Osborn showcases new line-up of world-class equipment

The Readtec Shuttle Buggy working in the mountainous terrain of Tennessee.

Exceptional machines from United States-based Astec Loudon, Toro Trencor, Roadtec, BTI and American Augers are now being supplied and supported in the South African market by Osborn Engineered Products. Osborn, which is also part of the Astec stable and has become the African agent for its American sister companies, hosted an Open Day at its Elandsfontein premises at the end of 2011, to showcase some of the additions to its equipment offering.

Showcased the Open Day was the Roadtec Shuttle Buggy, a material transfer vehicle (MTV) that can store and transfer hot-mixed asphalt material from a truck to a paver for continuous paving.

Machines on display included Horizontal Directional Drills, an Auger Borer, a Roadtec Shuttle Buggy and BTI (Breaker Technology Inc) Hydraulic Hammers. The applications of the new equipment ranges from mining and quarrying to road surfacing, the installation of utilities, water, gas, sewerage, communications and drainage.

Osborn marketing manager Neill du Plessis elaborates: "Astec Loudon provides equipment to meet the underground construction needs of customers involved in construction, the pipeline industry and the installation of infrastructure. It offers Trencor high performance rock trenchers and road miners and Astec utility trenchers, horizontal directional drills and geothermal drills. These products are manufactured at the company’s facility in Loudon, Tennessee.

For more than 60 years, Toro Trencor has been a leading choice for heavy-duty rock trenching and milling needs. This tough, ruggedly built equipment is a favourite of the oil and gas markets, and for contractors working in demanding digging conditions worldwide. As the world's energy needs continue to grow, we expect these markets will continue to generate demand for this specialized equipment. We at Osborn are proud to be able to add it to our product offering."

After-sales back-up, service and spares

Local customers purchasing these machines through Osborn can have peace of mind knowing that they come with Osborn's seamless, 24/7 after-sales service, back-up and spares, Du Plessis adds. "We have engineers dedicated to these machines, who will assemble and commission a customer's machine, offer operator training, service and back-up. We also hold spares, to minimise downtime and ensure that our customer can be back in business as quickly as possible. In addition, Osborn engineers are able to undertake on-site repairs," he stresses.

Horizontal Directional Drills

The mid-sized DD10 Horizontal Directional Drill was among the equipment showcased at Osborn's Open Day. This self-contained unit excels in hard-to-reach jobsites and boasts the most rotary torque in its class (18,982 Nm). It has 45 tonnes of maximum thrust/pullback power, and its features include a pinion drive with adjustable force limiter, climate controlled operator's cabin and drill mounted state-of-the-art pipe loading baskets. Its on board mud pump has a capacity of 757l per minute.

The DD4045, DD2024 and DD65 were also on display at the Osborn Open Day. The DD-65 MiniMax is the perfect choice for contractors who want a manoeuvrable machine that can access the jobsite in a variety of conditions without sacrificing productivity, Du Plessis explains " It provides 2.7 tons of thrust/pullback force and is capable of up to 678 Nm of rotary torque with a maximum rotary speed of 180 rpm." The DD2024 provides 9 tons of thrust/pullback force with the capability of up to 3254 Nm of rotary torque. The maximum rotary speed can reach up to 200 rpm. This drill is powered by an 85-horsepower Cummins turbocharged diesel engine, while the DD4045 is powered by an 148-horsepower Cummins turbocharged diesel engine. Like other drills from Astec Underground, it boasts the field-proven Quad rack-and-pinion carriage drive that has made Astec Underground directional drills market leaders.

Roads and Highways

Astec's Horizontal Directional Drills are perfectly suited to applications like drilling underneath roads, highways, rivers and buildings "With the efficiency and accuracy of these drills, there is no need to dig up roads or pavements. The Horizontal Directional Drill can be driven from one point to another. It is steered with exceptional accuracy, and its direction and depth can be easily altered by the operator. Astec's Hard Rock Drilling Systems deliver considerable increase in rock penetration compared to competitive systems," Du Plessis notes.


American Augers' Auger Boring Machines are designed for the fast, efficient installation of wider diameter pipes from 450mm to 3500mm. They eliminate the safety risks associated with traditional tunnelling methods like pipe jacking and are more efficient by utilizing the quick tram mode that is unique to American Augers' equipment.

Hydraulic Hammers

One of the machines in Osborn's line-up that's already made its mark in the local mining and quarrying industries is the BTI hydraulic hammer range, which was also showcased at the Open Day. "The BTI breaker’s reliability and simplicity of design, coupled with unsurpassed back up service and support, has contributed to its worldwide success in the mining and quarrying industries, as well as construction, demolition and recycling operations," Du Plessis says. The range comprises 21 models, from 475 joules to 18 300 joules energy class, with most also available in box-style configurations.

Another noteworthy feature is the excellent power-to-weight ratio. “This offers significant benefits to customers, since larger, more powerful hammers can be mounted on smaller excavators or boom systems, resulting in reduced overall costs to the end user.” Standard features on all models include a nitrogen cushion chamber designed to absorb piston recoil and recycle the energy to increase the output energy on the next blow, dual retainer pins to ensure positive tool alignment and easy tool replacement, short tie rods that utilise protected threads to yield long life and high reliability, and a protected lubrication point.

Roadtec Shuttle Buggy

Also showcased at Osborn's Open Day was the Roadtec Shuttle Buggy, a material transfer vehicle (MTV) that can store and transfer hot-mixed asphalt material from a truck to a paver for continuous paving. It features the patented anti-segregation auger which remixes materials just before they are delivered to the asphalt paver. The Shuttle Buggy enables trucks to unload material immediately and return to the asphalt plant.

Du Plessis outlines the history and benefits of the Shuttle Buggy in road building: "When pavement failure began to be studied more closely in the 1980s, it was found that one of the most important causes was material segregation. This discovery inspired Roadtec engineers to find a solution, and they designed a mobile device that could re-mix hot mix asphalt just before feeding it to the paver. With the help of a Shuttle Buggy MTV, road builders were then able to eliminate material segregation.

Roadtec material transfer technology has led the way to improved smoothness and even densities in asphalt pavements, which is key to durability of the asphalt surface. Now hundreds of Shuttle Buggy MTVs are in use all over the world: in 48 US States, in 20 countries, and on six continents. The Shuttle Buggy is an exciting addition to the Osborn range, to date Osborn has sold 3 new Roadtec shuttle buggies into the South African Asphalt market."