How to operate a compactor? General advice and warnings
How to operate a compactor? General advice and warnings

How to operate a compactor? General advice and warnings

The operation of construction machines - in particular those of considerable weight and specialized purpose - requires the operator to have appropriate knowledge and training. Despite the latest technological solutions improving the comfort and safety of work with construction equipment, proper knowledge of the operation of a given device is still

In today's guide, we will explain in detail the rules that must be followed when operating vibratory plates. Machines of this type are not only heavy but also loud and demanding in terms of technical thinking. Incorrect operation of the compactor can have serious consequences - both for the device itself and for the user. Check out today's article and learn how to properly and safely operate a compactor.


Both on the market and in our store, you can find various types of compaction plates and rammers. Contrary to appearances, there are quite a lot of them, of course referring to specific models of this type of machine. Therefore, it is not difficult to choose the right equipment for specific construction works. What types of compactors are on sale? The lightest of them are single direction compactors (also known as rammers). Most often they weigh from about 30 to 100 kg and are perfect for working in narrow spaces, e.g. in trenches.

Another group of compactors are plate compactors. Among them, one can distinguish between single direction compactors and reversible compactors. What's the difference between them? First of all, they are usually heavier than the aforementioned rammers. They also have a much larger compaction surface, which makes them better for construction
works on a larger area. Another and quite specialized group of compaction machines are suspended compactors, which, as the name suggests, are attached to the excavator boom and attached to the vehicle's hydraulic system.


Before starting the operation of the compactor, it is absolutely necessary to read the operating manual of the given machine. Manufacturers of construction equipment are very scrupulous about all aspects of safety and proper servicing of their products, hence the thorough reading of the content of this document will allow you to maintain the efficiency and functionality of the machine at the highest level.

On the surface, reading the instructions may seem pointless. For many construction enthusiasts, it is enough to put the compactor on the ground (although sometimes even this operation may prove problematic, as discussed later in the article), pull the starter cord and simply move on with the topic. Unfortunately, this approach will very quickly cool down our enthusiasm for earthworks and often will also have huge financial consequences.

First of all, it is important to use a specific compactor model for its intended purpose. It would seem obvious because it is difficult to find an alternative application for this type of equipment and use the compactor for any other construction works apart from hardening the ground. However, we mean the cohesion index and the type of soil that we want to subject to the compaction process.

First of all, we do not operate the compactor on soils of high cohesiveness, frozen, hard (without the possibility of further compaction) and without appropriate load-bearing properties. Already at the very beginning, we warn you against such action, because in the event of damage to the machine as a result of works carried out contrary to the
manufacturer's recommendations, the manufacturer shall not be liable for any damages. In a word, we will have to reimburse all costs related to the repair of the equipment.


Another issue is the proper maintenance of the technical condition of the compactor. In fact, they are machines with a relatively simple structure and resistant to mechanical damage - which, in a way, is related to their operating characteristics. Nevertheless, users of these devices often undertake various types of modifications - both in terms of design and utility. WE should remember that any interference with the construction of the machine (e.g. assembly of new parts or permanent removal of factory-installed parts) also leads to the loss of civil and warranty liability by the manufacturer.

The overall efficiency and reliability of the equipment are influenced not only by proper operating conditions but also by transport, storage, setting and maintenance. Despite their high weight and resistance to various mechanical factors, compactors are not maintenance-free equipment. Both the engine and the entire equipment of the device require
constant inspection and regular servicing, in accordance with the manufacturer's recommendations.


Let's move on to the requirements that the compactor operator should meet. This may seem pointless, as it should be an adult who has an understanding of the intended use and operation of this device, as well as the dangers of improper use. The requirements formulated in this way may be suitable for the simplest and light compactors, used primarily for occasional home use.

However, if we are talking about professional applications, we need to elaborate a bit on the relevant powers that a person undertaking work with a compactor should have at his disposal. The fact that this person must be an adult and aware of the purposefulness of using this specialized equipment does not change here. In addition, the operator should be properly trained both in the use of a given device model and be authorized to start the devices on his own in accordance with the applicable safety standards. Usually, it is the entrepreneur or other supervisor who appoints a person in the company who is responsible for supervision and operation of specific construction equipment - including a compactor.

Both in theory and in practice, each user of the compactor should read the attached operator's manual before working with a given machine.


Contrary to appearances, compaction of the ground is a very responsible activity that requires the operator to have good attention and constant control over the machine. In many respects, this occupation is also subject to a certain risk - the more so if, apart from us, other construction works are in progress. Hence, each compactor operator should be equipped with basic health and safety clothing. You will need appropriate work shoes, work gloves, a hard hat and earmuffs. Remember to avoid wearing loose clothing that could be caught in the moving parts of the compactor.


Unfortunately, not always the operators or people who protect the operation of compactors are aware of the risks associated with incorrect handling and transport of the device. Failure to follow the manufacturer's recommendations may result in serious damage to the machine and entail considerable repair costs. Let's start with transporting the machine to the place of work or storage. Regardless of the type of compactor, it is safest to transport it upright. While in the case of plate vibrators, this should seem to be practically the only right solution, the transport of smaller rammers can stimulate the creativity of employees regarding the way the machine is placed on a trailer or
a vehicle float.

Surely the question now arises: “Why pay attention to the way the compactor is transported at all? It is enough if it is stably positioned and it does not move while driving. " This is of course true because let us bear in mind that the mass of compactors is several dozen or sometimes even several hundred kilograms. The problem is that by incorrectly arranging the compactor during transport, we can damage it.

Why? This is due to its design. Particularly the mentioned rammers are at risk in this respect. Placing the machine on the wrong side may cause the oil to flood the engine, making the next start very difficult. The air filter may also be flooded with oil or gasoline leakage - if we have not completely burned it out or the fuel filler cap is not properly secured.

What to do when the best way to transport the so-called rammer, is its position on one of the sides? First of all, we should carefully close all tanks with operating fluids - especially with fuel. Then pay attention to place the machine with the carburettor and air filter facing up - this should protect the engine from damage. To be sure, it is worth looking again at the equipment manual, in which the transport procedure has been described in detail.

A similar principle applies to moving the compactor, e.g. with an excavator or a hoist. Regardless of the type of equipment, we must follow the instructions in the manual of the machine and attach the compactor only to the handles (suspension points) specially designed for this purpose. It is unacceptable to lift the plate compactors by the guide
drawbar! It should also be added that manufacturers of vibratory plates often attach special transport wheels to most models, which can be quickly attached to the structure. When buying this type of device, it is worth checking this possibility and equipping yourself with appropriate transport wheels.

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