Product focus: Volvo on the Great Asian Highway
Volvo Construction Equipment has partnered with Thai construction contractor STCL to construct the AH13 highway, which is the Thai section of the Great Asian Highway.
The Great Asian Highway (AH) is currently one of the world’s largest construction projects. Initiated by the United Nations in 1959, the project is a network of cross-border highways spanning 32 countries.
The full extent of the network will run from Tokyo in the east to Istanbul in the west, and serves to better facilitate trade and tourism in the region as well as provide a road transport corridor to Europe.
AH13 is the section of the network that crosses Thailand’s north, running 140km from Sukhothai to the border with Laos. The route then continues on to the Laotian city of Luang Prabang.
The area is mountainous and densely forested, so STCL says they needed specialised equipment that would be reliable and could handle the tough conditions.
To this end. STCL took on a Volvo EC480D excavator, an EC210B Prime excavator, an SD110 single-drum compactor and an ABG7820B tracked paver.
"Because the terrain on much of the route is mountainous and difficult to work in, we needed specialised and powerful equipment," STCL construction manager Dusit Tengtrirat says.
"We have been very impressed with the performance of the Volvo equipment, especially in the locations with more challenging geography."
The Volvo EC480D excavator is 48-tonne digger powered by a Volvo D13 diesel engine. Volvo says the excavator’s fuel efficiency is class-leading, with the inclusion of an ECO mode and electronic pump control technology.
The second Volvo excavator used by STCL is the smaller EC210B Prime, a machine suited to the steep and demanding conditions of the project. Powered by a 110kW Volvo D6E, the EC210B Prime features a range of automated hydraulic functions to make operation easier such as swing/arm priority and co-ordination between the two hydraulic pumps.
STLC selected an SD110 single drum compactor to handle the rolling duties of the AH13 project. This is an 11-tonne single-drum roller powered by a 99kW Volvo D5 engine configured to Tier 3 emissions standards. The roller’s design gives it heightened visibility around the machine, improving safety and reducing the risk of damage.
The final Volvo piece purchased by STCL is the AGB7820B tracked paver, which is a versatile machine that can pave widths from 2.5m up to 13m. STLC says it has been pleased with the paver’s performance.
"The ABG7820B is ideal for this project," STLC foreman Vicharn Ritthidej says. "It is a robust machine with really strong power, which is vital. In the morning, the climate is quite cool in this region, but the screed continues to operate very effectively, and you only need to run it once."
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