Whether you’re building a path, a patio or even part of a road, having a plate compactor to ensure a smooth and level surface can make a huge difference on your next project. They’re versatile across a range of surfaces and applications which suits them to a variety of jobs, but regardless of where you’re using yours it’s essential you do so safely. As with any piece of power equipment, they’re designed to be used a specific way so it’s important to take care at all times. With that in mind, we’ve put this guide together so that you can be safe when operating your plate compactor, at home or on site.
Wear the right gear
As you may be aware, once you’ve started your compactor up there isn’t much you’ll be able to hear over the sound of the engine. So, while earmuffs, steel-capped boots and protective eyewear are musts for starters, making sure you’re visible on site too is essential. This can be a high-vis vest or some cones around the area you’re working in, but it will ensure that no one gets in the way of you or the compactor.
Follow the instructions and only use it where it’s suitable to
Plate compactors are designed to be used on surfaces that are already generally flat to begin with. They’re not made to turn mounds of dirt into level surfaces, and as a result they work best when there is little to no slope at all. And although it’s possible to lightly hose sand and stone for greater compaction, it’s important to not use them in the rain or if it’s soaking wet because this could cause the compactor to sink.
As plate compactors run on gas too, it should go without saying that they should only be operated in well-ventilated areas and operators should have masks to protect themselves from dust and exhaust if it becomes an issue.
Take care of it correctly
You should always clean your compactor after every use, especially if it’s been used to compact bitumen. Keeping the plate keen can be done simply with kerosene and a scraper but the compactor should always be off during this process as it’s highly flammable. This goes for all solvents, and whenever you use them to remove excess bitumen you should always leave the machine to sufficiently dry before starting the engine again.
If you have any questions about your compactor or your upcoming project, feel free to contact us online or see us in-store at 100 Gasson Street.
DISCLAIMER: This advice is intended as a guide only, and OMC Power Equipment accepts no liability for any accidents that may occur in the use of a plate compactor. The instruction manual is the first and foremost guide for safe use of your plate compactor and should be consulted first.