The year brought a bounty of new roadbuilding products, from cold planers to compactors, along with some innovative inventions and the first ever electric paver.
LeeBoy rolled out its first electric paver, a prototype machine, at ConExpo and is now testing it. The company also added to its conventional asphalt paver lineup, as did Roadtec, Dynapac and Weiler. GOMACO and Power Pavers brought out new pavers for the concrete world.
On the compactor end, Volvo launched its first electric roller. New diesel models were introduced by Sakai, Sany and Dynapac.
Wirtgen and BOMAG debuted new cold planers. Cat and Sany showed off new motor graders.
Some exciting new innovations were also unveiled. Caterpillar acquired two screed inventions that some say could revolutionize paving. JCB brought its Pothole Pro excavator to the U.S., with claims of repairing potholes within 8 minutes. And the J-Tech Lane Blade attachments for trucks is being used to make life safer for road workers.
Here is the top roadbuilding equipment of 2023 as chosen by Equipment World editors:
Weiler has launched two new commercial tracked asphalt pavers for 2023 – the 120-horsepower P385C and 74-horsepower P285. The 22,000-pound P385C got a 20-horsepower increase in power over its predecessor, the P385B, with its new Cat C3.6 engine. Other features include an improved conveyor drive system, variable speed and reversible conveyors and augers, and a more reliable heat system, according to Weiler.
LeeBoy has unveiled its largest ever tracked asphalt paver, the 8680, which is designed to be a commercial paver but with highway class features.
Projects for the 8680 include state highways, county roads, subdivisions and large distribution center parking lots. It’s for contractors who don’t need a 40,000-pound mainline paver, yet need the weight and power to handle large commercial and road projects.
Dynapac released the new D17C commercial-class asphalt paver at ConExpo for paving such things as medium to large parking lots and county roads.
It replaces the FC1700C. The D17C has a paving width of 8 to 15.5 feet. It can be extended an additional 2.5 feet with optional bolt-on extensions.
Astec rolled out two new highway-class pavers at ConExpo, completely redesigning the Roadtec RP175 and RP195 models.
Along with a sleeker design and the updated branding, logo and color schemes instituted two years ago by Astec, the new rubber-tracked pavers are quieter and produce less vibration and heat to make life easier for operators and nearby workers.
Power Pavers calls its new SF-3404 the “most innovative slipform paver on the market.”
With a paving width of 40 feet, the concrete paver has a variety of new technological advancements yet still maintains the company’s trademark simplicity.
Width adjustments are made easier with the paver’s fully telescoping frame. You can pave in widths of 12 to 24 feet with the dual-sided telescopic frame and sideforms, with no need for extensions. Width adjustments of 2 feet on each end are possible with the paver’s optional telescoping endpans.
For ultra-wide width paving operations, GOMACO has introduced the GP460 combination concrete slipform paver and placer/spreader. The GP460 will accommodate widths up to 50 feet as a placer/spreader and up to 40 feet as a paver.
Wirtgen has released its largest compact cold planer, the W 150 Fi. Though larger that its other compact milling machines, it can still be operated by one person and fit in tight spaces, the company says.
BOMAG has launched the next generation of its BM 1200/35-2 compact cold planer for milling county roads, city streets and roundabouts.
It has a max milling width of 47.2 inches and weighs 47,179 pounds. It runs on a 349-horsepower MTU (Mercedes) engine.
A longtime producer of half-lane and full-lane cold planers, Astec has entered a new class size with its RX-405 cold planer, delivering milling widths of 2 to 5 feet. It can serve as an entry-level cold planer for smaller contractors, as well as help experienced contractors take care of the smaller jobs without bringing in a larger machine.
Sakai’s new SV414ND soil compactor features user-selectable oscillation and vibration in the same drum, eliminating the need for separate compaction machines.
A 74-horsepower Cummins diesel engine powers the 8-ton class machine. Its oscillation is gear-driven instead of belt-driven, reducing downtime and belt servicing expenses. It has a 67-inch-wide smooth drum.
Dynapac launched an 8-metric-ton tandem-drum vibratory compactor, the CC2200 VI, its first new-generation asphalt roller to get the company’s Seismic technology found on its soil compactors.
Seismic automatically adjusts vibration frequency to match compaction needs on both drums, the company says. It monitors the variations in the surface and adjusts to changing conditions.
Sany calls the new SSR120HT its “high roller” – that’s because the “HT” on the model name for the single-drum soil compactor stands for “high traction.”
The roller features dual-drum propulsion, with a dedicated pump to drive the drum and a dedicated pump to drive the rear. That enables it to climb steep slopes and traverse tough terrain that might cause single-propulsion compactors to stall, the company says. It boasts 60% gradeability in front and 55% in the back.
