Nortrax hosts the Road to Success

The massive Nortrax demo day helps highlight the complementary nature between John Deere and Wirtgen equipment 

Nortrax recently demonstrated the synergy between its existing line of John Deere equipment and its new line of Wirtgen products. 

On Jan. 1, Nortrax Canada became the distributor of Wirtgen Group’s roadbuilding products for Ontario. The company has served Ontario for more than 40 years as one of John Deere’s top construction equipment dealers.

“We felt with the timing and opportunity of Wirtgen coming into our fold, it was the right thing to do. It’s not the sort of thing we do every year,” said Michael Rugeroni, vice president of Nortrax Canada. “This is about letting people see what our message is and it’s a pretty cool story. We’re really excited about what we have to show.”

The demo day, held April 30 and May 1 in Orillia, Ontario, welcomed about 500 registrants to see the latest machines in action, as well as talk one-on–one with product specialists. 

“The biggest event I’ve done in my tenure,” Rugeroni said.

During the Demo, Nortrax featured about 60 machines from John Deere, Wirtgen, Vögele, Hamm and Kleemann product lines. 

“All of the products are synergistic. It’s all complimentary,” Rugeroni said.

The latest from Vögele

The Nortrax demo allowed product specialist from Vögele to showcase the latest innovations on the Super 2000-3i paver.

The tracked Super 2000-3i is designed primarily for use in highway construction and large-scale commercial applications. The 3 metre (10 foot) paver is equipped with a 250 hp, 6-cylinder Cummins Tier 4 Final engine and high-output hydraulic drives.

Now, the paver may be fitted with an optional angled ski, which allows screed extensions to go in and out, which also improves access for operators. As well, Vögele has simplified the grade sensor system. 

“For the sensors, everything is quick couplings, there’s no wrench,” said Cees Haasnoot, Vogele’s senior sales manager for the United States and Canada.

Introducing RoadScan

The Super 2000-3i was fitted with RoadScan during the event, a Vögele technology that hasn’t been officially released in Canada. 

RoadScan is a contactless temperature-measurement system that makes paving quality measurable and verifiable.

“It is coming to Canada. It’s taking care of your own quality of work,” Haasnoot said. “This is process optimization; that’s the key words behind it.”

Making quality measurable is one of the biggest issues for roadbuilding contractors and clients worldwide. One of the key criteria for the durability of roads is maintaining a constant temperature of the freshly paved asphalt. As a result, the significance of area-wide temperature monitoring is currently on the rise in more and more markets. RoadScan was introduced in Europe in 2016, and is now beginning to gain popularity in the United States. However, Haasnoot explained there are contractors that are skeptical about RoadScan technology. 

“A lot of people here think its checking if you’re doing it right. For the DoT it’s evidence,” he said. “For the contractor, it’s the benefit of knowing what you’re doing and what your people are doing.” 

The heart of the RoadScan system is a high-precision infrared camera with 100 per cent measurement coverage. The camera scans the asphalt pavement behind the screed over the entire area. The Vögele system captures grids of 25 x 25 cm-sized tiles at a measuring width of 10 metres. 

Each tile contains up to 16 single measuring points, which are used to calculate a mean value. That allows the system to capture the newly paved surface with no gaps, and so no theoretical or computed values need to be added. The measurable temperature range of RoadScan lies between 0 C and 250 C with a tolerance of only 2 C.

The purpose of RoadScan’s other components is to capture the base temperature before paving, record precise positional data with its high-precision GPS receiver and document the wind strength and direction, ambient temperature, air pressure and humidity — a weather station is available as an option.

“You have to know what you’re doing. It’s the same that we do in our factories. If we don’t take care of our quality, we have to go back in the field,” Haasnoot said.

The RoadScan system can be activated from the paver operator’s ErgoPlus 3 console. The user views the temperatures currently being recorded on the colour display, visualized using thermal images in real time. The paver operator can program the colour scale to allow any deviation from the required temperature of the freshly paved asphalt to be quickly identified. 

“That moment they have problems, they can decide what went wrong and what actions should they take,” Haasnoot said.

As well, the measurement data obtained using RoadScan is stored in the paver operator’s ErgoPlus 3 console. After paving, this data can be read via an external data storage device. 

To protect data, Vögele designed a memory stick that communicates with a Vögele interface on the paver operator’s ErgoPlus 3 console. This, in turn, transfers the data in encrypted form. The data is then analyzed in the office using the RoadScan Analysis web application, which presents the data in different types of diagrams and in a map view.

WITOS integration 

RoadScan can also be integrated into WITOS Paving. The IT-based tool for the process optimization of asphalt job sites helps companies to plan more transparently and respond flexibly to interruptions in ongoing operations, increasing overall cost efficiency.

“It’s very preventative,” Haasnoot said. “This basically tells you where you can expect problems, or where you can avoid problems.”