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Tips for choosing the right plate compactor

Using a plate compactor (sometimes referred to as a wacker plate) to compound the sub base for patios, paving and driveways creates a professional result that looks better and retains its integrity, staying stronger for longer.

At Mr Plant Hire in Enfield and London, we have most types of plate compactors available to hire, so whatever task lies ahead, you can be confident of a job well done … providing you choose the right plate compactor hire for the task …

What types of plate compactor are there and when should they be used?

There are three main types of plate compactor hire; single plate compactors, reversible plate compactors and heavy-duty plate compactors. Each one designed to deliver slightly different results.

Which wacker plate to hire?

So, how do you choose which wacker plate to hire? Firstly, consider the motion you need.
Single plate compactors only move in a forward direction and are the most popular choice for smaller tasks. Reversible plate compactors and high-performance plate compactors operate both in a forward and reverse direction.

Consider your task

Then you need to look at the thickness of the material and the type of material you are compacting to establish the force you need your plate compactor to deliver.

Centrifugal force

The centrifugal force that the wacker plate can deliver is essential. It’s the centrifugal force that gives wacker plates their power. Centrifugal force is created as the weights in the eccentric housing rotate, enhancing the force transferred to the subbase below.

If you’re working with a large layer of material, you’ll need a wacker plate that delivers a centrifugal force of between 21,000 ft-lbs. Whereas thinner material layers should only require a more modest centrifugal force of just 4,500 ft-lbs.

Vibration frequency

You’ll also need to consider the frequency of vibrations that a plate compactor applies. Smaller models with a frequency of around 5,700 vpm (vibrations per minute), such as our petrol plate compactors are perfect for narrower layers of materials, whereas deeper or wider layers will require a plate compactor that offers between 3,000 and 4,000 vpm, more like our 600mm petrol asphalt compactor which boasts a speed of 9.8m per second.

For smaller areas, a rammer plate may be more suitable. Of course, if you are still not sure which type of plate compactor hire you need for our project, give our friendly team a call on 020 8351 3434 and we’ll advise you on the right plate compactor for your project.

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