9 tips for choosing a vibratory plate

6 min

Asphalt laying, pavement repair, paving slabs tamping, foundation preparation, as well as a lot of other construction and landscape works require the use of special tamping equipment. Most often, vibratory plates are used – relatively compact devices that can greatly increase labor productivity, if, of course, the equipment was selected correctly. How not to make a mistake when buying and choose the right vibratory plate? Which engine should you choose? What is the optimal weight and vibration force? The answer will depend on the type of work being carried out, but let’s talk about everything in order.

What are vibratory plates used for?

The main purpose of the vibrating plate is the ramming of bulk materials. The impact on the surface is carried out due to a flat metal bottom of a large mass, which is vibrated. Weight paired with vibration makes it easy to tamp loose surfaces.

Vibratory plates are used for ramming:

  • asphalt when it is impossible to use other equipment;
  • sand;

  • gravel;
  • rubble;
  • concrete;

  • paving slabs.

The technique is used both for laying the foundation and for landscaping garden paths. The vibrating plate is indispensable for repairing the road surface, tamping paving slabs and in other cases when you need to quickly and efficiently compact a loose base.

Vibratory plate movement method

Depending on the method of movement, vibrating plates are:

The most widespread are self-propelled models, therefore, further we will only talk about them.

engine’s type

A motor is required to drive the vibration exciter (vibrator). Depending on the type of fuel used, the following types of engines are distinguished:

  • gasoline is the best option in terms of value for money. Although gasoline is more expensive than diesel, such a vibrating plate will initially cost less. It is characterized by high efficiency, productivity and low noise level. Such a mechanism will work in almost any conditions, and it will be possible to fill in gasoline even with a low octane number;

  • diesel – seems more attractive, since fuel will cost less than gasoline. Yes, there will be savings in operation, but initially you will have to spend money – a diesel vibratory plate is much more expensive than a gasoline plate, therefore it has not become widespread. However, if the device is bought for very active use, then it is likely that there will be a benefit, however, you will have to put up with the increased noise of the device. In addition, it is undesirable to use the unit at subzero temperatures;

  • the electric motor will cost you the cheapest, but you can use such a plate compactor within the reach of electricity, which is limited by the length of the cord. If there is no electricity, work will become completely. Yes, such units have the lowest noise level, but their power is also the lowest in the class. But the electric vibrating plate can be used indoors, unlike gasoline and diesel counterparts, which generate exhaust during operation.

Engine power

Engine power directly affects how easy the vibratory plate will move over difficult surfaces. After switching on, the unit itself pulls itself forward, and the higher the power, the easier it will be for it to overcome hills and areas with a loose surface. If the vibrating plate does not have enough power, then it may drown in viscous soil or not master the rise, and then the person operating the unit will have to take on a higher load.

The power depends on the type of engine:

  • the electric motor has a power from 250 to 2200 W, therefore the scope of its use is limited mainly to private construction;

  • a gasoline engine with a power of 1770-9800 W can cope with almost any task;

  • the diesel engine can have a power of 3000 to 24500 W. The most powerful units are heavy industrial machines.

If you are not laying a road of national importance and are not preparing the foundation for a multi-storey building, then you can look towards units with a capacity of up to 6-10 kW.

A wide selection of similar vibrating plates is presented on the page https://www.litenergo.ru/catalog/stroitelnoe-oborudovanie/vibroplity/… The company directly cooperates with equipment manufacturers, therefore it guarantees high quality products and favorable prices.

Plate weight and compaction depth

The higher the weight of the equipment, the deeper the material will be able to compact. When choosing the weight of the equipment, they also take into account which material you will mainly have to work with.

