2D Machine Control Streamlines Driveway and Parking Lot Paving
Bissen Asphalt discusses their paving operations and how a CASE 836C motor grader with 2D machine control from Leica Geosystems has improved their driveway and parking lot work.
Specializing in residential, commercial and industrial grading and paving, Bissen Asphalt has served Door County, Wisconsin since 1968.
“My dad started up here in '68, and he retired in '04, and I started in '05 on my own,” says Rick Bissen, second-generation owner of Bissen Asphalt. “I've always enjoyed it. There are never two driveways or parking lots that are the same. It's always different — there's always a challenge.”
With grading jobs varying between residential driveways to large parking lots and municipal projects, Bissen needed a motor grader that was powerful enough to handle large jobs, but agile enough to get the work done in tighter spaces. Bissen worked with CASE dealer Miller-Bradford & Risberg and decided on a CASE 836C motor grader. “I was looking for a mid-size grader because the larger graders, the road style graders are too big for what we do,” Bissen explains. “And the small ones, they can't cut. They can't grade. They can't carry the material. I was looking for something in the mid-size range with a little more weight, and I do believe I found the perfect machine for it because it has been very awesome for us so far this year.”
“I also need to get in driveways with trees overhanging — if it's single lane, 10-foot pass, and with something like this, I could still get in those driveways.”
CASE C Series motor graders are available machine control-ready from the factory for all major suppliers of machine control technology. This allows the 836C to be deployed, straight from the dealer, into any fleet-wide precision or machine control solution a business owner may deploy. Bissen has outfitted his 836C motor grader with a 2D machine control solution from Leica Geosystems. “We didn't do it at first, but then I thought after the fact that when you're coming out at, even something as simple as a straight driveway that's 100-hundred feet long. You can run one side manually. You can set your degree of slope that you want on the driveway, and you can cover that slope in one pass [automatically], versus running manual.”
“I can guarantee you, it has saved us a tremendous amount of time on the job sites with this grader, versus what we had in the past.”
Kirk Wilke, an equipment operator with Bissen Asphalt, sees significant operational benefits and competitive advantages provided by the 2D Leica machine control system. “The Leica system controls our grade and slope, and it'll lock one side in, setting my grade at one percent, so I don't have to watch both sides of the moldboard, so way more comfort, not so much head movement,” he says. “I'm out within probably half the time, and your slopes are held way more true than running it by hand. It ups our production, and keeps up with the pace of the new age.”
Motor graders are often considered one of the most difficult pieces of heavy equipment to learn and operate. Wilke has been in the cab for over ten years. “It takes patience,” he explains. “You can't really hurry, and you have to know your slopes and grades.”
Wilke is impressed with the capabilities of the 836C, and sees several operational benefits over other machines he’s ran in the past. “The 836C is awesome — enough power, enough weight for the size of the machine we need.”
“The controls, the response time, the hydraulic levers respond, the weight, it's cutting through our humps and not riding over the top of them, and lessens the time on the job.”
The 836C motor grader includes several innovative features that help simplify operation and allow operators to focus on precision and jobsite safety. CASE C Series motor graders feature a high-carbon steel moldboard, and a moldboard mount and slide system with minimized opportunity for play and fewer grease points. The moldboard is designed to pitch, tilt and move laterally, and can be expanded with available horizontal and bilateral extensions which further expand material retention for super-fine grading applications. A hydraulically controlled five-position saddle allows operation at over 90 degrees.
Another unique feature of CASE C Series motor graders is the cab mounted behind the articulation point. “With the rear-mounted system, I can keep my front off of a windrow, and keep the rear behind the moldboard, keeping all my force behind what I'm trying to cut and grade,” Wilke says. “The saddle on it performs flawlessly. With the swing turret on the saddle, you can grade way out on slopes more, grade ditches with it. You can reach out and grab stuff where your grader can't get into.”
C Series motor graders are available in both standard and All Wheel Drive (AWD) configurations — Bissen went with AWD. “For the cul-de-sacs we do, and for turning tight corners, the all-wheel drive will pull you through it and get you around the corner,” Wilke says. “I like how everything's locked in on your rear at all times, so there's no slip, there's no spin-out on one side or the other. You always got four wheels pushing.”
The 836C motor grader features one of the most intelligent high-precision load-sensing hydraulic circuits available on the market. A direct-activated axial piston pump delivers only the required amount of hydraulic pressure where it is needed. “They're very smooth,” he says. “I've ran other graders that have electrical hydraulic, and it's not as smooth what this can be.”
The cab of the 836C also features a standard heated air-ride seat and smooth, ergonomic controls. An available rear-view camera with 7-inch LCD monitor, as well as an advanced lighting package that further improves safety and jobsite visibility. “The cab is very spacious,” Wilke says. “It’s very comfortable, even for me, and I'm a big guy, and it's very comfortable.”
Bissen’s 836C motor grader features a 136-horsepower engine, achieving Tier 4 Final compliance with Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR) engine technology that increases fuel efficiency, keeps exhaust temperatures down and eliminates the need for regeneration. “The fuel efficiency is phenomenal,” says Wilke. “I can run a whole week working at eight hours a day and not have to worry about fueling it up… Most of them will fill up in a day or two days, and this has been running for a week.”
Wilke spends a lot of time with their motor grader, so he’s responsible for all daily fluid checks and walkaround inspections. Like all CASE machines, the 836C is designed for groundline and tandem catwalk serviceability. All maintenance checkpoints are located at ground or fender level—making service and daily maintenance as straightforward as possible. “The 836C is very easy to access,” he says. “All you’ve got to do is lift the back compartment. Everything's at your arm's reach — you don't have to climb up on the fenders, and all the grease zerks are right there and accessible.”
All C Series motor graders also come standard with CASE ProCare, which allows C Series owners to fully plan for and understand total operating costs of the machine for the first three years of ownership. ProCare is a suite of product assurances that includes a three-year Advanced CASE SiteWatch™ telematics subscription, a three-year/3,000-hour full-machine factory warranty, and a three-year/2,000-hour planned maintenance contract. “It’s one less headache,” Bissen says. “It's somebody else watching over what needs to be done with the machine — they can sense if something goes wrong, it sends the codes and messages back, so we know what the problem is. We can determine what it is and get it taken care of.”
“With the ProCare system, they're watching over what we're doing and making sure that the machine is right, and running good, and due for its proper maintenance.”
One of Bissen’s core philosophies is if you do good work, you’ll have work forever. “We've been here for a very long time,” Bissen concludes. “We don't plan on going anywhere, so we're going to keep doing good work all day every day.”