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HomeEquipmentEquipment ArticleAn analysis of Road Rollers - Types, Attachments, and Uses

An analysis of Road Rollers – Types, Attachments, and Uses

A road roller is a compactor type engineering vehicle, which is used to compact soil, gravel, concrete, or asphalt in the construction of roads and foundations. Also, road rollers are used in landfills and agriculture. The rolling process ensures that foundations are compacted thoroughly so the materials are compact, and do not come loose. Rollers are equipped with basic features such as diesel engine, canopy to protect the driver, drum(s), which can be a vibratory smooth drum or a static smooth drum, tires, a compaction meter to measure the level of compaction and a water system.

An analysis of the Use of road rollers

Road rollers are iconic in the construction industry. In history, they started  as simple stone cylinders being pulled by people to flatten the earth a bit, soon they made animals pull large stone cylinders or wooden planks as a means to flatten the earth. And then when the age of metal came, the rollers finally came into play. This piece of heavy equipment is one of the most common machines to find in construction sites, mainly because they are mostly used at the beginning stages when the foundation of the building is being built.

A road roller is a compaction vehicle used to compact soil, gravel, asphalt, crushed stone sub-base layer or some other site surface material. Rollers are most often used for road construction or for creating compact foundations for large areas although they can also be used in areas as diverse as on landfill sites or agricultural projects.The primary use for rollers is to crush, knead or vibrate loose materials by applying direct pressure. The rolling process is used to compact loosely bound foundation materials, so they remain compacted and do not come loose.

Road rollers use the weight of the vehicle to compress the surface being rolled  or use mechanical advantage (vibrating). Initial compaction of the substrate on a road project is done using a padfoot drum roller, which achieves higher compaction density due to the pads having less surface area. Rollers are also used in landfill compaction. Such compactors typically have padfoot or “sheep’s foot” drums, and do not achieve a smooth surface. The pads aid in compression, due to the smaller area contacting the ground.

Roller types

Road rollers are essential for those thinking about maximizing their output. There is a tremendous amount of stress that is put on the system and it’s important to start with a reliable solution. With the help of a high-grade road roller, it becomes easier than ever before to make sure proper results are found. This is why people love the idea of a great road roller. Discussed below are the various types of road rollers.

Single drum roller

A single drum roller is a heavy duty piece of machinery. The front has a giant drum while the back has special tires. These tires are sturdier and able to prevent most flats. You need these heavy-duty tires when you work on construction sites and roads.On the single drum roller, the driver sits in the middle section. This part is called the cab. It sits high, giving the driver a great view of the nearby area. The worker can see the places where they will use the roller.

Double drum roller

The main difference with the double drum roller is that it lacks tires. That’s good or bad, depending on your job.A double drum roller can smooth objects in front of and behind the driver at the same time. The trade-off is that the drums move the roller while flattening items in the surrounding area.For this reason, double drum rollers don’t have the traction of single drum units. You won’t use these vehicles for specialized work. They operate best on flat services or ones with gradual grading.

Cylinder Roller

These are the most common rollers used today. They have the traditional cylinder drum and are the most basic type of road roller. Most of these are just single drum rollers, though there are often designs that make use of two drums.

They are also known as smooth wheeled rollers. These type of road rollers are mostly used for consolidating stone or other similar materials into flat land. They are believed to work best when you also use surface dressings to create an even smoother, flatter surface.

Vibratory Roller

Visually, a vibratory roller isn’t much different from the cylinder roller. What differentiates it is an internal eccentric shaft that causes the wheel drums to vibrate. Its vibratory function enhances its functionalities by a lot. This makes them more commonly used in applications with granular base layers. Sometimes, they’re also used in laying asphalt in highway construction.

The vibratory features help reduce the space between particles in the materials being compacted, creating denser layers to add greater depth to the foundation. The vibrations also cause the particles to lie closer together as they’re pushed into place by the oscillations from it.

Rubber-Tyred Roller

These types of rollers move away from the typical wheel drums and instead have several rows of closely spaced pneumatic tires both in front and at the back of the machine. These tires are also staggered to exert compacting pressure across the full width of the machine

These kinds of rollers are best used on soft materials and loosely compacted soils. That being said, they are also found in highway construction, particularly for when they start smoothing bitumen on some roadworks.

Tamping Roller

These types of road rollers are unique when it comes to their wheel drums. These are studded with lugs that are usually rectangular in shape and arranged in a rather hexagonal pattern. Some designed have different shaped lugs, though, in actuality, their shape isn’t that important.

These tamping rollers are also called sheep foot rollers and are normally used in projects that have to work with heavy soils such as clay. This is because the overall surface area of the drum that’s in contact with the soil at any one point in time is projected to be around 8 to 12%.

Parts and attachments of a road roller

The rollers parts and attachments vary from design to design with added modifications, however the most constant ones are-

  • On some machines, the drums may be filled with water on site to achieve the desired weight. When empty, the lighter machine is easier and cheaper to transport between work sites. On pneumatic tyre rollers the body may be ballasted with water or sand, or for extra compaction wet sand is used. Modern tyre rollers may be filled with steel ballast, which gives a more even balance for better compaction.
  • Additional compaction may be achieved by vibrating the roller drums, allowing a small, light machine to perform as well as a much heavier one. Vibration is typically produced by a free-spinning hydrostatic motor inside the drum to whose shaft an eccentric weight has been attached. Some rollers have a second weight that can be rotated relative to the main weight, to adjust the vibration amplitude and thus the compacting force.
  • Water lubrication may be provided to the drum surface from on-board “sprinkler tanks” to prevent hot asphalt sticking to the drum.
  • Hydraulic transmissions permit greater design flexibility. While early examples used direct mechanical drives, hydraulics reduce the number of moving parts exposed to contamination and allows the drum to be driven, providing extra traction on inclines.
  • Human-propelled rollers may only have a single roller drum.
  • Self-propelled rollers may have two drums, mounted one in front of the other (format known as “duplex”), or three rolls, or just one, with the back rollers replaced with threaded pneumatic tyres for increased traction.


There are multiple requirements associated with a road roller and the operator needs to get through the project easily. With this in mind, the road roller is great as it can handle everything the project demands. There is a sense of power that comes along with a great road roller and it’s important to invest in one as soon as possible. The right road roller can deliver on all expectations and continues to maximize the work that’s being done. There is nothing better than taking a high-grade road roller and making sure the power is consis


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