• Tech Tech

Construction giant rolls out new, nearly silent electric compact rollers — here's how they could change the industry

There should also be a cost savings for construction companies.

There should also be a cost savings for construction companies.

Photo Credit: Hamm AG

Construction sites have long been known to pollute neighboring areas with both noise and fumes, which impacts the health and well-being of those around. Luckily, heavy equipment manufacturers have been joining the green wave and begun developing cleaner electric models.  

The latest company to tackle the problem is Germany-based Hamm AG, which recently ran pilot tests and then launched a duo of compact electric tandem and combination rollers to serve the road construction and earthworks sectors in North America, as reported by Electrek.  

There are two models, the HD 10e and the HD 12e, and each of those is customizable in four different configurations, essentially making a total of eight new options. Buyers can mix and match between vibration or oscillation drums in tandem or with pneumatic tires. 

Benefits of switching to electric models include significantly quieter operation and zero tailpipe (and in this case, worksite) pollution, solving those two big construction site challenges. There should also be cost savings for construction companies, as Hamm claims the electrical components should be maintenance-free, as the Electrek report details. 

Four of the eight options include low-noise oscillating drums, and on electric models, the quiet combo makes them suitable for areas sensitive to noise and vibration. With an electric motor powering the setup, Highways Today says they're supposed to be twice as efficient and use less energy than traditional models run on dirty fuel

These new electric machines run on 23.4-kilowatt-hour lithium-ion batteries, which should provide "enough energy to drive, steer, and compact for a full workday," as Hamm shared with Electrek. It should also only take about four hours to get them up to a full charge when depleted.

Hamm isn't alone in electrifying vehicles in the industrial and commercial sectors in hopes of ditching dirty diesel for more environmentally friendly vehicles. When construction giant Skanska first tested the HD 12e on a Los Angeles transit project, it lauded the opportunity to reduce its carbon footprint. 

Mason Ford, director of sustainability and equipment services for Skanska USA Civil, stated at the time: "Skanska is proud to be among the first contractors to test the electric roller with Hamm. The pilot serves as an important stepping stone in the evolution of lower-emission construction practices while aligning with Skanska's commitment to a more sustainable future."

Diesel fuel has been the go-to for heavy equipment up until now, and it's a major culprit in carbon dioxide pollution. According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, in 2022, diesel contributed about 25% of CO2 produced by the transportation sector and about 10% of total U.S. energy-related pollution overall. 

Beyond the pollution reduction as it pertains to the trapping of heat in the atmosphere, exhaust from construction vehicles is particularly dangerous to the health of workers who are outside nearby breathing in much of the fumes. When there are no fumes and some of the energy is being produced by renewable sources such as wind and solar, that's only better for the long-term health of workers. 

The White House is also on board with this greener approach to commercial vehicles. It recently rolled out plans to support electrifying the freight industry entirely by 2040. And the USPS is following suit. It announced new infrastructure upgrades to support charging a fleet of 66,000 electric delivery vehicles in part of its Delivering for America plan.

Join our free newsletter for weekly updates on the coolest innovations improving our lives and saving our planet.

Cool Divider