Comparing All Asphalt and Road Roller Brands
Road rollers, also called asphalt, tandem, or double drum rollers, are popular pieces of heavy equipment for road work projects. Although they aren't as common on everyday job sites, asphalt rollers are still valuable assets to many road and residential construction projects.
Things To Know Before Choosing An Asphalt Roller
There are three size ranges of asphalt rollers: small (under 10,000 lbs), medium (10,000-20,000 lbs), and large (over 20,000 lbs). The weight of a machine is important since it will determine the pressure applied to the surface. The heavier a roller is, the more capable it is of flattening heavier objects and handling more difficult projects.
Another important feature of these rollers is drum width. This is normally measured in inches and changes the total area you are able to cover in one pass with the machine. The wider the drum, the easier it is to flatten large surfaces. As such, the size of the drum you need for a highway will be different than the one you might use for a residential sidewalk or pathway.
The final important spec to know about drum rollers is their engine power, normally measured by total horsepower (hp). This type of equipment generally ranges up to about 100 hp, although pneumatic tire rollers, which will be mentioned later, can reach peaks of up to 400 hp. Horsepower is vital to construction equipment and determines the overall capability and speed of a machine.
Single vs. Double Drum Rollers
When looking at the different types of drum rollers, the largest distinction between categories is whether they consist of one or two drums. A single drum roller has a large, machine-wide circular "wheel", called the drum, in front for compaction, followed by two regular wheels to help with the transportation of the machine. A double drum roller, also commonly referred to as a tandem roller, has two large circular drums. These are positioned with one in front and one behind the machine and are used for both compaction and transportation.
The lack of tires on a double drum roller can be an advantage or disadvantage depending on the type of project you're working on. Tandem rollers don't have the traction of their single-drum counterparts and aren't used as often for specialized work.
The benefits of a roller with two drums instead of one are maximized power and efficiency, as they are able to do twice the work in the same amount of time. Since they can flatten much more area, these machines are great for use with asphalt. These rollers are used often for roadways and parking lots, flattening the surface before paving. They also don't leave tire tracks on freshly paved asphalt.
The main advantage of pneumatic rollers, although they are less common on the market, is their static penetration. This allows them to often achieve a better base and density of compaction, leading to a more visually appealing finished product. Although this article will focus mostly on double drum rollers, we'll include pneumatic models that are offered as well, as they are fairly similar products.
Jobs For Single Drum Rollers
- Leveling ground for sidewalks or driveways
- Creating foundations for buildings
- Flattening land for a sports field
- Jobs that require extra maneuverability or work in tighter spaces
Jobs For Double Drum Rollers
- Projects that include flattening heavy objects like the subgrade and subbase of roads
- Highway paving (can also be done with a single drum, but not as efficiently)
- Jobs that would typically require two passes of a roller
Double drum rollers are valuable pieces of heavy equipment for preparing surfaces. But with so many available, how can you know you're getting the right one? Well...
Double Drum Roller Brand Comparison
For this supplier comparison, we've focused on creating a list of the most popular road roller manufacturers in North America. Below we'll take a more in-depth look at the benefits, models, and specs of the following brands: CASE, Bomag, Sakai, Ammann, HAMM, Caterpillar, Wacker Neuson, XCMG, and Dynapac.
Offering 11 models reaching up to 23,000 lbs, CASE may not have quite as many options as some of its competitors, but all of their rollers are extremely powerful machines. CASE asphalt rollers provide a full spectrum of drum sizes, vibratory controls, and performance options to meet the quality and productivity demands of any paving application.
One of the best features of this line of equipment is its superior water system. Water plays a crucial role in preventing surface damage and keeping rollers clean, which is why CASE focuses on creating one of the premier spray systems in the industry.
CASE large rollers have triple filtration; meaning filters at the tank, pump, and nozzles to help prevent spray-stopping clogs and prolong component life. These models also come with high-capacity, corrosion-proof tanks, allowing them to run all day on a single tank. With multiple water settings, you can match the water pressure on the drum with the intensity of the project. This helps with keeping the drum clean and maximizing productivity on the job site.
