Stopping Vibration from Walmart trucks

I have for the past two weeks had problems with my living room and master bedroom having a low frequency issues in the center of each room, when certain trucks are delivering at a Walmart about 100 yards or so away.
Does anyone know how to disperse the low frequency waves in the room. As you move towards the walls, even in the direction of the Walmart the subwoofer effect goes away.

I have probably contributed to the issue by taking down an old wooden fence and replacing with a wrought iron fence, so we could enjoy a greenbelt between us and Walmart. My wife and I noticed the problem about two days after replacing the fence. It is only noticeable on some evenings with certain trucks, and is actually louder in my living room than at Walmart.

I was wanting to add bass traps are whatever is needed, as I don't want to go back to the fenced in backyard.


That is a possible long term solution, but trying to figure out something for now. I have not been bothered by the low frequency issue for the four years I have lived in this house.

Actually, I am bothered by open concept more than the trucks.

Are you paying attention to windows and doors?
It is likely that the walls are acting as drum skins. They seem to have similar resonances, from your accounts.

This is not going to be an inexpensive fix, unless you engage the right expert.

Your problem will be in finding a functional fix as few folks know what they are doing in the case of ultra low frequencies. This is the hard reality of sound and noise control. It being so prevalent that the measurement weighting standards totally ignore these sounds, as they don’t know how to deal with them.

Or put the fence back up.

The whole building is being shaken, especially upper floors. This is an obvious case where you would ideally want the entire building up on springs.
  • Geoff sez: 

"The whole building is being shaken, especially upper floors. This is an obvious case where you would ideally want the entire building up on springs."

You mean suspended like a Linn turntable? 


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The practical solution is to isolate the speakers and your stands using a spring based solution such as the Townshend products, or for that matter Geoff’s springs. If you are feeling flush (very) an active isolation system such as the Herzan tables would also be very effective ... as others have noted this sort of interference is endemic and most audiophiles have never adressed it
If memory serves Linn’s suspension doesn’t go low enough. That’s why they’re always trying to update their suspension, the Trampoline or whatever. In order to defeat the Walmart truck you have to go down to 2 Hz.
Geoff -- as far as I am aware no turntable suspension (barring ones such as the Dohmann Helix with an integrated minus-K isolation system) has a suspension that deals with vibration outside the audio range. Agreed the Linn is exceptionally floppy (i.e. high resonant frequency) but most are like that - my EAR has among the stiffest springs I know but again is no use against the sub 10Hz issues we are talking about here
It does seem however that the OP has a secondary issue in so far as the room itself is exacerbating the sub-sonic issues. Bass traps will not help as they are also tuned to the audio range and cannot deal with sub 10Hz (think how large such a bass trap would need to be)

I wonder if the issue is the floor acting as a resonator then mass loading the floor in the appropriate manner might break things up?

Failing that as others have suggested an isolation fence could be a good idea -- many suppliers make such a thing but again it will not deal with the sub-sonic problems ...
If a suspension is exceptionally floppy it means the resonance frequency is low, not high. If the suspension is very stiff it means the Fr is relatively high. Resonant frequency is proportional to the square root of spring rate (all springs total). Almost all isolations systems extant deal with vibration with frequencies outside the audio range, I.e., seismic vibration, in range 0-20 Hz. Like that produced by Walmart trucks.
Folkfreak and all, the big problem is the room resonating. It is not a problem caused by speakers, although I am sure it affects both speakers and turntable.

I was hoping I would be able to do something inside the room like Bass Traps. I will look into the issue via the internet, but like all, I was hoping for a magic bullet, I had not thought of. I guess I have to put the fence back up or live with it.

@acman3 we get it! All of the responses you received were relating to external subsonic vibration. That is the problem you are trying to work with and that is what springs, Herzans and the like will deal with. You cannot use a bass trap -- it would have to absolutely enormous!

Our solutions are practical in so far as if it proves impossible to remove the source of the subsonic issues (which frankly it will be, subsonic vibration is present all of the time from mini earthquakes and the like) then the only solution is to isolate the audio equipment from its effect which the solutions we are suggesting will do.
The issue is likely airborne, as he said it went up to being noticeable when the fence went down.

No spring will help this.

I sent a pm on what might work.
If the old fence was a privacy fence you removed the sound barrier for the vibrations to be deflected and or absorbed, now your house is the sound barrier. Not sure about your climate but you could make your own green space to enjoy with some plantings that would help. 
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Sue Walmart for invasion of privacy.
Is there a Walmart in Cuba? 

I'm looking for an article written by the transportation department a few years ago addressing this exact issue along highways and roads adjacent to residential areas. if I find it I will pass it along. there is a few things you can do. mostly with shields (fences, acoustic partitions etc.).

Clad the new iron fence with 8’x4’ sheets of wood bolted together on either side of the rails- a sandwich if you will. That way you can remove if necessary and not have to reinstall a new fence or take down the new one. The double sheets will be more effective baffles.

