Jumping Jack Compactor
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    Jumping Jack Compactor

    I am getting ready to build my drive and parking area to my new house. It will be a gravel drive and parking area. Everything I have read or seen on You tube about driveways indicates I should try and compact the material I am using between layers. I am considering renting a jumping jack compactor and have a couple of questions.

    1. Do they produce the desired result or are they not worth using? I have a fairly large area for my parking area so...don't want to wear my arms out for not much gain. My soil is virtually all clay in the area that will be my parking area. I plan to use some clay-sand to fill in my soft spots and low areas before I start putting down gravel. I would like to pack down and level the area between layers of gravel. I see the guys around here who do driveways simply using their skid steers but I am using a JD 2210 so it doesn't have enough weight to pack in the material as I lay it down.

    2. Speaking of wearing ones arms out, how bad do jumping jack compactors beat you up? It is going to make me triple up on my ibuprofen intake, I may just skip it. One has to know ones limits.
    BigJim55 likes this.

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    Ooof! You'll be at it forever with a jumping jack. They're fine for a small area but you don't want to be out there doing a driveway or parking area with one. Rent a roller and get it done in an hour.
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    ajones12379's Avatar
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    roller make it so much easier.had daughter helping when I was doing it.years back
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails IMG_20131027_164938_1484795013429.jpg  
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    ajones12379's Avatar
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    Rent one worth it
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    Depending on your square footage a vibra-plate is another option. Some come with a water tank as well to control the dust as your compacting.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajones12379 View Post
    roller make it so much easier.had daughter helping when I was doing it.years back
    What does one of these cost to rent? I realize different regions charge different rates. I just figured it would be way outside of my budget.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ajones12379 View Post
    roller make it so much easier.had daughter helping when I was doing it.years back
    I second renting a vibratory roller of this size. I used one on my ~4,000 recycled concrete driveway and it made quick work (2 - 3 hours as I recall) of it and didn't beat me to death. They are fun and easy to use. As I recall I paid $99 a day for it; but I caught them when they had a special, so I have no idea what the regular rate is.

    It was money well spent.
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    coaltrain's Avatar
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    Jumping Jacks aren't that bad to operate but there is a little bit of a learning curve. You don't want to try to manhandle it. Basically you have a fairly loose grip on the handles and guide it to move it by slightly tilting it to move. Really hard to explain without showing you.

    We used them when we replaced cross drains in the road for PennDOT. Great for a small area like that.

    You have the right idea about compacting - our rules were to compact in 6" lifts. Add 6" of material - compact - repeat.

    Check your rental place - they might have a walk behind roller like this:

    Click image for larger version. 

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    Also,, material choice determines compaction needs.

    Stone like 57's will not compact.
    That is why it is used under concrete.
    You would not want the stone to settle after the concrete is poured.
    Think of marbles in a glass jar,, that is what 57 stone is like.

    Stone like pug, or mill run, compacts a lot.
    The mill run that is available locally will compact nicely with a lawn roller.
    After setting a day, the material is so tight, you can not force a walking stick in it.

    Dirt, that is SUPER variable, and that is where jumping jacks, etc, comes into play.
    I try to do everything possible to avoid driving on dirt.

    Since I switched to pug on my driveway,, it drives almost like a concrete driveway,,
    the dirt underneath has not been moved in about 30 years, though,,

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    When we put in our driveway we dug out the top soil and put down about 10" of shale. The compacted it with all the construction equipment that was there. Then 3/4 crushed stone on top of that. It's solid. I'm going to let everything settle for another year or so then try to tar and chip it. (Less upkeep and maintenance than asphalt.)


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