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Smooth Roller or Padfoot Roller: Which Is Better?

Smooth Roller or Padfoot Roller: Which Is Better?

If you’re in the market to rent a compaction roller for your job site, you might wonder which type is best: a smooth roller or a padfoot roller. The type of machine you select depends on what your project entails, how large the project is, and the type of soil you need to compact. This guide can help you understand what the difference is between the two rollers so you can rent the right roller for your next construction job.

What Is a Roller?

Also called vibratory compactors, compaction rollers rearrange particles in the soil to decrease voids and increase density. They provide the surface with load-bearing strength. They use a circular wheel, known as a drum, to crush and flatten soil. The most common type of project that uses a roller involves construction, particularly roadwork. Without rollers, roads would have irregular and extensive surface wear, making it dangerous to travel. They also work well to create compact foundations. There are two different types of rollers available to rent, and these include the smooth roller and padfoot roller.

What Is a Smooth Roller?

Smooth drum rollers use static pressure, vibration, and impact to compact materials such as gravel, rocks, sand, and asphalt. Many road construction projects use smooth rollers, also called vibratory rollers, to create flat and smooth surfaces. They are one of the most common types of road rollers available to rent. Typically there are two smooth roller models used: the single-drum roller and the double-drum roller.

Single-drum roller: This type of smooth roller has one steel drum at the front end with pneumatic tires at the back. It is also called a road roller or steamroller. Due to its sturdy tires, it has quality traction.

Double-drum roller: As opposed to the single-drum roller, the twin-drum roller has two steel drums with one found at the front and one located at the back. As a result, the drums move the roller forward and backward, not the tires. Because it lacks tires, this type of machine does not have great traction.

What Is a Padfoot Roller?

Just like smooth rollers, padfoot rollers generate static pressure, vibration, and impact on the materials. However, they also generate manipulative force. This allows for uniform compaction during the entire process. These rollers, also called tamping foot rollers, have tapered pads that penetrate and compact the soil to build up the soil’s strength. Gravity and the vibrations compact the material from the top down.

Types of Projects

The smooth roller works best at construction and roadwork job sites. Single-drum rollers compact soil, gravel, and asphalt and prepare the surface for driveways, sidewalks, and foundations. They create a smooth and flat ground surface.

The double-drum roller, also known as a twin-drum roller, is mostly used for asphalt compaction and other aggregate base materials. It works best on projects involving roads, paths, playgrounds, and parking lots.

Use the padfoot roller for projects where you need to compact soil at greater depths.

Size of the Projects

The type of roller you should rent also depends on the size of your project. If you have a lengthy road project involving limestone rock, you should rent a double-drum smooth roller. You can use a single-drum smooth roller to level the ground for a smaller project that involves a driveway or sidewalk. If you have a project where you need to fill trenches in a narrow space, rent a padfoot roller since it gives you more maneuverability.

Types of Soil

If you have a construction project that involves work with more granular materials, consider using smooth rollers. This type of machinery locks the soil pieces together to give a stronger grip to the surface. You should use a speed of 1.2 to 3 mph to compact gravel and sand. If the soil contains cohesive materials, such as clay, silt, or loam, you should use a padfoot roller. You should use a speed of 0.6 to 1.6 mph for rock and clay.

Remember that you need different types of rollers depending on your project’s type and size as well as what kind of soil you’re working with. Renting a smooth or padfoot roller allows you to select the right type of machinery for each individual job without locking you into a large equipment purchase.

If you want extra help in choosing the right roller for your project, talk to the roller experts at BigRentz.com. Their experience in the construction industry can help you make the right choice. You can reach us at (888) 325-5172.

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