by Dennis Clausen, Director of Training
GOMACO Corporation sells more curb and gutter machines than anyone else in the world and we offer machines with all-track steer and machines with single-track steer. Your concrete paver is a machine that is making you money every minute you have concrete coming out of the mold and All-Track Steering and All-Track Positioning have definite advantages that you will want to consider in your purchasing selection process.
Simple to Put All-Track Steer On Line
With an All-Track Steer (ATS) machine, setting the machine to line is quick. You set your Selective Steer control to Crab Steer the machine into position next to the stringline, place the steering sensors on the line and set the control system to automatic. Track the machine forward a short distance and measure the distance between the stringline and the front of the frame and the stringline and the rear of the frame. The two measurements must be the same. If not, adjust the front or rear steering sensors a small amount. Travel the machine forward a small amount and re-check the measurements. Once the machine frame is parallel to the line, offset adjustments are easily made. Simply adjust the front and rear steer sensors in or out evenly. The machine frame will remain parallel to the line.
No Problem Backing Up with All-Track Steer
ATS also allows you to easily back the machine into position, especially if backing around a radius. A machine with ATS will maintain the same distance between the stringline and the front of the frame and between the stringline and the rear of the frame in a straightaway or in a radius when traveling in reverse.
ATS saves time getting on and off stringline, job-site mobility and loading for transport. The ability to steer all of the tracks allows accurate steering around tight radii instead of sliding on grade. With the capability to steer all of the tracks, the skid steer action through a radius is eliminated and you're able to produce a high-quality end product without continual manual adjustment of the machine sensors. The end product is a radius that is an accurate reflection of the stringline.
ATS allows Selective Steer with the GOMACO exclusive operating system. Selective Steer is an operator favorite. A flip of the switch allows automatic stringline control of steering, plus four other choices for maneuvering the machine with the steering dial: Coordinated Steer, Crab Steer, Front Steer and Rear Steer.
Stringline steer mode is selected when steering needs to be controlled by the steering sensors. The controller automatically recognizes where the sensors are plugged in and assigns steering, slope, or dual stringline to the appropriate tracks and display meters. For example, with reverse steering, a rear steer sensor guides the machine when you're backing it up on the stringline. This ability provides accurate, automatic steering when traveling back down the line at the start of a pour or lining up to come off a header.
Turn the steer select switch to Coordinated Steer and the steering control dial controls the turning of the tracks to accomplish a minimum turning radius. Turning the steering dial right or left from center position turns the leading tracks in the corresponding direction and the trailing tracks turn in the opposite direction.
Crab Steering allows you to walk the machine sideways to easily put it on line, drive away from a finished pour, and easily maneuver in tight job-site conditions. It also makes changing molds faster. Contractors simply have to Crab Steer the machine sideways, position it over the mold and connect the mold to the paver. It's a huge time savings.
Front Steer and Rear Steer are two more steering options that improve the maneuverability of our machines.
There are definite advantages with ATS, setting it to line, backing up on line, and simple mounting of molds and other attachments. The ability to steer all three tracks of a paver also provides accurate steering control when pouring barrier and parapet, sidewalk, or wider width paving.
All-Track Positioning (ATP)
All-Track Positioning gives a contractor more options for dealing with obstacles. The legs can be positioned to help the contractor get the job done, whether it's barrier wall or monolithic sidewalk and curb and gutter. Contractors can position each of the legs to provide a wider platform for stability and clearance of obstacles. ATP allows you to move a leg to avoid obstacles such as manhole covers. The rear leg can be moved to the left for stability when pouring barrier. The front leg can be moved to clear continuous rebar being fed into the curb mold or cage steel going into a parapet mold.
GOMACO's left-front track features a pivoting power-swing, the right-front track hydraulically extends/retracts and the rear track hydraulically sideshifts. Each leg has a reinforced steel attachment plate that allows extra leg height adjustment. ATP provides the capability to perform various applications and work with differences in grade elevations and unique job-site logistics.
You are limited without ATP. You're limited on what you can do with a fixed-track machine. You can't move the tracks to get by obstacles and you're going to be spending extra time dealing with the limitations. There are applications and job-site logistics that will be impossible.
Time is Money
Why would you want ATS & ATP? The biggest reason would be the time savings. You'll be able to put the machine on line, set parallel to the line faster and get the correct steering offset.
You're going to save time mounting attachments. In Crab Steer, for example, the machine is steered sideways and walks right up to the mold or trimmerhead to hook onto the attachment. Another item would be loading and unloading the machine from the transport. With ATS, you simply steer the back track over to where you need it and have it loaded and ready to go.
You're going to save time with ATS because you'll be able to mount molds faster, load and unload more quickly, and position the machine on line more efficiently. At the end of the pour, when you come up to an existing curb, you'll simply raise the machine up, turn all the tracks to the right and walk away from the existing pour.
You'll also be able to maneuver around obstacles by tweaking the tracks over an inch or two with ATP, get the machine by the obstacles, and then move the tracks back into position.
ATS/ATP Standard... Not An Option
Veteran concrete contractors who depend on their machine to make them money will testify there's advantages to ATS and ATP... getting around obstacles, avoiding obstacles, set-up time, mounting molds, transporting the machine, and loading and unloading. There's a lot of things you can do with an All-Track Steer, All-Track Positioning machine that would be difficult or impossible to do if you didn't have it.