Padfoot Rollers vs. Smooth Rollers: Which is Right for Your Construction Project?

With so many types of rollers in the construction world, it is hard to decide which should be chosen for your construction work. Each has its specialty but you need to know about it to judge which will be right for your construction project. This article is here to help you decide if you should use a padfoot roller or a smooth roller.

What is the Role of a Roller in Construction?

When you want your ground to be even and possess enough strength to bear significant weight, rollers are the equipment to use to achieve this. Often when roads are being made, rollers are used to improve the construction sites surface and its density. Even in other types of construction, the site is prepared through compaction. This ensures that the soil and other surface materials are smoothed out and that no remaining uneven surfaces that could compromise the building’s structural integrity.

The roller uses its drum, which is a circular wheel attached to the front, to crush the soil and the other material on the surface. As it is crushing, it also flattens the soil, making it smooth for paving. This prevents the surface from becoming susceptible to wear and tear too soon.

What is a Padfoot Roller?

Another name for a Padfoot Roller is Sheepsfoot roller. It is a type of Compaction Roller. These rollers are ideal for the compaction of cohesive soils. Since they are vibratory rollers, they can easily compact fine-grained soil and silty clays. They have a single drum that has bumps on the surface, which helps in kneading the soil. This increases the strength of the surface while making it even.

These rollers are also excellent at compacting soil even at great depth, so you can use them for backfilling trenches as well. However, they cannot compact sand, gravel, etc. Some uses for this type of compaction roller are the construction of roads, construction of the foundation, compaction of ponds, embankments, dams, and more. It has great maneuverability depending on the type of padfoot roller you choose.

What is a Smooth Roller?

A smooth roller is best used to compact materials like asphalt, gravel, sand, ballast, and more. It is another type of vibratory roller that is used to even out surfaces with the use of impact, static pressure and vibration. They are one of the common types of compaction rollers used for different construction projects. They come in both single-drum and double-drum varieties. The single drum smooth roller has only one drum, which is attached to the front, while the double drum smooth roller has two drums, each at one end.

The single drum roller has pneumatic tyres at the back which help with traction. However, since the double drum roller doesn’t have tyres, instead only a drum in its place, it has less traction. The smooth roller is also very poor at compacting mud or silty clay.

The Bottom Line

To determine which type of roller will be suitable for your construction project, you need to compare the two and see which one of them works the best in conditions similar to your project. If you need to compact a sticky or muddy type of soil, padfoot rollers will be best but if you are dealing with the compaction of sand, then it needs a smooth roller.