Asphalt, Industry News, Latest News, Road infrastructure, Sustainability, Technology, Technology Update

Keeping it mobile

Topcoat Asphalt’s mobile asphalt production plant on site.

Topcoat Asphalt Contractors’ mobile asphalt production plant is providing flexibility to the company’s expanding national service offerings. Daniel Rensburg-Phillips, Business Development Manager sheds light on the systems capabilities.

Topcoat Asphalt is one of the fastest growing asphalt manufacturers in South Australia. Essential to the company’s growth was the quality and quantity of asphalt produced from its fixed asphalt plants.

Daniel Rensburg-Phillips, Business Development Manager says that Topcoat identified an opportunity to expand its operations by embracing mobile asphalt production methods and procured its mobile asphalt plant. 

Topcoat Asphalt has deployed its mobile asphalt plant for works in Alice Springs, as well as rural South Australia.
Topcoat Asphalt has deployed its mobile asphalt plant for works in Alice Springs, as well as rural South Australia.

Differentiating itself from the competition, Topcoat’s mobile asphalt plant can be established quickly and cost effectively for both large- and small-scale projects.

“In 2019 we underwent a large refurbishment [of the mobile asphalt plant]. At the time we already had two fixed asphalt production facilities,” Rensburg-Phillips says.

“We started to see more opportunities in regional South Australia, as well as places such as Alice Springs. With our fixed facilities, we were limited somewhat by the travelling capacity, time frames and workability of asphalt for longer distances.”

Since its refurbishment, Topcoat’s mobile asphalt plant has been mobilised as far as Alice Springs for only 900 tonnes, and as close as the SA Riverland for more than 25,000 tonnes.

A quick and cost-effective establishment brings Topcoat’s customers value by mitigating the time lag between asphalt production and placement, reducing haulage trucks on the road and increasing serviceability of regions once “too small” for “traditional” mobile plant offerings.

It also helps to reduce quality issues through placing temperatures and close to real time NATA production reporting, and minimises construction waste, preserving valuable natural resource.

The benefits of the mobile asphalt plant mean Topcoat Asphalt is now completing jobs in Alice Springs, as well as the Riverland and South-East regions of South Australia.

The mobile asphalt plant helps to reduce costs for transport and production.
The mobile asphalt plant helps to reduce costs for transport and production.

Benefits for business 

The benefits of the mobile asphalt plant were highlighted during major works as an asphalt supplier for BMD Constructions. The project featured the construction of two new roundabouts, approximately 15 kilometres apart.


 

Related stories:

 


Rensburg-Phillips says the mobile production capability of Topcoat Asphalt was a major factor in the company being selected for the project.

“We located site between the two roundabouts where we set up our mobile asphalt plant and NATA accredited laboratory,” he says. 

“We supplied asphalt direct to the project, replacing the 15 trucks it would’ve taken to deliver the asphalt from a fixed plant in Adelaide. Establishing our NATA accredited mobile laboratory adjacent to our mobile asphalt plant removed the need to transport production samples three hours back to our NATA accredited Wingfield laboratory. We were able to test on-site close to real-time as the project progressed.”

Topcoat Asphalt’s on-site mobile laboratory.
Topcoat Asphalt’s on-site mobile laboratory.

The mobile asphalt plant was quick, nimble and cost effective to establish, reduced the number of trucks on local roads, mitigated quality issues due to proximity to the project, and saved overall costs for BMD Constructions and project owner, the SA Department for Infrastructure and Transport. 

Rensburg-Phillips adds that flexibility is another major bonus for mobile asphalt plant set-ups.

“It helps to ‘de-risk’ the project and allows for program flexibility from the client’s side,” he says. 

Steady support

Topcoat’s mobile asphalt plant, and the company in its entirety, are backed by the support of parent entity VSA Roads and VSA’s major shareholder Colas Australia Group (CAG).

Rensburg-Phillips says SAMI Bitumen Technologies (CAG’s bitumen business) have been a supporter of Topcoat’s mobile asphalt plant, and have complemented Topcoat’s focus on retaining quality through mobility.

“SAMI has recently established supply of containerised bitumen, so they’re able to support us by cost effectively facilitating base and polymer modified bitumen delivery to just about anywhere in Australia,” he says.

Topcoat Asphalt can now greater service projects in rural and regional areas.
Topcoat Asphalt can now greater service projects in rural and regional areas.

New opportunities

Rensburg-Phillips says the mobile asphalt plant has helped to open new doors for Topcoat, and is supporting the company’s expansion into the national marketplace. 

“It’s allowed us to compete for projects that were previously unattainable due to our fixed plant position,” he says. 

“We’re successfully supporting our increasing customer network by deploying our mobile asphalt plant, and  becoming a specialist delivery partner rather than a downstream contractor.”

Working closely with regional material suppliers, Topcoat seeks to incorporate a larger suite of raw material constituents into its mobile asphalt plant mixes production that conform to regional specifications and standards. 

This article was originally published in the May edition of our magazine. To read the magazine, click here.

Send this to a friend