Since the effectiveness of a roller depends to a large extent on its weight, self-powered vehicles replaced horse-drawn rollers from the mid-19th century. The first such vehicles were steam rollers. Single-cylinder steam rollers were generally used for base compaction and run with high engine revs with low gearing to promote bounce and vibration from the crankshaft through to the rolls in much the same way as a vibrating roller. The double cylinder or compound steam rollers became popular from around 1910 onwards and were used mainly for the rolling of hot-laid surfaces due to their smoother running engines, but both cylinder types are capable of rolling the finished surface. Steam rollers were often dedicated to a task by their gearing as the slower engines were for base compaction whereas the higher geared models were often referred to as 'chip chasers' which followed behind the hot tar and chipping laying machines. Some road companies in the United States used steamrollers through the 1950s, and in the UK, some remained in commercial service until the early 1970s.
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