Types of Rollers Commonly Used on Construction Projects

If you're in the construction business, you understand the importance of soil compaction when building roads or foundations. You also know that choosing the right equipment for the job is crucial to ensuring the best results. 

A roller is a piece of heavy equipment specifically designed for soil compaction applications. Several types of rollers are available, and each compacts the soil in different ways. 

The Various Types of Rollers for Compaction

Depending on your application, you may choose one of the following rollers:

  • Cylindrical: These walk-behind rollers are ideally suited for smaller compaction projects. Their lightweight design enables one person to push the roller over the surface with ease. 
  • Pneumatic: These ride-on rollers have pneumatic tires that provide a smoother ride with less bumping when traveling over uneven terrain. Typical applications include compacting layers of loose soil, soft base course materials and closely graded sand. Pneumatic rollers also perform well on smoothing and polishing projects.
  • Grid: This roller type consists of steel bars arranged in a grid pattern on the drum that apply high-contact pressure to the soil. Because of this design, these machines are ideally suited for compacting coarse soil and working on subgrade and sub-base road construction projects.
  • Vibratory: Available in single and double-drum variations, these rollers have a vibrating component that can enhance a building's structural integrity. These machines work well when compacting granular bases, crushed rock, gravel and asphaltic concrete. 
  • Smooth-wheeled: Also known as static rollers, these machines may have one or two drums. Single-drum models feature a smaller size that enables them to work in confined spaces. Typical applications include sidewalk and highway paving. The double-drum versions have two rollers that work in tandem, which delivers more speed and efficiency. These compactors provide the best results on flat or gradual surfaces.
  • Sheepsfoot: These rollers consist of a drum and round or rectangular-shaped "feet" that provide a tamping action. The operator can increase the pressure on the feet as needed by filling the drum with wet sand or other materials. Use sheepsfoot rollers for projects that require working with silty or heavy clay or cohesive soil. 

What to Consider When Renting a Roller

For many construction operations, renting a roller offers a practical, cost-effective solution. If you're thinking of renting a roller, the first factor to consider is the type of soil or material you're compacting. You should also evaluate the nature of the application. Paving a roadway has different requirements than preparing a surface for a structure.

The Cat® Rental Store Carries a Wide Selection of Rollers

The Cat® Rental Store in your area carries many types of rollers commonly used in construction projects. When you rent from us, you'll receive expert product selection assistance, along with competitive rates and flexible rental terms. 

Please view our current inventory of rollers and other compaction equipment for rent. Give us a call at 1-800-RENT-CAT to learn more today. If you'd like a fast online quote, fill out and submit our convenient contact form.

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