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The ins and outs of plate compactors

When it comes to any job relating to heavy machinery, having the right equipment plays a vital part in the quality of the finished product. This definitely applies to plate compactors – of which are essential to a majority of businesses and projects in the industrial/construction field.

What do plate compactors do?

In their most basic form, they feature a vibrating unit attached to a heavy steel plate. The vibrating unit (driven by a renown industrial quality engine) is vibrated at a designed ratio of force and frequency to compress different types of gravel and soil. Mixing a series of swift impacts along with the weight, the soil is forced to compact and tightly pack together.

The depth of compaction is critical to the longevity of the project’s life. Only a well-designed compactor, manufactured from years of industry experience achieves the optimum result, by reducing future sub-base settling. Compaction depth is largely unseen but makes itself known (good or bad) overtime.

These machines are easy to operate and used in many scenarios, from those home landscaping projects through to the large commercial roading and construction jobs. Not only do they save time, but also improve the result (and in turn the contractor reputation) giving a better-finished long-term finished product; especially when it comes to paving, concreting and asphalt.

What type do you need?

Figuring out what kind of plate compactor you need is simple, it just depends on the size of the job you are trying to complete. The larger the job the larger the compactor. Most units are designed for a variety of sub-bases, they can be used for compacting soil, sand or loose stones and gravel before paving, concreting or asphalting.

The right machine gives you a stronger foundation to work with. Some uses are, to pack dirt tightly in utility trenches, to level out patches of repaired asphalt, to prepare for a path or driveway, to prepare for a house or warehouse floor, to create a smoother and safer surface into the future. There are also larger models available – including rolling and reversible compactors, which are used for bigger projects like parking lots and driveways. For smaller-scale tasks, the walk-behind model will get the job done with ease.

Basically, as mentioned, the larger the job, the heavier the plate itself needs to be but it’s also important to remember it’s the depth of compaction that makes the difference.

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