Connor Construction trialled Volvo’s new P4820D by putting it through it’s paces on a few of their projects. SMT GB caught up with Managing Director Ian Webb to find out how they got on…
The Volvo P4820D paver has been used constantly since we received it back in July this year. We have used it on a variety of contracts across the country - these sites have ranged from laying clean stone on porous applications, to working on carparks and even major roads where it’s successfully laid up to 1,000 tonnes of binder each day. In every circumstance, we’ve seen the P4820D respond with impressive results and received fantastic feedback from our operators.
We wouldn't use any machinery that we wouldn't trust on our works more than once - even as a trial - so the fact that we have carried on using it is a huge compliment to its reliability and quality.
Ease of transportation and flexibilty
Due to its size, weight and design, we’ve found the Volvo P4820D very easy to transport - it can be moved to sites with other additional equipment, and still not be overweight. This is a great feature as we offer so much in the way of plant hire, and it means that we can pack more on to our low loaders, while remaining completely safe and compliant.
You could hear a pin drop
Operator and foreman, Gary Atkins, was astonished at how quiet the Volvo P4820D is. "Because the noise levels are so low, it allows me to concentrate more on handling and operating the machine. I can clearly hear and concentrate on everything else that is happening on site too, which is really important as a foreman. You just wouldn't believe how quiet it is - you need to hear it to believe it."
Without exception, anyone who sees this machine running has commented on how quiet it is. It’s a huge advantage for operators and general public due to the lack of noise pollution. It’s a brilliant machine to use in busy, populated areas.
The lack of noise is also a great health and safety feature - not only can our guys clearly communicate while this machine is operating, but it’s also easy on their hearing despite staff having full PPE and ear protection.
Comfort and visibility
Gary comments further on operation and levels, saying: “This is important as our employees work long hours and must be able to concentrate and maintain energy to work at a high standard.”.
Having great visibility is also vital to us as it means that operators can see more of what’s going on and how the machine is working and laying – it also makes visual communication easier between employees on site.
Ian Webb was also very impressed with the new operating station for the screwsman -it’s now more upright and very flexible and can be moved into other positions, not possible previously. This addition alone has improved comfort of operation, as well as providing more visibility of the control panel.
Big savings indeed
No doubt about it - Volvo's ‘green' machine is saving us lots of money in fuel due to its fantastic fuel economy, which all Volvo's machinery invariably does through reliability and great results. They clearly care about what matters to their clients as they listened to us when we asked them if there was any way we could make cost savings while also having a kinder impact on the environment without losing quality in the result.
Bites bigger than its bark
The fact that the P4820D paver has a much smaller engine was received with immediate scepticism – one operator said that the machine didn’t feel as responsive or powerful as our other pavers, and yet, it still laid to the same capacity and standard as our other machines. This view may probably be a result of always having too much power in other machines.
People immediately feel defensive when they are given 'less' of something (in this case engine and power) and we think it is very easy to confuse 'enough' with 'less'. The P4820D paver actually proves that 'less' can actually mean 'more', so hats off to the new Volvo D4 four-cylinder engine and load-sensing hydraulics.
You get less power but more:
• fuel efficiency
• cost savings
• comfort and visibility
• great health and safety features
• on your lorry
• greener features
And all without hindering the machine in the job that it does.
The response from SMT GB engineers
As always, SMT GB are incredibly responsive to maintenance issues, which is vital for a busy paver hire business like ours. This means we have shorter periods of down time and work interference.
We did initially have a problem with the screed when it was rising on hitting a joint or bump. But Volvo's dedicated team of fitters went straight to site and corrected this for us immediately. You get more than a machine when you buy a Volvo. We just cannot rate SMT GB’s customer service and fitter coverage highly enough.
The P4820D - a credit to the evolution of our industry
When SMT GB delivered this paver to us with promises of fuel savings, better power usage and a smaller carbon footprint, we had no reason to disbelieve them due to their fantastic reputation and service.
We are a very conscientious and evolving business and, by using the Volvo P4820D Paver, it’s a great way to show the industry that we’re interested in the development of 'greener' machinery, as the impact our industry has on the environment is important to us.
There was one tiny improvement the operators would have liked to see, really minuscule, and that was a change to the layout of the ‘Screed In’ and ‘Out’ buttons. A personal preference would be to have the buttons separate on either side of the control panel, rather than right next to each other.
So, all we have left to say is ... if you are looking for a machine that transports easily, can be used anywhere, that will save you money and fuel, help in the improvement of site communication and health and safety, and of course, offer a great big leap in the direction of environmental friendliness, then we can highly recommend the Volvo P4820D paver.
For more information contact;