Tips for Effective Compaction

Whether building a new road, working to install water line or repairing an existing road, effective compaction is a must. No matter the scope or type of project, the compaction equipment you choose is important as it affects both efficiency and operator safety. Road Widener’s Offset Vibratory Roller is made to compact asphalt, recycled materials, limestone, topsoil, gravel and more. But how do you know a vibratory roller attachment is the best equipment choice for the job?

We’re here to give you the top three considerations for effective compaction and how these should factor into your compaction equipment decision.

Playing the Long Game

The key to a long-lasting road, trenches and other construction projects is using the right equipment. Compaction rollers are a long-standing pillar in the construction industry. However, one of the biggest dangers to your crew comes from tipping a compaction roller.

In 2021, 986 construction-related accidents turned fatal; and many silent rollovers occurred where operators jumped to safety as equipment tipped. These incidents take a toll on crews and as the United States DOT Road to Zero initiative gains traction, safety must become more of a focus for road and utility construction operations. In the past, compaction equipment choices have been relegated to either traditional roller attachments that connect to host machines head-on or self-propelled rollers. These options do not fare well when operators use them on sloped surfaces as the off-balance nature of the self-propelled machine or the host machine with added weight at the front skyrockets the risk of rollover.

Our Offset Vibratory Roller attachment completely eliminates the risk of rollover. Like a traditional roller attachment, it connects to equipment already in most fleets, but its unique offset design means there is no additional weight on the front of host machines. The patented design of the Offset Vibratory roller includes an offset arm with a thirty-degree drum pivot, allowing the host machine to stay on flat, solid ground while compacting sloped surfaces or otherwise difficult-to-reach areas up to 30 inches below the attachment point. Equipment like the Offset Vibratory Roller enhances safety without compromising efficiency. Operations who avoid just one workers comp claim with the attachment see a 100% return on investment.

Consistency is Key

In a market where hiring is difficult and turnover rates are high, maintaining consistent quality on projects can be a challenge. Utilizing equipment that new crew members can easily learn to operate while producing consistent end results may sound like an impossible feat. However, according to a study conducted by the New Hampshire Department of Transportation (NHDOT) measuring the effectiveness of our Offset Vibratory Roller versus the traditional steel drum and rubber-tire rollers, it may not be as difficult as it seems to regularly achieve desirable outcomes. The independent study examined the density of gravel compaction on road shoulders to see which yielded the most consistent results.

In the past, NHDOT contractors have used self-propelled rollers in static mode to prevent rollovers or sliding into ditches. To ensure comparable results, the self-propelled rollers were used in both static and vibratory modes to accurately compare with the Offset Vibratory Roller attachment, which is only capable of operating with vibration.

The vibration of the Offset Vibratory Roller arranges the particles and exerts direct pressure on a specific soil layer. This means the weight of the roller isn’t as important to the overall compaction process because the vibrations from the rollers move the soil into more compacted positions. The Offset Vibratory Roller closely mirrored compaction rates when tested against rollers that were 8 to 22 times greater in weight. Additionally, the Offset Vibratory Roller showed the lowest compaction variance of the three.

Pair the consistent results with the ease of use and low barrier to entry of attachments and the benefits compound. The Offset Vibratory Roller uses a remote control and is operated from the safety of a host machine cab that operators are already familiar with, ensuring comfort and ease of use for both new and experienced operators.

Keep an Eye on Temperature

Temperature is critical to the compaction process. Creating density is easiest when you’re at the highest temperature for the type of roller you’re using. If you work with heat that’s too intense for your roller, you run the risk of bulging.

When the temperature reaches 212 degrees Fahrenheit (100 degrees Celsius), it’s time to either finish the project or switch off the vibratory roller for a time. Higher heat can lead to the risk of crushing aggregates, which leads to cracking, or it can lead to bitumen being pushed to the surface layer. This can lower the skid resistance of the surface.

temperature can make or break your compaction project. Knowing the temperature needs of your Offset Vibratory Roller can ensure your soil is compacted without issue, leading to a quicker construction process and longer-lasting roads and trenches.

When you’re ready to pick up your Offset Vibratory Roller, there’s no need to hook up your lowboy trailer since the attachment fits on a standard trailer with a host machine — no additional permits required. Learn more by visiting or request a demo today at 844-494-3363 or

About Road Widener LLC

Road Widener LLC puts more than 30 years of road construction experience to work manufacturing innovative shoulder maintenance equipment. Founded by two road construction professionals, Road Widener is equipped with the industry know-how to provide the solutions contractors need to increase productivity and safety on the jobsite. For more information: Road Widener LLC, 4620 Williamsburg Station, Suite C, Floyds Knobs, IN 47119; call 844-494-3363;; Facebook; LinkedIn; YouTube; and Vimeo.


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