"My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives."
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#221128 - 06/10/10 01:29 PM Re: Sheepsfoot roller survey [Re: jeffhasapond]
Brettski Offline
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Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 6905
Loc: Illinois
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#221160 - 06/10/10 02:43 PM Re: Sheepsfoot roller survey [Re: jeffhasapond]
Todd3138 Offline
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Registered: 07/09/09
Posts: 3490
Loc: North Central WV
Originally Posted By: jeffhasapond
One question, what do you mean by the phase "allowing the sheeps foot to walk out of the fill?"


Whew! Someone else asked it and saved me the embarrassment! grin
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#221193 - 06/10/10 08:13 PM Re: Sheepsfoot roller survey [Re: Todd3138]
hawgtusks Offline
Lunker

Registered: 08/25/09
Posts: 28
Loc: Arkansas
As soil is compacted or densified, it gains shear strength.

When compacting with a sheepsfoot roller, if the moisture content is fairly close to optimum and the overall soil structure is stable enough to facilitate good compaction, the soil will increase in strength to the point that the sheepsfeet (little knobs on the roller that concentrate the compactive effort) no longer bury into the soil being compacted, and will instead roll on top of the compacted, strengthened soil structure. This is referred to as "walking the sheepsfoot out". When the soil is strong enough to support the load of the sheepsfoot roller without the sheepsfeet burying into the soil, this is usually an indication that adequate compaction has been achieved.

Hope this helps....

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#221214 - 06/10/10 10:17 PM Re: Sheepsfoot roller survey [Re: hawgtusks]
tim pinney Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 05/08/10
Posts: 173
Loc: osage county, oklahoma
joe,

we only test compaction on retention ponds because they make us. a normal pond usually not unless the nrcs guy is playing around with some old way of testing it that seems to be pretty accurrate. where i'm working this month if i asked the owner to use a sheepsfoot on a pond he'd think i went loco much less do a compaction test i dont even think i could get my packer to these ponds without tipping it over. i believe it was 2006 and 7 we went for about 6 months that the nrcs shut down the building of ponds due to lack of moisture in the soil. maybe it is the difference in our regions i'm not sure. i understand what is meant by walking the sheepsfoot out of the fill but if we are talking about compaction which is what we are after that means very little. on most ponds thats no big deal but i dont want people thinking that means they have compaction. you can walk one up on fat clay thats to wet yet only have 85% compaction i can get that with my dozer. i'm simply trying to show how important moisture is to compaction. dry dirt is bad news for a road base just as it would be for a pond dam in bad soil that needed all the help it could get. its bad because it wont seal its like a thirsty person wanting water we want it to be a non thirsty person refusing and shedding water which is the seal i'm speaking of. most dirt will put out a shiny look when sealed. once a person has done enough compaction test you can tell if it is going to pass before they test it. most of our subdivision jobs the owner pays for the test. if it flunks the next one is on me so i have got to know.i just did a pond for a member on here that i thought needed a packer because the core was 12' deep in places with solid rock sides. water was running in on us the whole job and i loved it we could pack it to death and not have to worry about moisture i feel real good about it holding water and being 25' deep with all that pressure thats saying a lot i'm kind of a worry wart

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#221218 - 06/10/10 10:36 PM Re: Sheepsfoot roller survey [Re: tim pinney]
tim pinney Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 05/08/10
Posts: 173
Loc: osage county, oklahoma
one other thing i wanted to mention and forgot as usual is the bonding ability of the dirt the sheepsfoot adds. them little holes make an incredible difference in the ability of the dirt to bond from one lift to the next especially important on slopes. and jeffhasapond is right this helps everybody but i sure am glad we aint discussin politics

