Niche shields road equipment maker

The company manufactures crushing and compaction equipment of a type that has largely been abandoned by volume manufacturers, but which provides cost-effective solutions in many applications outside major cities.Even in a tight economic market, Broons’ underlying belief in its products will see the company move to a new purpose-built facility during 2009.“We believe that you need to invest even more in the tough times so when the good times roll around – pardon the pun – you are well placed to reap the rewards,” Broons director Stuart Bowes said. “In a depressed market, customers are looking for better and more economical ways to do things, and in many cases with equipment that can perform a number of roles,” Bowes said. As an example, some of the fancy electronics may well be forgone for a machine that provides better value – and for that you can’t go past the local product.”Broons has championed the square impact roller since it acquired the technology back in the early 1980s. Impact rollers are used for proof rolling weak or suspect ground, reducing permeability in earth dams and flood irrigated agricultural land, and compacting over loose fill and landfills prior to redevelopment. This work has taken Broons to most corners of the world, as well as throughout Australia. Today it has four units working in the UK and a further 25 units spread across the Middle East on some of the largest reclamation projects on earth.Broons’ Rockbuster is a drawn hammer mill used for crushing rock in situ after it has been placed in windrows, generally on unsealed roads. The technology was developed in the US many years ago by Browning and built in Australia under licence by Coates. The company took on the technology when it was abandoned by Coates in the 1970s after its takeover by ANI, and it still provides a cost-effective alternative to mobile crushers in low volume applications. This machine has also found overseas markets in Canada, South Africa and Norway.Broons has also continued with towed combination, grid and vibratory rollers when these have been largely ignored by the bigger manufacturers and considered to be “old technology”. The company has recently developed the eCombi roller, which is a budget version of the traditional combination roller, having a single row of nine tyres behind a steel drum. It is cheaper and easier to manoeuvre than a traditional combination roller. The first unit was sold before the design had even been finalised, and Broons now has several machines in production. An optional vibrating drum is available for this unique machine.Bowes says the eCombi is an intermediate offering between the imported Handy Hitch grader-mounted rubber tyre roller and the traditional Broons combination roller with its steel drum and rubber tyres at each end.

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