Robert Carrillo – Paving Specialist
We decided to have another sit-down with our Wirtgen product and paving specialist, Robert Carrillo, location down in Albuquerque, New Mexico for another update in the paving industry.
In our last interview with Robert Carrillo, we discussed what was going on in the paving world at the time Carrillo joined the 4Rivers team in Albuquerque. Such topics were discussed like:
- Introducing Robert Carrillo
- Competition to Wirtgen products
- Common machines sold and their uses
- High Frequency Rollers
- Pairing Wirtgen Products with John Deere products
If you missed this blog and would still like to check it out, you can read it HERE.
Last time, we explained how 97% was the magic number for compaction percentage that any major highway, or even rural highways, must meet. Well how do they know what compaction percentage they’re at while operating? This leads us to the technology aspect of these pavers and rollers.
Stiffness Meters do exactly what they sound like they do; that is, read asphalt stiffness. And manufacturers all have the capability of doing it built into the roller itself. This is what’s known as Intelligent Compaction.
HAMM has paved the road for Intelligent Compaction. At the time other manufacturers saw that it wasn’t a high-demand item, they stopped doing it. However, HAMM saw the value in it and continued development. Other manufacturers started following suit shortly thereafter; after seeing the success HAMM had with it.
To increase operator efficiency, Wirtgen uses their same technology across all of their products. If an operator understands the controls for a roller, he can go to a paver or even a miller and understand the same controls. With the labor shortages that is going on in the industry, having smarter machines that are easier to train operators on has helped many of these smaller construction companies.
One customer example that really proves this is one of 4Rivers’ customers out of Albuquerque. They are a smaller construction company, so they have to be a little more flexible when it comes to having operators jump between rollers, pavers, and even their mills.
I remember a mill that I rented to them, and the operator said “Well, this is very similar to the paver.” This company has 4 Voegle pavers and several HAMM rollers already and then wanted to rent a Wirtgen mill. While in the mill testing it out, one of the operators noted that it was very similar to the Voegle paver. I replied, “Yeah, that’s really the difference between the Voegle paver and the Wirtgen mill; you’re just taking it out instead of putting it in.”
Using the same technology across the board from machine to machine is what makes Wirtgen and their product line very versatile. Nobody else in the market does that. Wirtgen builds all of their own machines and uses most of the same technology. It’s just easier. A trained professional could jump from a HAMM, to a Voegle, to a Wirtgen, to even a Kleeman if needed. All without needing new technology training for each machine.
Wirtgen has similar technology that John Deere has; where they can remotely inspect and troubleshoot what is wrong with a machine prior to our service technicians going out there. This allows them to bring everything they need along with all the right parts all in one trip; saving time and money.
Another 4Rivers customer, also down in Albuquerque, New Mexico, were having troubles with their W220 Mill traveling in the milling position. They said it would travel sometimes, but sometimes it wouldn’t; and it was unclear if the problem was electrical or if it was the hydraulics. I got ahold of Wirtgen with the serial number of the machine, they connected to the customer’s mill through WITOS FleetView, and they noticed that just the switch was bad. I checked to see if we had the switch in inventory and then sent the technician out to the customer’s jobsite with the new switch in-hand. The machine was even still under warranty so the repair didn’t cost an arm and a leg to fix.
Furthermore, the customer’s jobsite was about 6 hours away- one way- from their 4Rivers Equipment Albuquerque location. So, instead of sending a technician all the way out there to troubleshoot the machine, then order the part and wait for delivery to go back out again to fix the issue; 4Rivers can be a bit more proactive and prepared when something like this happens to one of their customers. By accessing a customer’s machine remotely to see what’s wrong with it before the technician goes out to fix it, it changes a 24-48 hour job down to just a 6 hour job. Which keeps the customer up and running for longer and with less downtime.
The typical lifespan of a unit has an industry standard. Most machine parts replacements are right around 10,000 hours. The Wirtgen product mill is about the same at right around 7,000 to 10,000 hours, because of its advantages. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t Wirtgen customers out there that have 12, 13, or even 14,000 hours on them. Because of maintenance, they’re able to go a little farther than usual. Of course, like any other machine with wheels and an engine, maintenance is important.
Parts availability for Wirtgen products at the 4Rivers Equipment stores have been estimated at about a 70% fill rate just at their Albuquerque location alone; not including the other 4Rivers Equipment construction locations that hold the Wirtgen line.
This fill rate is a big deal for a customer that’s in need of products as soon as possible; which is another thing about the milling and paving industry. When you’re milling up asphalt, you’re generally paving right after. So, when you have tons and tons of asphalt waiting to be put down but you’re having to wait on parts, it just doesn’t work. Those are the times when you’re driving through some construction and see a bunch of workers just standing around doing nothing. They are simply waiting on parts and their supervisor is jumping up and down because their workers cannot do anything without the machine running.
As 4Rivers and I begin to work more closely with Wirtgen each day, we hope to increase that parts fill rate percentage.
All in all, we are excited and proud to be part of the Wirtgen dealer network. I am happy to be part of such a great team like 4Rivers Equipment and I am eager to see what the future holds for the Colorado, Texas and New Mexico construction industries.
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