How To Use a Plate Compactor

If you have a patio area or a shed base that you need to hardcore or maybe even drive blocks that need levelling, well you are going to need one of these.

This is a plate compactor, also known as a wacker plate and you can hire them from Speedy, the UK’s number one hire company.

A couple of good things to remember when hiring from Speedy, all our hire equipment is checked, tested, cleaned and serviced before every hire and will all come ready to go. You’ll also notice a folder attached to your hire product, these are the safety and operating instructions, please make sure you read these before you begin your job.

This plate compactor is really heavy, so if you do need to lift it, make sure you get some help and use the handles. It’s also really important that you wear the correct PPE when handling and operating this piece of equipment, a dust mask, hearing protection, eye protection, safety boots and gloves are essential and any PPE you do require can be purchased from Speedy.



The plate compactor is really easy to start. To begin make sure the handlebar is pulled back to the upright position and on the side of the machine you will see a red switch, turn this to the on position.



At the rear of the machine, you will find three levers. The top lever is the choke. Slide this to the right to activate the choke, this allows less air to get into the engine to helping it to start from cold. The side lever here is the fuel cut off make sure this lever is open so that the fuel can reach the engine and the bottom lever is the throttle, on the throttle you will see two icons, a hare and a tortoise. It’s really important that before you start the plate compactor, you ensure the throttle is in the tortoise position, this will prevent the machine from moving when the engine is running.



Now let's take it outside and fire it up.



Now to start it, we simply need to pull the cord, but don’t worry if it doesn't start straight away, as it might take a couple of pulls.



Once the engine has started, allow it to idle for 15 or 20 seconds and then slide the choke lever to the left, which is the off position.



When you're ready to start compacting, adjust the throttle lever towards the hare icon, to a position you are comfortable with, but make sure you have a firm grip on the plate compactor as it will begin to pull away from you.



When you’re finished, slide the throttle to the tortoise position and turn the red switch on the side to the off position, this will cut the engine.



Be really careful, as after use the plate compactor will be really hot! If you need to re-fuel you will need to wait until the engine has cooled down, then unscrew the black cap at the top of the machine and fill it with unleaded petrol.

If you have any issues with any of the products you hire from Speedy, just give your local Service Centre a call, as we are always available to help, and remember to always check the safety and operating guidance before you use any hire product.


Speedy Top Tip! Please watch our How-To Use a Plate Compactor Video


Ready for more DIY tips and ideas?

Thank you for reading the Speedy Services blog, there’s plenty more tips and how-to-guides where this came from.  Keep checking back here for more inspiration and help for your DIY projects.

You’ll find all the power tools you need right here, why not start planning your next DIY project and open a Speedy account today online and instore for all your tool hire needs.


Read more DIY guides from Speedy Services

View All Guides