A roller is a vital piece of equipment when we consider how important it is that a site be level before it is developed. The leaning tower of Pisa would likely not have been so crooked had they had a roller handy. Thankfully, we have learned from our mistakes and make several forms of rollers that serve a multitude of purposes. Single drum rollers, double drum rollers, vibrating rollers and walk behind rollers, all illustrate how much construction has developed through the years as we have so many different types of rollers for so many different types of tasks. But one thing has remained constant. There has always been a roller operator to direct the machine. Regardless of the level of automation that modern rollers come with, it is still considered necessary to have a human being behind the wheel. And with this job being a popular form of entry into the construction industry, we thought it would be a good idea to expand a little bit into what being a roller operator entails. And to learn even more about roller ticket courses in Australia, please visit Roller Ticket.
The primary responsibility of a roller operator is to compact earth, subgrade, and asphalt surfaces. And to drive the machine over the material in repeated passes to ensure that the material is sufficiently compacted. But why drive a roller over the material at all? Why not leave it as is? The reasoning behind compacting is to remove as many air pockets and gaps in between the materials as possible so that there are no structural weaknesses, and the surface would be able to support a greater load before cracking. Compacting the material also make the surface more resilient and able to withstand natural threats to its integrity such as tree roots. The compacting of the soil also makes it more level as mentioned before and makes it more suitable to build on. However, there is very much a science behind the process of compacting, the speed at which the roller is driven, and the type of roller used will often make a huge difference to the end result.
The roller operator never works in a silo and works in tandem with his/her colleagues. Moving and operating the roller in accordance with hand signs and audio signals given by other members of a crew is a critical part of being a roller operator. Communication plays a large part in this job role as (s)he will likely have to communicate to the foreman or crew members about density requirements and about any flaws in the finished mat. The instances where communication plays a part in the roller operators’ daily life often extends beyond his/her job role. They may need to inform other workers of any potential hazards that they find on the construction site and be mindful of other workers that could be acting as obstructions and mindlessly blocking the path of the roller.
Ultimately the job of the roller can be quite complex depending on the projected end result of the work. However, it can be a lot of fun and poses the opportunity to learn and grow as a builder.