Review: Ammann APH 1000TC compactor
Well, star floors, car parks, drainage trenches, roading or anything else that needs compaction work — this little beauty from Ammann is just the thing.
The first thing that springs to mind when you see the Ammann APH 1000TC for the first time is 'R2-D2, eat your heart out!'
When Iput this little beauty through its paces a couple of weeks back, it arrived on a tandem trailer which was towed behind a Nissan Navara ute. However, it could have just as easily been delivered on a standard single-axle trailer, towed behind the family station wagon.
The machine weighs 750kg, is just over a metre long and is 800mm wide with extension plates and can be 650mm wide if required.
Once delivered to the site it needs a lift from a digger or similar machine capable of lifting 750kg at a reach of a metre or so, depending on the size of the vehicle it's transported on.
The APH 1000TC is fitted with a centrally-located lifting eye that folds down during operation, making it easy to be placed directly into a trench or wherever it's going to be working.
Any contractor in business at the time R2-D2 was around, who came across a compactor like this one on a building site, would have been scurrying about looking for the handle to attach to the thing before he could operate it.
But even then, once he'd found the handle, he'd have to have gone off to find a ladder to climb down into the trench before getting to work.
Thankfully, these days, by making use of the functions that come with this innovative piece of kit, it is entirely possible for a digger operator to grab hold of the APH 1000TC's black box remote control unit and operate it from the comfort of his or her cab.
By making use of remote control technology, it is now possible to carry out the entire operation — backfilling a trench and compacting — by a single suitably-qualified operator, making it a very cost-effective piece of equipment.
The black box in itself is a bit of technology worthy of an overview as to how it works.
Infrared light sends acknowledgement from the black box to a receiver on the compactor, which in turn sends a signal to electro-magnetic valves.
The valves transmit commands into the hydraulic system, thus controlling all movement back and forth, including vibrating, stopping and starting functions.
The black box can be charged either by solar power or it can be plugged into mains power as required and will only operate the machine within a line-of-sight of up to 18 metres. However, should the machine come within a distance of less than two metres of the operator, it shuts down automatically.
The remote control function is completely fail-safe and should the operator momentarily turn away or 'pop around the corner', the machine will cease to operate. Another safety feature is a shut-off system that protects the engine against an insufficient oil level, dirty air filter and overheating.
The Ammann APH 1000TC is hydrostatically driven and is powered by a vertical shaft Hatz Supra diesel engine which is easily accessed via the large engine compartment cover.
The machine is very user-friendly from an operator's point of view, even if it does look a little strange to see a compactor whizzing around a building site with nobody sitting on it pushing levers.
Just because it's child's play to operate it doesn't mean this machine isn't a serious contender in the compaction-capability stakes — it can exert a centrifugal force of 70kN at a vibration rate of 2760 vibrations per minute.
Speaking of child's play — are there any roading or drainage contractors out there with teenage kids? Tell them to put down their PlayStations and put those skills they've learned to good use operating a proper machine.
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