• PPP The Second Time Around
    The Emergency Coronavirus Relief Act of 2020 passed in December contained $284 billion for the renewed Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Click here to read the article.

Plate Compactors


LawnSite Member
Raleigh, NC
Does anyone have any opinions on what are the best? Wacker, Mikasa, any others? Also, are these machines fairly reliable in general? Cost and ease of repairs? They seem very expensive for what seems to be such a compact and basic machine.


LawnSite Member
I have a Wacker and agree with Chesie 100%. Bulletproof if maintained.

I have a 3000 lb plate that does an adequate job, but have been considering one with more umph to get the base prep done quicker.

While discussing plate compactors what size is yours?

Does anyone bring two plates to the job; one heavier model for compacting the base and one for the pavers?


LawnSite Silver Member
Eastern Ontario
I have an assortment of compactors. The smallest would be a 14" wide bomag. Then a 20" mikasa, both of these I use to compact the stone after it is laid. For the base I have a 500lb bomag diesel plate and I have been renting a 1,100lb bomag for the heavier stuff. These plates are near 15,000 canadian, so renting them at 120 a day seems like a deal to me.


D Felix

LawnSite Bronze Member
Had an old MBW at my former employers. It worked OK until the exciter locked up!:eek:

We then rented an Ingersol Rand plate compactor from the local Bobcat dealership that was around the corner. The IR worked a LOT better than the MBW did. Had a Robin engine which is a Japanese manufacturer, as far as I could tell.

Any vibratory plate compactor is MUCH better than a hand tamper!



LawnSite Member
Northern Hydraulics has a pretty good deal on a small Ingersoll Rand. $1499w/free shipping w/ a 3.5 hp honda. Seems like a bit small of an engine.


LawnSite Fanatic
Rigby, Idaho
I have a Vibromax 900 plate compactor. It is the hardest hitting plate I have ever used. To give an example, I have had concrete guys call me complaining that the subgrade is soo hard that they are killing themselves driving in the concrete stakes. Granted concrete guys love to *****, but I am not kidding when I say that plate packs a terrific punch.


LawnSite Bronze Member
Reading, PA
We use a 3400# wacker for everything and it runs great. I did hear that Bomag has a model that can switch from 5000# to 3200# by pulling a knob. I guess it adjusts the frequency or something. I know I will be looking into it. I can't see dragging 2 heavy macines around like that. Trailer space is valuable.



LawnSite Senior Member
Parkton NC
I'm not an operator, only a mechanic. But I will say Wacker is the one I see the least of in the shop, if properly maintained. The biggest thing is a clean air filter and every year change the oil in the exciter box.