The process of compaction is an essential requirement for working heavy machinery on the ground. Without compacting, people are at risk of accidents and severe safety hazards. A compactor machine is used to build stable ground. It uses vibratory or non-vibratory mechanisms to even out the internal air gaps and make the soil dense to bear the load of heavy machines.

In non-vibratory types, the machine presses down on the soil to even out the granular soil, while for vibratory kinds, the compactors create strong vibrations to accomplish the same task. A few different types of compactors are available in the market today. Keep reading to take a look at them in detail.

Different Types of Compactors Available and When It’s Time to Use Them


Rammers are heavyweights packaged in a compact structure. They run by a motor and are best suited for working on a small soil area. Since they are small, rammers can be operated by only one individual. Their weight lies in the higher ranges, anywhere from 20 kgs to over 10 tons.

You can use rammers when faced with the challenge of crushing a compact soil structure such as clay in a limited area such as a ditch. The rammer can fall from a significant height with a thud on the soil to make it even and balanced.

Smooth Drum Rollers

They are frequently used in many road construction projects, such as on highways. These rollers are best suited for the compaction of granular particles like rocks, gravel, pebbles, and more. These smooth rollers are not suitable for moist soil, leading to severe safety issues. The rollers are available in various sizes, diameters, and widths. These factors are essential considerations in the effectiveness of the smooth drum rollers.

Sheep-foot Rollers

A sheep foot roller has metallic protrusions attached to the big front wheel. This roller is best suited for crushing finely granulated soils like clay and heavy clay. You can see them being used in the construction of dams, railroads, and more.

Grid Rollers

This roller is another one of the heavier compactors. It has a steel grid connected to heavy bars. The grid has square holes and is already pretty heavy, but the weight can be further increased by adding ballast. With weight in tons, grid rollers are used for the compaction of thick layers of soil and rocks. This machine is not suitable for the compaction of moist soils like clays. You can see them working on extensive road construction.

Cylindrical Rollers

These rollers are primarily used for small personal projects in the backyard. They are not industrial-level compactors. This machine usually requires one person to push it from behind to accomplish the pressing work. Nowadays, there are other cylindrical rollers available too that you can ride on as they crush the soil. These rollers are very light and used for at-home projects.


Compaction is necessary before starting any construction work, no matter how small. As most of the construction work today is done by heavy machines, it is essential to even out the air pockets in the soil and granular particles so the ground can take the weight of the machines. If you skip this step, the ground can end up falling, taking many lives. Hope this article gave you an insight into the uses of compactor machines.

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