Frequency, amplitude, and speed all come into play here. Contractors have to adjust their roller's ground speed to accommodate a frequency of 10 to 14 impacts per linear foot. The magnitude or amplitude of each impact, the effects of which Starry compares to how far a hammer travels to strike a nail, is fixed on most small rollers. With automatic systems gaining in popularity, operators can focus more closely on the job at hand: providing a uniform, high-quality end product.
As the above manufacturers point out, the small paving market is changing. Many of the smaller rollers will soon be equipped, if they aren't already, with features that rival their larger counterparts, thanks in large part to increasing competition, higher industry standards, and changing technology. But big rollers or small, the bottom line is the same: You need a piece of equipment that is versatile, productive, and reliable.
Based in Neenah, WI, Rod Dickens is a freelance writer specializing in the construction industry.