The E-Series is a selection of smaller rollers that have similar water systems to their larger counterparts. Though they take the step down to dual filtration rather than triple filtration, this is still a supremely effective system for this size of machine. They also offer one pneumatic tire roller, a versatile, eight-wheeled machine designed for rolling hot mixed asphalt surface treatments. This model has the power to operate on grades up to 25 degrees and can handle materials that provide greater resistance.
From the compact E Series double-drum rollers up to the large frame D Series models, CASE asphalt compaction equipment provides power and flexibility with some of the industry’s best centrifugal forces. Another great feature of their lineup is control flexibility such as automatic vibration control, dual frequencies, and dual amplitudes (on select machines). And each machine, dependent on cab configuration and model, is compatible with intelligent compaction technologies that provide even greater compaction precision and quality for every paving job.
SAKAI America offers a wide portfolio of asphalt rollers for any sized job. With a selection of 12 machines amongst the 300, 500, 600, 700, 800, and 900 Series, they provide vibratory, oscillatory, and static rollers from 1.5 to 15 tons (3,000-30,000 lbs) and 35″ to 84″ drum widths.
Their models are designed to provide operators with a combination of quiet operation, isolated deck and drum vibration, easy visibility to drum edges, and a comfortable and waterproof seat. Additionally, the versatility and maneuverability of these compactors make them ideal rental units.
SAKAI's road roller lineup also provides options including a front drum and rear pneumatic tires. These tires provide a kneading effect for a smooth surface finish, while still providing the increased coverage and efficiency of a double drum roller. Similarly to CASE, Sakai employs a triple-filtration spray system to keep the drum clean and enhance productivity.
Offering one pneumatic roller, SAKAI revamped their GW754 for greater comfort and performance. With increased seat rotation, speed, vibrators, and an improved engine, this model is both powerful and versatile. Its compact size outperforms many standard tire rollers while helping contractors cut their operating costs.
All of SAKAI's asphalt rollers are equipped with rollover protection systems (ROPS) and standardized seat belts. With excellent variety, performance, and safety, you should consider SAKAI double drum rollers for any size of project.
BOMAG has been developing, designing, and building compaction equipment for 60 years. Their goal is to make each new generation of models a little better, a little more economical, and a little more productive than the previous generation. As a result of years of getting just a little bit better, BOMAG road rollers are now some of the most effective and popular on the market.
Offering 48 models spanning every size category, BOMAG rollers provide a wide selection of drum widths and features to choose from. With their compaction control system, BOMAP, you can monitor the results of your soil and asphalt compaction in real time. Thanks to this assistance system, the degree of compaction on the job site can be easily checked and documented. Operators can immediately see where the subsoil is optimally compacted and locate areas where further passes are required.
The BOMAP Connect and JOBLINK upgrades offer even more options for networking the entire fleet of machines used on the construction site and processing the recorded data more easily. Together with BOMAP, they are a perfect team for maximum efficiency and cost-effectiveness on the digitally connected job site.
With BOMAG Telematic, BOMAG Economizer, and more, there are simply too many features to include in our summary of the brand. Overall, these innovations provide effective monitoring and up-to-date information on your roller and your job site. They also work to reduce the number of passes required by up to 25% without compromising the quality of the final product.
Listing their 25 models under two broad categories, small tandems and large tandems, Ammann road rollers have one of the industry's widest ranges of drum widths. On many of their models, the operator's station extends beyond the frame for improved views of the drum, surface, and spray system. In addition, all of their models employ a rotating seat that helps the operator see out of the front and back of the machine.
Ammann's small tandem rollers are excellent choices for asphalt and soil compaction and for preparing parking lots, sidewalks, cycle paths, and playing fields. Both these models and their larger counterparts are optimized for operator comfort, which translates to job site productivity. For example, conveniently located and intuitive controls make the operator's job easier and more efficient. Reduced cab vibration means less operator fatigue - and more force applied to the compaction target. With these models, comfort is synonymous with productivity.
