Industry News, Latest News, Special Features, Technology Update

Maximising safety for compaction with Road Widener

The Offset Vibratory Roller attachment allows operators to compact road shoulders from a steady surface.
Todd Granger, Road Widener’s Director of Sales.
Todd Granger, Road Widener’s Director of Sales.

Road Widener’s Offset Vibratory Roller attachment provides a compaction solution that ensures operators remain safe, irrespective of slope or hazardous conditions on the site. Todd Granger, the company’s Director of Sales, explains more.

While compacting road shoulders and ditches, operators can at times be obligated to work on hazardous slopes which force them and the machine to be in a tipping position, with no alternative options available.

Road Widener’s patented Offset Vibratory Roller attachment aims to prevent these situations, which can lead to serious harm, or in some cases, fatalities. The innovative attachment relocates the drum to a remote-controlled offset arm that can be attached to almost any grader, compact track loader, wheel loader or skid steer. The Offset Vibratory Roller allows the host machine to remain safely on a flat surface while compacting road shoulders and ditches. 

Based in the United States, Road Widener is firmly entrenched in the road construction industry globally. Founded by two road construction professionals, the company has more than 30 years of industry experience.

As Todd Granger, Road Widener’s Director of Sales, explains, the industry’s desire for safer compaction attachments led to the creation of the Offset Vibratory Roller.

“The concept of the attachment started in early 2010, with a couple of designs options,” Granger says. “Over time, we added and subtracted some features. We were issued an Australian patent in August 2019. In this same year, we were recognised for the safety capability and the innovation of our machine through numerous awards, including the 2019 Equipment Today Top 50 Contractors’ New Product award. The product was then launched globally in 2020.”

Granger says the attachment provides an alternative to conventional machinery to prevent accidents, of which he has witnessed many first-hand.

“By using the offset arm, it allows the operators to keep their host machine on a hard surface and then compact the shoulders with a variety of material types. This would be challenging for a double-drum roller,” he says. “These applications can include difficult, uneven terrain, such as creek beds and steep road shoulders. For any project which offers a safety challenge, we have created an ideal solution in the form of a vibratory compaction unit.”

The Offset Vibratory Roller offers a wide range of motions, with the attachments arm able to swing more than 150-degrees, as well as offering trench compaction by allowing operators to access 30 inches (76 centimetres) below grade.

The Offset Vibratory Roller attachment can be used with any brand of host machine.
The Offset Vibratory Roller attachment can be used with any brand of host machine.

Attachment features

Granger says the Offset Vibratory Roller also provides the user with optimal control and accuracy, due to the attachment’s remote operation and reduced weight.

“Thanks to the remote control, all of the functions, from swinging the boom to twisting the roller or turning the device on or off, are controlled from the cabin,” he says. “It also doesn’t have an onboard engine, which helps cut down on maintenance and reduces the size and weight of the attachment.”

Initial industry feedback has also led to increasing the capabilities of the machine to support asphalt compaction, Granger says.

“The Offset Vibratory Roller was designed to compact aggregate initially. But our customers told us that because they were laying down asphalt, they required a machine to compact that as well,” he says. “Hot asphalt, of course, adheres to drums. So we developed a spray bar kit for the roller, which sprays water on the drum to prevent the asphalt from sticking to the surface.”

Three interchangeable drum sizes are available for the Offset Vibratory Roller, which come in thicknesses of two, three and four inches. The attachment supports up to 30-degree drum pivot, allowing for smooth operation on sloped  surfaces.

All of the Offset Vibratory Roller’s features combine to provide an attachment suitable not only for road shouldering, but also for compacting topsoil, crushed stone, gravel, recycled materials and even limestone. 

Creating a global product 

One of the unique features of the Offset Vibratory Roller, according to Granger, is its versatility. The product can be attached to any piece of machinery which has a standard skid steer hook up plate, flat face hydraulic couplings and a 12-volt power capacity. This allows the attachment to be used alongside skid steers, compact track loaders, loaders and road graders of any brand or make. The attachment also comes without an on-board engine and can work with standard and high-flow hydraulics.

Granger shares that its universal design can help operators save on costs by removing the need to purchase purpose-built machinery. “The product allows operators to use prime movers they already have in their fleet, as opposed to having to purchase an additional piece of machinery which has an on-board engine. So, it supports their fleet’s flexibility significantly,” he says.

“It is a very universal attachment and a global product. Without an onboard engine, we aren’t required to build different models and variants to suit different customers around the world. This also allows the machine to operate with ease within countries and regions that have strict emission reduction rules for machinery.”

The Road Widener product has already proven to be effective in North America.

“We are currently expanding our footprint in the European union, which is a big focus for us in providing an enhanced safety product,” Granger says. “We also have models coming across the channel for Australian contractors as we speak.”

This article was originally published in the April edition of our magazine. To read the magazine, click here.




Related stories:

Send this to a friend