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There are several different types of compactor available today, and they come in many different sizes and styles. There are walk behind models, as well as a rammer style that have some similar features to a jackhammer, and even a riding model for those who have much larger spaces, such as a parking area, which needs to be compacted.
A plate compactor is a device that is powered by an engine that can vary in power, and that utilizes vibrations as a means to compact asphalt and loose materials, such as sand and gravel. The bottom of these machines will typically have a steel plate. The size of the plate can vary based on the machine. The walk behind models that are available will typically have plates that are between 1.5 and three feet square.
Today, there are different compactor options available from quite a few different manufacturers. Some of the manufacturers making the compactors today include Wacker, Bomag, Multiquip, Chicago, SAKAI, and WEN.