Patches Asphalt caters, builds and seals roads for local councils in New South Wales. Roads and Infrastructure spoke to owner, Norm McMahon, about why he chose the HAMM DV+ 70 VT to increase capacity, productivity and reduce fatigue for workers.
When looking for the right product to cater to Patches Asphalt needs for road sealing, owner Norm McMahon looked to HAMM. As a return customer, he knew the DV+ 70 VT combination roller would aid the company across multiple sealing projects.
“Primarily, this machine will do bitumen sealing for us. It can do other things beside sealing, but we have it programmed specifically for that function,” Mr. McMahon says.
Patches Asphalt has used the machine for road sealing work in Queanbeyan Palerang Regional Council, Wagga City Council, Hilltops Council and for work in the Snowy Mountains.
“On the front drum, we have a rubber coat, which allows us to drive safely and easily on the aggregate. Without the rubber coat, the DV+ 70 VT can be used on construction or asphalt, wherever you like,” Mr. McMahon says.
The unit also features a steel drum on the front and a combi roller on the back.
Mr. McMahon says there are multiple benefits to the machine including the ability to crab walk, a reversible cabin seat, ease of operation to load, float and manoeuvre.
The reversible cabin seat is a key safety component for Mr. McMahon. He says that when his operators get to the end of a run, they press a button and the seat turns around. This way, the driver is always facing forward and never has to reverse the machine. He says it makes the work much easier on the operator and eliminates the safety, ergonomics and collision risks on both the operator and ground personnel that is normally attributed to reversing.
“On any other machine, the operator could be twisting their back and looking over their shoulder a lot of the time. The DV+ 70 VT reduces these movements, ultimately reducing fatigue and saving us in time and expense,” Mr. McMahon says.And able to swing the seat at the push of a button makes it easy and intuitive.
The panorama cabin on the unit also gives free visibility of both the drums and surrounding area.
“Being able to crab walk the machine, with a clear view, the operator can cover a wider area than a standard machine. The vibration on the front reduces rolling time by 15 to 20 per cent, so it’s a substantial increase in productivity and therefore, quality,” he says.
Mr. McMahon says the ability to walk the machine sideways nearly up to 3m wide stands out. At a standard 1.5m wide, the machine covers a width of around 2.8 metres when in full pivot steer. Mr. McMahon says a standard machine movement is about 2.2m at most, so the DV+ 70 VT covers a wider area and will vibrate at the same time.
The machine comes standard with Hammtronic, which is HAMM’s premier machine management system that can be installed to manage the roller.
Hammtronic acts as a virtual co-pilot to supervise and optimise actions automatically. For example, the system can adjust the diesel engine performance to specific operating conditions producing low fuel consumption. It features engine management, drive control and anti-slip control, and vibration control to help free the machine operator for other activities.
Customers can also run the HAMM Compaction Quality system (HQC) with the machine. This bundles together all HAMM solutions for compaction measurement and documentation.
For asphalt compaction specifically, the HCQ offers the HAMM Compaction Meter to measure and display the rigidity and the HAMM temperature meter to measure the surface temperature of the asphalt.
“The rollers have ergonomic controls either on the dash, or in the case of the DV+70 VT, on the armrest. HAMM and The Wirtgen Group were the first ones to bring in these really high-quality machines, so I have stuck with them. After buying one of their rollers, we bought several as they worked very well. So, we kept purchasing with them,” says Mr. McMahon.
He also says the training for this machine is a lot less extensive than with other options. “It takes a little bit of getting used to, especially with the crab walking, but once workers have got it under control, I won’t say they fight for it, but I do find they really like the machine,” Mr. McMahon says.
Mr. McMahon adds that it also reduces fatigue in his workers due to the reduction in twisting their back or necks. “In turn, it gives my workers a longer life in the industry and just helps them physically as they aren’t having to twist around all day.”
HAMM is part of the Wirtgen Group Company and offers first-class equipment and technology for construction and earth works. The Wirtgen Group is always involved with the customers after purchasing the equipment. The company aids with technical support, spare parts and even education for clients about the machines and their application This is something Mr. McMahon values.
“The Wirtgen Group are contactable and helpful. Because of where we are based, we have to deal with them a lot over the phone but it works well,” he says.
Customer focus is a major priority for Wirtgen and HAMM, which offer hands-on training for their machines as well as brand dedicated product specialists that can answer 99 per cent of the super technical enquiries locally. This investment avoids customers having to wait for technical responses from their overseas manufacturing plants.
HAMM prides itself on creating rollers that find a perfect balance of technology and ergonomic design, combining functionality and an attractive form.
Mr. McMahon hopes to purchase another HAMM roller from the Wirtgen Group by the end of the year.
He already uses many of HAMM’s units having purchased six rollers, and also uses other Wirtgen Group products including Vögele pavers, a profiler and material transfer vehicles.
“We have multiple projects all over the place, whether it is asphalting, or sealing. So, we’ll be using Wirtgen Group product a lot,” he says.