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Boral revolutionises road construction safety

by Australian Road Research Board on February 5, 2019

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Boral has unveiled a new road surfacing truck to make the task safer for workers, increase product quality, help to reduce infrastructure costs to road agencies, and further cement the company’s innovation credentials.

The launch was held at ARRB's headquarters, the National Transport Research Centre, in Port Melbourne earlier today.

The new Boral FMAS, a Forward Moving Aggregate Spreader, revolutionises the method of spray seal road construction in Australia. The Boral FMAS is the first in Australia, locally designed and engineered by Boral.

Until now, 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.

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The forward moving operation allows for clear line of sight for the operator.
There is no requirement for reversing or tipping which minimises risk to people and infrastructure.

The Boral FMAS meets Australian Design Rules and can be legally driven fully loaded on all Australian roads without permits.

The Boral FMAS design enables quicker completion of works, and significantly reduces any potential infrastructure and overhead damage such as contacting power lines, trees and bridges.

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Stuart Partridge, Boral’s National Asset Manager – Asphalt, 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.

Boral launch
From left to right: Dr Collette Burke, Chief Engineer of Victoria, Joe Goss, Boral Chief Executive, John Esnouf, VicRoads Principal Engineer - Sprayed Seal Technology, Michael Caltabiano, ARRB CEO and Stuart Partridge, National Asset Manager - Asphalt standing in front of the new Boral FMAS.
Boral team
The proud Boral Australia team with the Boral FMAS

ARRB CEO, Michael Caltabiano, Dr Collette Burke, Chief Engineer of Victoria and VicRoads Principal Engineer - Sprayed Seal Technology, John Esnouf, were among more than 80 guests for the Boral FMAS launch at the National Transport Research Centre.

Click below for more information on the Boral FMAS and to read the full media release.

Boral FMAS

 All images courtesy of Boral.

Topics: Featured, ARRB News, Pavement, Heavy Vehicles, Road Safety, Bitumen, Asphalt