Selection of a stress-based soil compaction test to determine potential impact of machine wheel loads

Aram Ali, John Mc Lean Bennett, Stirling Roberton, Diman Krwanji, Ying Can Zhu, David West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The use of heavy machinery is increasing in agricultural industries, and in particular cotton farming systems in Australia, which induces an increased risk of soil compaction and yield reduction. Hence, there is a need for a technical solution to use available tools to measure projected soil compaction due to farm machinery traffic. The aim of this work was to compare the effects of static and dynamic loads on soil compaction. In this study, three Vertisols (soils commonly used for cotton production in Australia) were selected to examine soil compaction under a range of static and dynamic loads, respectively, using uniaxial compression equipment and a modified Proctor test. In general, soils behaved similarly under static and dynamic loads with no significant difference between bulk density values for all moisture contents with a high index of agreement (d = 0.96, RMSE = 0.056). The results further indicate better agreement between soil compaction produced under static and dynamic loads. Uniaxial compression test (static loads) produced greater compaction compared with the modified Proctor test (dynamic loads), in particular at moisture contents less than the plastic limit condition. The variation in soil compaction for static and dynamic loads was often evident for loads ≥600 kPa, with the greatest soil compaction induced under loads ≥1200 kPa. The findings of this study confirm the suitability of a modified Proctor method to assess soil compaction as an alternative tool under a range of moisture contents and machinery loads for Vertisols.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere13501
JournalEuropean Journal of Soil Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 01 May 2024


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