If you need a roller that can handle higher-intensity projects, Ammann's large rollers make for excellent options on any construction site or heavy-duty road project. With great visibility, comfort, and performance, this lineup of models is great for asphalt bases, compaction of aggregates, and working on buildings. These large rollers peak at over 30,000 lbs and can compete in size and performance with any brand on the market.
With Q Compaction, you can supplement the technologies of the Ammann rollers with a GPS-based, position-accurate digital area compaction control. The compaction information is automatically recorded, visualized for the driver with positional accuracy, and stored in a data cloud. In this way, all roller drivers on a construction site are informed about the compaction status. This increases the quality of the product while reducing the total rolling time required for the project.
HAMM by John Deere
Providing three series of tandem rollers, HD CompactLine, HD+, and DV+, HAMM is one of the top manufacturers on the market. We'll provide a breakdown of each of their series below before touching on the overall features of all of their models.
The articulated compact rollers in the HD CompactLine, with operating weights of between 1.4 and 4.5 tons, are excellent all-around machines for asphalt construction, earthwork, and landscape gardening. Their operation is extremely easy and allows operators to not waste time learning how to handle the machine. Moreover, the wasp-waist rollers impress on account of their optimum visibility and outstanding driving and handling characteristics which are attributable primarily to the three-point articulated swivel joint.
The articulated tandem rollers in the HD+ series cover the 7-14.5 ton range with over 40 models and provide drum widths from 59.1 to 84.3 inches. The XXL cab or platform is extremely large and comfortable. From there, drivers have an excellent view of the drums, the water sprinkling system, and the work area. With their exceptionally favorable weight distribution, the HD+ series rollers stand out in terms of handling and compaction characteristics. Whether straights, slopes, bends, or roundabouts – these rollers quickly produce perfectly smooth surfaces.
On the pivot-steered tandem rollers in the DV+ series, the Easy Drive operating concept ensures first-class ergonomics and comfort. With nine models reaching up to 11 tons, these are powerful rollers but do not quite reach the upper echelon of the large-class machines in the industry.
From the fully glazed panoramic cab with optimum visibility, the driver enjoys a good view of the drum edges, the edge pressing/cutting equipment, and the construction site at all times. Additional inspection windows in the cab floor also allow the driver an uninterrupted view of the drums or wheels.
The oscillation system developed by HAMM and employed throughout these series is scientifically proven to provide high-quality and evenly spread compaction results. To go along with this is their Easy Drive operating concept. This is made up of three units: the dashboard with display, the joystick, and a multifunction armrest. Designed to be as similar as possible in each model and language-neutral, operating elements are always positioned in the same place on the driver's platform, meaning if you've used on HAMM roller, you've already learned how to use them all.
Providing a variety of series and specialties while maintaining excellent design, HAMM has positioned itself to compete with anybody in the road roller market. With 22 rollers of all types, weights, and widths, you're sure to find a tandem or pneumatic model that fits your project requirements when you rent from HAMM.
Get it dense and keep it smooth is the Cat motto, and their rollers certainly do that and more. Cat's line of tandem vibratory rollers reach up to 31,941 lbs and provide some of the widest varieties of weights and widths in the industry. Large double drums are simple to set up for maximum compaction efficiency on any type of mix, and you can find a model with a drum width perfect for your application.
Whether it's a narrow shoulder, a patching project, a parking lot, or a bicycle path, among their 17 models you're sure to find a Cat roller that's right for you. Equipped with excellent safety features and easy-to-operate, these tandem models are reliable and powerful machines.
Cat also offers three pneumatic rollers ranging from 11,464-22,050 lbs and reaching up to 84 inches in drum width. Versatile, flexible, and productive, these models excel on a variety of materials. They also provide an ECO-mode operation, allowing you to maintain your productivity while reducing your environmental footprint. Whether it's a double drum or a pneumatic roller, Cat is a top brand to consider when making your renting decision.
No matter what the requirements, Wacker Neuson has the perfect roller to fit any small-scale project. Whether it’s a ride-on for a large area of soil or asphalt compaction or a remote-controlled trench roller, their comprehensive selection of rollers gets projects done easily and efficiently.
