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Compaction Equipment Maintenance and Storage

Properly maintaining and storing your compaction equipment is important to keep everything ready for the next job. It also increases the equipment’s production quantity, extends its life, and reduces downtime on jobs due to unnecessary repairs.


How to Increase Your Productivity

Poor equipment maintenance is often the main cause of premature construction equipment failure resulting in jobsite downtime, delayed schedules, lost labor, lost jobs, and lost profits. But there’s an easy fix to all of these issues - regularly scheduled maintenance.

Maintaining your compaction equipment on a regular schedule is the best way to ensure your equipment is ready for your next job whenever it comes up. Plus, properly maintained equipment runs smoother and lasts longer which can save you money in the long run.

It's also important to maintain your compaction equipment because it operates under such severe dust and rigorous conditions. 

White Cap offers these maintenance guidelines and a sample schedule for regular checkups. Not only will your equipment run smoother, but you’re also extending the lifespan of your equipment and increasing your opportunities for more jobs with readily available equipment.


Maintenance for Rammers and Compactors

Here are some helpful tips and tricks for maintaining your compaction equipment. Refer to the maintenance schedule at the end of this article for maintenance frequency.

The engine, belt, and air filter are priority maintenance parts. These are the parts that can most often cause breakdowns.
  • Perform a “hands-on” inspection before and after every job. Make sure all equipment components are tightened. Vibration may have loosened parts including the spark plug, air filter, and belt.

  • Engine: Properly maintaining the engine is essential. Brand names such as Honda, Kohler, Subaru, and Tomahawk Power are built with the best materials for long-lasting products. Plus, they can be easily serviced anywhere in the U.S.

  • Become familiar with common troubleshooting techniques to make it easier to keep track of your plate compactor maintenance. Know what engine is powering your machine, understand its warranty, and lifespan expectancy.
Wacker Neuson Compaction Equipment on Jobsite
  • Air filter: Dusty jobsites put an extra burden on engines. Prevent clogging and allow your engine to run longer by replacing air filters after every 25 hours of use. Changing air filters is an easy task; refer to your manufacturer’s operating manual for details.

  • Check the fuel: Make sure you always have enough gas and oil in the tank, and carry extra on the jobsite if necessary. Additionally, if the hydraulic fluid looks opaque or discolored, change it immediately. Keep your compactor on a flat surface before checking gas, oil, and hydraulic fluid levels.

  • Check for any loose screws and nuts.

  • Look for damage, specifically on the drive belt and shock mounts.

  • Wash plates: To avoid accumulation of dirt and other material, clean your compactor’s plate and check if the engine has any accumulation of dirt. Do not use a pressure washer because this may cause damage to the engine. Using pressure washers could result in an overall shortened life of your machine.

  • Clean fuel tank: Before storing or transporting a plate compactor, drain the gas and oil tanks. If operating under a heavy load or high temperatures, drain it more often. Never remove remains of fuel while the engine is running.

  • Check the battery: Ensure connections are secure. Lubricate the poles with electrical grease for better connectivity, and avoid possible acid accumulation.

  • Close the fuel valves: Always close the fuel valve after each use of a rammer. Making this a routine avoids flooding the engine when not in use or stored in your truck.

  • Rammer spring lubrication: Be sure your tamping rammer’s internal spring is well lubricated. Without lubrication, the rammer’s integrity will quickly decline. Check the oil window to monitor the spring’s oil level. If the oil is low or cannot be seen, it is time to replace it immediately.


How to Clean Your Compactor

  • It’s vital to keep the compactor’s plate clean. The plate needs to be free of dirt, gravel, and/or asphalt buildup.

  • While working on asphalt, it’s common for rocks and debris to get swept up by the vibration; this leads to plate damage. Remove the debris to reduce the chances of plate damage. Do not use any flammable cleaners.

  • Asphalt build-up can also cause plate damage or cause the plate to jam up.

  • Gasoline octane degrades over time. When checking the fluid levels, drain the fuel tank, and replace it with new gas and oil.

  • Check the clutch. If loose, the transmission will lose effectiveness, which will make the compaction weak.

  • Examine the shoe lining wear. If the shoe is worn, it affects the power transmission and can result in the compactor’s plate slipping.


Maintenance Schedule

This table is a suggested schedule and applies to different types of compaction equipment. Refer to your owner’s manual for the actual maintenance and guidelines for your specific piece of equipment.


Compaction Equipment Maintenance Schedule Char
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