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If you were looking to buy a used remote trench roller,which is the better buy a Wacker or a Bomag?

Discussion in 'Rollers' started by Chris Perere, May 2, 2019.

  1. Chris Perere

    Chris Perere New Member

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    I generally rent trench rollers as needed, but I think I want to purchase a used unit. I mainly have experience with Wacker rollers, but I am not brand loyal. I see plenty of used Bomag and Wacker units around. I am looking for input on which one may be better. Thanks
     
  2. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    Welcome to the Forums Chris!

    This question is right up my alley as I have a used Wacker and a used Bomag. We use them on a regular basis and they go with each crew from job to job. Probably use them more than our CS 533E compactor.

    I bought both machines used on Iron Planet.


    Wacker -

    2010 model I bought at auction from a Sunbelt branch locally. It has the Lombardini engine that Kohler bought out since 2010 but its the same engine. No issues with the engine other than a leaking valve cover.

    The Wacker has a "line of sight" remote system that rely's on "eyeballs" located at the front and rear of the machine. If line is sight is lost the machine shut downs which is not a bad thing safety wise. The eyeballs were replaced by Sunbelt prior to me buying it. They are $400-500 a piece to buy new ones.

    It has an electrical gremlin that requires going through the starting procedure more than once in order to start the engine. This comes and goes with no frequency. It's not that big of a hassle.

    Grease points on the steering rams.

    I have both sets of wheels, narrow and wide for our Wacker but never swap them out. The wider wheels do what we need to do.

    Bomag -

    Kubota diesel which I prefer.

    Radio frequency remote that doesn't necessarily need a straight line of site.

    No grease points on the steering rams which I do not like and causes wear.

    It needs a new charging/connecting cord for the remote as it has a short somewhere in it.

    The Bomag as the wheels where you can take the outer ring off and have a narrow width machine. Nice feature but again we have never taken them off.

    Comparison -

    Both machines share common components. It appears they have the same pumps, hydraulic lines, radiators, hydraulic valve blocks, etc. I haven't verified that other than the layout look the same on both machines.

    Remote control systems are different between the two in how the function but we have not seen a significant advantage of one system over another.

    Both machines are very capable machines that share a lot of common parts that will make you money. The simple nature of the machine means their life spans are short because they shake themselves to death. These are not 5K hour machines, you'll be lucky to get 1500 hours out of one.

    New price for one runs $33-35K. I picked up the Wacker for $2900 in 2015 and the Bomag in 2017 for $3600. Both machines had 400-500 hours when I bought them. If I get 1K hours out of each one I'm way into the red on ROI - I see no reason to buy these machines new due to how many units are in rental fleets that get auctioned every year and their limited life span.

    My preference is the Bomag slightly over the Wacker just because the Bomag hits harder than the Wacker. However that may be a double edged sword as the Bomag has a crack on the bracket that holds a hydraulic line to the oil cooler which has created a nice leak that will not be easy to fix. Might have something to do with the higher hitting or may be something else - don't know for sure.

    You're in ATL so you have parts availability is not an issue on either machine. My suggestion is to find the cheapest one you can find in decent shape and run it until dies.

    I have a great contact in Wake Forest NC that repairs remotes on both brands. Sent the Wackers remote to them, quick turn around and fair pricing.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2019
    mg2361 likes this.
  3. mg2361

    mg2361 Senior Member

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    As a dealer mechanic for a Bomag dealership the BMP8500 has been a very good machine. The only areas that have been giving us repeated problems is the "phone cord" that connects the remote to the machine like CM1995 said. Also stay on top of the rubber isolators. We have seen that when they get worn the body of the roller contacts the fittings on the wheels (usually at higher hours) and if allowed to go long enough will break the fittings off (sometimes ruining the threads on the wheel's center section). So at the first sign of contact replace the isolators. Good luck with your choice.
     
