Walk-behind rollers or trench rollers are perfect compactors for narrow work areas that need preparation, such as pavement, shoulders and sidewalks. These rollers compact granular soil such as gravel or sand when equipped with a smooth drum. Trench rollers equipped with a padfoot drum — also known as a sheepsfoot — compact cohesive soil such as clay or silt. Both types of rollers offer excellent gradeability and traction when working on loose soil. These walk-behind rollers combine the ease of use and sleek design of a plate compactor and the finishing work of a larger double drum roller in compact packages. Double drum rollers prep the site with the front roller and finish compacting with the second.
Learn more about our walk-behind rollers in our FAQ section below.
Soil compaction is important for paving construction work because it ensures that the cement or asphalt cover is level and will not erode over time. Properly compacting soil in trench backfill work will ensure the trench will not flood.
Your work area may be overcompacted if you see cracks in the soil. This might have happened by using a compactor with unnecessarily high-impact force or by compacting soil that is too wet. You can fix overcompacted clay soil by minimizing traffic when it is wet, adding a composite of granular soil to the mix or switching to a different compactor with less impact force.
A walk-behind roller with a padfoot drum would be the best choice when working with cohesive soils such as clay or silt, especially when compacting trench backfill. When working with more granular soil or asphalt, choose a plate compactor or walk-behind roller with a smooth drum.