Drum Roller: Single or Double, Which One to Use

Whether it is preparing land for large construction projects or you are up to making the road, a roller would be employed there. Apart from its most common use in road construction for paving and smoothening the asphalt surface, it can also be used to crush down aggregates or large lumps of soil.

Drum roller

In this article, we will show you what a drum roller is, what are its different types and which one you should choose for a particular project.

double Drum roller

It is a huge moving compactor with drum-shaped circular wheels.

The drum-shaped wheels are usually fitted with weights to exert down pressure. The engine powers the wheel to rotate at speed allowing any material underneath them to roll.

It can rollover any object placed underneath it. Boulders of small to medium sizes can easily be rolled over. These rollers are usually rear axle powered.

Applications of the roller

They are most commonly employed in construction projects. Apart from this, they are often used to flatten down the cricket pitches. Some of the common uses of drum roller are following:

  1. Compacting soil, gravel, asphalt, crushed stone layer, or any other surface material.
  2. Paving the asphalt in road construction.
  3. Compacting landfill areas
  4. Specialized project: flattening sports grounds

Should you buy it rent it

Rollers are usually an expensive piece of equipment and would be difficult to afford for small contractors. Though they can easily be rented out.

In that case, you would only be required to pay the cost of storing and moving to the project site.

Types of Drum Roller

There are two types of drum roller.

  1. Single roller
  2. Double roller

A single roller has only one wheel on the form while on the rare side, there are two. The roller with two wheels will roll much material at the same time.

However, it is not often necessary that a double drum roller is the most efficient choice-it depends on the job.

Single Drum

drum roller vibratory

A single drum roller is a piece of heavy equipment with a roller upfront and steered by the wheels on the back. The tires are sturdy enough so that it does not disturb the smooth surface made by the front wheels.

The drive usually sits in the middle part of the machine. The middle part is usually elevated and gives the driver a greater view of the surrounding area.

Usually, it is called a cabin. Steering, gear, and other mechanical controls are located in the same area.

Advantages of single drum

There are a couple of advantages associated with single drum.

  1. Since they have only drum placed on their front, therefore they are smaller in size. Usually, their smaller size is attributed to a smaller width. These small widths allow them to maneuver narrow places like old downtown streets, drainage channels, etc.
  2. These rollers are a great alternative for prep work on construction projects.

Usually, these prep works include initial paving passes on the highway or leveling out the subgrade or subbase layer. They are also used for paving driveways and sidewalks.

Due to wheel places on the back of the roller, they have good maneuverability. Therefore for sharp turns on a road, single drum rol

Double Drum Roller

double drum road roller

The double drum has a roller both upfront and on the back. Though they have less maneuverability than the single drum roller, they are very efficient in rolling and crushing heavy objects.

Similar to a single roller, they have the driver cabin in the mid with all the controls. The cabin is elevated so that driver can easily look around. The engine is located on the back of the cabin.

Advantages of double drum

There are a couple of advantages associated with single drum rollers.

  1. Its biggest advantages are great power and efficiency. Though it has less steering capacity, they are still great for rolling at greater speeds.
    For example, if a road needs to be paved two times. If you want to pave it with a single roller, you will be needed two passes.
    However, with a double drum, a single pass would be required because of two rollers. In a single pass, first, the front drum of the double roller will flatten, which is followed by the flattening of the surface with the second drum.
  1. They are great to work with in case of straight roads requiring a higher level of smoothness.
  2. Due to their extra coverage area, they can flatter larger areas in a much quicker time than the double rollers.
  3. They are heavier in weight due to two rollers, which allow to roll down strong chunks of stones very easily.

Which One to Choose

  1. The choice of single drum roller or double drum roller depends on the type of project you are working on.
  2. Single drum rollers are useful for a project that are trickier due to greater variations in curves, height, and areas. This is because of their greater steering capacity. Such projects include sharp turns on roads, narrow pavement, and driveways.
  3. Double drum rollers are useful for projects which require a great amount of rolling. Usually, these projects include long straight sections of highways.
    They are also good for flattening heavy objects. Such projects include flattening down the subgrade and subbase of the roads.


To conclude, this article explained the technology of rollers. Two different types of drum: single drum roller and double roller are further elaborated.

The difference between the two types is highlighted and their advantages are listed.

For projects that require working in narrow areas with sharp turns, single drum  are a preferable alternative. For projects with large amounts of rolling requirement in straight sections, double rollers are a better option.

They are also good for crushing down heavy objects.