Wirtgen-heavy fleet proves winner for ACT/NSW contractor

Patches Asphalt has seen significant growth in the past few years – an increase that comes down to its high quality service and the technical abilities of its Wirtgen-heavy fleet of machinery.Patches Asphalt has seen significant growth in the past few years – an increase that comes down to its high quality service and the technical abilities of its Wirtgen-heavy fleet of machinery.

Since 1995, Norm McMahon, Owner of road surfacing and maintenance company Patches Asphalt, has been providing hotmix asphalt and bitumen spray seal solutions to the Australian Capital Territory and surrounding regions.

The family-run business has gone from strength to strength and, like any successful company, has grown in size, ability and expertise.

Today, Patches Asphalt employs nearly 50 employees and services the wider ACT and central and southern New South Wales regions, including the Snowy Mountains, Bombala, Young and Orange, to name a few.

The multifaceted asphalt contractor has completed a variety of residential and commercial bitumen seal and asphalt projects, including on rural roads, highways, subdivisions, car parks and airport runways. The business has even serviced the political elite, having completed asphalt and decorative bitumen seal to the forecourt of Parliament House.

“We do everything from potholes to major highways, and everything in between, including spray sealing to the front door of parliament,” Mr. McMahon explains.

Hard work, determination and quality service has seen the business reach such heights, all of which has been underlined by the right machinery for the job.

Patches Asphalt’s fleet of road surfacing and maintenance machinery is now more than 90-strong, including asphalt pavers, milling machines, rollers, sprayers and material transfer vehicles.

“Our fleet includes basically everything to do with asphalt and bitumen and our primary machines all come under the Wirtgen Group brand – HAMM, Wirtgen and Vögele,” Mr. McMahon says.

The Patches Asphalt fleet includes three Vögele pavers, eight HAMM rollers, two Vögele Material Transfer Vehicles (MTVs) and one Wirtgen profiler. This year alone, Patches Asphalt has taken delivery of two MTVs and one combination HAMM roller.

“When we try to find new machinery we look at all the technical aspects we can – and we knew the Wirtgen technology has always been good,” Mr. McMahon explains.

Mr. McMahon was the first person in Australia to take on the rubber-tracked Vision Pavers, as well as the high-compaction European-style screed on the back of Patches Asphalt’s Vögele Super 1600-2 paver.

He says the Wirtgen reps provide a comprehensive service where they’d spend the day going over the plant specifications and help find the right equipment for the business. Subsequently, Mr. McMahon also attributes part of the company’s growth to the full suite of Wirtgen machines and technology, and the benefits those technical aspects provide the business.

“Roads and Maritime Services has released a lot of work around New South Wales recently and we’ve been able to take on a lot of that work because of our growth and the capability the machinery provides us. We’re finding the technology has allowed us to work during some of the cooler paving months, so we’ve had a lot of work on our hands.”

Mr. McMahon says all the Wirtgen Group machinery includes easy-to-use smart electronic controls and enables the operators to move around with ease, accuracy and safety. It also allows the business to take on various project work it wouldn’t have been able to previously.

“The operators love them – the air-conditioned cabs on the rollers are great, they’re very user friendly too,” he says.

One of the company’s more recent Wirtgen Group purchases was a DV+70 Combination HAMM Roller, complete with a reversible seat. “With the electrical reversible seat, we’re always going forwards – it’s ergonomically designed to increase visual safety significantly.”

The roller is also the first of its kind in Australia, which Mr. McMahon first saw at the Bauma trade show in 2016.

Barry Osmond, Program Coordinator of Transport Construction at Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council, says Patches Asphalt’s Wirtgen-heavy machinery has completed a number of significant projects for the council.

“They did the prime seal and final seal for Kings Highway, which was a good collaborative project, and they’ve been a good company to deal with,” Mr. Osmond says.

“Their milling machine is good and the operators provided with all the machines have been great. We also can’t fault the spray operation because that’s Norm.”

In addition to local government in the ACT and surrounding NSW regions such as Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council, Patches Asphalt has been working with a range of large businesses and clients on major projects, all of which are seeing the benefits of the Wirtgen-heavy fleet in action.

“We’re able to do a lot more with these machines in general – they’re very stable and have enough power to do more than we require of them,” Mr. McMahon says. “Our MTV machines have been right up through the Hunter Valley, Adelaide and the Sydney region. Our pavers, profiler and rollers are kept busy taking on larger projects such as works on Anzac Parade, Canberra Light Rail and those for local government bodies.”

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