Material transfer for major projects

The SB-3000 can hold a total of 30 tonnes of asphalt.

A newly released Material Transfer Vehicle, the Roadtec SB-3000, is about to hit Australian shores. With a pipeline of major projects set to boost the Australian economy distributor Astec is keen to get the SB-3000 to work.

Roadtec has a long history in the development of innovative, high-quality road building equipment.

The company produced the first ever Material Transfer Vehicle (MTV) in response to a specific need in a US motor racing track. Racetrack owners wanted a smooth, even surface and Roadtec’s MTV delivered.

The machine’s non-contact, non-stop paving capability produced a seamless asphalt mat that enhanced the performance of cars and drivers.

The company built on that success to develop MTVs, or shuttle buggies, that also supply asphalt at a homogeneous temperature and uniformity through remixing technology which enables and achieves consistent compaction of the mat.

Recognising the enhanced performance and safety features of Roadtec’s newest and largest Material Transfer Vehicle, major equipment supplier Astec is bringing it to Australian contractors.

Kyle Neisen, Product Director – Construction Machinery Solutions, Astec, says the SB-3000 can hold a total of 30 tonnes of asphalt, 25 tonnes in the main hopper and another five tonnes in the dump hopper and conveyors.

He says this makes the new MTV well-suited for use on Australia’s extensive network of roads and highways as well as on airport projects.

The SB-3000 was created with three customer-oriented focus points; safety first, then comfort and productivity.

A stand-out feature of the new machine is the ground level engine placement which provides simple and easy access to all service points and lowers the overall height of the MTV. This improves the operator’s platform mount and dismount from either side of the machine and its road transportability.

“Having the engine and hydraulic propel system at ground level means that when the crew or service personnel are working around the engine and hydraulic pumps, they’re in a much safer position and the machine parts are far easier to access,” Neisen says.

The ground level engine placement also means all start-up checks for the SB-3000 can be done as the operator walks around the machine. This includes hydraulic fluid, water, oil, fuel, DEF and battery checks.

Another key safety feature of the new MTV is the allocation of ground operator space within the machine’s mainframe. In addition, the panel swings in and out providing increased visibility and enhanced protection of the ground worker.

“Traditionally the ground control operator had to walk close to the machine and in some cases close to live traffic. Having that operator protected inside the SB-3000’s mainframe is a huge safety enhancement,” Neisen says.

The SB-3000’s improved visibility means the main operator now has a clear view back to the paver, the transfer conveyor, rear tyre, dump hopper and the ground person.

“This change means the operator’s view isn’t bound by the width of the machine. Now there are perfect sight lines around it and the operator is better able to monitor the truck in front to prevent impacts.”

The main operator now has a clear view of the paver, transfer conveyor, rear tyre, dump hopper and ground person.

Roadtec’s focus on productivity has seen the implementation of four-wheel steering in the SB-3000. The machine can be used in front-only, crab, coordinate and rear-only steering modes, providing increased manoeuvrability on the job and during transportation.

“Four-wheel steering really helps with the transportability of the machine, getting it to and from the job site. Paving might be done on the road shoulder or in a tight location, and being able to easily move around these areas is a major benefit,” Neisen says.

He explains that as well as four-wheel steering, the SB-3000 also offers cruise control. This can be a particularly useful feature during paving operations when the machine must be kept at equal distance between the loading truck and the paver to prevent impacts.

“As with any vehicle the more elements you can simplify for the operator, the less likely it is that mistakes will be made,” Neisen says.

“Operating a shuttle buggy requires a great deal of concentration. Using the cruise control feature to lock in the correct speed gives the operator more time to focus on other aspects of the job.”

The SB-3000’s redesigned fuel extraction system is another example of Roadtec’s emphasis on operator safety and comfort.

The system functions continuously while the MTV is in operation, carrying any fumes away from operators and crew. It has been positioned so there is no need for it to be moved at the end of the shift.

“The extraction system doesn’t have to be folded away and then, when the machine turns on again, it’s automatically activated. So it’s one less step for the operator to remember,” Neisen says.

A comprehensive environmental wash down system is also included with the SB-3000. The Auto Chain Spray system is designed to be used with a water-based release agent which can also be integrated into the set up.

“At the touch of a button the crew can start this Auto Chain 16-nozzle system to spray down all the important parts of the MTV. This helps dramatically reduce build-up of material which is one of the main reasons machine parts fail,” Neisen says.

“We recommend activating the sprays every couple of hours if possible, but certainly at the start and end of a shift, it’s essential. Keeping the machine cleaner for longer reduces down time and increases productivity.”

Jorge Boil, Business Line Manager of Infrastructure at Astec Australia is looking forward to the machine arriving in Australia.

“After many years of design and engineering based on customers’ feedback, Roadtec has created this brand-new Material Transfer Vehicle,” he says.

Powered by the impressive Stage five, Cummins B6.7 engine and with easy maintenance access, tight turning radius, nimble steering and bright lighting, Boil says the SB-3000 is a familiar, yet totally re-invented shuttle buggy.

“The machine’s Quick Change System means it can be switched back and forth from dump hopper to windrow hopper. The dump hopper landing lights project blue beams onto the ground to help guide trucks as they line up with the material and even the wheels have been designed to provide better flotation and traction,” he says.

The new MTV will soon be available in Australia and with its increased capacity, improved capability and enhanced safety and comfort features, the SB-3000 is expected to become an important addition to any major paving project.

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