The ride dynamics of typical North-American soil compactors were investigated via analytical and experimental methods. A 12-degrees-of-freedom in-plane ride dynamic model of a single-drum compactor was formulated through integrations of the models of various components such as driver seat, cabin, roller drum and drum isolators, chassis and the tires. The analytical model was formulated for the transit mode of operation at a constant forward speed on undeformable surfaces with the roller vibrator off. Field measurements were conducted to characterize the ride vibration environments during the transit mode of operation. The measured data revealed significant magnitudes of whole-body vibration of the operator-station along the vertical, lateral, pitch and roll-axes. The model results revealed reasonably good agreements with ranges of the measured vibration data. The ride dynamic responses of the soil compactor model were subsequently analyzed to study its whole-body vibration environment while operating on undeformable random terrain surfaces. Parametric sensitivity analyses were performed to study influences of different design parameters on the whole body vibration responses, which included the drum and cab vibration isolators, vertical seat suspension and possible rear wheel-axle suspension. The simulation results indicated minor beneficial effect of a suspended rear axle, while the drum isolator and suspension seat revealed most significant potential benefits. Implementation of a seat suspension with natural frequency in order of 1.5 Hz could lead to nearly 60% reduction in the weighted vertical acceleration value. The results also suggest that a softer platform suspension would be beneficial in reducing the vertical and pitch vibration.