LeeBoy has unveiled its first commercial-class electric asphalt paver, the 8520C E-Paver, as a prototype machine.
Based on the company’s best-selling 11-ton heavy-commercial 8520C, LeeBoy has replaced the 125-horsepower Kubota diesel engine with a General Motors electric drive system. The company collaborated with GM on the prototype, along with Powertrain Control Solutions, which provided engineering support.
Volvo Construction Equipment has expanded its portfolio of electric machines into the asphalt industry with the addition of the DD25 Electric asphalt compactor.
A compact double-drum roller, the DD25 Electric is designed for small-scale compaction projects, including street repairs and patching, parking lots, driveways and municipal work.
BOMAG continues to expand its ePerformance line of light electric compaction equipment with the new BW 100 AD e-5 tandem roller.
The 2.8-ton battery-powered compactor is designed for soil and asphalt compaction and patchwork and offers the same performance as its diesel counterpart, BOMAG says. It has a compaction width of 39 inches.
It is powered by two electric motors: one for travel and steering and one for vibration.
Gone are the days of frequent inspections, wear strip replacements and circle shoe adjustments in the Cat 24 and 24M motor graders. The new graders come equipped with Cat’s new High-Performance Circle, which has a service life of 16,000 hours.
When paired with Cat’s long-life blade rail wear strips, the company says, the total cost of ownership for the drawbar circle moldboard and downtime can be reduced by up to 80 percent. The drawbar, drives and circle do not need to be adjusted during the life of the machine.
Sany has rolled out a new all-wheel-drive motor grader for North America, the SMG200AWD.
The new all-wheel-drive model debuted at this year’s ConExpo. The company is following the same theme with its latest model of keeping it simple while delivering loads of standard equipment.
Two inventions that some believe will be the most significant innovations for the asphalt screed in almost a century will be available through Caterpillar, thanks to two brothers who run a family-owned paving business in Wyoming.
Cat purchased the intellectual property rights to Axenox’s Oxclaw textured screed plates and Bullox modular screed plate attachment system. The products will be offered exclusively through its dealer network.
JCB has brought its Pothole Pro to the U.S., a three-in-one machine that the company says can reduce pothole repairs to 8 minutes.
The special attachment system on the company’s Hydradig 110W wheeled excavator can cut, crop and clean – completing a pothole repair or patch job in a fraction of the time it takes traditional methods.
The S.C. Department of Transportation has become the latest state transportation agency to add a new device to its vehicles to help keep its highway workers safer while clearing debris from roadways.
The LaneBlade attaches to the front of a truck for clearing debris quickly and safely from roadways, according to the device’s manufacturer, J-Tech. The device enables safety patrols, like SCDOT’s State Highway Emergency Program workers, to push debris out of the highway without getting out of their vehicles.
Caterpillar has launched its two most powerful reclaimer-stabilizers for full-depth road reclamation and soil stabilization.
The RM600 and RM800 can perform full-depth reclamation of old roads by pulverizing the asphalt layer and mixing it with the underlying base to stabilize deteriorated roads. The machines can cut 96 inches wide and 20 inches deep, using Cat cold planer rotor system components.
Wirtgen’s new WRC 240i Rock Crusher can grind up stony ground and add cement and water in the same pass for such tasks as laying road base.
The WRC is part of Wirtgen’s wheeled soil stabilizer lineup. Along with stone from the jobsite, the crusher can handle the crushing, processing and homogenization of hard core, concrete fragments and cobblestones, the company says.
Road Widener has introduced a new accessory for its FH-R material placement attachment for curb backfilling without the cleanup.
The Curb Backfiller attaches to the FH-R and dispenses material over the curb to backfill with dirt or aggregate. This replaces a backfilling method typically done manually by workers with shovels, increasing safety, efficiency and accuracy, the company says. It also keeps debris off the roadway, eliminating the need for additional cleanup with street sweepers.
Streumaster, a member of the Wirtgen Group, has unveiled its next generation of binding agent spreaders for soil stabilization and cold recycling.
The new TC models are towed by trailer, while the new MC models are mounted onto carriers, such as trucks, dumpers and tracked vehicles. The spreaders feature a high-speed filling device on both sides, self-cleaning dosing sluices and a new control panel.
Based on cold planer technology and design, FAE has released its new RPL/EX road planer for excavators.
The RPL/EX can be used to prepare the road surface before laying a new layer of asphalt or concrete. The attachment uses teeth attached to a rotor to scrape and cut the road’s surface. FAE says its design increases performance while reducing vibration.