SK Geotechnical offering the best full service geotechnical engineering, geotechnical drilling, and construction material testing in Montana

Compaction Testing

SK Geotechnical Corporation understands there are two important factors when it comes to compaction testing:
reliability and quick response. We will meet these expectations so the backfilling and filling operations can continue on schedule.

Compaction Testing, Billings, MT
Compaction testing in Billings

Utility trench backfilling, Bozeman, Montana
Utility trench backfilling in Bozeman, Montana

Proctor soil density curve, performed in Billings, MT
Proctor density curve

Nuclear density gage
Nuclear density gage

Compaction testing earth work at The Home Depot, Helena, Montana
The Home Depot, Helena, Montana

Summit hotel in Big Sky, Montana
Summit Hotel, Big Sky, Montana


SK Geotechnical understands the importance of responsive compaction tests during construction. If the specified compaction has not been achieved, backfilling slows down, which affects the entire project. Our technician, therefore, assists the contractor in maintaining the proper moisture content and using the right compaction equipment. On every project, our technicians verbally inform the client and contractor of test results prior to leaving the site. Written results are then issued in the mail within one to two working days.

The Proctor Test – A Benchmark

For each construction project, the first step in taking a soil density measurement is the Proctor test (named for its originator). This test, performed in a laboratory, establishes the maximum density achievable for the specific fill soils to be used at the site. One test is performed for each type of soil to be used, thereby forming a benchmark for all subsequent testing at that site.

Generally, SK Geotechnical can perform a Proctor test in a day or less. However, the time required for a given Proctor test varies based on the type and moisture content of the soil tested. Since time is an expensive commodity in any construction project, it is important to begin testing as early as possible.

Individual Compaction Tests

When results of the Proctor tests are available, compaction tests on fill and backfill can be performed. SK Geotechnical most frequently provides compaction tests through the use of nuclear density gauges. These devices employ safe, low-radiation nuclear technology. Results are available immediately: the technician reads soil density and moisture content directly from the device's digital display.

Experience Means Results

Though compaction testing procedures are described in industry standards, knowledge and experience are necessary to obtain reliable results. At SK Geotechnical, we have gained our knowledge through more than 20 years experience in compaction testing, and currently perform more than 3,000 individual tests annually.

An important reason for our success is careful attention to quality and staff development. Equipment is frequently calibrated, experienced personnel coordinate all work, and only technicians who have demonstrated proficiency in the necessary test procedures and data collection techniques are dispatched on field projects. Government agencies, utilities, contractors, architects, property owners and developers depend on us for reliability and quick response.