The brick-road-laying Tiger Stone
Laying down paving bricks is back-breaking, time-consuming work... or at least, it is if you do it the usual way. Henk van Kuijk, director of Dutch industrial company Vanku, evidently decided that squatting/kneeling and shoving the bricks into place on the ground was just a little too slow, so he invented the Tiger Stone paving machine. The road-wide device is fed loose bricks, and lays them out onto the road as it slowly moves along. A quick going-over with a tamper, and you’ve got an instant brick road.
One to three human operators stand on the platform of the Tiger Stone, and move loose bricks by hand from its hopper to its sloping “pusher” slot – the bricks do have to be fed into the pusher in the desired finished pattern. From there, gravity causes them to slide together, in one road-wide sheet, down onto the sand.
The tread-tracked machine is electrically-powered, and has few moving parts, so noise and maintenance are kept to a minimum. It stays on course thanks to built-in sensors, which follow the curbs. According to Vanku, a machine with two operators can pave at least 300 square meters (3,229 sq.ft.) of road per day, whereas a single conventional paver on their hands and knees manages between 75 and 100.
The Tiger Stone is available in four, five and six-meter (13, 16 and 20-foot) widths, and costs from €60,000 to €80,000 (US$81,485 to $108,655). There’s no doubt that a lot of home-owners would like to see a much smaller version, that they could rent for creating garden paths and patios.
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A single conventional paver can do at least half this work as compared in the article to two operators - so if i am hiring two workers why would I also invest in the capital equipment? I also notice that the edge bricks still need to be pre-cut. Is there a third worker not pictured?
I wonder if this is the first step toward the holy grail of brick-laying; a mobile brick sheet fabricator and laying machine that cuts the sheets into bricks as they exit the machine or in situ on the road.
I give this an A for idea but a D for value.
Beste Pieter, Having lived in The Netherlands for 10 years and still spending about 10 days per month there for my employer for the last 5 and 1/2. I am going to have to agree with you about the maintenance issues, relaying of cables, servicing sewer lines etc. These pavers make it very easy. However, I can not agree with you about traction. I\'ve been on icy conditions on the pavers and on icy conditions on asphalt. Give me rough surface asphalt over the pavers in cold weather and I\'m a happy man. I\'ve slid around on those pavers and with the smallest amount of frost they become slippery.
I heb er meer dan 10 jaar in Nederland gewoond. En voor het laatste vijf en een half jaar ga ik heen en weer slingeren voor ongeveer 10 dagen per maand in Nederland. Ik ben er niet met je eens over die \"Klinkers\" die zijn lang niet zo goed in het sneeuw en ice. Verder zijn ze well heel goed. Excuses voor mijn Neder-Engels.