Technical milestones

Ten percent of employees in the HAMM AG plant work in the research and development sectors. They all have a clear purpose to follow in further developing and creating efficient machines. This purpose has by no means developed only in recent years – as a glance at the history of the company will show you.

The drive for innovation at HAMM has a long history. All along, HAMM has consistently acted as a catalyst for change in road construction 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 motorized road roller. Further orders for the innovative rollers soon followed. The Hamm brothers had already accumulated experience in the construction of motorized machinery before 1911. They built stationary traction engines, motorized machines such as plows 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 motorized road roller. It was said to be clearly superior to the familiar steamrollers. The first event to interrupt the success story that had just began was the First World War. However, after the war ended, the business gained momentum once more. At that time, motorized road rollers were quite an innovation – most customers were only familiar with the traditional steamrollers. From the 1920s, the HAMM motorized road rollers became increasing well-established and grew to be HAMM's most successful product.

Local roots and international

With more than 1000 employees at its Tirschenreuth HQ, HAMM has long been a permanent fixture of the economy in the north of the Upper Palatinate region. Since it was founded in 1878, two constants have shaped the roller manufacturer's history spanning more than 140 years.

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Design and ergonomics

Technical solutions – however ingenious they may be – will only succeed if they are user-friendly. HAMM recognized this fact at a very early stage. This is why product designers have been involved in the development process since the 1990s.

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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 "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.

1965: The next development step – the first HAMM pneumatic tire roller

The first prototype GRW pneumatic tire 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 1965, 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 tire roller. Although it was not the first of its kind, the Tirschenreuth pneumatic tire roller had 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 tire roller to be used safely and reliably on terrain that had previously proven 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 minimizing the impact on people, material and the environment at the same time.

1998 onward: Numerous series launches

From 1998 onward, a number of new series are launched, which quickly establish themselves on the market thanks to their high compaction power and innovative designs. Examples of these are the HD (1998), HD+ (1999), 3000 (2000), DV (2004), HD CompactLine (2006), 180/280 pneumatic tire rollers (from 2010), H (2011), VC (2013), H CompactLine and DV+ (both 2015) and HP (2019) series. Many of the series that arrived on the market in the early 2000s are still part of the HAMM product range and are used regularly by customers across the globe.

2013: VC compactor – crush and compact stone in one operation

As part of bauma 2013, HAMM presents a compactor with a VC drum (VC = vibration crusher) for the first time. These machines are able to crush and compact mixed soils, basalt, granite and other construction materials with comparable pressure resistance in a single workstep. With the H 25i VC (Tier 4/EU Stage V) and the 3625 HT VC (Tier 3), HAMM offers two models that are specifically designed for these demanding tasks.

2016: Intuitive, cross-series Easy Drive operating concept

From 2016, HAMM introduced the cross-series and intuitive Easy Drive operating concept for tandem rollers in the DV+ and HD+ series and compactors in the H series. From 2019 onward, Easy Drive will also be installed on pneumatic tire rollers in the HP series. As a result, HAMM is making machine operation as simple as possible, and is doing so uniformly across several machine series.

2016: Innovative drive concept – tandem roller with power hybrid train

HAMM surprised the experts at bauma 2016 with an innovative power hybrid train. The innovative concept was developed to save fuel, costs and maintenance work. The 9 t HD+ 90i PH tandem roller combines a traditional combustion engine with a hydraulic accumulator. The machine can, therefore, provide full compaction power while simultaneously protecting the environment. Fuel consumption is reduced by up to 15%.

2019: Specialized for bends – the split oscillation drum

At bauma 2019, HAMM presented its pivot-steered tandem rollers (DV+ 90i VS-OS) with a split oscillation drum for the first time. This drum combines the advantages of the split drum with the advantages of compacting on bends and types of asphalt that are easy to shift.