Crewmember safety is the highest priority in road construction. And with so many uncontrollable variables on a busy highway or narrow back road, a contractor shouldn’t be forced to further risk their crew’s safety by using poorly designed equipment.
Traditional compaction machines are about as rigid as it gets. Every degree of slope is felt by operators as they sweat through the sloping road shoulders and ditches, risking a rollover but hoping for the best. OSHA investigations have shown the ability of Rollover Protective Structures (ROPS), seatbelts and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), such as hard hats, to save lives during a compactor rollover accident, but these do little to prevent an accident in the first place. To protect workers, this system drastically needed an overhaul.
So we took the main obstacles presented by traditional compaction rollers — danger, high maintenance and limited utility — and remade the compaction process from the ground up to help contractors protect their crews and their future job prospects. Here’s how:
We went after safety first. The biggest hinderance to compaction safety was manufacturers seeing the compaction drum as a source of motion, compaction and stability all in one. Relocating the drum to a remote-controlled offset arm that can be attached to almost any grader, compact track loader, wheel loader or skid steer immediately solved the safety issue. The host machine now provides a separate source of power for the compaction drum and, thanks to the offset arm, stability and safety for the operator. The host machine can now drive on flat ground while the arm extends to the furthest, steepest edge of sloping road shoulders and ditches, while still being able to compact flat surfaces, too. This improved safety also puts a major dent in workers comp claims, lowers insurance premiums and increases safety ratings — a necessity to contractors bidding on competitive jobs.
Shifting the drum to an offset arm attachment drastically improved safety, but it also unlocked a host of other benefits.
Minimal Maintenance Downtime
With the compaction roller now being a separate system, it no longer has an onboard engine, transmission or any associated parts to maintain. The host machine simply inserts its lift arm pads into the attachment’s universal mounting pad and then hooks up to a quick hydraulic connection. From there, the remote can be paired in seconds, giving the operator complete control without leaving the host machine’s cab. Aside from five grease fittings to maintain and general brushing off of debris, the Offset Vibratory Roller has no maintenance to speak of — no more oil changes, filters, transmission fluid or any hard parts to wear and break. This makes for 90% less maintenance over self-propelled machines. Cutting out the unnecessary bulk seen with traditional compaction machines also made for a more compact, versatile design.
Easy Adjustability & Transportability
Now that the compaction drum doesn’t have to stabilize and propel the machine, customers are free to seamlessly adjust the size of the drum to fit their application. The Offset Vibratory Roller can be purchased with a 2-, 3- or 4-foot-wide (61-, 91-, 121.9 cm) interchangeable drum. To get the same benefit with traditional compaction machines, contractors would have to purchase multiple self-propelled machines, all with engines and transmissions that will eventually fail and need maintenance and costly repairs. The compact size makes transport easier, too. The Offset Vibratory Roller can fit on any common trailer along with the host machine and be towed by a standard pickup truck.
A remote control provides operators with precise manipulation of the compaction drum from the palm of their hand, eliminating tedious manual adjustments as the terrain changes. All drums can pivot up to 30 degrees and reach up to 30 inches (76.2 cm) below the arm’s mounting point. This allows the roller to easily compact slopes at various angles that would flip a traditional compaction machine.
In the middle of a busy roadwork season, the Offset Vibratory Roller outperforms its traditional counterparts in every aspect. When not in use, it doesn’t leave an engine sitting to slowly degrade into a surprise repair bill when season rolls around again. At the end of the day, the Offset Vibratory Roller provides a safer crew and a versatile piece of equipment that will outlast any traditional compaction machine in a customer’s fleet. Customers can rest assured that they are purchasing a piece of equipment that will give them the ultimate return on their investment.
Protect your road crews. Protect your business.