As their name suggests, compactors reduce the size of waste material or prepare a building site through compaction. Some are machines controlled by handles, some have a seat and are ridden whilst other are fixed pieces of machinery. They work with an electric and/or hydraulic power system. They are commonly made of welded steel for durability. Compactors are available in a number of sizes or shapes. A Plate compactor (or Vibratory Rammer) has a vibrating baseplate which creates a level grade. A Jumping Jack compactor has a smaller foot and is used to compact backfill in trenches to lay pipes. A Road Roller, controlled by a driver, compacts crushed rock as a base layer under concrete or stone foundations or slabs. Landfill compactors are a converted Front-End Loader with a bulldozer, blade or spiked wheels used to compact rubbish. Scrap Metal Compactors (or car crushers) flatten metal or use a bailing press to crush it into a cube. Compactors are an indispensable part of the construction industry although they may be found elsewhere. They are used in the retail and service industries to reduce the bulk of waste material. In the agricultural industry, a compactor can bale and wrap forage to keep it fresh.

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