How to Ensure the Longevity of a Hired Wacker Plate

Wacker Plate
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When you hire a diesel or electric wacker plate for your construction, renovation, or landscaping project, it is your responsibility to keep it in good condition. Although most equipment rental companies handle repairs and maintenance for their machines to ensure the compactor is not damaged during your project. This helps you avoid unnecessary extra costs and ensures that the project goes on smoothly without delay. In this article, we’ll cover some tips to prevent damage and ensure the longevity of your hire wacker plate. 

Get the Right Wacker Plate for the Job

First, you should know that wacker plate specifications vary, and the right compactor often depends on the nature and scope of your project. The exact type of wacker plate to go for depends a lot on the job you’re trying to execute. 

If you’re working on hardcore, asphalt, or granular soil, then a vibrating compactor will work great. But if you’re working on a more cohesive material such as clay or silt, you should get an impact compactor instead. Using the correct type of compactor ensures the quality of your project. 

The size of the compactor matters too. Getting the right size of wacker plate puts less pressure on the machine and reduces the risk of it breaking down on the job.

Inspect Before Use 

Before using the wacker plate, there’s a checklist of things to inspect before, during, and after using the compactor. Some of the things to check include:


Inspect the machine for any signs of damage, such as loose parts or abnormal wear. Pay specific attention to the engine, hoses, belts, and the plate itself. Report any issues you notice to the rental company right away. 

Fluid Levels

Low oil levels can damage the machine, and excessive oil is just as bad. Check the oil and ensure it’s at the right level before you start using the machine. Make sure the wacker plate is positioned on a level surface when you do this to ensure the fluid level is being measured appropriately.

Check the Fuel

If you’re using a fuel-powered wacker plate, you should check the fuel tank before you start the operation. Replace old fuel with new one because petrol and other fuels can degrade over time. 

Check Air Filter

An extremely dirty air filter will reduce the efficiency of the machine. Check the air filter and clean it out with a compressor from the inside out. 

Check the Clutch

A loose clutch will cause your machine to lose transmission during operation, leading to weak compaction.

Proper Operation 

Using a wacker plate is relatively easy, but you still need to be familiar with how it works to use it effectively. Before you get started, read the user manual provided by the rental company. It typically contains important instructions for the specific model of wacker plate you have hired. 

The machine should be operated by trained personnel with a basic understanding of how to use it correctly. Some companies also give you the option of getting a trained operator directly from them instead of trying to handle it yourself. Take this option if you’re not certain of how to handle a wacker plate correctly. 

During operation, do not go over the recommended capacity of your wacker plate. Doing this will strain the engine and other components, leading to failure. You should also make sure the wacker plate is only used on a surface that’s suitable for compaction. Working on uneven or rough terrain puts extra pressure on the machine and can cause damage. 

Wacker plates are not designed to be used in extreme conditions such as high temperatures or wet conditions. Operating the machine in these conditions can cause damage. Proper operation also involves using the right fuel source for your wacker plate. For an electric unit, ensure that the power outlet you’re plugging into has the right rating for your machine to avoid damage.

Safe Transportation

Some construction companies offer to transport your wacker plate for you at a small extra cost, while others let you handle transportation on your own. Either way, you should take necessary precautions during transportation to avoid damage in transit. This begins with using the right vehicle to transport your compactor. 

Vibrating plates or trench rammers, are small enough to fit into the back of a standard hatchback vehicle, but pedestrian rollers are too big to be transported this way. When transporting on the back of a trailer, make sure the machine is fastened securely to the vehicle with appropriate tie-downs and necessary paddings. Always follow standard regulations and traffic guidelines when moving equipment to and from your job site. 

Proper Storage

Proper storage when the machine is not in use helps to prevent damage. The wacker plate should be stored in a clean and dry environment at all times. Make sure it is protected from direct exposure to sunlight, extreme temperature, and moisture. Additional storage instructions may also apply based on recommendations from your rental company. 

Clean After Each Use 

After using your plate compactor, you need to get rid of dirt, gravel, and other material buildup before taking the machine into storage. It is common for rocks and other debris to get swept up into the machine during operation. This can cause damage if allowed to remain in the compactor for too long. Follow the recommendations for cleaning your wacker plate as stated in the instruction manual. 


By following these instructions, you should be able to keep your wacker plate in the right condition during operation and prevent any sort of damage to the unit. If you notice any problem with the compactor, turn it off immediately and contact the rental company for help.

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