Two years of smooth operation - CHECK
- 20 December 2010
- Company & Industry News
Since purchasing its first ABG6870 wheeled paver eighteen months ago, paving contractors Colas (I.O.M.) Ltd are still impressed with the machine's performance and smoothness of operation from its portfolio of paving contracts on the Isle of Man.
Having made an evaluation and appraisal of one of the first Volvo branded pavers two years ago on mainland Great Britain, Colas' Director of Operations John Fayle and Contracts Manager Anton Crawley were suitably impressed enough to purchase their own, Volvo ABG6870 for the first time. "The machine's relatively wide wheel base, turning circle and manoeuvrability were the first things that positively struck us," commented Mr Fayle. "The weight and optimum width of the screed was another determining factor and this has proved beneficial for the quality of the overall finish on all our paving contracts. We can pave estate roads with ease with the standard 5 metre width screed and with the optional screed boxes we took with the machine, we can tackle widths of up to 6.2 metres."
As the Island's main private paving contractor, Colas (I.O.M.) Ltd has managed to keep the ABG 6870 constantly employed on an impressive portfolio of paving contracts since it was commissioned. Explains contracts manager Anton Crawley; "Thanks to the machine's manoeuvrability and potential screed width we've taken on many projects ranging from Estate roads, private drives and car parks, to highway contracts for the Isle of Man Government laying sub-bases, road bases, basecoats and top coats using either our own limestone material or granite from another quarry on the Island. The machine is a superb paver and delivers a very high quality finish, particularly with SMA material for hard wearing surfaces and apart from a few minor problems the machine has proved very reliable," he said.
The ABG6870 wheeled paver is the first machine to feature continuous independent traction control over all six wheels. Powered by a Tier III 122Kw engine, the operator is able to use the 'Smart Power' setting to vary the power output depending on the conditions of the application. Running nominally at just 1600rpm the ABG6870 boasts significantly low noise emissions besides being highly fuel efficient. The 6x6 'Smart Drive' technology offers unparalleled traction. Even on the most difficult bases, tractive effort is automatically adjusted according to ground condition and the weight of material available in the machine's 12 tonne capacity hopper. The machine demonstrates a class beating degree of manoeuvrability thanks to the 'Active Steering' feature with an inside turning radius of just 2.5 metres which was a distinct selling feature for Colas (I.O.M.). This coupled to individual suspension struts means the paver can overcome obstacles in one go that competitive models can only do after several complicated manoeuvres. This high degree of flexibility found on the ABG 6870 enables Colas to tackle a wide variety of contracts but especially in confined areas when working on urban roads, side streets and access drives etc.
Screed performance is a distinct feature on Volvo ABG pavers. The ABG6870 has a variable screed width of between 2.5 and 5 metres in standard configuration but can be fitted with optional extensions to provide a generous width of 9 metres. In Colas' case optional extension boxes giving a maximum width of 6.2 metres have been specified which is ample for the largest widths encountered on the Island. With an output potential of up to 700 tonnes per hour, the machine can continuously pave up to 40 metres per minute. Whilst a normal layer thickness of 50mm at high speed is easily achievable, the ABG6870 can, for certain applications lay up to maximum thickness of 300mm.
Operator comfort and user friendliness is another important factor for Colas' road crews. For instance, the steering wheel, which allows for a particularly sensitive control of the machine, can be placed in various positions around the EPM (Electronic Paver Management) control panel. The large screen display is the only one of its kind on the market giving a bird's eye view or map of the paver, allowing the operator to monitor and control all the important functions as a glance. The EPM control panel has backlit control buttons to facilitate paving at night. Besides a comfortable seat the operator is afforded an excellent view of the flow of material in the hopper, the head of material in the auger channel and material laydown. The flexible all weather roof can be hydraulically lowered along with the exhaust pipe for transportation.
The ABG6870 is serviced and inspected by Volvo Construction Equipment under its Blue customer support agreement which was taken out at the time of delivery and the machine has clocked up in excess of sixteen hundred hours of comparatively trouble free operation.
Colas (I.O.M.) Limited is part of the Colas Isle of Man Group which also includes Colas Holdings (I.O.M.) Ltd, Billown Lime Quarries Ltd, C Kniveton Ltd and Turkeyland Recycling and Waste Management Ltd. The Group's activities include quarrying and coated stone production, road surfacing solutions, bulk bitumen supply, concrete block manufacture, building products and waste disposal services. The Colas Isle of Man Group is part of the international Colas Group — one of the world's leading road construction and maintenance organisations.
Volvo Construction Equipment Division markets wheeled loaders, articulated haulers, hydraulic excavators, graders, Volvo utility equipment and Volvo road equipment products in the U.K. There are eight strategically placed customer support centres and a network of compact equipment dealers to ensure high quality customer support is maintained throughout the country.