Waiting For A New Generation
|Fred Weber Inc., in St. Louis, Missouri, was looking to update their curb and gutter machine. It was no question the company wanted another GOMACO. They talked with their local GOMACO distributor, Allied Construction Equipment Company in St. Louis, Missouri, and learned about the new generation Commander III.
"We'd talked about buying last year, in 1999," Jim Jackson, project manager for Fred Weber, said. "Then we heard about the new generation and we decided to wait for the new one. We knew our existing Commander III would make the year without any problems so we waited."
They took shipment on their new generation four track in July 2000 and have been busy putting it through its paces on several different projects. They slipformed 12 foot (3.66 m) lanes on Olive Street in St. Louis, and on Route 141 in St. Louis County, they slipformed C-barrier and some tight-clearance shoulder.
The scab-on shoulder was slipformed ten feet (3.05 m) wide and 11 inches (279 mm) thick. Fred Weber side-mounted their mold to their new generation and ran the paver in barrier mode to slipform the shoulder.
A wall next to the roadway created some areas of tight working conditions, from zero clearance to only 12 inches (305 mm) separating the new shoulder from the wall.
"The zero-clearance work wasn't a problem," Jackson said. "We just pulled the hydraulic forms on the mold up and blew out the concrete next to the wall. It worked well."
A standard Missouri Department of Transportation concrete mix design was used on the shoulder. Average slump was 2.5 inches (64 mm). Dowel baskets were placed every 15 feet (4.57 m) between the joints.
A burlap drag was applied to the slab and three finishers worked behind the machine applying a wire-comb finish.
"The machine is doing a great job for us," Jackson said. "Once you get it set, it just moves along, at ease, with no problems."
Fred Weber is glad they waited for the new generation Commander III. The job-site mobility, slipforming speed, mold compatibility and other new features have helped them save time and money.
"We have to jump around a lot, pour a piece of shoulder here and a wall there and then you have to walk 1000 feet (305 m) and pick back up," Jackson said. "This machine just travels and paves a lot faster and that was one of the features that sold us."
The company was also able to utilize all of their existing molds and paving packages on their new machine.
"We got a bigger machine and everything we had for our other one, molds and paving packages, work perfect on this one."
Fred Weber's operators found the new generation controller easy to learn and easy to operate.
"The first time out, he had it mastered," Jackson said. "We do have some exceptional operators. Our company has always been in the mode of operating our equipment well and putting in the necessary training."
The necessary training includes sending anywhere from two to 10 employees to GOMACO University each winter for classes.
"It helps our guys get a little bit better feel for the machines," Jackson said. "Then they're ready for and can deal with anything that might jump out at them while we're paving."
Fred Weber has several different types of projects planned for the new generation Commander III, from barrier wall to shoulder to paved ditch. The versatility of the machine helps them accomplish the difficult projects.
"The machine is so versatile and we plan on doing a lot of different things with it. Whatever comes up, we'll usually try to slipform it," Jackson said. "I can talk to our dealer Jim Kniptash at Allied Construction and the engineers at GOMACO. I tell them what I need and they'll sit down and draw up the plans. They've been very good with everything I've sent up to them."