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Whether you’re laying a slab, paving a walkway, or pouring foundations and footings, properly compacted soil is key to preventing cracks, leaks and erosion. But each type of soil presents different challenges, so choosing the right compactor for the job is important.

Soils are classified by sifting them through a series of sieves to determine particle size. Then they are rated as to type. While there are 15 different classifications recognized by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials, they fall into three broad categories: cohesive, granular and organic. The first two can be compacted; organic can’t.

Most soils in nature are a combination of all types and particle sizes, so the purpose of compacting becomes to get smaller particles to fill in spaces between larger ones, creating the densest base possible to support the structure that will be resting on it. Choosing the right compacting machine for the soil type helps ensure the job’s done right.

Compactors come in three basic types: rammers, vibrators, and rollers, each with a variety of sizes and styles to suit particular needs.

Rollers can be walk-behind or riding and are a good choice for large areas of granular or mixed soils. Diesel-powered ride-on rollers are typical on roadway and other large paving projects.

Plate vibrators are the workhorses of general construction projects. Smaller, lighter-weight models have plates ranging from 12-20 inches. They are used to compact smaller areas with fill depths of a foot or less. Larger models have heavier plates and greater compaction force for use on thicker and less cohesive bases.

Rammers are jackhammer-like machines that apply high compaction force to a smaller plate, making them particularly good to use in small, tight spaces like trenches or next to existing structures.

Ace Cutting Equipment is dedicated to providing contractors with the best compacting equipment on the market. Industry leader MBW has been making plate and ram compactors since 1967 and has models to fit any need.

The GP12 MBW 13" PLATE COMPACTOR is ideal for medium-size jobs, covering nearly 5,000 sq. ft. per hour. Look at the GPR 77 MBW 22" REVERSIBLE PLATE COMPACTOR for double the coverage in a reversible model that’s perfect for working in tight spaces like trenches.

If a ram-style compactor is what you need, MBW SMART SERIES RAMMERS offer industry-best technology, including integral tachometers and hour meters that indicate when maximum operational performance is being reached and when maintenance intervals are needed. 

Whatever your compacting needs, Ace Cutting Equipment offers MBW compactors and accessories to fill the bill. Our people know how to match compactors to your project’s needs. We have over 100 years’ combined work experience at your service to help in choosing the right tools for your job. Give us a call at (888) 283-2597 or email and we will gladly help with any questions you may have.

And be sure to visit our newly designed web site,, to see the many ways our American-owned family business is always on the cutting edge when it comes to equipment and supplies for the concrete and masonry cutting industry.