Construction technology firm Trimble says a field study it conducted shows that roller compactors in self-steering mode do their job faster and more effectively than when steered by people.
Two randomly selected compactor operators each compacted a stretch of ground 20 times steering the compactor themselves, and 20 times using Trimble’s Horizontal Steering Control functionality, which automatically steers the machine guided by a 3D model or compaction pass line.
Measuring 91m in length and around 9m wide, the strip was roughed up between each trial by a grader fixed with a ripper.
The study found that self-steering mode led to an average 29% reduction in the time it took to do the task and an average 26.5% reduction in fuel consumed, which Trimble said translated to potential carbon savings of 15,262 pounds (26.5%).
Trimble said the time and fuel savings arose from how much more precisely the auto-steer function controlled the amount of overlap between one pass of the compactor and the next.
Trimble said auto-steering also cut the risk of over-compaction and under-compaction.
“We know that horizontal steering control makes operators of all skill levels more productive, efficient and accurate, but we wanted to put our own technology to the test in the field to determine exactly what improvements were possible, especially when it comes to carbon emissions and the environmental impact of a job,” said Michael Granruth, Trimble’s director of civil infrastructure business development.