Major manufacturers continue to develop new soil compactor models - Mike Woof reportsInnovations in machine design are being seen in the soil compaction sector from a number of major firms. As in other equipment sectors, new engine emissions legislation has played a huge role in driving the latest design changes. Europe, the US and Japan are rolling in the new Tier 4 Final/Stage IV legislation on noise and exhaust emissions which will be phased in across power output classes from the start of January 2014. Manufacturers of soil compactors have already designed models that are capable of housing these new cleaner engines and the bulky after-treatment systems.
The design process has not been straightforward due to the need for extra cooling to prevent the new engines, which run hotter, from overheating. The additional fan noise has required some clever solutions in terms of sound attenuation. At the same time, leaving space for the bulky exhaust after-treatment equipment that will be needed has resulted in firms reconfiguring the position of major components such as the engine, so as not to spoil visibility from the cab for the operator.
A key point is the upgrade to the vibration system, which is said to reduce the risk of drum bounce. In addition, the machines have a sophisticated automatic amplitude control, BOMAG VARIOCONTROL, which is said to makes the compactors more suited to compaction duties in sensitive areas. The range is equipped with Tier 4 Interim/Stage IIIB compliant engines at the moment and as the tougher emissions regulations are phased in, the machines will be able to accept the Tier 4 Final/Stage IV compliant engines with no external changes. Engine firms have done a good deal to reduce fuel consumption in a bid to offset the increased cost of these low emission diesels. The Tier 4 Interim/Stage IIIB engines in the new BOMAG units are said to deliver improved fuel economy offering savings of up to 30%, with help from an integrated ECOMODE function that allows the machine to match engine speed to work load intensity. An engine stop function switches off the engine after a preset idle period, further reducing fuel consumption.
Another improvement for overall machine efficiency comes from the new dual circuit drive system, which features twin pumps for the front and rear axles that improves traction. The better torque response and revised hydraulics mean that the new BOMAG single drum rollers can tackle up to 56% gradients, whether working forwards or backwards.
Ergonomics in the cab have been improved also, along with better visibility. The sophisticated BOMAG VARIOCONTROL is said to make the machines easier to operate and also helps optimise compaction performance. Another improvement includes easier transport as the rollers are just 2.65m high and are equipped with tie-down rings so that they can be secured when carried on a truck or trailer. A dozer blade with manual control is offered, which is said to be more precise than the earlier foot-controlled blade. And maintenance is said to be easy with grouped service points that are accessible from ground level.
The company claims that customer response to the larger models in the fifth generation soil compactor range has been good. And the company hopes to receive a similar positive response for the
A key feature is the transverse mounting of the diesels, which allows space for the after-treatment package as well as the new cooling system under the engine cover. Low fuel consumption is claimed, which should help lower running costs, along with the extended service intervals. The transverse engine mounting is also said to make maintenance access easier.
Productivity has also been optimised due to refinements to the firm’s novel Active Bouncing Control. This feature eliminates the risk of over-compaction and ensures a more consistent finish quality, as well as preventing wear and tear on the machine’s structure. At
Also from Germany,
The H11i, H13i and H16i compactors have 2.14m wide drums, compete in the 11tonne, 13tonne, and 16tonne classes respectively and are all powered by four-cylinder
Meanwhile high manoeuvrability is claimed as well as good stability on uneven or sloping terrain, and the machines are available with smooth drum, with padfoot segments or with padfoot drum. The 13tonne machine is also available with a VIO drum, capable of compacting with either conventional vibration, or the firm’s novel oscillation system. The latter is said to be particularly useful for compaction applications in sensitive areas where vibration cannot be transmitted through the ground.
Standard equipment on the new models includes the Hammtronic machine management system, which optimises traction and vibration drive while reducing fuel consumption. A new feature is the optional telematics interface, which can transfer data for fleet management purposes and can also be used for remote diagnostics or as an anti-theft protection. Customers can also opt for the HCQ Navigator, which is available as a factory-fitted option. This system enables precise, even compaction as well as comprehensive compaction control. An additional function of the HCQ package allows data to be exported as it is compatible with American analysis software.
The new series comes as standard with a secure storage space under the engine cover for a toolbox or other equipment. Reversing cameras are available as an optional safety feature, while a display allows the driver to check for obstructions behind the roller and the cameras can be fitted to all H series compactors as well as being retrofitted to existing Hamm machines. Another safety feature for night working is optional low-energy, long-lasting LED lighting for the cab as well as a main headlight with low beam and additional full beam.
Chinese soil compactors
Chinese firms are building a share of the market for soil compactors in a number of emergent territories such as the Middle East, Latin America and Africa.
Shantui continues to extend and develop its soil roller range with its latest SR10/SR10P and SR12-5/SR12P-5 models. Weighing in at 10.1tonnes depending on specification, the SR10 features a smooth drum while the 10.9tonne SR10P has a padfoot drum. Power comes from a
XCMG has developed a powerful, heavyweight soil compactor in the shape of its XS302. This 30tonne machine offers an excitation force of 510kN. According to the firm, the machine offers class leading reliability and durability for minimum downtime on-site, as well as an ergonomic cab design with good all-round visibility. A large LED screen in the cab provides comprehensive information about operating parameters and also provides diagnostics data. Performance is maximised due to the use of an anti-skid system that prevents loss of traction when the machine operates on slippery surfaces. The drum delivers high vibration effect due to its powerful exciter system and the machine is said to be suited to use on large scale projects such as airport runway construction due to its large size and productivity.