Are you selecting the right plate compactor for your paving or maintenance job? First you should have a general realization of this compaction equipment.
Types of Vibratory Plate Compactor
What machine you choose is very important when you accomplish your paving or pavement maintenance. One important equipment that may be your first consideration must be the plate compactor. You can use plate compactors to compact sub base and asphalt on driveways, or you can also use it for construction of parking lots and other repair jobs. Besides, it can also play an significant role in narrow and confined area where a road roller may not be capable of reaching. When it comes to selecting the right plate compactor, you’ll have several options to consider.
In general, there are three kinds of plate compactors: single direction plate compactor, reversible plate compactor and heavy-duty plate compactor. Our company, AIDO group, have the former two types on sale. The plate compactors in our company all adopts attachments of the best quality and have passed through all the strict working test.
Single-plate compactors can only walk in one single direction, and is often the perfect choice for small asphalt jobs. Reversible plate compactors can walk forward and can also walk backward. Reversible plate compactor and heavy-duty plate compactor are often used to work on sub base or compaction of deeper depth.
Things to Consider When Buy Plate Compactors
Plate compactor’s plate has different size, it can range from 15 to 25 inches. However, width isn’t the only factor that you should consider when you’re purchasing a plate compactor. Most small plate compactors can even generate around 3,000-4,000 lbs. of centrifugal force. When purchasing, apart from centrifugal, other values like weight and amplitude should also be considered, cause they also influence the overall working performance of a plate compactor. When a customer is purchasing a plate compactor, he or she should read all the printed specifications carefully to get to know the machine clearly.
The eccentric frequency of the plate is another factor to consider. Lower eccentric frequencies (or vibrations per minute – vpm) are good for cohesive soils compaction. For asphalt and granular materials, contractors will want to look for a higher vpm.
Also, the contractors should also look at the plate itself. What material is this plate made of? Steel or ductile iron? A ductile iron plate can make the plate compactor’s efficiency be higher, for example. The base plate’s shape can also influence compaction efficiency. If the plate is curved, the machine’s turning will be easier and can prevent the plate from gouging the asphalt at the same time. But how can you find whether a plate is curved? The answer is to look underneath from the center of the plate to the edge. Although it may be difficult to notice, the plate really can be a little curved. The geometry of the plate is important for working in tight places.
Besides, the plate compactor’s water tank should also be taken into consideration. Because the water from water tank can help create a barrier between the hot asphalt and the cold compaction plate, which can prevent the plate from sticking to asphalt. Plus, plate compactor’s handle is also very important. We should select an anti-vibration handle if possible. Anti-vibration handle can reduce vibration transferred from the plate to the operator,making operator feel more comfortable when doing compaction work. Apart from anti-vibration feature, a good handle should also have a characteristic of central-mounted. A central-mounted handle will make it easier for operator to operate the machine.
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A new feature plate compactors might have is an anti-vibration handle. The anti-vibration handle cuts down on vibration transfer from the plate to the operator, creating more comfort for the operator. Apart from anti-vibration, we also should choose plate compactors with a central-mounted handle, which can makes it much easier to operate on the asphalt and will be more efficient when compacting.
A swinging handle can also make maneuverability easier for an operator. Sometimes the handle is mounted in the back; sometimes it’s mounted in the center of the plate. Depending on the mount location it gives you a different swing range and also different heights as you swing the plate handle forward. When the handle is mounted in the center then the operating height of the handle seems to be more level in either direction and more comfortable for the operator.
Although plate compactors are often self-explanatory pieces of equipment, contractors need to make sure they understand how to operate the compactors and how to maintain them to keep plates in good working condition. As with most equipment, Lewis says it is important to follow the operator’s manual for maintenance. The majority of maintenance is for the engine, and contractors should follow the engine manufacturer’s recommended intervals, quantities, and types for oil, fuel, and air filters.
And make sure to clean off the base plate and in between the plates daily to remove any asphalt that may be stuck on. Lewis also says to make sure the water tank is free of debris. Daily checks of hardware, especially bolt tightness, will help prevent any unnecessary downtime on the job. Another point is that contractors should check belt tension and condition and engine rpms weekly.
We also suggests inquiring into the type of service a manufacture offers with the plate compactor. Is there a warranty? How long is the plate compactor covered? Are there any exclusions in the warranty? What type of service support do they offer and who handles that service? What is the parts availability like? The key for the contractor when selecting a dealer is it’s critical to understand what kind of support the dealer can give him or her.
When selecting and purchasing a plate compactor, it is important to look at more than just price. Make sure you find a plate the suits the types of jobs it will be used on, and make sure it has the features and elements to allow you to get the best compaction and smoothest job possible.
The handle of a plate compactor plays a key roll. It can be mounted in the center or back of the unit. It can be a swinging handle allowing for easier maneuverability. And it could also be an anti-vibration handle for increased operator comfort.