Kennards Hire  has added remote-controlled, pad foot trench rollers to its wide range of compaction equipment.

These rollers provide a safe, easy option for compacting trenches when laying 600mm-800mm pipes.

A major utility used one of the Kennards Hire’s rollers at an electricity substation, where trenches up to three metres deep were excavated for cables feeding into and out of a new high voltage switch and control room.

Todd Jurgens, who controlled the machine, was impressed with the ease of operation. “It is pretty much like a play station,” he said.

Project co-ordinator Terry Cameron said the roller was originally hired for short-term use, but was found to be so good, a long-term hire was negotiated with Kennards Hire for use on other new or upgraded substations.

“It is much easier, safer and avoids the need for shoring in deep trenches,” he said.

“The compaction is equal to that of a much larger roller. The drum circumference is small; therefore, high pressure can be obtained in a small area.

“Compaction is critical around these jobs, because we have large vehicles and cranes bringing the transformers in and out, often in bad weather.”

Terry Cameron said that they either used an excavator or Hiab to lift the roller into trenches or drove it down a ramp.

“It will climb over steep banks and negotiate steep grades,” said Terry Cameron.

“There is no danger of the roller running over you because a laser light detects you and stops the engine. We use it on big and small jobs, including road crossings and general compaction is small enough to be towed on a trailer.

“Another advantage for us is its low profile. We can use it in live, high voltage areas because the operator does not sit on and does not need a rollover cage.”

Kennards Hire has also expanded its fleet of ride-on rollers, with 2.5 tonne machines available in some areas and the 1.5 tonne model available across the branch network.