Caterpillar Inc. recently announced that it will be adding a new compact line of asphalt pavers and screeds to their Paving Products Family. These standard 8-foot size-class paver and screed combinations include the AP400, AP455, AP500, and AP555 asphalt pavers as well as the SE47 V and SE47 FM asphalt screeds. The new models come equipped with features that excel in both urban and rural applications and can fit the needs of both large and small contractors.
Compact Size with Big Opportunities
The compact size and small footprint combine with exceptional maneuverability for more opportunity to pave in confined areas such as narrow streets, small parking lots, and other urban-type applications. The standard paving range utilizing the SE47 V screed is 8 ft to 15 ft, 6 in (2.4 to 4.7 m) with a maximum width of 20 ft (6.1 m), while the standard paving range of the SE47 FM screed is 8 ft to 15 ft, 6 in (2.4 to 4.7 m) with a maximum width of 20 ft, 6 in (6.2 m). Furthermore, paving depths up to 10 in (254 mm) support aggregate paving applications.
Efficient movement from one job site to the next is essential to meeting daily production goals. Having the ability to transport on a variety of trailer types helps ensure that daily goals are being met. With a length of less than 18 ft, 6 in (5.6 m) and width of 8 ft, 6 in (2.6 m), these 13 to15 ton size-class machines can be transported without special permits. Furthermore, the front-loading angle of 17 degrees and high bumper clearance simplifies loading without the need for additional blocking materials.
Exceptional Mobility and Fast Travel
Speed, traction, flotation, and durability are all noted features of the Cat Mobil-trac undercarriage design utilized on the AP455 and AP555. The four-year prorated warranty helps contractors get the life expectancy from their rubber track belts. The unique four-bogie system with self-tensioning accumulators and center guide blocks help prevent slippage and reduce wear, while the oscillating bogie wheels help deliver smooth transitions when exiting the cut over transverse joints of mill and fill applications.
For contractors that prefer a simple wheel undercarriage design, drive tire options include both sand-rib and radial options. The AP400 can be equipped with a front-wheel assist option, while the AP500 can be equipped with front-wheel assist or the all-wheel drive option for increased performance on soft base materials or when pushing heavy loads.
Smooth Material Flow
Smooth material flow is a critical component that can help contractors achieve quality targets. These new models combine a low truck entry height with smaller, 14” diameter augers that efficiently move material through the auger chamber at both narrow and wide paving widths. The models also include the ability to control each material feed sensor when utilizing cut-off shoes or when paving at narrow widths, simply switch to manual and utilize the proportional control dial for the feed system.
Simple to Operate, Easy to Learn
Consistency and familiarity with paver and screed functions help operators perform at their best. Whether paving straight-line rural or urban applications, Cat pavers and screeds utilize similar functions across the entire product line that enables personnel to easily move between crews or train new members when necessary. These new models have simplified menu structures that provide single-touch activation for screed heat, washdown, and ventilation systems all from the main menu. As with all Cat pavers, these new models also provide single-touch activation of the feeder system and hopper fold functions.
Efficient Power, Enhanced Visibility
Cat pavers are equipped with an exclusive eco-mode feature that combines with automatic speed control to reduce fuel consumption. In most conditions, the engine can operate at a lower rpm and still deliver the required power to meet performance requirements. If needed, the engine will automatically adjust to a higher engine speed if certain load conditions are met. The AP400 and AP455 pavers are equipped with a Cat C3.6 engine, while the AP500 and AP555 utilize the Cat C4.4 engine. Both engines meet U.S. EPA Tier 4 Final and EU Stage V emission standards. Unique to these pavers is the enhanced visibility to the hopper. The exhaust stack that is utilized on other Cat pavers has been integrated into the new hood design and does not extend upward on this compact line of pavers, providing operators with unrestricted forward visibility.
Versatile Screed Designs
Whether paving straight-line, rural-type applications or winding through urban applications with curbs and light poles, Caterpillar has the screed options to perform in all types of conditions. The SE47 V screed utilizes extenders that are located behind the main screed. This design enables material to naturally flow out to the end-gates for smooth, stable performance. The SE47 FM screed is equipped with extenders located in front of the main screed and offers a smaller footprint that reduces handwork at the start of the paving pass. The front-mounted extenders make it easy to quickly reduce paving widths when maneuvering around obstacles by easily drawing material back into the auger chamber. Optional extension packages as well as berm attachments for the SE47 FM enable both these screeds to perform exceptionally well in a variety of applications.