Hire tips

Plate Compactor Hire Guide: When should I use a plate compactor?

July 17, 2023
minute read

A plate compactor is used to compact or compress different types of soil and gravel in order to create a solid and level foundation.

When the plate vibrates, it forces the particles of the material being compacted into a denser configuration, therefore increasing the soil's load-bearing capacity and stability.


Plate compactors are often used to prepare the base before laying down asphalt for driveways, parking lots, or roads. They ensure a stable, compact subsurface, which is essential for the longevity of the paved area.


When creating a new patio, walkway, or installing pavers, a plate compactor is used to firm up the base material, ensuring a level, stable surface that will stand the test of time.


Plate compactors are also used to compact soil after backfilling trenches for utilities like water or gas lines, ensuring the ground is solid and reducing the chance of future sinkage and drainage issues.

We have customers on the largest infrastructure jobs in the country using plate compactors e.g. CRL underground rail project in Auckland.
And we have local residential builders and DIYers using plate compactors on their jobs too.

Our hire fleet stocks 60kg - 500kg plate compactors and all the top makes and models such as Mikasa, Weber, Anmann and Wacker Neuson. 

Types of compactors

Reversible vibratory compactors 70-600kg approx‍

These can move in both directions, exert more force and are ideal for larger areas. The heavier reversible plates are used a lot on commercial jobs, have high compaction force and are perfect for compacting soils with clay content.

The 400kg plate compactor is the most common, versatile size in our hire fleet for commercial customers and is seen on big infrastructure jobs.

Remote Control Plate Compactors 700-1200kg approx

They can work in risky places, like on steep slopes or in deep trenches, without putting the operator in danger.

Why hire a plate compactor?


Buying a plate compactor can be expensive, especially if you only need it for a single project or occasional use. Renting allows you to access this important tool at a fraction of the purchase price.

Maintenance free

When you hire a plate compactor, you don't have to worry about the cost and effort of maintenance, repairs, or storage, as the rental company typically handles these aspects.

Access to latest models

Rental companies often have the latest models with advanced features. This means you can take advantage of recent technological advancements without the substantial investment of purchasing a new model.


Different projects may require different types of compactors. Renting gives you the flexibility to choose the right compactor for each project without having to buy multiple machines.

Expert advice

Most rental companies have knowledgeable staff who can guide you on the best plate compactor for your project based on your specific needs and requirements.

Plate Compactor Hire FAQ’s

How much does it cost to rent a plate compactor? 

Rental costs can vary depending on the model of the compactor and the length of the rental period. Please contact us directly for specific pricing information.

Do I need any special qualifications or training to use a plate compactor? 

No special qualifications are typically required, but we do provide instructions and safety guidelines for operating the equipment. We recommend that users be familiar with basic construction equipment operation for safety reasons.

How long can I rent the plate compactor for? 

We offer flexible rental periods, from daily to weekly or even monthly rentals. Please contact us to discuss your needs.

What if the plate compactor stops working or I have trouble operating it during my hire period?

We have a dedicated support team that can assist you during our business hours. If there's a mechanical problem with the machine, we'll arrange a replacement as quickly as possible.

Can the plate compactor be used on both soil and asphalt? 

Yes, a plate compactor can be used on a variety of materials, including soil, gravel, sand, and asphalt.

What safety measures should I take when using a plate compactor? 

Safety should always be a priority when operating heavy machinery. We recommend using protective gear including ear protection, hi-vis clothing, gloves, safety shoes, and protective eyewear. Always ensure the area is clear of other people before starting the machine.

Do you provide delivery and pick-up for the plate compactor? 

Yes, we provide both delivery and pick-up services. Please contact us for details about rates and scheduling.

Can I reserve a plate compactor in advance? 

Yes, we recommend reserving equipment in advance to ensure availability, especially during peak construction periods. You can contact us to arrange this.

How heavy is the plate compactor? Will it fit in my vehicle? 

Plate compactors can be quite heavy and bulky. We can provide specific dimensions and weight for our models so you can determine if it will fit in your vehicle. We also offer delivery and pick-up services for your convenience.

Common Plate Compactor issues

Like any piece of machinery, plate compactors may sometimes experience issues during their operation. Let's discuss some common problems and their potential resolutions.

**If you have a hired plate compactor, make sure you call the hire provider also.

Difficulty starting
  • Potential Cause: The engine may have run out of fuel, or there could be a fault with the spark plug.
  • Resolution: Check the fuel level and refill if necessary. If the spark plug is faulty, it may need to be cleaned or replaced.
Excessive vibrations
  • Potential Cause: The compactor's belt may be too loose or damaged.
  • Resolution: Tighten the belt if it's loose. If the belt is damaged, you will need to replace it.
Loss of compaction force
  • Potential Cause: The plate may be worn out, or the engine might not be running at full speed.
  • Resolution: Replace the compaction plate if it's worn out. Ensure that the throttle is set correctly, allowing the engine to operate at full speed.
Diffuiulty moving forward and back
  • Potential Cause: There may be an issue with the compactor's hydraulics or gears.
  • Resolution: Check the hydraulic fluid levels and refill if necessary. If the issue persists, you may need to inspect and repair the machine's transmission system.
  • Potential Cause: The engine could be running too hot due to poor ventilation, low oil, or dirty air filters.
  • Resolution: Ensure that the machine is well-ventilated during operation. Regularly check and top up the engine oil, and clean or replace the air filter as needed.

It's important to note that regular maintenance, including cleaning, lubrication, and inspection of your plate compactor, is crucial in preventing many of these issues. If problems persist, consult a professional or the equipment manufacturer for assistance.

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