This machine is awesome!

Paving across a large working width while laying down a premium quality asphalt pavement that can withstand high traffic loads: the challenges facing the new SUPER 3000-3i on one of its first jobs could hardly have been tougher.

On the A96 motorway, the new flagship paver from VÖGELE teamed up with the likewise new SB 350 Fixed-Width Screed, paving across widths that varied between 14 and 16m. Even at this impressive range, the SB 350 Fixed-Width Screed is still some 2m short of its potentially record-breaking maximum width of 18m. VÖGELE’s new cutting-edge technologies easily delivered impressive results – across the entire pave width.

Strong performance, extensive range of application

The A96 motorway connects Munich’s ring road – the A99 – with the Lake Constance region to the southwest and is integrated in the European motorway network. The stretch of road located within greater Munich is particularly heavily travelled with up to 78,300 vehicles per day (figure for 2015). This made it necessary to expand the A96 from two to three lanes in each direction along an 8.9km section. The construction project also includes numerous associated civil engineering structures, most of which serve the purpose of noise control in Munich’s densely populated outskirts. In its invitation to tender, the Southern Bavarian Motorway Authority specified for the asphalt work that both lanes had to be paved without joints, making this an ideal job for the new SUPER 3000-3i from VÖGELE operated by Richard Schulz Tiefbau GmbH & Co. KG. Based in Neuburg, Bavaria, this construction company specializes in paving across large widths and prefers this method over paving several strips “hot to hot”. “Totally jointless paving contributes to pavement quality,” says Senior Site Manager Eyup Kandemir.

16m-wide paving with the new SB 350 Fixed-Width Screed

For the construction job on the outskirts of Munich, Richard Schulz Tiefbau was supplied with a SUPER 3000-3i for testing purposes. Normally the paving team works with a SUPER 2500, a predecessor by two generations of the new VÖGELE flagship paver. Equipped with the SB 350 Fixed-Width Screed, this leading innovative paver delivered an advantage on the job site that saved many hours of work: the new bolt-on extensions for the SB 350 Fixed-Width Screed increase variability to as much as 2.5m (1.25m on each side). “We didn’t have to convert the screed at all, even though the pave width varied between 14 and 16m. That wouldn’t have worked with our existing equipment,” says Kandemir. Constructing this asphalt pavement showcased only a fraction of the feats the new screed is capable of: the base course was paved in two 11cm-thick layers while the binder course was 8.5cm thick. The surface course will not be paved until construction of various noise barriers has been completed. “Even though the project on the A96 was very impressive, the SB 350 was not working to its full potential. It can pave anti-freeze layers 50cm thick and surface courses up to 18m wide,” reports Björn Westphal, the product manager responsible for the SUPER 3000-3(i) at VÖGELE.

Smooth construction workflow even on its first job

Logistics play a key role on large job sites. On the A96, teams had to pave 2,500t per shift while minimizing the disruption to traffic along this main traffic artery in greater Munich. To fulfil such requirements, Richard Schulz used a VÖGELE MT 3000-2i Offset PowerFeeder as specified and moved the paving work to the evening and nighttime hours: while the material feeder made sure the mix was unloaded rapidly, starting the work shift late in the day at 4 pm reduced the time required for the lorries to travel between the mixing plant and the job site from about 70 to 40 minutes. “We paved at a rate of 2-3m/min and paved about 2,500t of asphalt in each work shift. It was more than evident to us that the SUPER 3000-3i still had substantial power reserves,” explains Kandemir. This was a convincing indication that VÖGELE’s flagship paver can handle considerably bigger challenges. The section paved by the SUPER 3000-3i was interrupted in three places by bridges. But VÖGELE developed their AutoSet Plus precisely for such situations. Using the Repositioning function, the paver operator can save all currently set paving parameters. All he has to do is push the “Execute” button and the paver is quickly and safely prepared for repositioning. Another push of a button returns it to the previously stored working position. That saves valuable time and effectively prevents damage to the paver.

Mr Kandemir, you are Senior Site Manager at Richard Schulz Tiefbau GmbH & Co. KG, a medium-sized construction company with years of experience in paving across large widths. What are the advantages of the method?

It is clear to us that this method contributes to pavement quality. We believe jointless paving has the edge over paving several strips “hot to hot”, because there are no joints at all. That’s why we always pave a single strip wherever possible, even if we have to work at large widths. Pave widths of 10m and more are routine for me and my paving team!

Which aspects are crucial when paving across large widths?

It starts with preparing the job site, which is very important. How many mixing plants and how many lorries will it take to ensure smooth job-site logistics? You have to make sure things go right at this planning stage. On the A96, we decided to work from evening to early morning. That way, we reduced the total round-trip time of the lorries by 30 minutes. At the job site itself, the most important thing is to ensure surface accuracy across the entire roadway. This can only be achieved if the screed is very stable, and that means right out to the very ends. The new SB 350 Fixed-Width Screed raises the bar in this respect. Once again, VÖGELE have clearly demonstrated their technological leadership with this screed. To us, the immense hydraulic bolt-on extensions were a revolutionary development. You can use these to vary the pave width by a total of 2.5m, which was a huge help to us on this construction job. The working width varied frequently between 14 and 16m within one partial section of the road, but we were able to pave continuously with the new screed without any conversion work. That wouldn’t have worked with our existing equipment. We saved a lot of time and what’s more, non-stop paving enhances the evenness of the paved surface, which was outstanding in this case.

In other words, the demands on the equipment are very high. In addition to the new SB 350 Fixed-Width Screed, were you also impressed by the new SUPER 3000-3i?

I most certainly was, and so was my team. We were thrilled with its powerful performance, and by that I don’t just mean the engine output. The SUPER 3000-3i is totally precise when it comes to material flow, too; it always doses the mix perfectly. The new material transport system, which allows you to adjust the height of the entire chassis, ensures a perfect head of mix in front of the screed, regardless of the layer thickness. Compared to the largest paver in our fleet – a SUPER 2500, which is a predecessor by two generations – the SUPER 3000-3i is a shining example of progress. Our paver and screed operators were thrilled with their “new workplaces” and above all the intuitive ErgoPlus 3 operating system with its easy-to-use consoles. Thanks to them, we had the paver under control right from the start. And that is undoubtedly a deciding factor. Employees come and go more frequently today and a machine therefore has to be easy for operators to find their way around, so they can concentrate on essentials, meaning the paving. Particularly when you’re paving across such large widths, minor operating errors can have a major impact on the schedule. My team and I were absolutely thrilled with the new SUPER 3000-3i. This machine is awesome!