Boral’s aggregate spreader to improve road construction safety

Building material company, Boral, has unveiled a new road surfacing truck to make the task safer for workers.

The new Boral FMAS, a Forward Moving Aggregate Spreader, reportedly revolutionises the method of spray seal road construction in Australia.

Until now, according to Boral, the process involved road crews working with reversing trucks that applied the aggregate through an elevated tipper body, increasing the safety risks to workers.

To improve safety and maximise visibility, the Boral FMAS disperses aggregate from the front of the truck via a conveyor belt and spreader box.

Boral National Asset Manager – Asphalt, Stuart Partridge, said Boral designed and developed a Forward Moving Aggregate Spreader following a call to industry by the Victorian roads authority – VicRoads – as a result of a serious accident involving a VicRoads worker some years ago.

“Surfacing roads has remained one of the most potentially challenging tasks faced by construction crews because of the nature of the material being used and the way that material is applied,” he said.

“Rollover accidents, blind spots, and high reversing tippers that can be at risk of interfering with power lines or overhanging trees, are just some of the problems associated with the current range of spreaders.

“So, the task here was to come up with a solution to improve safety for road crews, including drivers, while at the same time making the process quicker, and more efficient with higher quality.

“This invention allows locally manufactured and approved trucks to be substantially modified while still meeting regulatory standards, which is why VicRoads has mandated that forward moving aggregate spreaders should be in use on all its projects by 2022 – a move we hope will be followed by other State road authorities nationally.”

Boral Australia Chief Executive, Joe Goss, said the new Boral FMAS was a demonstration of the company’s commitment to zero harm, placing the safety of all employees and the community in general, at the very centre of the company’s mission.

“This invention speaks to the importance Boral places on keeping our workers safe and our commitment to innovation across all of our products and activities,” he said.

“I want to congratulate Stuart and his team for coming up with such an important invention – and one that will be embraced by the industry nationally and in our view, internationally also. It not only delivers a major improvement in safety standards but will also help to lower the cost of road surfacing because it supports a more efficient and productive process.”

IVECO Australia Managing Director, Bruce Healy, said the company was extremely excited at being involved in the development of Boral’s new Forward Moving Aggregate Spreader.

“Boral has shown innovation and forethought in researching and ultimately developing this vehicle in line with the new industry safety standards in Australia,” said Healy.

“IVECO has a long and proud history as one of Australia’s preferred suppliers of concrete agitators and the like for this industry, so naturally we were very pleased to participate in this project.

“As a local manufacturer with an extensive engineering centre in Melbourne, we were able to advise Boral on the best IVECO platform on which to build their vehicle – the Stralis AD 8×4 – and offer support during the development and build process.

“I’m confident that the new FMAS model will be well-received by the market.”

Barker Trailers’ AFIA win highlights industry passion

Original equipment manufacturer, and third-generation business, Barker Trailers, received the ‘Investment in People’ Award at the Victorian Transport Association’s 29th Australian Freight Industry Awards (AFIA).

The annual awards event, recently held at the Palladium at Crown, Melbourne, attracted 700 leading freight operators and delegates.

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Barker Trailers has been manufacturing semi-trailers since 1974 in the Loddon Mallee region and has production sites in Woodend and Maryborough. Brothers, Arthur and Ernie Barker started the business with a passion – to build great trailers with great craftsmanship for great customers, all underpinned by great people.

Over 10,000 trailers later, the passion remains. Through the ups and downs of family business, in a challenging yet rewarding industry, Barker trailers continues to invest heavily in people and its passion for craftsmanship.

Focused investment in safety, skills, diversity, leadership and partnership has seen Barker not only survive but also proudly strengthen.

“It truly is an honour to be recognised among industry peers for our investment in people, who are – by far – our most valuable asset,” said Barker Trailers CEO, Simon Meadows. “Congratulations to the team at Barker Trailers, and thanks also to the Victorian Transport Association, who do a wonderful job across the industry.”

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