"And if you ever get to the point where a machine poses a significant safety problem," says Dennison, "that's another reason to upgrade to a new unit."
When determining whether to repair or replace, take into account the costs of parts, labor and downtime required to maintain or rebuild a unit nearing the end of its service life. "Certain components may be very expensive to replace, such as heavily worn drums," says Sturos. "Consider, too, that certain replacement components may no longer be readily available or available at an economical cost."
Also ask yourself if the compactor still allows you to meet job requirements in terms of size, width, tonnage and production goals. "Essentially, ask if your current roller can keep up with the paver in production," says Marcum.
With manufacturers continuing to introduce new approaches to the compaction process, you may find that the benefits in terms of mat quality and productivity quickly offset any cost advantages of repairing an existing model.
Some new models also include an onboard mat temperature gauge that allows the operator to monitor how quickly the asphalt is cooling. "The gauge is right on the machine, so the operator doesn't have to rely on a temperature gun or someone else to check readings," says Dennison. "We also have an impact spacing display to provide immediate feedback, so operators know if they have to adjust their travel speed."
In addition, manufacturers have focused on improving engine management with Tier III and ultimately Tier IV engines. "We can manage the engines more efficiently for better fuel consumption, while maintaining the power needed to run the hydraulic system," says Marcum.
Read more roller maintenance tips at "Tips for Keeping Rollers Maintained for Longevity and Performance".
Kim Berndtson is an editor for Equipment Today magazine