The new chipper has been designed to be extendable, with a range of 12ft to 16ft wide carriageways, removing the need for multiple chippers on site and speeding up chip spreading operations. One machine can operate at five paving widths.
It also has hydraulically driven tracks instead of wheels, reducing ground bearing pressure and eliminating the risk of runaways. The hopper design reduces ‘load out’ height by 50% to provide 360 degree visibility and stability.
Development of the new machinery is part of a safety drive at Aggregate Industries following an incident in June 2016 involving a chipper that resulted in subcontractor fracturing an ankle.
Paddy Murphy, managing director of Aggregate Industries Contracting Services, said: “To prevent such incidents from ever happening again, we’ve spent the last 18 months conducting root-cause analysis of chipper incidents and operations to identify ways that we can reduce or eradicate the safety risks to our employees. The results consistently highlighted the need to completely overhaul the chipper design.”
Primed to deliver sector-wide improvements in road surfacing, the KS12-16 ExtendaChip Spreader is being trialled on the company’s Hampshire highways service contract in August and September 2018. With the results collated and adjustments made, the extendable chipper will be available to the wider industry in the fourth quarter of 2018.
Mr Murphy added: “By truly engaging; and collaboratively sharing knowledge and expertise with our supply chain partners, we’ve demonstrated the extraordinary things that can be achieved. We’re incredibly proud to have successfully designed out the majority of the health and safety risks that are associated with chipper operations. The KS12-16 ExtendaChip Spreader has set the new benchmark in best practice and will no doubt significantly raise standards across the industry for years to come.”