Two new companies in Belgium are braving their country’s struggling economy and starting concrete slipforming businesses. They both plan on specializing in curb and gutter and sidewalk/bike path and they both chose the GOMACO GT-3600 as their slipform paver to help launch their new businesses.
Aannemingen Sico BVBA is located in the small town of Hooglede, and n.v. VAN HUELE gebrs. is located in Ostend on the coast of the North Sea. Ostend is also the home office for GOMACO’s distributor, De Bruycker N.V., and being so close to a GOMACO distributor was one of the deciding factors for both contractors when they were making their decisions on which piece of equipment to purchase.
Aannemingen Sico BVBA specializes in curb and gutter and sidewalk slipforming. And even though they’re new to slipforming, they’re not afraid of taking on specialty projects. The village of Watou, near Poperinge, was prone to flooding from a nearby creek. To solve the problem, the road next to the creek was raised and a concrete flood defense wall was slipformed on top of the newly raised road. Sico and their GT-3600 were hired to slipform the flood defense wall.
“The road next to the creek was raised 800 millimeters (31.5 in) to act as a flood wall,” Thomas Cool, a co-owner of Sico, explained. “Then, we were hired to slipform a retaining wall on each side of the roadway for added defense. The wall is 500 millimeters (19.7 in) wide, 600 millimeters (23.6 in) tall, and each section of wall was 400 meters (1312 ft) long.”
Cool isn’t just a co-owner of the company, he’s also the GT-3600’s operator.
“This GT-3600 is our first machine and it has really helped with the start up of our new business,” Cool explained. “It was easy to learn how to operate, and being able to operate in our Dutch language really helps.“
The concrete for the flood retaining wall was a standard Belgian mix design with slump averaging 40 millimeters (1.6 in). It was delivered to site by ready-mix trucks carrying nine cubic meter (11.8 yd3) loads. Concrete delivery slowed slipforming production. Trucks one at a time had to back down the length of the existing roadway, which was only three meters (9.8 ft) wide, to reach the GT-3600.
Hand-finishing work was kept to a minimum behind the GT-3600, no joints were necessary in the flood wall and Sico completed the special application in one day’s time. Then, they loaded up the GT-3600 onto their low-bed trailer and transported it to the next job site.
“The GT-3600 is the correct size for our type of work and off ers us all the necessary options,” Ward Simoens, co-owner of Sico, said. “It was a good value for our money, it offers a solution to our projects at a good price, and it gives us the flexibility and ability to pour curbs, sidewalk, or cycle track.”
n.v. VAN HUELE gebrs. is also a new concrete slipforming company specializing in public works projects and curb and gutter. They also have the capabilities of expanding into sidewalk and cycle track when projects become available.
“The GT-3600 model suits all of the paving requirements in Belgium and has the ability to pave three meter (9.8 ft) wide sidewalk and cycle track,” Xavier Van Huele, owner of n.v. VAN HUELE gebrs., said. “It’s easy to transport between our yard and job sites. Dealer support was also very important when we were choosing a machine to purchase, and De Bruycker is located just over the road. The experience we have had of dealer support has been excellent.”
VAN HUELE has been traveling with their GT-3600 slipforming a variety of curb and gutter profiles. On a project in Koksijde, on the northern coast of Belgium, they slipformed 1700 meters (5577 ft) of curb and gutter. The concrete was a standard C30/37 Belgian mix design with slump averaging between 35 to 40 millimeters (1.4 to 1.6 in).
The GOMACO mold profile features a 100 millimeter (3.9 in) tall by 135 millimeter (5.3 in) wide curb on a 450 millimeter (17.7 in) wide by 200 millimeter (7.9 in) thick gutter. The curb and gutter mold is also equipped with a guillotine-style curb depressor for driveway cutouts. The depressor has a straight blade that enters the face of the curb while slipforming through driveways and helps eliminate wasted concrete.
Slipforming production for the new GT-3600 owners has averaged up to 700 meters (2297 ft) per day. Only two finishers work behind the machine to tidy up around the outlets and driveway cutouts. Expansion joints are saw cut the following day after the pour at four meter (13.1 ft) intervals in the straight runs and three meter (9.8 ft) intervals on their radii.
VAN HUELE also purchased a sidewalk mold with their GT-3600 but have only used it so far on a test pour at their company headquarters. The sidewalk is three meters (9.8 ft) wide by 200 millimeters (7.9 in) thick and workers applied a stamped pattern into the surface. The company feels that owning the GT-3600 and being able to slipform both curb and gutter and sidewalk applications will ultimately benefit them as the Belgian economy recovers.
“The GT-3600 produces a high quality product and is capable of a high production rate,” Van Huele explained. “We are fairly new to slipform paving and the Belgian economy is not so good at the moment, but we will be ready when things start to pick up. Our slipforming experience so far will put us in a good position.”