What is a Compactor and How it is Used in Construction

Compaction is one of the most critical parts of any construction. Without proper soil compaction, you can have foundation erosion, slab cracks, and pipe leakage and breaks. This results in unnecessary maintenance costs and structural failure.

They say a building is only as good as its foundation. Different types of compactors like the plate compactor and compactor roller have different purposes. But their primary function is to strengthen and stabilize the foundations of almost all projects.

Here, we’ll list the most common types of compactors to help you select the right tool for the job.

Types of Soil Compaction Equipment

We divided compactors into two groups depending on the type of soil they’re suited for.

1. Light Soil Compacting Equipment

These are used in confined areas where the forces needed for compaction are much smaller. They’re usually hand-operated.

Vibrating Plate Compactor

You can use the vibrating plate compactor in narrow areas where it’s hard to maneuver large equipment. It has a vibrating base plate that creates a downward force in addition to the weight of the machine.

The vibration penetrates through the soil to move particles closer together. This will increase the density of the soil.

Rammers/Jumping Jack

This device delivers a series of blows to the surface of the soil. It works just like a jackhammer, but instead of a pointed end, a flat surface provides the impact. Rammers are commonly used in creating trenches.

2. Heavy Soil Compacting Equipment/Compactor Roller

You see this type of construction vehicle flatten Wile E. Coyote comically. These machines look like big rolling pins and compact the soil by kneading and pressure. They’re used in large, open areas.

Smooth Roller (Static)

Also called road rollers, these are the most commonly used type of compactors. They’re preferred for flattening asphalt roads, but they also work great for graded sand, crushed rock, and gravel.

One large steel drum is located in the front of the vehicle. You can have one or two drums in the rear.

They rely on the weight of the drums to compact the soil. To compact a twenty-centimeter layer of soil, eight passes are often adequate.

Smooth Roller (Vibrating)

Instead of just relying on static force (weight of the drums), a vibratory roller uses vibrating force to deliver a more powerful effect. A rotating or reciprocating mass enable the drums to vibrate.

The addition of the vibrating force allows for more efficient work and higher compaction levels. You can also compact greater depths of soil.

Sheepsfoot Roller

The main difference between sheepsfoot rollers and smooth rollers is the presence of projecting lugs or foot on the steel drum. These lugs are rectangular shaped and arranged in a hexagonal pattern. They come in the static or vibrating variety.

Also known as tamping rollers, they’re capable of compacting fine-grained soils. Sheepsfoot rollers are suited for compacting the sub-grade layers in road and rail projects.

Pneumatic Roller

Instead of steel drums, pneumatic rollers have rubber tires. Their best use is for compacting coarse-grained soils such as in pavement sub-grade projects.

Need a Compactor Roller?

We can help. We serve a wide range of industries including construction, agriculture, mining, and so on.

Whether you’re looking for a compactor roller or already have one and need parts, you can trust us to source it for you. Contact us today so we can talk about your equipment needs.

Posted in Industrial Equipment.