Does your city/county have a noise abatement officer? If so, ask the officer to stop by when the trucks are there so you can have your complaint verified. Then take it up with WalMart management. See if you can convince them to put up a sonic barrier on their side.

If not, move ,cause you'll never be satisfied trying to stop what's going on from inside the house. Don't waste time and money with bass traps, etc. 'cause none of that stuff was ever designed or intended to solve your dilemma.

Best of luck.
Low frequency therapy might be recommended as a general tonic if it didn’t infuce seizures quite so often. 😳
I read in the local paper where  homeowners were complaining about the noise pollution from the local Walmart, especially the late night delivery’s.   Walmart solved the problem by making a high earthen wall inside the buffer zone separating the property. No more noise and very happy home owners now. 
Thanks for ALL the ideas.

 I know the trucks are not allowed to idle for longer than 5 minutes in my city, which they seem to ignore, but the only time I notice the problem is around 9:00 pm, on various odd days. On the first night when I was doing investigating and after discussing with night manager, the noise became intermittent, so I will try talking to the main store manager.

My hope with something like Bass Traps, was that since along the walls there is no problem, I could somehow get the nodes in the center of the room to cancel each other. Also, I was thinking it would be the only way to get bass traps in my living room, sorta two bird, one stone.:)

We have been discussing moving to a different city, farther away from the city. I guess it is time to decide.
 Move out off the grid and go solar for energy and outhouse for other necessities.
Maybe I will just listen to Brian Eno between 9:00 and 11:00pm.
Add a Glass wall to the outside fence. Plastic? Plexiglass? Clearly the old fence stopedd the problem. SO I say go back to the fence as the cure. Notto tear down the new one. but perhaps you can add something to SOME of the areas like a plexiglass shield. (make it portable at first) so you can move them say ten feet) around. and find the spot which STOPS the noise in the house.I have to say in my apartment, placing insulation, just plastic bubble wrap like mylar coated? stopped the endless (depending on the direction of the wind) train nighttime noises in the bed room. I only covered part of the bedroom window inside the outer glass, and between some. SO half still allows light. It stopped 100% of the night time (distant, only if the wind was toward my place) train noise for me. So another way might be to dampen the GLASS with a transparent sheet of material stuck to the glass in some areas? Are your window glass double? double glaze? or single pane? MOST of the noise is coming in via the glass. IMO. And yes it was blocked by your old fence. You could even make a hinged or folding barrier.. Up at night, down in day in the yard next to the fence.
Finally try a roll of plastic film. To test the idea of the fence thing. Roll of plastic material stretched across along the fence. Covering the ’holes’ in the fence with an actual barrier. Thin/temporary yes, but to SEE if it works, perfect. If you want to really be cheap. cardboard.. and packing tape...
elizabeth +1, that could very well be where the noise is filtering through: your window, which acts like a drum skin, or a passive radiator, and passes the noise right into your home. That, or the fence, which could be argued, prevented the noise from reaching your windows. 

I'd google all the different ways to isolate all manner of noise abatement for windows, if after testing for it, like elizabeth suggests, proves to be  the culprit. Maybe heavy duty double or triple pane windows that face Walmart. 

All the best,
Truck out of there asap MOVE big time dude!!
Another possible method would take some time, and a lot of fiddling. Make three or so boards, with perhaps wooden stakes. Arrange them in the yard toward the Store area offending you. One closer, the the two back to the sides. In a V like arrangement. They would not need to be any taller than say half the fence?? WAS. but up in the air nearly as high. Just like baffles... Really IMO all you need is a slight attenuation and it would stop the strange artifact inside the home.Perhaps starting with them line of sight from windows to dock?
Another possible way Costing $$$, is a loudspeaker noise abatement system in your yard. The system picks up noise, and plays cancelling anti noise..
Plant some evergreen trees.
I appreciate all the ideas, and will play around with them in the next few weeks.

I was thinking today, why is the noise strongest in the middle of the rooms, with both rooms being different sizes. It dawned on me there is a fireplace insert in the center of the two rooms. It is open to the living room and backs up to the bedroom. I am going to check that out a little better too.

There is a wall of double pane windows, with shutters, facing in the direction of the Walmart, in both rooms, so I suspected that would be a problem.  They have done a great job on cutting down on the noise, and give us what light we have in these areas. The house is fairly tight and that may hurt with internal resonance.

The strangest thing is I actually looked into the possibility of having a problem when taking down the fence and the several articles said a fence would have to be 12' tall to have an effect, due to the waves going around/over the fence. I guess they were wrong in this case.

I have been landscaping, and will add more plants along the fence, but the greenbelt is a forest, except for a gully in the center. I like more plants so no big deal.I have four 20' trees in the back yard, but only two in the line of sight of these rooms.

Thanks again!