Jumping Jack Compactors vs Plate Compactors: Gas Power Tools  -- Tools Discussion Forum and Review Jumping Jack Compactors vs Plate Compactors: Gas Power Tools -- Tools Discussion Forum

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 10-21-2008, 14:10 Post: 157422
kwschumm



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 Jumping Jack Compactors vs Plate Compactors

I'm looking to buy a compactor (hopefully used) for use over the next year and will sell it when done. Could someone explain the pros and cons of plate compactors vs. jumping jack compactors for compacting gravel and soil?

Are jumping jack compactors easy to use? They look like they'd tip over easy, esp. if not on perfectly flat ground.

Any worthwhile features to look for in one or the other?

This would be used for retaining wall construction work. I've about got one wall complete but it took 6-7 weekends to get this far and rental costs add up fast.






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 10-21-2008, 15:39 Post: 157423
Murf



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 Jumping Jack Compactors vs Plate Compactors

They are two different machines, for two different, albeit similar, tasks.

A plate compactor is better for 'clean' material (not sticky stuff as you already discovered) and is better at getting a uniform surface because of it's larger surface area.

A jumping jack type is more suited to compacting smaller areas, typically they are used to repack filled in trench type excavations. They generate a high impact force by their design, and because that force is not spread out over a larger area.

Overall, both do the same job, but the jumping jack will compact the soil faster, but over a smaller area at a time, it is also a little tougher on the operator. A plate compactor will take a little longer, but is more operator friendly, and will likely be easier to sell afterwards since they are popular with people doing interlocking pavers and such.

Best of luck.






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 10-21-2008, 16:23 Post: 157424
kwschumm



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 Jumping Jack Compactors vs Plate Compactors

Thanks, Murf. The plate compactor sounds like the way to go since the small amount of soil that needs doing can be done the manual way.






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 10-21-2008, 19:42 Post: 157431
earthwrks

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 Jumping Jack Compactors vs Plate Compactors

Depending on your resale market/economy I'd think long and hard about buying one to sell and recoup your money---uless you get one given to you or buy it for next to nothing.

I sold my 15-year-old plate compactor for $800 to my buddy. It needed an engine. Two years later when he got around to working on it, he called me and chewed me out for selling it to him. Why? Because he went to Harbor Freight and could buy a brand new one (of much lesser quality) for less than he paid me for my broken one.






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 10-21-2008, 21:33 Post: 157433
kwschumm



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 Jumping Jack Compactors vs Plate Compactors

Watching the market it seems brand name working units a couple of years old are going for 6-800. That's less than I have already paid for six weeks of rental fees. The work will probably take another 25 weekends, so if I bought one for $1500 and gave it away a year later I'd be money ahead.






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 10-22-2008, 07:02 Post: 157436
earthwrks

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 Jumping Jack Compactors vs Plate Compactors

Kewl! Next year I'll swing by and pick it up!

Have you considered just contracting out the job and knocking it out in a week? You might find a hungry, small-time contractor to do the hard work while you move dirt. I accept jobs like this often---it can be a win-win situation. Might even consider finding someone who's maybe not hungry but looking to get into business next season--trade him his labor for the compactor.






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 10-22-2008, 08:08 Post: 157440
hardwood

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 Jumping Jack Compactors vs Plate Compactors

If a Jmping Jack is still the same miserable contraption I was awarded the honor of operating the summer I got out of high school when I worked on a road crew then please do yourself a favor and let a young stout person do the honors.






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 10-22-2008, 09:15 Post: 157444
kwschumm



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 Jumping Jack Compactors vs Plate Compactors

Contract it out? Where's the fun in that? Plus, it's good exercise (and boy is it a lot of work). First wall is nearly done and the next will wait until spring.






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 10-22-2008, 10:09 Post: 157445
auerbach



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 Jumping Jack Compactors vs Plate Compactors

I once chained the handles of a rented JJ up to my bucket and let the tractor support and move it.

One local contractor bolted a flat plate to the bottom of his tractor bucket (about one-third the surface area of the bucket bottom) and compacted with that (except in deep trenches).






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 10-22-2008, 18:25 Post: 157448
cutter



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 Jumping Jack Compactors vs Plate Compactors

Every once in awhile we would have someone with a missing tooth or a black eye or a bashed leg from that JJ.






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