  4. DGODGR

    DGODGR Senior Member

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    I own both an RT 820 (older steel covers vs, RT 82-newer fiberglass body) and a BMP 8500. Both purchased used (RT had =/-400 hrs; BMP had about 180). I've had the Wacker RT for about 8-9 years and the Bomag for about 1. I bought the RT from a dealer and paid about $17k for it and the Bomag was purchased from United Rental for $8k (IIRC). I like CM's pricing much better...maybe I should look back east next time i'm in the market!;) Both are handy machines and like CM said we use ours much more than I do my 66" single drum roller. I have also had a few electrical gremlins in both of my Wacker RT 820s (I've owned two-one prior to my current). I hate electrical gremlins and that's why I didn't by Whacker this time (along with high parts pricing/poor availability and support in my area). It's also why I traded in the first RT. It had either a controller issue or an ECM issue...Both are very expensive things to replace. It turned out to be a controller issue (dealer replaced and re-sold). Bomag has a PIA safety feature called a proximity sensor. If the control box gets too close to the machine everything shuts down. Machine will also not start if too close. Operators find this very annoying even if it is a safety feature. The Bomag is a LOT quieter than the Wacker. This is probably less so when comparing to a newer RT 82 instead of the older RT 820. I think the Bomag hits harder (it is definitely a heavier unit) and works better for dirt compaction. I prefer the Whacker for gravel compaction/slab prep. I'm not sure if it's the frequency or if it's the design of the roller shells (RT is not as aggressive as the BMP). I also think that the RT 820 hits harder than the RT 82 and I prefer the prior to the latter. Biggest issue with the 820 now is that Wacker is not making a lot of the parts anymore. The Bomag doesn't finish well when in gravel. We often will finish with a plate compactor anyway but we find that we MUST do so when using the Bomag on gravel. I have had a few problems with the Lambardini engine (in the Wacker). Mostly oil and fuel leaks. If I recall correctly the Wacker grenaded the bottom end (eccentrics) within 40 hrs of purchase. It's been fine since repaired (Dealer and Wacker both stepped up to make it much less expensive for me). Regardless, change oils religiously. On that note I think that the Bomag is a little easier to service. Lambardini engine can be difficult to get parts for. The manual often shows several part munbers for the same part and your S/N is not helpful in determining which part is the right one for your unit. This can often lead to several processes of going to the dealer, ordering, waiting , and trying part out. That's frustrating! I would not expect this from the Kubota engine but don't yet have any direct experience with this engine to draw from. As a general rule I like Kubota engines and have seen many with a lot of trouble free hours. My current Bobcat 435 ZHS mini-ex (which hasn't exactly been a trouble free machine) has over 5,500 trouble free hours on the Kubota engine so far. Over-all I think both are good machines and each have their own strengths and weaknesses.
    I have had to send my Wacker controller in for repairs as well (steering lever failure). I think it went to the same place...Carolina Electrics? I wasn't super pleased with the repair. The lever now works but one must only push forward part way. If pushed to the stop the machine stops moving. This is a small annoyance and has not gotten any worse for several years (As I feared it would). I would use that shop again. If you are using a different shop I would like to know which as it is very difficult to locate repairs for these units and having options (in case one goes out of business, etc) is always a good idea.

    Can you please elaborate on where, exactly, I should be watching for this contact?
     
  5. 92U 3406

    92U 3406 Senior Member

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    I've played a bit with Wackers. One's I worked on all had Kubota diesels. Only real issue I saw was the hoses at the articulation point blow out in the cold (-30) sometimes. That and sometimes the plugs and coils into the control valve come loose and o-rings blow out.
     
  6. CM1995

    CM1995 Super Moderator

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    That's the place DG.

    I didn't know Wackers came with a Kubota option 92U. The Wackers I've seen either have the Lombardini or Kohler engine - which is basically the same engine as Kohler bought them out.
     
  7. 92U 3406

    92U 3406 Senior Member

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  8. mg2361

    mg2361 Senior Member

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    BMP8500 FITTINGS.png
     
  9. Chris Perere

    Chris Perere New Member

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    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    Thanks everyone for your replies. I have gleened a lot of good info from this thread. Appreciate the heads up on Carolina Electrics, as I have an older (all metal) Wacker roller that has intermittent starting and stopping problem that I believe originates from the controller.