First road-legal CounterMix plant for Southern Africa | Infrastructure news

Ammann South Africa – in conjunction with its Southern African dealer, Kenzam Equipment – has developed an innovative trailer system for the Ammann CounterMix 120 asphalt plant, making it road legal and setting a new benchmark for mobility.

A global leader in asphalt solutions for more than 100 years, Ammann meets the market demand for batch and continuous asphalt mixing plants, which can either be designed as static or mobile units, depending on customer requirements.

Within the mix, mobile plants have grown in popularity among road contractors and asphalt suppliers, largely due to their flexibility and suitability for shorter-term contracts where volumes can typically range between 10 000 t to 30 000 t.

In regions like Europe and South America, Ammann mobile plants coming out of the factory are trailer mounted for legal on-road towing using a truck tractor. However, this is not permissible at present in South Africa in terms of current road legislation without going through a rigorous local homologation process. 

“Up until now, mobile asphalt plants in South Africa have been transported from one site to the next using low-bed trailers at significant cost, and we recognised the need for a truly mobile solution,” says Rocco Lehman, general manager for Ammann South Africa.

Designed for Africa

Leveraging Kenzam Equipment’s in-house mechanical engineering and fabrication experience, a design was developed based on an Ammann CounterMix 120 plant using currently available road-legal trailer configurations in South Africa. All the trailers are within the bridge formula weight and can legally pass over South African weighbridges.

“We are especially proud of the end result, which has received an overwhelmingly positive response from the industry during our recent customer open days,” says Richard Hurst, director at Kenzam Equipment.

Allied to this innovation is the host of ancillary products manufactured by Kenzam that support Ammann’s aftermarket offering for the CounterMix 120 and other Ammann plants. These include drum decanters, emulsion plants, mobile and static bitumen tanks, and mobile laboratories.

The first mobile CounterMix 120 – sold to Zimbabwe-based contractor Exodus & Company – has been configured as four separate trailers to transport the cold feed, drum, filter and control cabin sections. The latter carries most of the loose parts needed to complete the overall final plant assembly.


“The system is modular, so we can change the setup to suit and this in turn will determine the number of trailers needed. For example, customers can order the basic asphalt plant only, or include allied elements like bitumen tanks and decanters,” Hurst explains.

“The distance between the old and the new setup location will determine how many trucks are required. If it’s a relatively short distance, one truck will do the job, hooking up and moving each individual trailer in turn,” he continues.

Typically, it takes between 14 to 21 days for the relocation and setup of a mobile plant. In the case of the mobile CounterMix 120, this can be achieved without the need for a crane, which is a key advantage when working in remote areas.

Integrated laboratory

The key emphasis of the design is to provide a holistic ‘business on wheels’ for the client. For this reason, the plant package includes a containerised laboratory, which is an essential requirement for sustainable business operations. Two versions are available: namely, a standard daily testing laboratory and an advanced laboratory, where mix designs can be developed along with specialised testing and reports. Depending on customer requirements, laboratories can also be purpose-built to incorporate other criteria, such as soil and concrete testing.

Standard Ammann warranty and specifications

While the mobile trailer solution is custom built, the CounterMix 120 plant is 100% standard in accordance with Ammann’s OEM specifications.

“This is an important point to emphasise since it means that the plant is backed by Ammann’s international warranty, and proprietary technology,” Lehman explains.

As for all Ammann plants, the CounterMix 120 is operated by the OEM’s proprietary AS1 system, which enables fully automated mix production. System benefits include the use of unlimited recipes, precise burner control, plus full integration of electrically heated bitumen storage tanks. Additionally, historical plant performance data can be used to analyse and enhance performance.

Productivity Partnership for a Lifetime

Ammann has been in the business of developing solutions for customers and industry since its foundation in 1869, which underscores its ‘Productivity Partnership for a Lifetime’ slogan. Alongside its asphalt plant series, this extends to include the Ammann construction equipment range, which includes class-leading products for asphalt compaction and paving.

Ammann has steadily built up its population since entering the Southern African market some 10 years ago for static plants like the ValueTec 180, and mobile units like the ACM 140 Prime. The road-legal, trailer-mounted CounterMix 120 now adds a further cost-competitive option for the regional construction sector.

“Our customer relationships are based on providing expert advice and service support – something Ammann has been doing successfully for over 153 years,” Lehman concludes.


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