Sakai SV512TF vibratory compactor

By: Terry Stevenson, Photography by: Terry Stevenson

Sakai-Roller-action-1m007.jpg Sakai-Roller-action-1m007.jpg
Sakai-Roller-dash-1m030.jpg Sakai-Roller-dash-1m030.jpg
Sakai-Roller-engine-1m035.jpg Sakai-Roller-engine-1m035.jpg
Sakai-Roller-static-1m045.jpg Sakai-Roller-static-1m045.jpg

Sakai Heavy Industries enjoys a massive reputation in the worldwide roading industry, and companies like Tirau Earthmovers Ltd are happy relying on Sakai products like the SV512TF vibratory compactor to complete their works

Sakai SV512TF vibratory compactor
Sakai SV512TF vibratory compactor

View specifications

  • Versatile
  • Plenty of power
  • Sakai’s patented vibration isolating system
  • Smooth and easy driving
  • Accessible engine for servicing

The most recent addition for Tirau Earthmovers Ltd was a Sakai SV512TF construction vibratory roller, bought in May 2007 from AB Equipment, the local New Zealand agent for Sakai.

"They [AB Equipment] specialise in roller manufacture so we’ve stuck with mainly Sakai rollers, Hitachi diggers and Mitsubishi trucks," Tirau Earthmoving managing director Steve Ensor says. "The Sakai we’ve had for 25 years – and we’re still using it!

"The 512 is functional, there’s nothing flash about it but you know that every day it’ll do the job."

The SV512TF was purchased for a specific job, however it is very versatile.

"We were doing a dam job for Carter Holt Harvey and there was a lot of rylite to crush in to the dam. We’ve also used it on various dry hire jobs."

It takes an experienced person about two hours to unbolt and change the interchangeable outside drum shell from smooth to wedge foot (sheep foot) profile, for compacting clay, or the likes of rylite.

The powerplant

A turbocharged 4.4-litre four cylinder Perkins diesel engine drives the 13,800kg Sakai SV512TF.

Ensor is very happy with the brakes, as coming down an uneven race can become a much bigger issue than climbing them, even with a driven 1650mm diameter x 2130mm wide drum and driven rear wheels.

The primary brake is applied when the forward/reverse lever is in neutral and, like the forward/reverse drive, it’s hydrostatically controlled. When I deliberately engaged the foot brake the forward/reverse lever flicked into neutral as the twin rear axle wet disc brakes stopped the Sakai surprisingly quick for its weight.

The 90.5Kw engine drives a complex array of hydraulics (with a 50-litre hydraulic fluid tank) off the drive shaft, including hydrostatic power for the planetary gear final drive system


I had a quick spin around the yard but, understandably, I didn’t engage the eccentric shaft vibrator due to the proximity of houses, which unfortunately meant that I couldn’t experience first-hand Sakai’s patented vibration isolating system.

I found the Sakai very easy to climb in and drive. The 2970mm wheelbase machine has a good steering lock and was smooth to turn. A definite plus is the steering wheel spinner knob to make those turns more controllable.

The fully enclosed, spacious and lockable Roll Over Protection (ROPS) cab is fit for purpose, with no frilly lining or fancy stuff that would likely get damaged or broken over time.

External visibility is hindered by wide pillars; the windows are on the small side and are held in with wide rubber. All of which share in the restriction of visibility, which you wouldn’t notice unless you’d been in other alternatives. Even the rear vision mirrors are small, but it still does the job.

Cab controls

On the left of the seat is a very accurate variable speed forward/reverse lever that’ll drive the SV512TF as slow or fast as any job will require it to go. Moving the lever from full forward to full reverse while moving, I found the transition to have a perfect take-up going from either direction.

A button switch mounted to the forward/reverse lever engages vibration at the exact time. The two-way dash switch on the left engages either of the two vibrating frequency speed options while the switch alongside determines if the vibration stops or continues as the Sakai comes to a stop, then reverse.

To the right of the basic analogue dash are four controls that operate the mechanical park brake, exterior lights, two speed transmission, and the air-conditioning system which lacked a heater – one was fitted later.

The engine and transmission is easily accessible under the rear hinged bonnet.

To read in-depth machinery reviews, see the latest issue of Deals On Wheels magazine, on sale now.

Keep up to date in the industry by signing up to Deals on Wheels' free newsletter or liking us on Facebook