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Safe compaction - guide choosing the right roller for the job

When you're deciding which compactor to hire, there's more to think about than just your budget. You need to make sure you're choosing the best equipment for the type of material and the size and depth of area you're compacting, as well as making sure your staff are safe when they're clearing a path from A to B.

Here are questions to ask yourself when choosing compactor hire.

WHAT ARE YOU COMPACTING?

Different consistencies of soil require different compaction equipment. Some types, such as organic soils, are not suitable for compaction, and you should never try to compact rock.

Cohesive soils such as clay and silt tend to stick together and require vibrating compactors such as padfoot rollers.

Non-cohesive or granular soils such as sand, loam and gravel won't stick together and crumble more easily. These require smooth drum rollers or pneumatic rollers, which are also suitable for compacting asphalt.

How large is the area?

Compactors come in a wide range of sizes, from large single and double drum rollers down to walk- behind rollers.

For the most efficient compacting, you'll want a roller that can finish the job in the fewest passes possible and with minimal overlap in-between.

If you're compacting a narrow or confined area such as a footpath, you'll need smaller compactors such as pedestrian rollers or rammers and vibrating plates. These are also available in a range of sizes.

What depth is needed?

As well as their size, you also need to consider the weight of compactors carefully. A compactor that's too light won't compact the full depth your need, making for weaker foundations. One that's too heavy will over-compact the soil, which reduces its density and can lead to excess wear on the equipment.

Choose rollers up to 7 tonnes for lifts up to 150mm, up to 15 tonnes for 300mm lifts and over 15 tonnes if deeper compaction is needed. Vibrating rollers can compact to greater depths than pneumatic rollers due to the centrifugal force created, so this should be taken into account.

Always keep safety in mind

Before using any compaction equipment, a thorough inspection should be carried out each day to make sure the area is free from hazards that could put your personnel at risk. This includes dangerous inclines and declines that could cause machines to roll over.

The risk of rollovers can be reduced by choosing safe compactors equipped with rollover protective structures (ROPS). If you need to compact ground in a hazardous area where there may be a risk of collapse or other hazards, use remote-controlled compaction equipment such as trench rollers.

Hire safe compactors today

Coates Hire has a wide range of specialist compactors for hire, designed for every type of job.

We only use premium brands that comply with the latest OHS statutory requirements to ensure the highest levels of reliability and safety. We also have a dedicated earthmoving and compaction specialist in every region of Australia to make sure we supply the safest machine for your project

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