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If you need more than a walk-behind roller but don't want to invest in a dedicated compactor, a skid steer roller attachment is the perfect solution. It performs all of the same tasks as a compactor without the cost of purchasing and maintaining a dedicated machine.
A roller attachment lets you compact base material, perform patch work, and stomp out air bubbles, with maximum productivity and minimum investment. Attachments are available in static or vibratory, padded or smooth, and in a variety of sizes and capabilities to fit any project need.
A static roller uses no hydraulics, making it highly cost-effective. Instead, the machine's weight and applied force compact the ground material. They work on a variety of soil types and are preferable to vibratory rollers for certain soils, such as clay, as they prevent moisture from rising to the surface.
However, you tend to see many more vibratory options, as these models offer the greatest level of compaction. This is due to the fact that vibratory rollers compact from the bottom up, which makes them great for working with asphalt because you don't get that sunken spot in the middle that's so common with a static roller.
When working with pavement - either construction or repair - the vibratory attachment is your best option. The skid steer's hydraulics power the shaker box and drum, and some manufacturers offer models with reverse drum direction.
Vibratory rollers range in size from 48" to 84" on average, and are available in both padded and smooth styles. To compact base material and perform other flatwork, the smooth drum makes a great choice, particularly when working with sand, gravel, and pea rock.
Designs include an offset drum that allows you to perform compact work near walls, sidewalks, and curbs without losing contact with the surface. It also helps the operator maintain contact on uneven terrain.
For optimum results, most experts recommend working in increments of 6" or less. You get the most consistency in your compaction this way, although it often requires working in stages. For example, if compacting 10" of material, working in two stages of 5" gives you the best result.
Different manufacturers offer different features intended to maximize productivity and efficiency. For example, free-form oscillation helps the operator maintain consistent contact on uneven ground, and rubber mounts reduce vibration transfer.
In addition to drum width, roller attachments are categorized by the amount of force they deliver, VPM (vibrations per minute), and their GPM (gallons per minute) requirements. That's why it's important to make sure your skid steer has the ability to handle the roller you choose.
Attachment pricing varies depending on whether you choose static or vibratory, padded or smooth, the manufacturer, size, GPM requirements, and more. On the whole, you should expect to pay between $7,000 and $16,000 for a skid steer roller attachment. You'll save around half if you buy a used model, but make sure you inspect the equipment or at least get a live video demonstration before making a used purchase.
- Spartan Equipment 36” Smooth Vibratory skid steer roller attachment, 2,488 lbs of dynamic force, 14 GPM max, vibrating speed 2,000 VPM, adjustable steel scrap blade, price range: $7,200 to $7,800
- Bradco 48” Padded Vibratory skid steer roller attachment, 36” working width, 5,750 lbs of dynamic force, 25 GPM max, vibrating speed 2,600 VPM, adjustable steel scrap blade, price range: $8,000 to $8,500
- Bradco 84” Padded Vibratory skid steer roller attachment, 9,370 lbs of dynamic force, 25 GPM max, vibrating speed 2,600 VPM, adjustable steel scrape blade, price range: $10,000 to $10,500
- Blue Diamond 72” Smooth Vibratory skid steer roller attachment, 8,850 lbs of dynamic force, 10-50 GPM required, vibrating speed of 3,000 VPM, integral knockdown blade, universal quick attach system included, price range: $15,000 to $15,500
There are three main considerations when buying a roller attachment:
- Compatibility: Attachments need to be compatible with the model and brand of your loader. A universal attachment allows you to keep the same roller, even if you change skid steer models.
- Reviews: Read online reviews of both the vendor and the attachment. In addition, talk to others in your industry who've either bought that roller or used that vendor (or both). If they wouldn't do either again, you know it's likely a bad buy.
- Warranty: Make sure you know what the warranty covers and how long it lasts. If it isn't clear from reading the fine print, ask your vendor.
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