The low-down on compaction factors

Loadscan’s Sales and Market Development Manager, Andrew Duffy, exhibited at Compost 2019 in Phoenix, Arizona.

He was reminded, once again about how much of a contentious issue measurement of organic material can be. He discusses the matter…

When selling mulch-type products it can be hard to decide on the fairest measuring stick. Is it volume off the bucket? Or weighing the trailer when freshly loaded? Or scanning?

Most participants I chatted to agreed that load volume scanning is the new industry standard for the accurate measurement of bulk organic materials – but it also has its considerations.

What are the considerations? What solution does a load volume scanner offer?

Loadscan’s clever software, which gives you the option to automatically apply compaction factors to each of your bulk materials, makes overcoming compaction issues easier than you may realize.

Our solution includes 3D colour profiles (that provide proof of volume at time of measurement) and a compaction factor adjustment (CFA) functionality.

Can the load volume scanner offer fair compaction factors on different materials?  

Yes, we all know that fluffy dry wood shavings have a lower compaction factor than soggy wet black mulch. Through some routine compaction studies, you can ascertain what fair compaction factors are for each of your materials.

For example, you might find you get 15% compaction on a product like black mulch in a 100yd3 truck bin, but only 10% with bark chips.

How does the load volume scanner help establish compaction factors?

You can use your Loadscan scanner to help you establish fair, standardised compaction factors for each of your materials relative to truck bin size. By pre-setting the compaction factors for each product, your Loadscan will automatically calculate the uncompacted volume of each bulk load — it’s fair for you, and fair for your customer.

Find out more about Loadscan’s load volume scanner.

Want to know more about compaction factors? Download ‘Levelling the playing field’.

Andrew Duffy Sales and Market Development Manager
Loadscan Compost and mulch load management