Wanted: The New Generation GT-3300
|Bob Hedger founded Hedger Construction, Inc., in 1965. In 1976 his son Mike joined the business and together they purchased a GOMACO HW-165 for subdivision, concrete street paving. In 1988 they bought their first GT-3300 for curb and gutter work in subdivisions. Today, Mike is president of the company and machine operator. Bob is vice president and, at 72 years old, still works on the finishing crew.
Hedger Construction has owned three GT-3300s since that time. When they decided it was time to purchase a fourth new curb and gutter machine, they wanted to stay with the GT-3300.
It was during this time the GT-3300 was going through some redesign work and improvements at GOMACO. Hedger Construction took delivery of their new generation GT-3300 in June of this year.
GOMACO recently had the chance to visit their job site in Greensburg, Indiana, to see them at work with their new machine.
The project was a housing subdivision with approximately 10,000 feet (3048 m) of roll-over curb and gutter.
"It's a four inch (102 mm) roll curb, 6.5 inches (165 mm) on the front and 10 inches (254 mm) on the back with a four inch (102 mm) roll, so it's easy to drive over," Mike Hedger, president of Hedger Construction, said.
The project also had approximately 40 catch basins that had to be installed for drainage. Hedger Construction would place a metal plate over the opening of the basin, slipform over the plate, and then dig out the plate and set the catch basin in place according to line and grade.
Four to five finishers worked behind the machine to set the catch basins and finish the curb and gutter. A light broom finish was applied and joints were cut in every 10 feet (3.05 m).
"We run our slump right at one inch (25 mm)," Hedger said. "We've seen companies use a two to 2.5 inch (51 to 64 mm) and the back edge of the curb just slumps over backwards. My dad doesn't like that because we're after a high quality product."
Production averages between 3,000 to 4,000 feet (914 to 1219 m) of curb and gutter before noon.
Hedger is enjoying the redesigned features of their new machine.
"I like the wider conveyor," Hedger said. "It has more than enough power to handle the concrete load and keep the hopper charged."
The new spacious U-shaped operator's platform allows viewing of the entire operation on the right or left side while remaining within arm's reach of all machine controls. The console was also redesigned with easier access to the controls. All the hydraulic systems have gauges on the the console so all the systems can be monitored at a glance.
The new paver is equipped with the next generation of the GOMACO Network Controller. It features more memory, more software and programming capacity, more computing power, more processing speed, and more input and output capabilities than ever before.
"Our other GT-3300s had the Micro controller on them so this new controller has presented a learning challenge," Hedger said. "We won't have any problems with it once we get used to it."
Steering control has been simplified with smart cylinders, eliminating the sprocket, chain, and potentiometer at the top of each leg. The smart cylinder reduces moving parts and eliminates the physical adjustments to the steering system. The GOMACO Network Controller makes it possible to have push-button steering setup.
It features GOMACO's smart steer with coordinated steer, crab steer, front steer only, and rear steer. The smart steer is ideal for maneuvering around job sites and easy alignment to the stringline.
The new GT-3300 is tight radius capable, a feature Hedger appreciates because of their many subdivision projects. The redesigned legs with the new generation Network Controller allow it to turn a tight radius on either side of the machine.
The front legs feature the pivoting power swing for hydraulic positioning and easy setup. The rear leg on the GT-3300 was redesigned with 36 inches (914 mm) of travel on either side of the centerline. All of the legs have 36 inch (914 mm) height adjustments.
Although Hedger Construction only slipforms off the left side of their machine, the GT-3300 has the unique ability to pour curb and gutter or barrier off the right or left side, depending on traffic flow. The symmetrical design of the frame gives it this ability.
Telescoping drawbar and hold-down mounts are located on both sides of the machine to accommodate the dual-side paving ability. The conveyor can also be positioned to discharge on either side of the paver without removal.
The GT-3300 features 36 inches (914 mm) of horizontal shifting of mold drawbars and holddowns on either side of the machine.
"I like the sideshifting and vertical-lifting trimmerhead and mold," Hedger said. "So far, we've not come up to anything that we've had any problems with."
Hedger Construction has a busy schedule of mostly subdivision work lined up for their machine of choice, the GT-3300.
"When I first saw the GT-3300 at World of Concrete in Las Vegas in 1987, I knew it was the machine we wanted," Hedger said. Today, it's still the machine Hedger Construction prefers.