New paving equipment acquisitions form part of Mogoba Maphuthi and Associates’ turnkey solutions strategy for road construction.
Mogoba Maphuthi and Associates (MMA) is a 100%-black-owned company celebrating its 10th anniversary in May this year. When it opened its doors in Pretoria in 2007, the company’s core business was civil and structural engineering consulting and project management.
However, MMA found that its customers, largely concentrated in government, preferred to award turnkey projects. The firm took up the challenge by launching a construction division with its own employee complement. Since then, a second office has opened in Blue Water Bay, Port Elizabeth, to support a significant workload in the Eastern Cape.
MMA’s work revolves mainly around road rehabilitation and the building of new roads. “We have always been equipped to undertake the construction works, but since we began the construction business back in 2009 we have outsourced asphalt paving activities,” says Thabo Hlabela,
“We didn’t have the specialised equipment in our earthmoving fleet for paving so we left it to the professionals.”
Taking paving in-house
Last year, however, the directors of MMA decided it was time to invest in their own paving machine. “We have trained people to do the surfacing in-house and it’s expensive to hire in the equipment so it was time to fill this gap in our roadbuilding fleet,” says Hlabela.
MMA ordered a Cat AP600F asphalt paver from Barloworld Equipment in November 2016, becoming the first customer in South Africa to take delivery of this new model early this year. It is Barloworld Equipment’s second AP600F sale, the first having been ordered by Alva Ventures SA in Angola in March 2016.
“We are delighted with the machine,” says Hlabela. “It is highly automated, which makes it very easy to operate. We can’t believe how much more we can achieve in a day.”
“We now have all the equipment we need to build a road, from start to finish, without the assistance of other contractors or suppliers.” He says Barloworld Equipment’s after-sales service and product support team will support the new Cat paver in addition to the rest of MMA’s Cat machines, including a 140K grader acquired in 2015 and a CW34 pneumatic compactor purchased in 2016.
With contracts popping up all over the country, Hlabela says MMA never knows where its teams will be going next. “Barloworld Equipment’s national footprint is a great advantage to us and, in our experience, Barloworld’s after-sales service teams are always available to assist in case of problems.” He recalls being impressed by the response time when the 140K grader needed servicing while processing the base layer on a contract in the Eastern Cape. “I contacted the Isando office and received a call from my site agent the following day to say the Barloworld Equipment mechanic was onsite attending to the machine.”
What makes the Cat AP600F unique?
The Cat AP600F wheeled paver was launched in Southern Africa in April 2016. Johan Hartman, industry manager: Global Paving, Forestry & Waste at Barloworld Equipment, believes this machine offers the best value for money in the Southern African market.
“Lower owning and operating costs, ease of operation and new technology that simplifies the job are the factors that set the Cat AP600F apart from competing machines,” says Hartman. A quick-heating screed system, which increases production and saves time, is another key feature of the Cat AP600F.
Hartman adds that a second Cat AP600F sold by Barloworld Equipment in South Africa was invoiced in March 2017 and a third is due to arrive in the country in May.
Fuel-saving eco-mode is standard on the AP600F. When used with automatic engine-speed control, eco-mode efficiently manages engine speed to optimise fuel economy, reduce noise and keep the paver running smoothly. The control automatically adjusts rpm when the engine reaches a high load threshold or needs additional cooling.
“Depending on the application, this system can allow an operator to save up to 20% in fuel consumption compared with the engine running at full rpm,” says Hartman.
Integrated generator and screed heating system
An integrated 70 kW generator, the power behind the new screed heating system, is another fuel-saving enhancement.
The generator is directly connected to the paver engine and operates as a core part of the machine. The refined heat distribution of the screed platform combines with the generator to bring the screed to the right temperature in about 15 minutes at a 5 m width and 25 minutes at a 10 m width, compared with the previous 30 to 45 minutes.
The paver runs at about 1 300 rpm while heating, compared with 2 200 rpm in some competitive machines.
Touchscreen displays provide increased flexibility for operating and adjusting the machine. Controls for new technology features are accessed through the touchscreen. The most frequently used functions are still controlled by switches.
The new single-button auto-fill feeder system simplifies set-up and helps provide consistency for operators of different skill and experience levels.
The operator console features enhanced functionality. Controls are simple and flexible and operator consoles incorporate million-cycle keypad switches that are more modern and durable than traditional toggle switches. Those who prefer limited options have an organised, efficient control system at their fingertips. Those who want to use more functions can access various menus through the touchscreen.
Paver operators can make various screed adjustments without leaving their seats. Cat Grade Control can now be operated from the tractor consoles if desired. A single-button feeder system does the work of four switches. The auto-fill button alternates between running the augers and conveyors, helping operators build a proper head of material from the start.
Cat Grade control
To ensure consistent results, improve production and lower operating costs, the factory-integrated Cat Grade Control guidance system helps remove irregularities from the surface and control mat thickness. “Barloworld Equipment offers exceptional knowledge of the grade and slope system, as well as paver and screed operation, providing a single-source solution to all paving needs,” Hartman explains.
The SE50 VT screed with vibration and tamper bars is a complete redesign by Caterpillar that delivers excellent ride and mat qualities together with versatility in urban areas. It offers a maximum paving range of 8 m.
Quick-change screed extensions make it easy to maximise lift widths. One person can make the changes easily thanks to the slotted mainframe extensions and strike-off plates. Integrated hooks help with extension assembly and alignment. Power controls leverage hydraulics to attach and remove the self-latching screed extensions easily.
Barloworld Equipment also offers the Cat AP655F track paver, available in steel track or the Mobil-Trac System (MTS) for better traction and stability and wider screed width for highway and airport projects.
The MTS, available with treaded or smooth tracks, combines the traction of track pavers with the speed and mobility of