Walk-behind rollers or trench rollers are perfect compactors for narrow work areas that need preparation, such as pavement, shoulders and sidewalks. When equipped with a smooth drum, these rollers compact granular soil such as gravel or sand. 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 soils in thick lifts.
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 allow the front roller to prep the site and finish compaction with the second.
Why is soil compaction important?
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 make sure the trench will not flood.
How do I fix compacted clay soil?
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 was too wet. You can fix overcompacted clay soil by minimizing traffic when it is wet, by adding a composite of granular soil to the mix or by switching to a different compactor with less impact force.
Can I use a walk-behind roller instead of a plate compactor?
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. Choose a plate compactor or walk-behind roller with a smooth drum when working with more granular soils or asphalt.