The National Highways Authority of India (NHAI) has set an ambitious target to build new highways of 4,600 km in the current fiscal year 2021. Last fiscal, NHAI constructed a record 4,192 km of highways, up from 3,979 km developed in 2019-20 and 3,380 km in 2018-19. NHAI believes that it could meet this year’s road construction targets with reliance on EPC projects and HAM projects. The Minister for road transport and highways hopes that construction would touch 40 km/day in 2021-22 from 36.4 km a day in 2020-21. It further plans to develop the wayside amenities across a combined area of over 3,000 hectares across the country. It is offering wayside amenities on a public-private partnership model for development and operation on existing highways. Taking into consideration the requirements of truckers, separate ‘Truckers Blocks’ will also be developed at large amenities that will include truck and trailer parking, auto workshop, etc. The road construction sector is showing no signs of slowing down.
The quality and fast-track developments play a key role in road construction. The selection of the right road construction equipment becomes pivotal. The road roller is one such important equipment that plays an important role in road construction. It is most often used for road construction or for creating compact foundations for large areas although they can also be used in areas as diverse as on landfill sites or agricultural projects. The primary use for rollers is to crush, knead or vibrate loose materials by applying direct pressure. There are different types of roller models used in projects across India to meet India’s road construction target of 4,600 km. Each of them is discussed below.
Road Roller machines in India
Pneumatic Tyre Roller for tough terrain
These rollers provide the kneading and sealing effect for job sites increasing productivity on tough terrain. The tyred rollers perform on both asphalt and aggregates. Ballast packages of 9 tonnes to 24 tonnes can easily be added or removed to ensure the most efficient machine and process are provided. It is a good fit for a diverse job site that can be used on several different projects such as subdivision streets and driveways. Operators would find the machine easy to control as it is very user-friendly and easy to operate, it comes with a spacious cab. Everything can be easily managed by the operator through a control operation station. The optional Traction Control System and proven hydrodynamic propulsion system in these machines boost productivity on tough terrain. It comes with features such as a steerable front isostatic axle with oscillation, tyre widths and arrangement for consistent coverage and even weight distribution, rear-drive axle and many more.
Mini tandem roller for increased vibration frequency
These rollers are powered by an ecoMAX engine, which also makes them highly fuel-efficient. Its maintenance-free vibration system and articulation joint are added advantages. The machine’s Automatic Vibration Control system cuts off vibration when the roller stops. The high drum thickness of 13.5 mm also leads to better stability of the drum during operations, providing it with longer life. Due to the superior design of drums on the curves, the compaction happens without leaving a mark. This helps carry out compaction on curved stretches. This type of roller is best suited for applications such as highway road shoulders, retaining the walls of flyovers, for the compaction of road shoulders, footpaths, trenches and service roads. These machines are enabled with advanced Telematics Technology for Next-Generation Asset Monitoring and Fleet Management.
Single drum roller for manual slip control
Some machines are required for load-bearing subsoil in construction projects, where single drum rollers are needed. These rollers come with a smart speed control system that not only saves up to 30 percent fuel but also produces less noise. The optional ECO STOP enables the engine to shut down automatically after a defined period in idle speed. This also reduces fuel consumption and wear. On these models, manual slip control provides specific adjustments to ground conditions. The rear axles are equipped with a self-locking differential. This translates into forwarding drive, even under the most severe site conditions. The cab has a spacious design with excellent all-around vision. When in use for longer periods, the ergonomic seat position provides fatigue-free driving. The steering wheel is adjustable to suit every operator. The visual lane assistant allows the driver to compact edges or lane to lane with ease.
Double drum roller for a superior oscillation
These rollers come standard with a hydraulically adjustable “crab steering” system that can offset the rear drum up to seven inches*. In addition to that, a heavy-duty, roller-style articulation joint allows the machine to oscillate +/-10° to maintain drum-to-ground contact. Together, these features enable superior operation around corners, over bumps or dips, and in confined areas. The front drums of our small DV rollers are positioned about two inches off-center from the back drum, allowing for a tighter turning radius, while both drums have a balanced design and a tapered edge to reduce tearing around curves and during transitions. The standard pressurized water sprinkler system with 6 nozzles per drum provides longer operating hours in every condition due to optimized water usage and consistent water flow regardless of the slope of the jobsite. The ergonomically designed sliding operator’s seat allows the driver to have a perfect view on the drum edge in every working conditions.
Steel drum roller for articulated steering
There are modern, articulated static three drum rollers that come with the same static linear load and drum diameter on all drums. The roller covers the asphalt mat with its full width. The machine is suitable for medium-size and large-size applications. It is ideal for use in areas where the ground should not be vibrated, such as in areas close to old buildings and on bridges. The machine features -large and equal drum diameter and drum drive on all three drums, preventing shuffling of the asphalt mixes. 50/50 articulated steering makes sure that you cover the full width of 2,100 mm also when you turn the roller. It comes with a stage IIIB/ T4 Final 55 kW Deutz TD 3.6 L4 engine.
In order to meet the National Highways Authority of India’s ambitious target to build new highways of 4,600 km in the current fiscal year, manufacturers are now focusing on road roller’s engine performance for fuel-efficiency. The trend of incorporation of autonomous and semi-autonomous systems along with fuel-efficient road roller equipment is increasing. Additionally, operator friendliness is a prime focus. A cab design can help make operators comfortable and machine loading easy. Modern road rollers come with compact design, with articulated maneuverability that requires lesser turning radius. Safe and ease of maintenance of these machines are enabled by higher drain out and replacement intervals of the drum oil, engine oil and filters.