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Soil Compactors feature innovative technology to meet contractor’s needs

by Jon M. Casey

Contractors, who are in the market for soil compacting equipment, will find a number of specialized machines designed for site prep work. Recently, Hard Hat News had the opportunity to take a closer look at several of these units at CONEXPO-CON/AGG in Las Vegas.

This overview will touch on some of the latest features on five compactor brands. Single drum compaction rollers, are the primary configuration for self-propelled, ride-on units. While smaller mini compactors, walk behind plate compactors and hand operated and remote controlled units are also available and are extremely handy for smaller, more challenging locations, they not a part of this discussion. These handy tools are all equally as important as the larger machines and they may be featured at another time.

Single drum rollers

According to BOMAG’s online Construction Equipment Dictionary, “single drum rollers, are equipped with a roller drum and rear pneumatic rubber tires. The drum and tire sections are connected by a rigid frame or articulated joint. The driver’s cab is mounted in the middle of the roller and the engine compartment is located behind this. From this position the driver has an excellent overview over the machine and work area.”

Single drum models can be outfitted with a variety of drums depending on the job. In addition to the conventional smooth drum, drums for crushing rock, and for compacting mixed material are also available. Site prep work is a primary use for these machines.

Our first example of a single drum compactor is BOMAG’s new BW211DH-2. According to BOMAG literature, “The BW211DH-2 is built for high production compaction of mixed soils, gravel and rock fill at depths reaching 27.6-inches. The BW 211 DH-5 roller features a balanced front to rear frame weight distribution and high compaction forces that rival heavier class machines. Its dual frequency, dual amplitude vibratory system matches compaction output to site needs. Setting the drum to 30 Hz with amplitude of 0.075-inches efficiently compacts high lift thickness. For increased productivity when compacting thinner lifts, the operator can set the vibration system to 34 Hz and a 0.039-inch amplitude.”

“The new BW 211 DH-5 roller is powered with a 128 hp Deutz TCD 3.6 L4 diesel engine that meets Tier 4 Final (Stage IV) emissions standards. By matching engine speed to the task, standard ECOMODE speed control lowers fuel consumption by up to 30 percent versus operating at continuous high idle and reduces noise levels for more comfortable operation. Contractors can lower fuel consumption even more and reduce engine wear by equipping the machine with the optional BOMAG ECOSTOP function, which automatically shuts down the engine after a defined idle period.”

Next is CASE’s new SV208D. The SV208D is the latest edition of CASE’s SV compactor series. CASE says, “The SV208D is available with either a smooth or padfoot drum. The SV208D is able to climb grades of up to 65 percent due to a low center of gravity axle free design and a high traction hydrostatic drive system that provides constant power to the wheels and drum with an electronic self-adjusting torque control system. The machine’s new 74.3 hp Tier 4 Final engine also delivers greater torque than previous models.”

“The SV208D is designed for ground line serviceability. An easy to lift engine cover provides easy access at ground level to all fluid ports, drains, service checkpoints and filters for simplified maintenance. The SV208 also features an onboard diagnostics system that calculates when service is needed based on how the machine has been run, i.e. if the machine has spent more time in low idle, the system will extend out its service interval.”

Volvo’s SD45B is a Tier 4 Final machine that is engineered for more efficient operation. According to VOLVO information, “When controls are inactive for more than five seconds, the automatic idle feature reduces the engine speed, further decreasing fuel consumption. During the work process, the passive regeneration cleans the filters automatically without any input from the operator or negative impact on performance.”

The SD45B features an operating weight (with ROPS) of 10,910-pounds or at 11,660-pounds when outfitted with ROPS, cab and inside scraper. “As standard on B-series models, the single drum compactor’s tiltable platform and hinged engine allow for simple access to all major hydraulic components and service points.”

The Wirtgen-HAMM compaction lineup includes 56 soil compaction models. These applications include models with smooth roller drums, pad foot drums, or VC crusher drums depending on application. More importantly, 36 of these models come with HAMM’s Hammtronic control system while six models are available with Oscillation/VIO designs. According to HAMM literature, Hammtronic, the electronic machine management system for monitoring engine and travel functions automatically adapts the drive, vibration, oscillation and engine speed to the current operating conditions. Perfectly tuned machine control ensures optimum compaction quality. What is more, it reduces fuel consumption as well as exhaust and noise emissions.

HAMM’s approach to the principle of oscillation for their compactors goes beyond traditional vibrating rollers. “Traditional vibrating rollers are equipped with a circular vibrator in the drum. It effects by fast rotation that the drum begins to vibrate, thereby compaction forces arrive into the soil. With the directed vibrator two moving masses, arranged in opposite directions, are used which cause directed oscillations.”

HAMM’s online technology sheet notes: “In the oscillation drum masses turning in the same direction, produce one moment around the drum axle. The moment changes its effect direction during a turn of the mass (forward and backward); so that the oscillation drum movement is created. Here thrusts are introduced into the soil. By oscillation clearly lower oscillation stresses are generated as with the vibration. Here only up to approx. 10 percent of the stresses in comparison to vibration are created. Oscillation rollers use their performance not to unintended vibration stimulation of the surrounding field, but introduce these specific there where the energy is needed. Low oscillations guarantee a longer life span of the machine and an optimum in driving comfort.

Finally, the Hyundai HR120C-9  is another soil compactor available to the US market. “The Hyundai compaction roller product line combines the most up to date compaction technologies with quiet, fuel efficient engines, a safe and convenient operator environment and easily accessible maintenance points for outstanding overall performance and value,” said Juston Thompson, product specialist, Hyundai Construction Equipment Americas. “This product lineup gives solid options to users across the compaction market’s highest volume segments.”

Hyundai single-drum roller models now meet Tier 4 Final emissions regulations with Deutz and Cummins engines that range in horsepower from 73 to 132. The HR70C model features a Deutz TD2.9 L4 engine. The HR110C, HR120C and HR140C models all feature a Cummins QSF 3.8 engine.

The four single drum models are designed primarily for soil compaction applications. The compaction drum is available as a smooth or pad-foot surface. A pad-foot kit is available for use with the smooth drum. Continuous tractive force adjustment automatically assures maximum traction. Two stage vibration provides both surface and deep compaction.

In the smooth drum configuration, Hyundai’s single drum roller models have operating weights ranging from 15,650 to 30,865-pounds. Drum widths range from 67 to 83-inches). Gradeability without vibration ranges from 45 to 50 degrees.


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