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Whether you’re installing a concrete slab, stone walkway or new patio, one of the keys to doing a good job is to use a plate compactor for a better foundation.

As implied by its name, the compactor packs down the soil or gravel which will be the foundation for your project. The compaction is done via a flat plate at the bottom of the machine that vibrates rapidly with several thousand pounds of force and tamps down the foundation material providing an even surface.

Without proper compaction of the foundation material, concrete can crack and paving stones will eventually become uneven.

How to Use a Plate Compactor

Where to Begin

First, you’ll need a compactor. If you don’t know a contractor, your best bet will be to rent one.

Before you start the machine, be sure to put on your safety equipment: safety glasses, work gloves, ear plugs and steel-toed boots.

Start at the corner of the area you are going to compact and turn on the machine. Make sure you are holding on to the handle. The rapid vibration of the plate will make the machine seem to almost float over the surface. Work in straight lines back and forth until the entire area has been compacted.

Now position the compactor at the same corner you began, but this time travel perpendicular to the first pass. This overlapping pattern assures an even tighter compacted foundation. Repeat at least two more times.

If you are installing pavers, you will want to go over them with the compactor once they are installed to assure they are well seated and even.

For information about our products and service, contact One Stop Rental today.