Asphalt Jungle

Australian asphalt surfacing specialist, Elite Roads, has discovered the versatility offered by the Euro 6 DAF CF530, of which it recently deployed four new units on projects.

Dedicated commitment and mastery of technological innovation has paved the way to achieving repeated, successful client outcomes for top tier businesses.

Quite literally in the case of Elite Roads. New technology, a decade on since it was founded, remains a driving force for the company, whose continual investment in a wide range of cutting-edge working equipment facilitates the quality and environmental accountability sought after in its every project.

Automation plays a crucial role. Many of the manual processes still commonplace in the road construction industry have been automated by Elite Roads, making it something of a trailblazer in the segment. It hasn’t gone unnoticed.

The recent full-depth rehabilitation of the Hume Highway, spanning 1.3 kilometres near Tallarook, which was completed over a six-week period, personifies the technical precision involved in delivering a safer commute on one of the largest trucking routes in Australia.

The business enlists an in-house survey team to work closely with clients to better understand their quality requirements so that an approach is tailored through the right technological means to the design and scope required. This is achieved, by and large, through GPS machine control technology fitted to Elite Roads’ pavers, profilers and excavators, removing human error, wastage of product and provides a smoother finish for road-users.

Elite Roads also fits exclusion zone lighting to its machines to ensure safe working practices during night works, which helps to prioritise minimal disruptions to projects and the local municipalities in which they are undertaken.

In addition to asphalt paving, Elite Roads provides road and pavement profiling, micro stabilisation, survey and machine control and trucking. Asphalt being a temperature-sensitive product needs to be delivered on time.

Elite Roads at the Citywide Asphalt plant.
Aerial view of the Citywide Asphalt plant in Laverton North.

“We can’t afford to lose any time on the way to our destinations,” says Managing Director Deon Coote, who ahead of expanding the company’s fast-growing mobile assets, weighed up a range of factors with the latest truck technology and price point perhaps highest on the agenda.

“After owning numerous brands of trucks and exploring other brands, we kept coming back to DAF,” says Deon. “It was strongly recommended that we look into the DAF CF range, and we quickly realised why. They ticked all the boxes for our needs — they were spacious enough for the drivers yet still very agile around some of the tight worksites we access.”

The DAF CF530s, in addition to featuring all the latest safety features, offered compelling projected fuel efficiency numbers while maintaining the horsepower Elite Roads requires — generally 530hp.

“It was important to maintain a similar horsepower and 530hp gives us enough power on the hills out in country Victoria and the engines have enough torque to get up and going in the stop-start city environment,” says Deon.

“What has truly impressed us is the fact that we have maintained the required level of power with a more fuel-efficient truck.”

Elite Roads bolstered its heavy vehicle fleet, which has doubled in the last six months, with four of these Euro 6 DAF CF530 units. The new trucks are towing new Muscat Flocon trailers which are being used for carting asphalt and road profilings all around the state.

That includes distant drives out to regional areas and localised projects closer to the city. More commonly the DAFs must access construction work sites and supplier asphalt plant facilities.

“In the short time we’ve had them we’ve noticed they are fuel efficient, and the feedback feature shows the drivers how they can improve their fuel efficiency too,” says Deon.

The Euro 6 compliant PACCAR MX-13, Multi Torque, straight six, 12.9-litre engine delivers an output of 2,600Nm and offers best-in-class fuel economy in the application.

The trucks have been configured along with the PTO to ensure the Muscat trailers, also recently acquired, are fully functional. A Stabilink rear axle suspension optimises roll stability helping to ensure the truck and trailer combination is ideally suited for operational requirements.

DAF bullbars were added, as the vehicles will work at all times of the day and night including in regional and remote areas, for some extra protection for the drivers. Beyond that, Deon says the trucks are well spec’d as they come standard.

“There is enough space in the cab and the driver has all the latest tech at the press of a button and even a fridge which they all love,” he says. “Drivers are hard to come by these days so the automatic gearbox is a must. We felt we were getting great value with these models.”

Four of the new DAF prime movers ready to work.
Elite Road personnel approach the four new DAF CF530s.

The new trucks are not part of a replacement program. Ongoing demand and growth within the business have made it necessary to expand the fleet.

“We’ve experienced a lot of growth and change in the last few years which I am really proud of,” says Deon. “After celebrating our tenth year in business we wanted to look at how we would progress into the future for the next decade and beyond.”

Northern New South Wales, where Elite Roads opened an office in Lismore earlier in the year, offers a glimpse of what’s set to come.

It coincides with a major rebranding, launched in February, which has delivered a bold new look designed to encapsulate the company’s continuing commitment to finding solutions and producing quality outcomes for clients.

According to Deon it reaffirms the company’s dedication to sustainable and innovative work practices and reinforces its commitment to its people and their safety.

As a truck, the DAF CF range more than lives up to these standards. The vehicles prioritise the well-being of the occupant with front and rear disc brakes with EBS, ABS and AEBS, Protective Cab Mounting System, Side Camera System and Reverse Warning.

Active warning systems and incident mitigation are also impressively integrated with Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collison Warning, Lane Departure Warning System and Vehicle Stability Control in addition to LED Head Lights and Tail Lamps providing additional protection for the driver, on-site workers and other road-users.

Having the latest safety functions satisfies the needs of drivers, who can be fussy at the best of times.

“A feature which we really liked was the fact our drivers can get feedback on their driving performance,” says Deon.

“PACCAR arranged for the driver-trainer to spend some time with our team and make sure they understood how to get the most out of our new trucks.”

Euro 6 DAF CF530s.
Elite Roads has added four DAF CF530 prime movers to its Melbourne fleet.
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