Compared to a lot of other concrete construction equipment out there, a tamping rammer (or jumping jack) is a simple piece of machinery to use and understand.
That’s why, when buying or renting these machines, there are a few considerations that are often forgotten that will be necessary for when the machine is on the job site.
While these features may be considered subjective to some, we truly believe in the importance of making sure every aspect of your purchase or rental is thought through.
Additionally, much of what we talk about here pertains directly to the health and safety of you and your employees. Don’t take these warnings lightly. They may be the difference between a good day on the job and a really, really bad one.
Here are our top 3 things to remember when buying or renting a tamping rammer.
1. TRAVEL DOLLY
Where you park your truck and where you need to compact might not be as close together as you think. Ever tried dragging a rammer through the dirt to your trench? Not easy. Even if you get 2 guys to carry it, it’s not ideal to try to maneuver these machines over any sort of distance.
That’s where a travel dolly comes into play.
Being able to attach a lightweight dolly to a rammer and roll it from one place to another means that it takes less man power, it’s easier, and it’s faster to do. Who can argue with that?
Not all compactors come with a dolly because most are made specifically for the model they’re sold with. That means that you won’t always be able to buy the rammer now and the dolly later. Make sure you’re not getting yourself stuck with a machine you can’t move easily.
A travel dolly is definitely something you don’t want to overlook when you’re using a rammer on a construction site.
2. HEARING PROTECTION
Likely something you already have on the job site, hearing protection (in the form of ear plugs or ear muffs) are something that should be used when a rammer is being operated.
These machines can reach up to 110dB or more, which means that permanent hearing damage can be achieved fast if not careful.
If you don’t have any form of hearing protection on site, we highly recommend it. Getting the job done is important, but making sure you go home in the same condition you arrived is vital for everyone involved.
Invest in some quality protection and your team will thank you. Even beyond using a rammer, ear plugs or ear muffs can be a welcome addition to any job site.
It might not seem like a big deal, but hearing protection is really no joke, especially when using big, loud machinery like a rammer. When damage is done, it is irreversible, so be sure to take caution the first time around and avoid any loss whatsoever.
3. ADJUSTABLE HEIGHT HANDLE
There’s nothing worse than using any piece of equipment that hasn’t been designed for you.
When you’re specifically talking about a tamping rammer, it becomes especially difficult to do a good job compacting if the handle height of your machine isn’t comfortable for you to use.
Select rammers on the market have adjustable handles which allows the operator to fine-tune the machine to his or her preferences before extended use.
This specific feature is a difficult one because it isn’t something you can simply add onto your purchase if the tamper wasn’t engineered with people of different height in mind.
For that reason, make sure that you’re choosing a great machine when renting or buying. It’s easy to believe that a machine that’s too high or too low might not be a nuisance, but if you think about using it for hours on end, that minor inconvenience quickly snowballs into an avalanche.
As we said, renting or buying a rammer can seem like a really easy task, but that doesn’t mean it’s ok to forget about a few other accessories and features that matter.
Having some sort of travel dolly to use with your machine is going to save time and effort when working. Ensuring that hearing protection is used appropriately is going to make the job site safer. And using a rammer with an adjustable handle height is going to ensure that no matter who uses it, the machine is going to be comfortable and able to be used for extended periods of time.
When all is said and done, these features might not render your machine useless, but they will probably have an effect on your satisfaction and potentially even health. Don’t bother taking the chance.