Few people are aware that construction equipment manufacturer HAMM was founded in 1887 by the Hamm brothers, who, in a world dominated by steam rollers, built the world’s first diesel powered roller in 1911.
This drive to innovate has been a part of HAMM’s DNA since. The roller and compactor manufacturer produced the world’s first tandem roller with all-wheel drive and pivot steering in the 1930s, developed the first rubber tyred roller with all-wheel drive and steering in the 1960s and introduced oscillation technology to its machines in the late 1980s.
Innovation remains a core part of HAMM’s product line up today, as evidenced by a number of unique technological concepts integrated into the design of its latest series of pivot steer rollers.
While widespread in Europe, the DV+ range is new to the Australian market, but it is already winning over major contractors in the wider civil and road construction space.
Multi-disciplinary road and infrastructure services contractor Roadworx was the first Australian customer to take delivery of the new DV+70 pivot steer roller, having also been the first to purchase the previous DV90 generation model.
“We made the decision seven or eight years ago to standardise our fleet around a number of Wirtgen products,” explains Roadworx CEO Stephen Gillies.
HAMM, along with Wirtgen, Vögele, Kleemann and Benninghoven, comprise the Wirtgen Group of companies – a five-company-strong brand that covers the complete process chain in road construction.
Having already established Wirtgen road profilers and Vögele asphalt pavers as its preferred choice of road construction equipment, Roadworx explored the benefits of the manufacturer’s new HAMM DV+ series rollers.
“We had already formed quite a good relationship with Wirtgen. As we started looking at rollers, we really saw the benefits of the HAMM products,” says Mr. Gillies.
Given the success of standardising other Wirtgen brands across its fleet, Roadworx sought to do the same with its rollers.
The DV+ series rollers are available with oscillation technology, which allows for a higher rolling temperature range, and gives better compaction results through a fast and continuous rise of compaction. It also results in reduced vibrations in the area surrounding the machine, allowing dynamic compaction in sensitive areas underground, around buildings, on bridge decks or above services.
The contractor’s new machine is configured as a VO-S, which means one drum utilises vibratory compaction, the other oscillation compaction and both drums are split. Split drums consist of a drive motor for each half of the drum, perfect for preventing tearing of the asphalt being compacted in tight turning conditions such as intersections, roundabouts and cul-de-sacs.
“In terms of oscillation – the DV+ is right up there. It’s more expensive than conventional rollers but its oscillation technology is quite unique to that machine,” states Mr. Gillies. “At the end of the day, we see HAMM rollers as being high-quality machines, and really the attraction for us was always the oscillation technology.”
He explains that the roller is ideal for roadworks around heritage buildings and areas where there are strict vibrations restrictions, for instance, as the oscillation technology has fewer impacts on the area.
The HAMM DV+ series includes the split vibration drums, even weight distribution and versatile pivot steering, allowing the rollers to achieve high-quality compaction even in sharp corners.
Thanks to its large track offset, the front and rear drums can operate in crab steering mode, making it possible to almost double the working width from 1500 millimetres to 2770 millimetres in relation to the roller drum width.
Mr. Gillies adds that his operators find the machines easy to use, given the technology is similar across other Wirtgen machinery. “That’s part of it – the operator can jump from machine to machine as the technology is very smart.”
Roadworx’s new DV+ roller’s first outing was on a critical RAAF airfield project in Nowra, New South Wales.
The contractor was engaged to pave the asphalt surface for the airfield’s helicopter hot refuelling point – a critical component of the base where helicopters need to land and refuel within seconds.
“We had to design a highly specified asphalt for the project – it has a higher bitumen content and required a high tolerance during the compaction of the asphalt,” explains Darryl Byrne, Roadworx General Manager.
“One of the key metrics in the project’s construction was the compaction of runs and the joins, so we decided to utilise the DV70i and we didn’t have a single failure with compaction.”
The DV+ series also comes with the option of HAMM Compaction Quality – a comprehensive range of products used for planning, measuring, controlling, documenting and analysing the compaction process.
Using this feature, the Roadworx team was able to program the rolling patterns as well as monitor the temperature curve of the asphalt throughout the compaction process, providing an optimal result.
Mr. Byrne says the project achieved an average of 99 per cent compaction on the main line and 98 per cent on the joins.
As with all “+” series HAMM rollers, the machines come pre-equipped with Hammtronic. Hammtronic is HAMM’s engine management system that monitors all engine and machine functions, and automates the adjustment of drive, vibration or oscillation drive and engine speed to the prevailing operating conditions.
What this also means is better quality jobs with significant reduction in fuel consumption, exhaust and noise emissions.
“There was an issue around where we could refuel on site, so it certainly helped that we had a machine that only needed to be refuelled every two days rather than every day,” says Mr. Byrne.
The HAMM DV+ roller series is also unique in that it provides an ‘Easy Drive’ operation concept whereby automatic seat rotation means the operator can always face forward.
“There were certainly some big benefits from a safety and productivity point of view,” says Mr. Byrne. “Being able to face forward means the operator doesn’t have to turn their neck, back, shoulders during operation. It’s also very quiet inside. You don’t need to wear any hearing protection, which adds to the operator’s comfort.
“The DV+ is a standout piece of kit. You don’t go backwards once you get the best that’s available in the market.”
Stuart Torpy, Wirtgen Group Australia General Manager – Road Technologies, says the HAMM roller’s ‘Easy Drive’ operation is a major safety addition to its DV+ series of pivot steer rollers, and has proved a winner for the range. “Typically, the operator’s seat on rollers can rotate up to 90 degrees to the left and right. The DV+ is different in that it can rotate completely around.”
Mr. Torpy explains that this key feature differentiates the HAMM DV+ series from other roller products on the market. It improves ergonomics, operator comfort and the operator’s line of vision on site.
“In Australia there are too many fatalities where people have been run over in reversing, and this is one way of reducing that,” he says.
While the technologies available on the DV+70 represent the pinnacle of current roller technologies, that’s not to say other models in the line up lack the benefit of HAMM innovation.
Mr. Torpy says the HD+70, seven-tonne tandem machines are considered the workhorses of HAMM’s asphalt compaction fleet.
As with most HAMM asphalt rollers, the HD+ 70 is available with vibratory, oscillation or pneumatic tyred combination configurations and is ideally suited to compaction of asphalt of any thickness.
The HD+ Series from nine tonnes and upwards also deploys the ‘Easy Drive’ concept.
Mr. Torpy says having a common operator interface across various models means the HAMM range requires less operator training to gain competency and increases the ease with which operator’s can move from one model to another in the course of a shift.
“And that’s just part of the reason why HAMM is building a strong reputation and fleet within surfacing businesses both big and small on both sides of the Tasman.”
Mr. Torpy says a large national road infrastructure business is the latest operator to make the move to HAMM for its surfacing and related business’s compaction needs.
“With over 100 units to be delivered to the contractor over coming months to add to the existing population of HAMM units, the industry is clearly voting on who it believes to offer the best value when it comes to compaction.”
Mr. Torpy asserts that the introduction of the HAMM DV+ roller series, as well as the new Vögele MT-3000-2 Offset, to the Australian market will help to strengthen Wirtgen Group’s reputation as a high-end road construction equipment provider, and bolster the company’s market offerings.
“We now have five strong brands and with good support between them we are cementing our space in the market.”