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Roll of the dice

The promised infrastructure dollars should be good for the market and local government still appears to be spending money.But whether the hire sector or new equipment sales is the biggest beneficiary of this spending remains to be seen, and major compaction hirers tied to specific brands have a very significant impact on new equipment sales.It would be realistic to expect that not all brands currently available in Australia will still be represented locally in two years. The number of brands available was probably excessive even for a good market.The effect of changes in exchange rates has yet to be fully felt locally as existing stocks have been wound down, but sticker shock cannot be too far off.Conplant expects to introduce the hydrostatic Ammann AP 240H pneumatic roller at this month’s Hire and Rental Industry Association convention in Melbourne. This machine is the hydrostatic drive variant of the mechanical drive AP 240 that is already available on the Australian market. The hydrostatic machine is suited to applications with a lot of short distance shuttle work, such as spray seal compaction, whereas the mechanical drive AP 240 is considered adequate for work where there are long runs and changes of direction are minimised.A feature of the AP 240H is that when the operator moves the seat from side to side for the best vision, the controls and steering wheel move with the seat.With ballasting, the static weight can be varied from 9.35t to 24t. The front suspension is isostatic for even pressure across the four tyres, and the front wheels are grouped in pairs for steering.BT Equipment displayed the new hydrostatic drive Bomag 25RH pneumatic roller at the ACE exhibition in Melbourne recently, but by that time a number of the machines had already been delivered, with the Queensland Main Roads Department placing an initial order for seven machines. The 25RH introduces a number of new features to Bomag pneumatic rollers and is a significant advance in design compared to its predecessor. It reflects the input of Bomag designers and the benefit of production in a Bomag factory – for many years, rollers were built for Bomag by an outside party.BT Equipment provided considerable input into what the local market was looking for, with OHS and serviceability being key areas of concern. The advantages of hydrostatic drive are many, including smooth take-off and transitions, quieter driveline, improved (hydrostatic) braking performance that extends the service intervals for brake maintenance, reduced maintenance and improved economy. Speed selection is infinitely variable between 0kph and 20kph.Ease of entry is a significant OHS issue on older machines and an important consideration for potential buyers. The combination of deep steps and grab rails provides operators with safe three-point access to the cab and front catwalk, which is protected by rails, and the cab can be entered from both sides of the machine.All daily service checks and inspections can be conducted at ground level, with service drain points now at waist height. Sealed lubrication points do away with the need for daily greasing. Refuelling and filling the water tank can be done from ground level.The steering system has been changed from a common front axle to the front wheels turning in pairs, with the inside and outside pairs turning at different angles to reduce scuffing.Sloping bonnet lines front and rear provide the operator with an excellent all-round view of the work area.The new machine has been immediately accepted and product manager Peter Gray is confident Bomag has got it right first time.

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