Sean Duffy remembers the challenges he faced when renting rollers to use on road and sewer projects in the Toronto area. Duffy, equipment manager for Howlett Development & Construction Services Ltd., said that due to the recent difficulties brought about by renting, purchasing a roller became a company priority.
“Traditionally, we would rent the rollers we needed monthly from a variety of rental companies to accommodate our workload,” Duffy said. “Having used most of the major brand rollers out there, we found the quality to be generally very good. Our greatest challenge was that we had to use whatever the rental house had in stock at the time we needed the roller, so the brand being used to complete the work kept changing. While our operators adapted pretty quickly to the various brands, we thought it would be better to buy our own roller.”
Duffy and the management team at Howlett Development met with Glen Keam, operations manager for Fieldworks Construction Equipment in Burlington, Canada shortly after deciding to purchase a roller. While the company was considering rollers from well-known manufacturers like Caterpillar and Ingersoll Rand, they were open to other suggestions.
Keam talked with them about LiuGong Construction Machinery’s single drum vibratory roller, but knew it would be a challenge to get them to purchase a roller designed and built by a relatively unfamiliar manufacturer.
Then he put Duffy into the operator’s seat of the LiuGong 612H Vibratory Smooth Drum Roller.
While relatively unknown in some parts of Canada, LiuGong is in fact a very large, well-known brand. The company was ranked as the 20th largest manufacturer of construction equipment worldwide in 2011.
Keam knew that the size of LiuGong wouldn’t mean anything to a customer unless the quality of the product was strong and the after-the-sale parts and service support structure was in place.
Every LiuGong dealer is required to maintain a certain level of parts inventory in stock, with technicians being factory-trained by LiuGong to service all LiuGong products. Should the dealer not have the required part in stock, it would be shipped quickly from LiuGong’s North American Headquarters in Houston, TX.
Duffy said Howlett primarily uses the roller for site preparation on road and sewer construction projects to effectively compact dirt and B gravel for trenches, and to compact A and B gravel on roads and parking lots.
The LiuGong 612H has been a hit with Howlett Development from the start. Keam said Howlett was so pleased with their initial LiuGong roller purchase, that they bought another LiuGong 612H less than a year later. “My relationship with Howlett got me in the door, but it was the roller itself that convinced them to purchase it,” Keam said.
Standard features like a closed cab with heating and air-conditioning enable Howlett’s crews to work year-round in comfort. “The glass windows on the cab are fantastic. Our operators can see exactly what they are compacting and how close they are to edges and curbs. They no longer have to lean out and over the side of the machine to assess their work,” said Duffy.
The LiuGong 612H Roller has a Cummins QSB4.5 engine with 155 hp and a maximum travel speed of 7.6 mph. The machine has a single 84-inch drum and an operating weight of 26,460 - 28,665 pounds for solid compaction results across a variety of materials.
The standard enclosed cab is pressurized and includes three stages of shock isolation to protect the operator from excess debris, vibration and noise pollution. Climate control, AM/FM radio, adjustable suspension seat and hydrostatic steering are also standard.
Duffy said there was another key benefit of the LiuGong 612H that his operators enjoy. “The roller has a three-piece shell kit that can easily be put on or taken off in under two hours. All you need is two people – an operator and mechanic – to get the job done and the machine back to work.” This feature is particularly useful for customers who may want to switch between the smooth drum and the optional bolt-on sheepsfoot shell.
Keam said Howlett Development is so pleased with their two LiuGong rollers, that they are now considering the purchase of a LiuGong excavator, as well as several smaller machines like their popular skid-steer loaders.