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Best Plate Compactor?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Farbio, Mar 5, 2003.

  1. Farbio

    Farbio LawnSite Member
    Messages: 99

    In the past I have always rented a compactor when I put in a retaining wall or done pavers. But now that I am getting alot more jobs for this type of work, I think it would be more cost effective to just buy one. The only one I have ever used from the rental company is the Wacker. I want to know what compactor is going to give me the most bang for my buck. What do you guys use, and how much do they run$ ?
  2. troblandscape

    troblandscape Guest
    Messages: 0

    I like Wacker the best, check out Ebay for some super deals, I am in your same boat. I will probably buy one off of ebay, the new ones are super expensive. Good Luck!
  3. Farbio

    Farbio LawnSite Member
    Messages: 99


    Ya I have looked on ebay and seen some wackers that looked like a pretty good deal. But what do they run new? I also noticed that it will cost about $200 to ship one of those babies off ebay. Also, no guarantees on how the machine will run.
  4. troblandscape

    troblandscape Guest
    Messages: 0

    A new Wacker like the one I rent is 2200$ its a Wacker 1550 alot of the guys on ebay that are selling them are pawn shops, I am willing to take a risk for 1000$ shipped, If they look good
  5. pghlandscape

    pghlandscape LawnSite Member
    from pgh,pa.
    Messages: 61

    bomag by far
  6. MWM

    MWM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 102

    Owning instead of renting is a good idea once the finances work but make sure what you buy can get the job done. Buying a compactor at a good price isn't a deal unless its compacting properly. What are the rules ICPI guys?
  7. terraverde

    terraverde LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    ICPI recommends 4" lifts for efficiency compacted to a minimum Proctor density of at least 95%. They also state in there handbook that a 3000Lbf plate compactor can be used to lock pavers and bedding sand in place, but is not an efficient machine for compacting the base and sub-base(soil). A 5000lbf machine is the way to go for us small timers. However, they only recommend using this machine at 2" lifts. So we are still not seeing the efficiency we really want. to move to 4-6"lifts you need a walk-behind or riding vibratory roller. I stay under 4" lifts and have to use multiple passes to achieve the 95%. The lift is usually 95% or greater once the plate compactor begins to jump around and does not ride smoothly. Moisture is also a player in the mix. Without it you cannot compact the base. It helps lubricate the aggregates, allowing them to fit as tight as they can. But applying the correct amount of water takes a little experience. Too much and you have to let it dry out before you can continue. If you have a large crew and are able to get all those lifts in one day, renting isn't so bad. Can be a problem when installing raised patios. But if you can't get the lifts done and get to laying the pavers it pays to own. around hear its $65-$80per day to rent. Many dealers offer financing on these and if you need to rent more than a handful of times in your season; might as well be making payments on your own machine. Bomag/wacker Ford/Chevy. they both work.
  8. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    A search here would bring about many posts on compactors, We've gotten way from the smaller plates and have gone with skid steer mounted plates. Remember time is money and the bigger the plate the faster the job will get done. Larger plate compactors offer foward and reverse, heavy duty cycle times and faster compaction. Rollers..... problem with them is how they compact, they don't compact straight down but actually push material away, again a search here will show what I am talking about. Yes we still use rollers but for compacting subsoil not for compacting base material.
  9. MD Land Management

    MD Land Management LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    I bought i wacker packer last year for like 400 off a buddy of mine, man what a steal the thing runs like a dream. I have also rented wackers before i bought that one and have also had good luck with them. The one I have is around 6 years old, but it has a 6HP Honda OHV which is a nice machine. I'm not to sure on Ebay though because I have bought things before from there and Have not always had the greatest of luck. I would check places like rental stores sometimes they sell off used machines, and they are usually in good shape becuase they service them reguarly. Good luck with finding one

    MD Landscape Management
    Cherry Hill, NJ
  10. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    northern catalog has several compactors from $1000 to $2500. we rent and will probably buy a wacker or ingersoll-rand this year


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