December 2016

Hillary Construction has an Ace up the sleeve

Just a decade ago no contractor in their right mind would ever have believed that a ‘simple’ roller could give them the edge over their road-building opposition, nor that such a machine would one day play such an important role in assuring the quality of roads constructed.

But, ten years is a long time in the construction industry and much has changed with the introduction of smart compaction technology from Ammann. One company that has been quick to realise the potential of the technology is Polokwane based road construction specialist, Hillary Construction. The company recently became an early adopter of the technology and has taken it aboard to assist in its efforts to build roads of the highest possible standard. 

With the high tech Ammann AcePro (ASC110D) smart compactor available exclusively from ELB Equipment, the company is able to precisely build and compact each layer of a road to specifications without the risk of variances occurring when geological or underfoot conditions change. Precise compaction of under-layers and surface running courses, also translates directly to significantly extended lifespans of roads, as well as safer, more comfortable driving surfaces for vehicles.

According to Trevor Freestone, operations director of Hillary Construction, this is as a result of the machine’s inbuilt system which relies on an array of sensors to accurately measure ground conditions up to 350mm deep. Onboard software automatically adjusts the frequency of the vibrations and the amplitude (or up-down movement) of the drum to penetrate the ground and provide exactly the right type of compaction required. Because adjustments are done in real time it ensures that compaction is achieved more quickly and evenly - regardless of underfoot conditions.

No mistakes

“The value of this machine in our operation is the avoidance of risks that are associated with either under or over compaction. Over compaction especially is a big risk on a high-tech road job, where too much compaction can break down the structure of sub bases to such an extent that complete sections could need to be ripped up and reconstructed. In this event, it sets the project back by weeks and can effectively wipe-out any profit to be made on such a project.

“Additionally, it saves time on site by achieving the required rate of compaction in fewer passes and, if required, can provide a printout when the rate of compaction is achieved. It gives us the ability to deliver the best possible results for new road construction, as well as rehabilitation of old ones where it is useful if we are not aware of the makeup or condition of the underlying layers. In instances where patching or additions may have taken place years before, we find that the AcePro will automatically detect and adjust to compact those areas perfectly.

“For this reason we see the Ammann AcePro as the technology of the future. If you look at the roads today, there are more trucks than ever before. They are heavier, faster and tyre pressures are higher. The result is that if road construction does not keep pace with changing demands, our roads will fail well before their intended service lives,” says Trevor.

Key acquisition

He continues that road building is becoming a much more precise discipline as a result, and that the engineering science behind building roads requires exact compaction, like only the AcePro can deliver.

The machine was purchased after the company had done a full investigation on the kind of specifications that will be required to build national roads on behalf of the South African National Roads Agency Limited (SANRAL) in future. It found that only the Ammann AcePro had both dynamic frequency and amplitude adjustments.

“We have a superb reputation for building quality roads and is the reason why our order books for South Africa and surrounds are full for the next few years. This speaks volumes for the team and underpins the reason why we insist on Ammann compactors from ELB Equipment,” Trevor concludes.