Construction Equipment Great Britain

A success story, which started over 70 years ago and continues today

History of Volvo ABG

The Volvo Road Paved with Good Innovation

Volvo CE’s expertise is well known, but it is the incorporation of innovative developers of world leading road equipment that is even more interesting.

What started off as a family-owned repair shop for construction equipment in 1945 has grown to become one of the world's most technologically advanced manufacturers of road building machinery, namely ABG, of Hameln, Germany.

With the acquisition of the well-established road equipment product line from Ingersoll-Rand in 2007, Volvo CE gained a strong presence in the road equipment sector. This included the Hameln based ABG brand, the Blaw Knox brand and Ingersoll-Rand’s larger compaction equipment product line.

Ingersoll-Rand itself had been making construction equipment since 1871 - compressors, drills, and other tools. With the future of road building looking increasing attractive, compaction production was begun in 1969 in the US, and in 1975, they introduced their first vibratory asphalt rollers, new technology for the time.

With their purchase of ABG in 1990, IR was now a leading manufacturer of asphalt paving equipment in Europe and Asia. ABG’s first asphalt paver had been produced in 1956, with the first vibratory rollers being made in the early 1950’s.

In 1983, ABG patented the DuoTamp high compaction screed design. This new design employed two tampers and resulted in much higher material densities. A year later, ABG launched the first double-tamping hydraulically extendable screed, and is still the only global manufacturing company able to reach such high compaction ratios when used on CBGM.

In 1998, ABG again designed an industry first, the Electronic Paver Manager or (EPM), which gave greater control of the paver operation to electronics thereby improving pavement quality and operating life. This is now an industry standard.

Along with the ABG purchase, Volvo also acquired the Blaw Knox brand. Blaw Knox, makers of construction equipment since 1929, had by 1931 produced the first self-propelled asphalt paver. Others had claimed to be first, but Blaw Knox is usually credited with this.

Until 1954, pavers had been track driven before Blaw introduced the first pneumatic, rubber-tyred or wheeled paver, as they are called today. Two years later in 1956, another industry first saw Blaw develop and manufacture the auto-grade-and-slope (AGS) controls for pavers.

Many patents and other industry firsts had been developed by Blaw Knox’s paving engineers over the years and, up until 2005/6, they routinely held about 50% market share of the North American market, producing as many as 800 pavers a year.

All this made Blaw Knox and ABG the leaders in the manufacture of road machinery products. It was this long record of innovation and invention that was one of the primary reasons that Volvo was keen to add the Ingersoll-Rand package to the Volvo CE portfolio.

Today, not only does the Hameln facility still manufacture the highly regarded ABG wheeled / tracked pavers and screeds, but also a variety of soil compactors, large and small asphalt compactors - all with the help of 500 dedicated staff.

With over half a century of paving experience and innovative engineering from the ABG stable, coupled with Volvo’s unquestionable market leading engines and support, you have a winning combination in today’s market.

ABG Volvo: Made in Hameln

ABG Volvo: Made in Hameln

Historic Photographs of Road Building Machinery


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