New Aberdeen Bypass Could Lead The Way Into HS2 For Plant Sector

Wednesday, February 25 th, 2015

With the news that Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s First Minister, has officially launched the start of the Aberdeen Western Peripheral Route/Balmedie-Tippery road scheme, Finning Articulated Truck and Hydraulic Excavator Product Manager Richard Carless explains the opportunity the scheme presents to the plant industry.

Richard: “The £745 million scheme represents the largest road project we have seen in the UK for many years. It will require a great deal of plant and equipment working on what is a very fast track programme. So this scheme presents both challenges and opportunities for the sector.

“We also have to recognise that the bypass will be a valuable learning curve for those contractors interested in bidding for the £1bn worth of earthworks for the HS2 project. So for the UK’s plant industry, there is much to gain from involvement in this project and the collaborative opportunities it brings.

Think technology
“For those involved it is the ideal opportunity to step up the integration of plant technology and information. Whether this is the use of new built-in Grade Control functionality, or performance monitoring of high production ADT’s like the Cat® 700 series, whilst also calculating the material moved using Cat Production Measurement (CPM). Productivity and plant matching on this project is key.

Think machine health
“A big part of any project is maintaining uptime and equipment availability. We all know that if an excavator goes down it can cause a major issue onsite, with queues of ADT’s idling whilst a replacement is found and brought to site. To avoid these types of situations, contractors on this project should be thinking about the latest monitoring technology such as Caterpillar Product Link™, which sends data to our Finsight engineering team on the performance and health of a machine.

“For example, our Finsight team will be able to alert plant managers on the bypass site to potential issues with machines, if necessary we can then arrange to send one of our trained engineers to perform preventative maintenance and ensure high levels of uptime.

“This bypass project is one to watch for the plant industry. We should all be looking to collaborate on best practice, share information and data to show where improvements in future projects can be made.

“I am certainly looking forward to seeing how this project progresses and what techniques will be showcased.”

The £745m project will support 1,500 construction jobs at its peak, with over 100 apprenticeships. At the date of publishing this article in February 2015, up to £221m of subcontracts will have either been put out to the market or will soon be advertised for the 36-mile new road project.

Commenting on the launch of the project Nicola Sturgeon said: “This is a landmark day for the north-east, with the construction of the largest road scheme of its kind anywhere in the UK now underway.
The start of work today is a big win for local communities, businesses, and road users and will bring much needed early relief to the congestion we see in and around Aberdeen on a daily basis.”