A road roller or roller-compactor is used to compact soil, asphalt, concrete, or gravel in the construction of roads, embankment and foundations which is a compactor type engineering vehicle.
Road rollers are still known as steam rollers in some parts of the world, regardless of their method of propulsion. This typically only applies to the largest examples (used for road-making).
Road rollers use the weight of the vehicle to compress the surface. First, a pneumatic-tyred roller is used to compact the substrate with two rows (front and back) of pneumatic tyres. The flexibility of the tyres, with a certain amount of vertical movement of the wheels, enables the roller to operate effectively on uneven ground. The finish is done using metal-drum rollers to ensure a smooth of the ground.
• Vibratory road roller
• Static road roller
• Hand road roller/ Manual walk-behind road roller
• Powered walk-behind (electric or diesel/gas powered)road roller
• Ride-on Road roller
• Ride-on with knock-down bar road roller
• Ride-on articulating-swivel road roller
• Trench road roller (manual units or radio-frequency remote control)
• Pneumatic-tyre road roller
• Tractor mounted and powered road roller
• Human-propelled/hand rollers generally only have a single roller drum
• Self-propelled road rollers may have two drums, mounted one in front of the other (format known as "duplex"), or three rolls, or just one, with the back rollers replaced with treaded pneumatic tyres for increased traction
• On some rollers, the drums may be filled with water on site to achieve the desired weight. When empty, the lighter machine is easier and cheaper to transport between work sites.
• Additional compaction may be achieved by vibrating the roller drums, making a small, light machine perform as well as a much heavier one. Vibration is typically caused by a free-spinning hydrostatic motor inside the drum to whose shaft eccentric weights have been attached.
• Hydraulic transmission permits greater design flexibility – early examples were direct mechanical drive – and reduces the number of moving parts exposed to contamination.
• Water lubrication may be provided to the drum surface to avoid hot asphalt (for example) sticking to the drum
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