If you are looking to hire a compaction roller for your project, you may be wondering what type to implement: a smooth drum roller or a padfoot roller. Before even considering hiring a roller, it is important to gain an understanding of the different types.

What is a roller?

Compaction Rollers, which are also known as vibratory compactors are used to rearrange particles in the soil. Rollers have been proven to be effective and beneficial since steam-powered machinery took off around mid-19th century. They are used in a lot of different construction projects where soil is crushed and flattened with the rollers circular wheel, referred to as a drum. This then decreases voids and increases density which gives the surface load-bearing strength. Along with that, it increases stability while reducing permeability and erosion. They are commonly used for roadworks and creating compact foundations but are not limited to areas such as landfill sites and agriculture projects.

What is a Smooth Roller?

Smooth Drum Rollers compact materials such as gravel, asphalt, rocks, and sand to create flat and smooth surfaces, such as roads. Materials are locked together by using static pressure, vibration, and impact. You will need a smooth drum roller for compacting coarse or non-cohesive materials. There are two types of smooth drum rollers: the single drum roller and the double drum roller.

A single drum roller, also known as a road roller or steamroller has one large steel drum at the front. They have two rubber wheels at the back which gives it quality traction, which gives them a great advantage for working on slopes. One disadvantage of these rollers is their extra weight at the front. This means some ground surfaces cannot be rolled over. Also they may not deliver the force required for heavy-duty compaction jobs, even though they provide good traction and manoeuvrability.

These types of machines are great for levelling and paving ground for driveways, sidewalks, foundations, and roads as they create a smooth and flat ground surface.

Double drum rollers have twin drums, one at the front and one at the rear. This gives them additional power and faster compaction times. They do not have as great traction or stability as the single drum rollers due to having no tires.

These rollers are used on extensive or medium sized projects involving roads, paths, playgrounds, and parking lots. They especially are great for preparing and refining surfaces, and for heavy duty asphalt applications.

What is a Padfoot Roller?

A Padfoot roller, also known as a sheepsfoot roller operate like a smooth roller in the way they can generate static pressure, vibration, and impact on the materials. Unlike the smooth rollers, their drum is covered with rectangular or oval shaped knobs. These pads penetrate through the top lift and compact the lift below, which in turn creates loose material on top. When more fill is spread, the top lift will be loose, and the previous layer will be compacted. It interlocks together like lego. This removes air pockets to build up the soil’s strength, which allows for uniform compaction throughout the whole process. These pads give the ability to generate manipulative force and compress at greater depths.

These versatile compactors should be used when you need to compact the most cohesive and granular materials, such as clay or silt. It is best not to use this machine for sandy materials as the protrusions tend to till rather than compact the soil. They are great for preparing road substructures, house platforms, building foundations, parking areas, airfields and trench backfills.

We have you covered!

Pronto Hire has a range of different compaction equipment to suit different surfaces or spaces being worked on. To find the perfect roller for your job, you will need to contemplate a few points first. Identify the type of material you will be compacting, the size of the area to be compacted, the level of compaction you need, and the load-bearing strength required. It is also important to consider weight, frequency, amplitude and centrifugal force.

What you have just read may be a lot of information to take in if you did not know much about rollers before. Make it easier by chatting with one of our experienced team members who will be able to find the right roller for your project. They can help you make the right choice on 0800 PRONTO (77 66 86).