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#221274 - 06/11/10 09:53 AM Re: Sheepsfoot roller survey [Re: tim pinney]
jeffhasapond Offline
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
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Registered: 07/28/06
Posts: 7613
Loc: Pond in No CA, Me in So CA
Thanks hawgtusks!
_________________________
JHAP
~~~~~~~~~~

"My mind is a raging torrent, flooded with rivulets of thought cascading into a waterfall of creative alternatives."
...Hedley Lamarr (that's Hedley not Hedy)

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#221300 - 06/11/10 12:05 PM Re: Sheepsfoot roller survey [Re: jeffhasapond]
JoeG Offline
Lunker

Registered: 08/21/03
Posts: 530
Loc: Cambridge Springs, PA
I don't want to discuss politics either. I'm also a worry wart, king of overkill, the engineer the bean counters don't like to see coming, etc. etc. We must have very different types of soil as well as the conditions and climate to work with. It is interesting to hear your experiences and I appreciate your sharing your knowledge with us all. I usually deal with too much moisture as I said, our droughts are few and far between.
_________________________
The world contains a finite amount of facts, but there are infinite ways to put them to use.

Be a fountain in life, not a drain....

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#221307 - 06/11/10 12:51 PM Re: Sheepsfoot roller survey [Re: JoeG]
cheezy1963 Offline
Lunker

Registered: 06/14/03
Posts: 209
Loc: oklahoma
Wow...really nice feedback. thanks guys.

Brettski, I remember reading your post a while back...still a real nice read.

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#221391 - 06/11/10 11:58 PM Re: Sheepsfoot roller survey [Re: cheezy1963]
tim pinney Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 05/08/10
Posts: 173
Loc: osage county, oklahoma
brettski i just looked at your pictures. personally i hate to waste topsoil its to valuable for erosion control. i would not have mixed it but doubt that it hurt anything if mixed well. i sure wish i could dig a core without hitting rocks i kinda hate them.i agree a lot with thillbilly and jbl. i dont promote a sheepsfoot like hillbilly even though i own one. i agree they are better but i personally have built hundreds of ponds without one with no problem. simply building to the 10% shrinkage called for. you have to figure dozer weight, track length, and width. but does anybody consider a dozers packing ability while its pushing a full load of dirt. and if your grousers are not wore plum down how much do they pack when they penetrate the ground just food for thought. i try to keep things as cheap as possible when possible. most of the bigger ponds i have my scraper and yes it will get compaction quicker than my sheepsfoot. on many jobs with the testing agencys approval we have done 2' lifts rolled it in with scraper and passed the compaction test with no problem. there probe only goes down 1' so we have to dig down 1' to get it all tested.


Edited by tim pinney (06/12/10 12:35 AM)

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#221457 - 06/12/10 02:58 PM Re: Sheepsfoot roller survey [Re: hawgtusks]
Todd3138 Offline
Ambassador
Field Correspondent
Hall of Fame

Lunker

Registered: 07/09/09
Posts: 3490
Loc: North Central WV
Originally Posted By: hawgtusks
As soil is compacted or densified, it gains shear strength.

When compacting with a sheepsfoot roller, if the moisture content is fairly close to optimum and the overall soil structure is stable enough to facilitate good compaction, the soil will increase in strength to the point that the sheepsfeet (little knobs on the roller that concentrate the compactive effort) no longer bury into the soil being compacted, and will instead roll on top of the compacted, strengthened soil structure. This is referred to as "walking the sheepsfoot out". When the soil is strong enough to support the load of the sheepsfoot roller without the sheepsfeet burying into the soil, this is usually an indication that adequate compaction has been achieved.

Hope this helps....



Great explanation, hawgtusks! Woooo Pig! Soooie!
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#244632 - 01/12/11 02:48 PM Re: Sheepsfoot roller survey [Re: Todd3138]
Jim_100 Offline


Registered: 12/27/10
Posts: 39
Loc: MI
Is it possible to use a plate compactor or jumping jack compactor in place of a sheepsfoot roller for a small 30 x 40 ft. area. First using a dozer to get the clay fill fairly smooth?
Sorry to highjack this slightly older but very interesting thread.
Thanks all.
jim

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#244637 - 01/12/11 03:48 PM Re: Sheepsfoot roller survey [Re: Jim_100]
Brettski Offline
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Registered: 10/07/05
Posts: 6905
Loc: Illinois
Yes, but you'll be workin' on it for a couple of hours. The drawback to a JJ compactor is moving and controlling them on any incline that is over about 15%. They are'nt real bad going downhill, but you still have to wrestle to keep em from moving along too fast. Going uphill, fuggedaboutit.
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#244648 - 01/12/11 08:12 PM Re: Sheepsfoot roller survey [Re: Brettski]
Bill Cody Offline
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Registered: 04/18/02
Posts: 12468
Loc: Northwest Ohio - Malinta OH
