BOMAG 8500 Multipurpose Compactor: ‘We Couldn’t Do Our Job Without It’

Josh Miller is the proprietor of Backwoods Grading, Landscape and Excavation, a family-owned business headquartered in Fairview, N.C., just outside of Asheville in the Blue Ridge Mountains. He tells us that he uses the BOMAG BMP 8500 articulated, dual-drum, radio-controlled multipurpose compactor, specially designed for earthworks, just about every day and “it works as advertised.” But don’t take our word for it. Here’s what he told us in his own words.

“We’ve used BOMAG products our whole time in business because we do a lot of compaction work. One of our specialties is boulder retaining walls, but we build a lot of water features, grading for roads, driveways, house sites, doing a lot of compaction work in the footers.

“The BOMAG product set itself apart. We started out renting whatever the company had, but after we got with James River Equipment out of Asheville, they just really sold us on the BOMAG 8500 product. For the past five years we’ve used it almost every day.

“I like the 36-in. wide trench roller with remote control because it’s so versatile. We didn’t have to hire an extra guy because whoever was on the skid steer or the track hoe could just carry the remote with him and stay in the machine in the air conditioning or the heat, depending on the season. The guys love it because they can charge the remote overnight, get to the job next morning, start it up from inside the cab, and they’re able to move dirt and compact it all at the same time. It’s really reliable.

“I love it because It keeps me from having to hire an extra person to sit out there and ride on a roll compactor all day long.

“We’re on a project right now where we’re doing an 18-ft lift with boulder terrace retaining walls and we’re compacting the whole way up with the BOMAG. It’s got our compaction up to 99.8 percent the whole way. It’s been outstanding because the roller really holds its ground. It’s not easy to tip. I’m not saying you can’t get one up on its side, but the guys working on some of these steep-slope inclines were working on a 30 to 40 percent grade sometimes and we’re able to set the roller down there and take off with it.

“We’re on track this year to probably build 50 retaining walls and it’s going to be on at least 90 percent of those jobs. Whenever you’ve got a product that can be there that much and save you time and money, it’s amazing to be honest. We love it.

“The quality of work we do at Backwoods wouldn’t be possible without BOMAG. When you’ve got multiple excavators, dozers, skid loaders, and everything else we’ve got to have in our industry, and one of your main pieces of equipment is a little 36-in. trench roller and you couldn’t finish a million-dollar project without it – that’s saying a lot. You sit out here with millions of dollars of equipment and your job sort of rotates around a little 36-in. trench roller that holds up like a Trojan soldier. That’s pretty awesome!

“The reliability is astounding for all that we put it through. We haven’t even had to have it back in for any kind of service problem. Any issue we’ve had we just make a quick call over to James River to the service department and they were able to talk us through just about any issue we’ve had over the phone. They haven’t had to come out to the jobsite once.”

“When you’ve got a machine that gets used that much, it means the world to you to have it functioning and not have it worked on all the time.

“The customers have been super impressed. For one they couldn’t believe the compactability. They’re getting out there and they’re walking on it and they just can’t believe how hard the ground is. We have a lot of people that are like, “My gosh, I can’t believe you’re doing this so fast.” And I’m like, yeah, that BOMAG really does its job well for its size.

“Uptime is amazing. I’m not having to stop my job to make repairs or pay an extra guy to come out there with this massive 5- or 6-ft trench roller, and it gets the compaction where we need it and it’s going to move me on to the next job faster, then why not spend the extra money? It’s a no-brainer. We couldn’t do our job if we didn’t have this product on our jobsite every single day. It makes our job and our life easier. It saves me thousands of dollars and, overall, it’s been top quality.”

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