Specialised Roading Equipment’s six metre Telescopic Bitumen Sprayer has become one of the premier options for bitumen sprayers across both New Zealand and Australia. Teokotai Samuel of KEE Surfacing explains how the machine has boosted his operation.
KEE Surfacing has grown its reputation as one of the premier spray sealing, profiling and asphalt playing providers in Western Australia. Its relationships with tier one infrastructure providers, materials capacity and capability, as well as its safety standards have all contributed to the company becoming renowned for its end product.
Its use of the latest in machinery and equipment plays a key role in the company’s ability to deliver these high-quality results.
Teokotai Samuel, Manager – KEE Surfacing has extensive industry experience, using a wide variety of spraying equipment throughout his career. But even Samuel has a favourite.
KEE Surfacing picked up its first unit from Specialised Roading Equipment (SRE) five years ago, with the first leaving an impression that’s led to the purchase of an additional two units.
Based in New Zealand, SRE manufactures a range of telescopic bitumen sprayers for all kinds of materials and applications, such as hot bitumen and emulsion spraying.
Samuel says the SRE difference is in both the software and manoeuvrability of its units.
“What these machines can do compared to fixed bar sprayers is just next level,” Samuel says. “We’ve got double bars that are set up with variable spray bars, so we can spray heavier and lighter in certain spots all in one go.”
“It’s great to be able to access these areas that you wouldn’t be able to with other sprayers, you can get into those ‘fiddly’ areas.”
SRE’s Telescopic Bitumen Sprayer is at the forefront of the sector’s innovation, with the initial design continuing the stand the test of time. In fact, SRE’s six metre unit was the first to be designed and manufactured by the company, with its other products taking inspiration from the Telescopic Bitumen Sprayer’s success.
Flexibility was one of the main focuses during the development of the six metre Bitumen telescopic Sprayer, with SRE understanding the wide variety of requirements for applications in areas such as Australia, where projects can differ greatly between rural to metropolitan areas.
One example of such innovation in this space is SRE’s fully automated telescopic spray bar. Being infinitely variable means the operators can easily adjust the spray width to follow any variation in the road width.
It’s Samuel’s belief that this flexibility helps SRE’s six metre Telescopic Bitumen Sprayer to stand above others in the market.
“That’s the reason why we’ve gone that way towards the SRE [product]. It just works, the technology and flexibility that you can get out of using telescopic bars is great, it’s more efficient,” he says.
He adds that the flexibility and efficiency is exasperated when running multiple SRE units on a single project.
“On one recent major project, we worked with 700,000 tonnes of asphalt. With this project we pretty much had to do the job five times over, because between each of the intermediate layers we had to go in-between and put a seal on the whole area,” Samuel says.
“We were running multiple SRE units working in tandem, it’s not very often that you get the opportunity to do those sorts of things.”
He says the same sentiment is echoed across all KEE Surfacing operators.
“I’ve heard the same feedback from our operators, as a whole its easier and better operational wise,” Samuel says.
Best in class
Mark Wansbrough, Managing Director – SRE says the six metre Telescopic Bitumen Sprayer is amongst the most technologically advanced sprayers currently available, with years of constant development and improvement solidifying its place in the sector.
“You can do things in one pass with this telescopic sprayer that might take a couple of passes with a fixed wing sprayer,” he says.
“We know that particularly in Australia its important to be able to spray on different products, such as crumb rubber and high levels of cutter, some other sprayers have struggled to have that level of versatility. But we’re there.”
SRE’s unique design means these productivity and efficiency gains can be felt across multiple departments of a single business, not just the man or woman behind the wheel.
“A lot of our work on the machine has been around making things easier for the operator and easier for the mechanics that need to work on them,” he says. “In terms of the interface for the operator, virtually all of the functions can be controlled from the touchscreen inside the cab. Whether its setting up a spray run, or the sprayer flushing itself, in most cases the operator doesn’t even need to leave their seat.
“Via the touchscreen operators can go straight from emulsion onto crumb rubber, as the computer knows if you’re spraying different products. Those changeovers are really handy and that’s one of the biggest pieces around its versatility.”
This also extends to general maintenance on the machine.
“Ease of maintenance was a huge focus for us. This goes across both the ease of accessibility and the lifespan of the components themselves. It’s really easy to change out parts when you need, and this is backed by years of constant evolution.”
When questioned on the company’s commitment to the Telescopic Bitumen Sprayer concept, Wansbrough regularly says that the ‘proofs in the pudding’.
“With a fixed wing sprayer, you don’t have the opportunity to have the ‘be all and end all’. We basically put all of our eggs in this basket because that’s where the future is. All of our research and development efforts have gone into perfecting this concept and it shows.”
“We’re sticking to our guns because we believe we’re taking the best path.”
Each six metre Telescopic Bitumen Sprayer unit is also backed by remote support, with SRE’s team on standby to assist with any mechanical and software enquiries. This is also backed up by the company’s ability to provide on-site assistance in both Australia and New Zealand.
“We can help operators out with that mix between the software and electronic aspect and its impact on the mechanics,” he says. “Say for example the hydraulic pressures are much higher than they should be, we’re in a position to help, without necessarily needing to have someone on site – its about getting the sprayer back operating as quickly as possible.
“These models provide benefits that some operators may not have even thought of before.”
SRE’s Telescopic Bitumen Sprayer is available in either 12,500 or 14,000 tank sizes, with a multitude of operators – such as KEE Surfacing – already reaping the rewards of the six metre model.
And if history has shown one thing, it’s that SRE’s Telescopic Bitumen Sprayer is going nowhere.
“It’s a major point of difference for us,” says Wansbrough. “It’s evolved over the years in terms of functionality and software, but it’s very much still that original concept that was developed 25 years ago.”