Labor shortages continue to be a significant pain point in the construction industry. Projects aren’t going away, but the pool of workers is shallow. To stay successful, it’s important to explore equipment options that can ensure you’re on or ahead of schedule even with a smaller crew. Road Widener’s FH-R material placement attachment helps you finish projects faster, while requiring less labor on hand. The remote-operated FH-R is compatible with common machines likely already in your fleet, and precisely dispenses topsoil, gravel, asphalt, limestone and other materials. The FH-R provides you with 50% reduced labor at 1/5 the cost of traditional self-propelled equipment. It also increases safety by reducing the danger of additional workers standing along the jobsite.
Let’s explore three ways the FH-R’s productivity keeps projects rolling even through a labor shortage.
Taking Half the Steps
Efficiency is the name of the game. Fewer steps in a process means more time you can use to accomplish other projects and less crew members required to complete said steps. Road construction tasks like backfilling and aggregate placement are traditionally a four-step, manual process. Crews use expensive equipment to pile materials on the road, scrape it into place, compact it and finish by sweeping and cleaning remnants off the street.
The FH-R simplifies the four-step process to just two. With this method, a single operator connects the FH-R to their host machine and a dump truck loads material into the hopper at the top. The operator drives alongside the road as the attachment dispenses the hopper material from an adjustable width opening exactly where it’s needed. The FH-R’s remote-control functionality allows the operator to run the attachment from the safety of the host machine. A ride-on roller or roller attachment then compacts the material to complete the two-step process.
Smaller Crew Required
Material placement jobs traditionally require several workers. Take a road-shouldering project, for example. A side-discharge truck unloads the material and a grader pushes it onto the shoulder. This crude process can be inaccurate, scattering rock onto the roadway. The imprecise placement adds a cleanup step and requires an additional worker to complete the task.
Using the FH-R for road shouldering and other material placement jobs takes that number of laborers from four or five to just one. The FH-R’s remote-control functionality allows for the material placement process to be controlled by a single person, while its precision keeps material inside the placement zone, eliminating the need to deploy a streetsweeper or another crew member for the cleanup process.
Significantly Less Maintenance
It’s important on any job to make sure laborers can focus on the job instead of servicing equipment. Self-propelled machines see most of their maintenance downtime and costs from engine, transmission and similar parts repairs. The FH-R greatly reduces maintenance through its ability to connect to the engine and hydraulics of common, proven machines such as skid steers and loaders. Should the carrier be pulled for service, you can simply connect to another machine in the fleet to keep the project moving and downtime to a minimum. Engines, transmissions and driveshafts are also expensive. Eliminating the high-maintenance parts with an FH-R can slash prices by up to 80%, creating room to invest in reliable host machines that will benefit the fleet in a variety of applications.
When it comes time to move to a different jobsite, the FH-R’s compact design provides the ability to haul it on the same trailer as its host machine, eliminating the cost of mobilizing a lowboy trailer. Ease of transport and significantly less maintenance helps minimize downtime and maximize the number of jobs you can knock out.
No Laborers, No Problem
Skilled workers are hard to come by, so it’s crucial to have equipment that allows you to finish projects efficiently with fewer hands on deck. An FH-R’s ability to cut material placement steps in half, minimize labor requirements and reduce maintenance keeps jobs moving and money in your pocket.