A compactor is a versatile machine designed to compact ground materials, biomass, waste, and other things into a smaller size. In the case of the construction industry, it’s all about using the machine for multiple purposes such as trash compactors, car crushers, road rollers, and more. 

It works by using the heavyweight of the equipment to crush the material, while the drum of the compactor distributes the pressure evenly. However, a compactor will only get the job done efficiently and effectively if you’re using the right type and size. 

Tip #1: Consider What You’re Compacting 

Before anything else, you need to decide the best type of compactor that suits the nature of your job. The following materials will dictate the best compactor you should consider: 

  • Cohesive Soils – Vibrating compactors like Padfoot rollers;
  • Granular Soils – Smooth drum rollers
  • Landfill – Waste compactors
  • Crushed Rock – Roller compactors
  • Small Backfill and Compaction – Rammer compactors;

Tip #2: Consider the Amount of Material You Need to Compact

There are other factors and engineering techniques that suit certain situations, but the next thing to consider is its size. Choosing the wrong size will render the machine ineffective, but the right one should be able to complete the project without wasting time or energy. 

Take the material into account and its weight. Compactors should flatten the material with minimal overlaps and passes, wherein 7-tonne compactors work best with soil as deep as 150 mm. So 15 tonnes would go up to 300 mm, and over 15 tonnes can go beyond 300 mm. 

As for trash compactors, seeing as these waste are significantly harder to compact than soil, it helps to choose a size that can handle its weight such as the following guide:

  • 23-27 tonne compactor: up to 300 tonnes
  • 28-32 tonne compactor: 200-600 tonnes
  • 36-40 tonne compactor: 300-900 tonnes
  • 45-47 tonne compactor: 700-1500 tonnes
  • 50-57 tonne compactor: 1100-2600 tonnes

Tip #3: Consider Your Operating Hours 

The size of the compactor will also affect your overall workflow, so it helps to analyze your daily peak hours and downtime. You need a compactor that can handle all the demanding work during the height of the day when customers likely go in, without wasting resources during slow hours. 

A compactor that’s a size too big without enough materials to compact is inefficient, so the best way to choose is to find the right balance that suits your needs. 

The Bottom Line: The Importance of Purchasing or Renting the Right Sized Compactor 

Many things in construction rely on compacting a myriad of things – be it to improve waste management or serve as a solid foundation for a building. Either way, compaction proves that small things can yield bigger results. 

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