Industrial Compactors – Top 10 Things to Consider Before You Buy Yours

Stationary compactor

Maybe it’s loose garbage blowing across your parking lot that has you rethinking your open bins. Or, maybe it’s stomach-turning odors and pest problems. Regardless of the reason, you’ve decided industrial compactors are the way to go.

But how do you know you’re getting a great quality product?

We’ll help arm you with the information you need to get the most value for your money.

What you need to know before making your industrial compactors purchase:

1. What is the compaction ratio of the vendor’s industrial compactors?

The higher the compaction ratio, the more you’ll save on future garbage hauling costs. This is where you’ll see some significant ROI, so look for a:

  • Garbage compaction ratio of 4 to 1
  • Produce compaction ratio of 3 to 1
  • Plastic waste compaction ratio of 6 to 1

2. Do the industrial compactors you’re researching meet acceptable decibel levels?

Are you looking to install a compactor at an apartment or a restaurant?

Your renters and diners certainly won’t appreciate having their quiet evenings disturbed by a noisy garbage compactor grinding away, so give this careful consideration.

66 decibels is a standard acceptable level—and it’s UL & ETL approved.

3. What will your waste equipment manufacturer’s warranty cover?

Industrial compactors are an investment—and a solid warranty can give you the confidence to feel that your investment is a good one.

So, be sure to find out if the warranty covers the power unit, the compactor structure, and labor—and if so, for how long.

4. Will the vendor put you in touch with current customers?

Let’s face it—waste equipment manufacturers and their resellers are trying to make a buck. So, getting in touch with the people who are using their products in the real world can give you some great insight.

Get those names and numbers. Find out how satisfied they are with not only their compactor, but with the service they received before and after the sale. Did they run into an issue? Find out if they felt it was resolved quickly and fairly.

5. Does the manufacturer build a quality product—and how can you tell?

For starters, ask about the thickness of their steel. Side walls of ¼” and floors of 3/8” will give you give you the solid, I-can-count-on-it construction you’re looking for.

Can you visit the manufacturer’s site? Is there a reseller nearby? Check out their industrial compactors in person.

You’ll want to get a close-up look and ensure you don’t see waves or pits in the steel.

Look closely at the welds, too.

These two welds show the difference between a good weld (bottom) and a poor weld (top).

good and bad welds

A common welder’s mistake is a too-slow travel speed, which results in an increased amount of heat and excessively large weld bead.

These are the same welds shown from a side view. Notice the warping of the thin material caused by excessive heat.


If this were a larger piece of sheet metal, like that found in body panels, the warping would not allow for a correct fit and would throw off any other body measurements.

6. What features come standard with the industrial compactors you’re evaluating?

You’ll want to look for features like low oil shutdown, bottom door locks, and seals that prevent leakage.

If features are optional, include those additional costs into your price comparison.

7. What is the waste equipment manufacturer’s paint process?

A proper paint job will extend the life of your industrial compactors, so make sure the manufacturer doesn’t cut corners.

Does the manufacturer use a metal cleaner and phosphatizer? (These are designed for use in spray wash cabinets and immersion systems as part of a multi-metal pre-paint process.)

Will your compactors be primed and painted inside and out? They should be.

8. Does the manufacturer have a solid reputation?

How long have they been in business?

You’ll speak to current customers, of course—but you’ll want to do an Internet search, as well.

If an unscrupulous manufacturer happens to be on your list, you may find customer complaints online—and that’s something you’ll want to know before you make the mistake of handing over your check.

9. What are the nitty-gritty details on shipping your industrial compactors?

How long will it take for your compactors to arrive after you place your order?

Will the manufacturer transport your waste equipment with their truck or do they hire a carrier? And, how do you unload the equipment?

If you have your own equipment, can you pick up your compactor at the manufacturer’s location?

How much does it cost to ship the equipment—and will it be insured?

These are all important questions to consider as you narrow the field.

10. How much do the various industrial compactors cost?

This is a big consideration, of course, but make sure you’re comparing apples-to-apples. A poorly constructed compactor with fewer features and lots of hidden costs may appear to be a bargain, but—trust us—it’s not.

As with anything in life, you get what you pay for.

Ready to begin your search?

We hope so. A quality-built compactor can improve the cleanliness and safety of your work environment, while also saving you money.

If you feel like you need a little bit of guidance to find the right industrial compactors for you, give us a shout.

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