Paving the way

Tom O’Sullivan, Clark Equipment product manager for road construction equipment, says Terex Cedarapids material transfer vehicles have fewer moving parts, which translates into lower maintenance costs. The materials transfer vehicle can be converted to a paver in less than a day.Clark is not stocking or actively promoting the profiling and stabilisation equipment derived from CMI machines, but will bring them in on customer request. A mix of LeeBoy equipment is being stocked in Australia, covering the 5000 Path Master (1.5-2.7m paving width), 7000 (2.44-3.96m) and 8510 (2.44-4.57m) pavers, the 1200 Series asphalt maintainer/patcher, and the LBC-24W concrete curber.O’Sullivan says the Path Master is an ideal paver for cycle and pedestrian paths, while the maintainer/patcher is ideal for road edge maintenance, with its offset milling, tack coating and paving capabilities in a single machine.Wirtgen is demonstrating pavers from the Vögele Vision series paver line in Australia. The Vision 5103-2 (127-kilowatt Cummins engine, 2.6-4.8m paving width) and Vision 5203-2 (179kW Cummins engine, paving width 3.0-7.9m) are the pavers most suited to the Australian market. Both are wheeled machines and have optional front wheel assist, on one wheel pair for the 5103-2 and either one or both front wheel pairs for the 5203-2. Both have Carlson screeds and a paving speed of up to 76m per minute.A key feature of the Vögele pavers is the ErgoPlus ergonomics package. The control console can slide across the full width of the paver, and is adjustable to suit the operator. While there is a clear view to the hopper and screed from the operator platform, the seat can be swung to the side of the paver to give the operator a view of the head of material. Push button controls are clustered according to function, easily identified and operated, and automatically backlit in poor light conditions. Pave settings are remembered and allow the paver to return to its original settings after an interruption to the paving operation.Maintenance has also been simplified, with automatic chain tensioning for the conveyor and optional automatic lubrication doing away with the need for daily maintenance.Australian trials of the new paver models have produced a positive reaction from operators. It will be interesting to see how this translates into sales and whether it changes Australian buying preferences.There are also more alternatives for asphalt plants now, including those that produce green asphalt (lower temperatures, less fumes, lower working temperatures). These plants are available from Astec, Terex (through Clark Equipment) and Ammann (Conplant). Conplant also makes conventional asphalt plants in its own right through its purchase of NZ company Talsa Industries, which manufactures under the Bitumen Equipment brand.

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