Vogele's new Vision Series pavers offer a new alternative of Vogele pavers that were not based off any of the company's previous U.S. pavers, Hutchins says. The Vision Series, which is available in 8- and 10-ft. wheeled or tracked pavers, features an integrated leveling system and CANbus technology. CANbus allows a computer to control the running of the paver.
Volvo's 6000 paver, which was introduced in 2007, incorporates an electric heated screed. This new 10-ft. class paver also features a friction drive track and four sensors on the auger conveyor to provide more precise control of the head of material with the paver, Sunkenberg says.
Bomag's 6615 paver is a larger paver used more by municipalities and contractors paving 2,000 tons or more a day. The paver incorporates an electric screed, a 110-hp engine, and can pave up to 15 ½ ft. One unique feature is redundant controls which help keep the contractor paving, Hood says. If a switch on the paver controls doesn't work then you pull a lever instead, he says.
Looking down the road
The future of the asphalt paver equipment market, like many other equipment markets, is unclear, but that isn't stopping manufacturers from making predictions and preparing themselves for what's next.
Precision and efficiency will continue to be dominating trends. Hutchins predicts the market will see more automation advances and inclusion of GPS for slope and grade control. And electronics will become the standard over manual controls, Hood says. Tier 4 emissions regulations will also affect asphalt pavers as all manufacturers will be required to include Tier 4 compliant engines in their pavers.
The changing of asphalt mix designs may also have an effect on asphalt pavers although currently most mix designs don't require a special paver, Sunkenberg says. Warm mix, recycled, and rubber asphalt might play an increasing role in future asphalt mix designs.
Possibly the biggest consensus from manufacturers in the asphalt paver market is there will be a stronger European influence over the way U.S. contractors pave and the equipment they'll pave with. European paving standards call for a slower paving process, something both Chastain and Hood say will make its way over to the U.S. market in the future. Part of the reason, Chastain says, is because of the new mix designs contractors will be using and because a slower paving process can offer a better quality product.