Paving with GOMACO's Next Generation Commander III in B.C.'s Interior
Valley Curbing Ltd. operates the first Next Generation Commander III in Canada
Valley Curbing Ltd. in Kelowna, British Columbia, has always owned GOMACO three-track Commander IIIs for their curb-and-gutter and sidewalk projects. When it was time for the company to upgrade, they chose the Next Generation Commander III. They worked with their local GOMACO distributor, Lonetrack Equipment Inc., to purchase the new machine, which is the first Next Generation to go to work in Canada.
Valley Curbing’s Next Generation Commander III made a stop in Las Vegas, Nevada, and was one of the featured machines in GOMACO’s World of Concrete booth in February. From Las Vegas, it was delivered to Kelowna and immediately put to work on the Lakes Subdivision in the nearby lake country of Winfield, B.C. This is a new development that sits up high overlooking Okanagan Lake, Kalamalka Lake and Wood Lake.
For their first project with their new machine, Valley Curbing simultaneously trimmed through 20 mm of crushed gravel while slipforming a 450-mm-wide rollover curb and gutter profile.
“I’d like to commend the GOMACO service representative who helped us with that first pour,” said Jesse Oliver, partner and foreman for Valley Curbing. “He did such a great job and I really liked him. In fact, I’ve even invited him to my wedding.
“We took it easy off the start but it’s a very operator-friendly machine and by the end of that first day, we were trimming and pouring over 200 lineal metres per hour. We dumped out sixcubic- metre loads in under eight minutes on a few occasions. That works out to about seven lineal metres per minute.”
Concrete for their projects is a 32 MPa (4,650 psi) mix with six to nine percent air entrainment. Slump averages between 15 and 25 mm. Behind the machine, a broom finish is applied to the curb and gutter, and joints are tooled in every three metres.
“The Next Generation Commander III is smooth,” Oliver said. “Smooth and very user friendly. I love the new G+ control system, its screen, control dials and buttons. Plus, the G+ diagnostics are really good. I can go in and easily diagnose the machine with all of the feedback available.
“I like the fact that I can just hit the button and with Cruise Control, the machine will rev itself down. I don’t have to jog the throttle down, I just track it and the machine remembers what speed it was at before it stopped. That works great. Its smoothness of travel is really good and the machine holds tight to the line.”
To prepare for the arrival of the new machine, Oliver and three others from his company travelled to GOMACO University for the week-long three-track Commander III class. The classes combine classroom time with hands-on shop experience. This trip was Oliver’s third time attending GOMACO University.
“Even if you’re running an older machine, you learn little things just by talking and listening to other contractors,” said Oliver. “The classes always give a good foundation of knowledge for us to build on. It really makes my guys feel good to go down and just be a part of it, and I think it gives them a sense of professionalism when they go to the school.”
Valley Curbing has kept their Next Generation Commander III busy on several different projects, slipforming a variety of curb and gutter profiles in B.C.
“The next generation of Valley Curbing, Chad Valentino and I, we were the ones who chose the Next Generation Commander III because of its new features and technology,” Oliver said. “We have always run a Commander III. It has the power that is required for us on a lot of these demanding jobs. Its durability is key. We can’t be in a small community in southern British Columbia, hours away from necessary parts, and have it break down. That just can’t happen and that’s never been a problem with the Commander III.”