Sunday, September 24, 2017
   
Text Size

Road roller

Road roller
A road roller (sometimes called a roller-compactor, or just roller) is a compactor type engineering vehicle used to compact soil, gravel, concrete, or asphalt in the construction of roads and foundations.
In some parts of the world, road rollers are still known colloquially as steam rollers, regardless of their method of propulsion. This typically only applies to the largest examples (used for road-making).
The first road rollers were horse-drawn, and were probably just borrowed farm implements (see roller (agricultural tool)).
Since the effectiveness of a roller depends to a large extent on its weight, self-powered vehicles replaced horse-drawn rollers from the mid 1800s. The first such vehicles were steam rollers. Double-cylinder designs were preferred. Single-cylinder steam rollers were uncommon and unpopular, as the power impulses from the steam engine would produce slight waves in the road. Some road companies in the United States used steamrollers through the 1950s, and in the UK, some remained in commercial service until the early 1970s.
As internal combustion engine technology improved during the 20th century, kerosene-, gasoline- (petrol), and diesel-powered rollers gradually replaced their steam-powered counterparts. The first internal-combustion powered road rollers were very similar to the steam rollers they replaced. They used similar mechanisms to transmit power from the engine to the wheels, typically large, exposed spur gears. Some companies did not like them in their infancy, as the engines of the era were typically difficult to start, particularly the kerosene-powered ones.
Virtually all road rollers in commercial use now use diesel power.

Uses
Road rollers use the weight of the vehicle to compress the surface being rolled. Initial compaction of the substrate is done using a pneumatic-tyred roller, with two rows (front and back) of pneumatic tyres. The flexibility of the tyres, with a certain amount of vertical movement of the wheels, enables the roller to operate effectively on uneven ground. The finish is done using metal-drum rollers to ensure a smooth, even result.
Rollers are also used in landfill compaction. Such compactors typically have knobbed ("sheeps-foot") wheels, and do not achieve a smooth surface. The knobs aid in compression due to the smaller area contacting the ground.

Configurations
The roller can be a simple drum with a handle that is operated by one man, and weighs 100 pounds, or as large as a ride-on road roller weighing 21 short tons (44,000 lb or 20 tonnes) and costing more than US$150,000. A landfill unit can weigh 59 short tons (54 tonnes). On some machines the drums may be filled with water.

Roller Types
Manual walk-behind
Powered walk-behind (electric or diesel/gas powered)
Trench roller (manual units or radio-frequency remote control)
Ride-on
Ride-on with knock-down bar
Ride-on articulating-swivel
Vibratory
Pneumatic-tyre
Tandem roller
Tractor-mounted and -powered (conversion – see gallery picture below)
Drum types
Drums come in various widths: 24-to-84 inches
Single-drum sheeps/pad-foot (soil)
Single-drum smooth (asphalt)
Double-drum (duplex) sheeps/pad-foot (soil)
Double-drum (duplex) smooth (asphalt)
3-wheel cleat with bulldozing blade (landfills)
Variations and features
On some machines, the drums may be filled with water on site to achieve the desired weight. When empty, the lighter machine is easier and cheaper to transport between work sites.
Additional compaction may be achieved by vibrating the roller drums, making a small, light machine perform as well as a much heavier one. Vibration is typically caused by a free-spinning hydrostatic motor inside the drum to whose shaft eccentric weights have been attached.
Water lubrication may be provided to the drum surface to prevent (for example) hot asphalt sticking to the drum
Hydraulic transmissions permit greater design flexibility, while early examples used direct

mechanical drives; hydraulics reduce the number of moving parts exposed to contamination.
Human-propelled rollers may only have a single roller drum.
Self-propelled rollers may have two drums, mounted one in front of the other (format known as "duplex"), or three rolls, or just one, with the back rollers replaced with treaded pneumatic tyres for increased traction.

Manufacturers
AGICO
Aveling-Barford
BOMAG
Buffalo-Springfield Roller Company
Case CE
Caterpillar
CORINSA
CMI-Terex
Dynapac (= Atlas Copco)
Galion
GEMCO
Hamm
Huber
HYPAC
Hyster
Ingersoll Rand
Ingram Compaction
KMEC
Lebrero
LeeBoy
Mikasa
Multiquip/Rammax
Rex
Sinoway Industrial (Shanghai) Co.,Ltd
Stone Equipment
SuperPac
Vibromax
Volvo CE

Road rollers in popular culture

In fiction – as a character
Roley is one of the main vehicle characters in the children's books and TV series, Bob the Builder. He is a green roller with a cab, enclosed power unit and no chimney, and so is obviously diesel-powered – nevertheless, his official title is Roley the Steamroller. This is an example of the persistence of "steam roller" to describe a large modern road roller in layman's English.
On film – as a weapon
Film-makers seem to like the finality of a roller of some kind squashing a human. In most cases, however, the roller is not actually steam-powered, even though it is usually referred to as such. In all of the following examples, the rollers cited are diesel-powered.
In The Naked Gun, the villain is run over first by a bus, then a steam roller and finally a marching band.
In Who Framed Roger Rabbit the true identity of the villain is revealed after he is run over by a steam roller.
At the end of A Fish Called Wanda, Ken (Michael Palin) gets his revenge on Otto (Kevin Kline) at Heathrow Airport, in a scene involving a small diesel roller and some wet concrete.
In Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery, a security guard is run over (in extremely slow motion) by a road roller.
In Maximum Overdrive, a Little League player is killed by a "rebelling" steam roller (actually a 1979 Rex 700 diesel roller).
This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it.


In software
In the Japanese manga JoJo's Bizarre Adventure, the villain Dio Brando attempts to finish off his rival Jotaro by dropping a road roller (sometimes translated as "steam roller") on him from midair.[citation needed]
In the vocal program "Vocaloid 2" Len and Rin are associated with a yellow road roller in fandom.

Construction Category