On-Site Magazine

Asphalt machines going high-tech


Asphalt Construction Roads

The tools of the trade for asphalt paving keep getting tech upgrades.


Original equipment manufacturers are continuing their march forward, adding sensors, monitors, automation, and other high-tech features to asphalt equipment. In addition to enhancing efficiency and productivity, these solutions are designed to reduce emissions and bridge a skills gap. Electric power is also becoming more common, and autonomous equipment might soon hit the marketplace. One thing is certain, the paving sector is anything but static.

In late 2021, for example, Volvo Construction Equipment unveiled its CX01, a conceptual single-drum asphalt compactor, at the Utility Expo in Louisville, Kentucky. The CX01 can be operated by remote control or in completely autonomous fashion.

While the CX01 is just a concept for now, “autonomy is definitely a focus we see the industry looking more and more towards,” says Justin Zupanc, head of electromobility and autonomous solutions for road products at Volvo Construction Equipment.

Manufacturers are also “looking for ways to make the machines more productive; more operator friendly—easier for operators to accomplish the job with less effort,” adds Zupanc.


Given that construction companies are “struggling to find operators” user-friendly software and other solutions can help firms cope with labour shortages and simplify training for new workers, he says.

Another focus is on the quality of the end product. Case Construction Equipment, for example, offers ACE Force Intelligent Compaction technology, which aims to improve compaction quality and reduce the number of passes required to meet target specs. This, in turn, “saves time, fuel costs, and machine maintenance, while avoiding pitfalls related to under or over-compaction,” states Jeremy Dulak, the company’s North American product and marketing manager for dozers and compaction.

With technological change in mind, let’s see what’s new and noteworthy in asphalt equipment.




Volvo introduced the battery electric DD25, the company’s first asphalt electric compactor, at CONEXPO last year. A quiet, low-maintenance, compactor that gives off zero exhaust emissions the company says its machine can charge from zero to 100 per cent in three hours, depending on the AC power-level.

“We got a lot of feedback from customers that have tested it and said, ‘Wow! This thing is quiet!’ Even when the drums are vibrating—and they typically generate a lot of noise—the customers were still able to identify the reduction in sound,” says Zupanc.

The double roller DD25 Electric can be used near hospitals, schools, residential neigbourhoods, or other areas where noise might be an issue. The lack of emissions also means it can be used indoors without the need for an elaborate ventilation system to siphon off fumes. And no engine means reduced maintenance.

“You no longer have oil changes. You no longer have filters. You have a hydraulics system, but basically you charge the batteries, and you go,” states Zupanc.

The DD25 Electric has an overall height of 104.3 inches (2,650 mm) and a drum width of 39.3 inches (1,000 mm) in narrow format and 47.2 inches (1,200 mm) in wide format. Given these diminutive dimensions, it’s well-suited for “smaller-size parking lots, driveways, limited shoulder work, patching, some sub-base preparation,” says Zupanc.

Volvo asphalt equipment can be fitted with Company Assist, a solution that provides pass mapping and temperature mapping. The latter is an important detail as “you want to be able to make sure you’re rolling at the right temperature range. Certain temperature ranges are undesirable,” explains Mike Wasielewski, product owner for asphalt compaction at Volvo Construction Equipment.

More advanced versions of Compact Assist compile data and offer real-time Compaction Measurement Value (CMV), which “gives an indication of the stiffness of the material. As operators reach a CMV that has been specified, they can basically determine when they’re done compacting that area,” he says.

The company also offers a version of “Compact Assist with Density Direct—a real-time density measurement of the output of the machine. After you roll over the mat, you get a real-time density reading of what you’ve just completed,” adds Wasielewski.




Case Construction Equipment has announced its DV23E EP and DV26E EP (Efficient Power) compact double-drum rollers as new entries to its asphalt compaction lineup.

At 24.5 hp (18.6 kW), the EP models “have slightly less power” than their non-EP counterparts [the DV23E and DV26E] but offer “similar compaction output,” says Dulak.

The Efficient Power models “do not require any engine emissions technology to meet Tier 4 Final standards, meaning there’s no diesel particulate filter or exhaust gas recirculation to maintain. All other options, features and benefits are the same as the DV23/26E models,” he continues.

Case has also expanded its single drum vibratory roller lineup with the new SV215E and SV217E soil compactors. Each is fitted with a Tier 4 Final 154 hp (115 kW) engine, and can reach 7.9 mph (12.7 kph). The SV215E weighs 33,420 pounds (15,160 kg) and the SV217E weighs 36,500 pounds (16,555 kg). These models can be equipped with ACE Force Intelligent Compaction and Case SiteWatch telematics.




Vögele, a brand of the international Wirtgen Group, exhibited the Super 700i Mini Class paver, the Super 1703-3i eight-foot paver, and the Super 2000-3i Highway Class paver at CONEXPO 2023 in Las Vegas.

While Vögele pavers and screeds are made in Germany, these particular products are specifically intended for use in North America.

Featuring a liquid cooled four-cylinder diesel engine, the Super 700i paver can pave basic widths ranging from threefeet- 11-inches (1.2 metres) to seven-feetthree- inches (2.2 metres) with an AB 220 extending screed.

A compact model, the Super 700i is recommended for paving small areas or doing pavement repairs. It comes with telematics and an ErgoBasic operating system. This system features status and function indicators, a choice of operational modes, and glare-free backlighting, which helps in nighttime conditions.

The Super 1703-3i eight-foot paver has a four-cylinder, liquid cooled diesel engine, is capable of pave speeds up to 250 feet/minute (76 m/minute), and pave basic widths from eight feet (2.45 metres) to 15-feet-six-inches (4.75 metres) when fitted with a VF 500 front-mounted screed. This paver has an ErgoPlus 3 operating system, Automatic Grade and Slope Control, a RoadScan asphalt temperature measurement system, and is intended for municipal and commercial applications.

For its part, the Super 2000-3i boasts a six-cylinder, liquid cooled design engine, a maximum laydown rate of 1,540 tons/hour, and has a basic paving width ranging from 9-feet-10-inches (three metres) to 19-feeteight- inches (six metres) when equipped with an AB 600 extending screed. Wellsuited for highway and large-scale commercial work, the Super 2000-3i has ErgoPlus 3, Automatic Grade and Slope Control, telematics, and RoadScan.




Caterpillar has entered into an agreement with Axenox, Inc., a construction solutions provider, to purchase the intellectual properties of an innovative three-dimensional screed plate and accompanying modular screed plate fastening system.

While most screed plates are flat, Axenox uses an angular 3D design to ensure better mat smoothness and higher density, which can reduce the required number of passes, saving time and costs. The 3D cast plates are made from high-strength chromium carbide for durability and longevity. A modular fastening system reduces the time required to change screed plates from days to under four hours.

The plate and fastening system will be available exclusively as options for customers of Caterpillar asphalt paving equipment.

The company also offers Cat Paving Technology solutions for its line of asphalt pavers and screeds. Cat Compact with Compaction Meter Value (CMV) determines material stiffness, while the Cat Grade and Slope system features sensors that detect elevation and makes automatic adjustments. Cat Grade and Slope can be operated and monitored from a paver or screed.

Caterpillar’s Pave Start Assistant is a machine management tool that records paving speed, width, and other metrics to simplify the setup required for repeatable performance.


Nate Hendley is a freelance writer and author, and is a regular contributor to On-Site Magazine.


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