Specializing in small rollers, Wacker Neuson provides six models, none of which exceed 10,000 lbs. With drum widths from 35.4-54.3 inches and an ergonomic work platform designed to reduce vibration, these machines are perfect for low-intensity jobs.
The articulated RD40 is a powerful roller that offers balanced weight distribution on the front and rear drum which provides very even compaction results. It offers a high degree of driving stability and is easy to maneuver. Additionally, the excellent view compacted area and the large drum diameter contribute to first-class results. The roll-over protective structure, which can be folded away to the rear for transport and creates a safer working environment.
The compact design of the Wacker Neuson lineup provides an excellent view of the drums, which simplifies approaching walls and obstacles. With 360-degree visibility, fewer mirrors and no rear-view camera are required. These models are designed for working comfort, operator health and satisfaction, and job site efficiency, and are excellent rentals for small projects.
Offering eight tandem rollers ranging from 18,700 lbs to over 30,000 lbs and 13 pneumatic rollers reaching a maximum weight of 35,200 lbs, XCMG has one of the premier selections of equipment on the market.
The XD123 vibratory roller is a type of asphalt compaction machinery product that is independently researched and developed by the XCMG Road Machinery Business Unit. Based on decades of experience in compaction machinery research and development, this model is designed for the compaction of asphalt pavement. Specializing in asphalt layers of different materials and varying thicknesses, it is especially suitable for roads, parking lots, airports, and other large engineering projects. It can also be used for compaction of roadbed and sub-base material, broad application scope.
The XP103 pneumatic tire roller is a large-tonnage roller designed with operator needs in mind. This model is mainly applicable for compacting asphalt pavement, primary and secondary foundation layers, and filling engineering. An ideal machine for building high-quality roadways, airports, dams, and other industrial construction sites, this model - as well as its XCMG counterparts - are highly capable rollers.
Regardless of the category or model you pick, every XCMG roller is a powerful and valuable piece of equipment. With a variety of machines in the medium-large weight classes, you are sure to find a model that fits your job site. These rollers are especially beneficial when working on projects that have some extra challenging aspects.
With a massive selection of 40 tandem models, Dynapac double drum rollers provide specs to match any job you can imagine. Ranging from 2,750-27,280 lbs, their machines span all three weight classes and provide excellent capabilities that can compete with the best brands in the industry.
Dynapac focuses on maximizing uptime and providing high-quality results. Their design allows your team to avoid unscheduled break-downs and become more efficient while ensuring consistent compaction in the final project. With their emphasis on environmental sustainability, choosing a Dynapac road roller is a socially responsible choice and is perfect for jobs requiring low CO2 and noise emissions.
From their smallest model, the CC900G, to their largest model, the CO6200 VI, Dynapac is sure to have a model that fits your project requirements. Providing drum widths from 31 to 84 inches, there are few brands on the market that can compete with Dynapac's selection of weights and widths.
Dynapac also presents a series of pneumatic tire tollers in the 4,200-5,400 lbs weight range. Their newer models incorporated several new features that enhance efficiency, comfort, and quality. The cab design also offers an outstanding workplace for the operator, and the dual-circuit braking system is a feature exclusive to Dynapac.
Where To Go From Here
Most of the brands listed above offer relatively similar products, though some may reach higher weights and have the capacity for more difficult tasks. The most important factor in determining which brand is right for you will always be the size and scope of the project, followed by the specific features you want in your machine.
Theoretically, the more options a manufacturer provides, the more likely you are to find a model that suits your project. Though you can choose the roller you want and stick with it, often the better option is to rent from a variety of brands and test out their models on the job site. This allows you to get familiar with your options and preferences and helps you get a good idea of what you're looking for going into your next double drum roller rental.
Rent An Asphalt Roller
Whether you clicked this article looking for a model of a specific size and capability, or just trying to figure out who makes the best double drum roller, we hope that this blog has been a helpful tool and has provided insight for your renting decision. Whether you're looking to build highways, football fields, or just driveways and sidewalks, we're confident you'll find a roller rental that works best for you.
Looking to rent an asphalt roller? Search the DOZR marketplace for models by bucket capacity to find your next wheel loader rental today.