Volvo Construction Equipment’s dealer in the Netherlands, Kuiken, hosted a live, five day demonstration program using a Volvo P7820C ABG paver machine. On a road trip across the country, the team visited six different customers, travelled more than 1,700 km in total, and clocked up more than 60 hours of paving.
You could say that a paver is on a road trip for its entire working career. However, this road trip organized by Volvo Construction Equipment’s (Volvo CE) Netherlands dealer, Kuiken, was a bit different. The Volvo P7820C ABG machine was loaded onto a transportation truck and driven to six different sites on the request of customers and construction companies, so that Kuiken’s dealership team could perform comprehensive machine demonstrations.
“We wanted to test how the market and existing customers, as well as potential ones, would react to the Volvo P7820C ABG machine,” says Arjen Mostert, sales & support manager of road construction at Volvo CE’s Kuiken dealership. “We had access to this machine for two weeks and wanted to show it off to customers in our show room first. Then after viewings we hit the road, in more ways than one.”
“It’s very important to have a road specialist at a dealership because the industry itself is very specialist,” says Sam Wyant, program manager for Volvo CE’s Global Road Program. “Kuiken has an excellent reputation for being one of the most respected and experienced dealerships in Europe.”
Let’s get this show on the road
To show customers what the machine can do, Kuiken asked them to choose a location where they wanted the team to demonstrate the machine’s smooth paving skills. The team from the dealership, including Arjen, a demonstrator and mechanic, Freek Jaarsma, who know the machine extremely well, began their journey once the machine was loaded onto a truck.
The team and machine travelled to customer sites across the Netherlands. The first demonstration was performed for European construction company, BAM, in Maasvlakte, offering picturesque views of the beach and sea on the south coast. “BAM requested that we use the machine to pave the base course of a cycle lane underneath the final surface layer,” says Arjen. “After five minutes the customer told us the machine was surprisingly quiet and that the screed was very stable because it didn’t vibrate uncomfortably for the operator – the crew could have stood on it all day, which isn’t usually the case.”
Now that is smart
The smart power function on the machine reduces engine speed to 1500 rpm rather than 1800 rpm, which allows for lower noise levels and fuel consumption without any detrimental effect on the performance or power of the machine. In the demonstrations, the new Stage IIIB engine regenerated without any hindrance on the performance of the machine. In fact, the only thing the operators were aware of was an increase in the speed of the cooling fan and an indication light displayed on the control console.
The team also visited Koninklijke Sjouke Dijkstra, a road laying contractor in the north of the Netherlands, Dutch contractor Ooms in two different western locations, Roelofs, a construction company in Holland and Janssen de Jong Infra, an infrastructure company specializing in asphalt in the south east.
The team spent nine hours a day on average with every customer, starting before 6am to heat the machine’s screed. “For road machinery demonstrations the conditions have to be just right,” says Arjen. “You need dry conditions in order to lay the asphalt, so we would check the forecast and then if the weather permitted, we would book the demonstration in for the next day and everybody just had to be there.”
At the demonstration sites the machine was paving five meters every minute, meaning the P7820C needed to be fed with new loads of asphalt in steady intervals. The trucks filled with 30 tons of asphalt feed the paver’s hopper with the material. “Because the driving system is so strong the paver didn’t even move when the asphalt truck lent against it as it was driving forwards – the machine just pushed it away and didn’t even jolt against the weight of the truck. This ensures a smooth transition over to a new load of asphalt – the operator doesn’t have to worry about bumps or an uneven surface.”
About 20 trucks, each carrying the 30 tons of asphalt, arrived at the job sites one by one. The objective is to keep the trucks arriving continuously and avoid the paver running low on asphalt. “It’s so important to keep the machine moving and if the machine breaks down or something goes wrong, the asphalt in the truck that has not been laid goes cold and is then wasted, as it cannot be used below a certain temperature. It suddenly becomes a very expensive business because the smoothness, thickness and quality has to be perfect first time round. It’s why you need the reliability of the Volvo P7820C.”