The following types of vibratory plates are distinguished by weight:

  • up to 75 kg, light. They are capable of compacting material to a depth of 15 cm, suitable for working with sand, fine gravel. They are used in landscaping when arranging garden paths and laying paving slabs. This technique is not suitable for asphalting, but it will definitely come in handy on the farm;

  • 80-110 kg, universal. The material is rammed to a depth of 20-25 cm, used for patching the road surface, for laying paving slabs on sites, as well as for repairing roads after laying communications, in landscape work. Such a wide range of available works provided the versatility of this type of vibrating plates;

  • medium-heavy, up to 150 kg. They can ram material at a depth of 30-60 cm, are used in road and industrial construction. They do an excellent job with compaction of asphalt and backfilling of the foundation, but in no case are they suitable for laying tiles, as it can be damaged under the weight of the equipment;

  • heavy, more than 150 kg. This is a professional technique that can even replace a vibratory roller. Such heavy equipment is not suitable for compacting asphalt, but is perfect for preparing the foundation for roads and for organizing the foundation.

The efficiency of the selected equipment is about 70% dependent on the correct choice of weight, the remaining 30% is the correct choice of vibration force.

Vibration effort

The vibration force is understood as the power of the shocks that are transmitted from the vibrator to the rammed material. The higher this indicator, the more dense and complex materials the vibratory plate can handle and the better the coating will compact. If it is necessary to achieve the highest compaction density of the material, then among several devices with the same weight, the one with the higher vibration force is chosen.

Vibratory plates for this indicator can be divided into the following types:

  • up to 12 kN – equipment for landscaping and tiling. Such a vibrating plate will not cope with laying asphalt;

  • 13-18 kN – sufficient force for both tiling and compacting asphalt;

  • more than 18 kN – industrial equipment.

Work surface area and type

With the same indicators of weight and vibration force, the greater pressure on the material will be exerted by the vibratory plate that has a smaller surface area. On the other hand, a machine with a larger working surface will be more efficient when it is necessary to work on a large area, but the power must also be higher. All this must be taken into account when choosing, weighing the features of the work being carried out.

The working surface is made of cast iron or steel. Both materials are equally good, as they are able to withstand solid vibration loads.

Reversible vibrating plates

Depending on the nature of the movement, vibrating plates are divided into the following types:

  • irreversible or one-way. They move only forward, are used on sites where you can make a U-turn, but working with them is not as convenient as with reversing ones.

  • reversible. They can move forward and backward, which significantly increases the mobility of equipment. That is why models weighing more than 100 kg are often reversible. This technique is indispensable when working in small areas, for example, in a trench.

What else to consider when choosing a vibratory plate?

In addition to the most important parameters listed above, it is important to consider the following factors:

  • performance, i.e. what area of ​​material the device will compact per unit of time. The parameter depends on the weight of the vibrating plate, power, working surface area, measured in m2 / hour;

  • speed also affects the efficiency of the work carried out. The more powerful the engine, the higher the speed. For modern units, this parameter ranges from 5-30 m / min. However, the higher the speed you use, the shallower the compaction depth will be;

  • operating time without refueling depends on the volume of the tank, engine type and fuel. The parameter is individual for each model, but the average time of continuous operation with a full tank is about 2-3 hours;

  • an irrigation system is only necessary when working with asphalt or concrete rammers. Water prevents the material from sticking to the unit. The recommended volume of the water tank is 3-5 liters;

  • A polyurethane or rubber mat will come in handy when working with paving slabs or stones. The mat somewhat reduces the destructive effect of vibration on such fragile materials and prevents their damage;

  • manufacturer. The reliability and durability of the equipment largely depends on the manufacturer’s name. You can highlight the equipment of the following brands: Wacker Neuson, Weber, Bomag, NTC (Europe), Mikasa (Japan), Shatal (Israel). Vibratory plates produced by Caliber, TSS, Splitstone, MISSOM have shown themselves quite well among domestic ones. Also worth noting is the high quality of Grost, Zitrek, Tsunami, Impulse, Champion and Diam products.

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Passionate about DIY for over 10 years and all the new tools, I give you through this blog all my advice, tips, tests in all areas: carpentry, electricity, masonry, gardening, home automation ...


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