Technological milestones in the history of HAMM
A hotbed of innovation in Tirschenreuth since 1878
Today, 10 % of the personnel at the Tirschenreuth plant work in the research and development area, because we are striving to build even more efficient and economical rollers in the years to come. We develop the solutions and systems for this in-house. Here, experience and a profound understanding of the processes involved in compaction form the breeding ground on which innovation thrives.
Good examples of this are oscillation compaction, the Hammtronic machine management system, the HCQ Navigator measurement and documentation system and the environment-friendly Power Hybrid drive. But even in the past, HAMM constantly acted as a catalyst for change in road and earthwork compaction, beginning with the world’s first road roller in 1911:
1911: From agricultural machines to road rollers
In 1911, the company launched the world’s first motorised road roller. Further orders for the innovative rollers soon followed. The Hamm brothers had already accumulated experience in the construction of motorised machinery before 1911. They built stationary traction engines, motorised machines such as ploughs and threshing machines that were unable to move under their own power but needed to be towed.
Hans Hamm put this experience to good use in the construction of his first motorised road roller. It was said to be clearly superior to the familiar steamrollers. The First World War brought a temporary halt to the nascent success story but business picked up again with the end of hostilities.
At that time, motorised road rollers were quite an innovation – most customers were only familiar with the traditional steam rollers. From the 1920s, the HAMM motorised road rollers became increasing well-established and grew to be HAMM’s most successful product.
1932: Technological superiority: all-wheel drive and all-wheel steering
The basic principle of a road roller is extremely simple. The application of a uniform load in order to produce the smoothest possible surface. In 1932, Alois Hamm refined this idea and designed the first all-wheel-powered and steered tandem roller in the world.
In particular, the offset front and rear axle operation proved extremely effective. Thanks to this so-called “crab steering mode” it was possible to increase the area that could be processed in a single pass by 50 %.
However, the final breakthrough of the all-wheel-drive and all-wheel steered tandem roller did not come about until after the Second World War. Even in 1954, this groundbreaking invention was still a highlight at the "bauma" exhibition in Munich and anything but commonplace in road construction.
1963: The next development step – the first HAMM pneumatic tyre roller
The first prototype GRW pneumatic tyre roller with all-wheel drive is built. Heading this project is young engineer Hermann Feistenauer who joined HAMM the year before and went on to be responsible for engineering developments in compactor construction for 42 years.
In 1963, more than 30 years after HAMM stole a march on the competition with the all-wheel drive and steering tandem roller, Hermann Feistenauer developed the first HAMM GRW pneumatic tyre roller. Although it was not the first of its kind, the Tirschenreuth pneumatic tyre roller possessed a number of crucial advantages: it was not only equipped with all-wheel steering and all-wheel drive, it also had a hydraulic system integrated in the wheel suspension.
The synergy between these factors allowed the pneumatic tyre roller to be used safely and reliably on terrain that had previously proved difficult for rollers. Although this was Hermann Feistenauer’s first successful development for HAMM, it would not prove to be his only one. He remained responsible for engineering development of HAMM rollers for a total of 42 years.
1983: A quantum leap in roller construction: oscillation technology
New, advanced special road building surfaces call for increasingly sophisticated compaction. Once again, HAMM is the first to respond to the emerging, more exacting demands and conducts the first field trials with the revolutionary oscillation technology as early as 1983.
In contrast to vibration which compacts the material by vertical vibration, with the oscillation method, the moving drum remains in permanent contact with the ground.
The tangential shear forces applied to the material to be compacted result in markedly better compaction results while minimising the impact on people, material and the environment at the same time.