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How to Pick the Right Plate Compactor for the Job

Boosting efficiency and making light work of the task at hand, a plate compactor is the ideal tool to add to your repertoire. Plate compactors can be used for small to medium-sized projects and come in all different shapes and sizes. With a range of compactors on the market, MEIWA wants to make your decision easier, so we’ve broken down exactly what you should look for when choosing your plate compactor. 

What is a Plate Compactor?

Having a sturdy, level ground is crucial in almost any environment. Creating the base for structures, foundations, concrete pads, driveways, trenches and so much more, a level compacted ground is often needed, no matter what the site or job is. Turning sand, gravel, clay and stone into a compact base, plate compactors achieve this easily with their innovative design of weight and force working together. They are a fairly basic machines on the outside, but a lot of science, precision engineering and experience makes them simple and smooth to operate, getting the job done quickly and efficiently. 

How Does a Plate Compactor Work?

Producing a consistent depth of compaction force, a plate compactor uses a perfect combination of centrifugal force, frequency along with its own weight to compact soil and other materials quickly to the desired depth. The centrifugal force is created by the engine turning the off-set weights in the eccentric housing. Centrifugal Force is measured in KN (or kgf). Although this is a significant specification if it is not matched with the correct frequency, travel speed and machine weight it will lose its effectiveness in compaction depth.

Frequency means the rate that the plate weights rotate, measured in vibrations per minute. The lower the frequency, the greater the force of compaction, so depending on the job at hand will depend on which frequency model you choose. For thin layers, a high frequency model may be best, whereas medium to thick layers call for a lower frequency model. 

This is all engineered and designed to provide the optimum amount of force to the material through the flat base plate, as well as moving the plate in a certain direction at a speed that will give the greatest depth of compaction efficiently. 

Types of Plate Compactors

Categorized into single-plates and reversible plates, a plate compactor allows you to compact a range of materials in a small amount of time. 
Streamlining operations, a single-plate compactor moves in a forward direction only. This style of compactor is ideal for smaller jobs such as driveways, road repairs, landscaping, drain laying and more. 
A reversible plate compactor moves forwards and backwards. These compactors are ideal for compacting sub-bases and achieving deep depth compaction. The plate size and shape affect the compaction and the curved plate makes it easy to manoeuvre. 
Some plate compactors come with a water tank. This style of compactor is recommended for asphalt compaction as the water acts as a barrier between the hot asphalt and cold compaction plate.  

MEIWA Compactors

Made in Japan from the highest quality materials, since 1945, MEIWA compactors are available in a range of weights, plate sizes, tank capacities and centrifugal force ratings. Equipped with Honda GX Series and Robin EX Series engines, a MEIWA compactor helps avoid delays on your job. The Honda GX Series offers a reliable commercial engine range with quick startability and fuel-efficiency, while the Robin EX Series provides power, efficiency, performance, complete with low emissions and noise levels. Contact us today for more information on our plate compactors

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