One of the main benefits of a sheepsfoot roller is its ability to knit the two soil layers or lifts together due to the knobs not only compacting but also intermixing and 'poking' the compacted upper and lower layers together. Just having two compacted layers are sometimes not enough especially if those layers/lifts are too thick and adequate downward pressure was not applied so it resulted in an 'inadequate seal' between the two layers or 'sheets' of dirt. Water, due to pressure due to depth, will 'want' to seep or move between the two 'compacted' sheet-like layerslifts esp if the layers have loose spots between the layers. Sheepfoot devices due to the inter-knitting of the layers tend to minimize this seepage between layers / sheets, providing the layers are not too thick thus proper knitting of layers does not occur. Contractors in a hurry will tend to make the soil layers of the core trench too thick and this can result in an inadequate seal between the two built-up layers of clay. As Tim says, proper soil moisture is very important to proper compaction.

A double barrel heavier sheepsfoot roller compacts better than a lighter weight single barrel roller. Single barrel rollers tend to bounce around and often do an inadequate job when dirt layers are uneven and 'bumpy'.

Comparison of ways to compact soil:
http://extension.missouri.edu/webster/pond-seal.aspx


Edited by Bill Cody (10/08/14 02:48 PM)
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#245682 - 01/23/11 12:06 AM Re: Sheepsfoot roller survey [Re: cheezy1963]
65Starfire Offline


Registered: 01/18/11
Posts: 7
Loc: Colrado
When using a sheep foot roller, build the lifts thin enough so that pressure penetrates all the way down to the lift below. Do not allow the soil surface dry before adding the next lift or you will end up with poorly bonded layers in your dam. Some kind of shallow scarification and then wetting is desirable before adding the next lift. This will create a surface that will bond to the next lift. Moisture content is important because it is the polar properties of water molecules that create bonding between charged surfaces of soil micelles (small clay particles). To much water is like too much glue. Too much water lessens the resistance to shear and leaves excessive voids between soil micelles. In these spaces you may have lack of adhesion, wetting and drying, freezing and thawing, places for plant roots to grow into etc., and there goes any compaction you had over time. Dozers though heavy do not compact well because of the large surface area they apply to level ground. The grouser bars on dozer track pads are designed for traction and do a negligible job of applying pressure to any depth. Dozers will do a fair job of packing the surface of a steep slope for reasons I will not get into. Wheel rolling with a loaded truck or wheel loader is far better for good compaction than a dozer is, but tires will also create a smooth “seal” on the surface of your lift which you do not want before adding the next lift. Same goes for a sheep foot roller if you over do it. Keep large rocks out of the material to be compacted or there will be an area around them which will be “protected” from the compaction of a roller or what ever you are using which will result in a weak spot. A vibratory roller is nice if you can afford it. Jumping jacks and plate compactors are only good for very small jobs and confined areas. Having an engineer test with a neutron probe once the optimum moisture content is determined in a lab would also help to see how you are doing, but these services are not free and it needs to be done upon the completion of each lift.

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#247280 - 02/03/11 06:53 PM Re: Sheepsfoot roller survey [Re: 65Starfire]
tim pinney Offline
Fingerling

Registered: 05/08/10
Posts: 173
Loc: osage county, oklahoma
this thread is packed with good info. i seen some fellows putting lifts on a slope and rolling them in with a smooth drum the other day. unless they were roughing the surface of the dirt up between lifts they were making a crucial mistake due to the ability of bonding discussed above. ever see them mudslides on highway cutouts where they sloped to the top of hill after cutting it down for the highway? either the dirt didnt bond or they used to low pi material in their fill that absorbed to much water weight. anyway this thread is very informing at least i think so

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#263021 - 06/27/11 12:13 AM Re: Sheepsfoot roller survey [Re: Jim_100]
jevans5050 Offline


Registered: 03/11/11
Posts: 16
Loc: california
Originally Posted By: Jim_100
Is it possible to use a plate compactor or jumping jack compactor in place of a sheepsfoot roller for a small 30 x 40 ft. area. First using a dozer to get the clay fill fairly smooth?
Sorry to highjack this slightly older but very interesting thread.
Thanks all.
jim


yeah a jumping jack will work but forget about a plate compactor. plate compactors are really for compacting a.b. (agregate base) or gravel or sand or in some cases asphualt on small jobs. but i can assure you that this is the wrong tool for the job of you trying to place and compact fill dirt. a jumping jack will get it done just fine on a 30' x 40', it will just take a little more time is all...and yes as someone mentioned it is a bitch to use on a slope.

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