WDM USA’s parent company, W.D.M. Limited, has truly global operations, delivering road survey services throughout Europe, the Americas, as well as in the Far East and Australasia. Equipment has been sold to 18 countries, including the USA and China.
The Company’s road condition survey projects, often supported by in-house consultancy services, work with clients to develop policies and road management systems for road safety and more cost-effective road maintenance processes.
Work in the Far East and Australasia is coordinated through the Company’s Office in Wellington, New Zealand.
WDM® uses its own vehicles for the overseas road surveys and often designs and builds specially adapted vehicles to provide the specialist measurements required in the most cost-effective configuration. The adaptations include variations to vehicle loading to comply with local requirements while maintaining the maximum efficiency of the survey operation.
This was the case for the first US SCRIM road survey machine manufactured for the Federal Highways Administration, which was built on an American chassis.
Another example is the development of a vehicle for use in road condition assessment in New Zealand and Australia. It combines the SCRIM® road survey machine test and high-speed measurements of roughness, rut depth, macro-texture and alignment, together with a right-of-way video on a single vehicle. The vehicle is fitted with a rear tag axle to allow a larger water tank to be fitted for the long distances between water points in both countries, while not exceeding their rear axle load limits.
In New Zealand and Tasmania WDM® has taken a leading role in working with the client to evaluate the link between skid resistance and wet road accident rates for local conditions. The outcome from this work has been skid policies, which improve safety across their road networks. In New Zealand, according to the client’s analysis, the introduction of the policies has resulted in a near 40% reduction in the wet road accident rate.
Other examples of the Company’s work in developing tools for local conditions include the use of texture and skid resistance to provide an indicator of road conditions where flushing has occurred. This allows water blasting and other appropriate road maintenance techniques to be targeted, and the use of financial and condition modelling to assess long term strategies.
When working overseas, WDM® continually combines the best local knowledge and proven techniques with its own knowledge of international road surveying equipment, processes and practices.
Long term international contracts have also enabled WDM® to work closely with clients, providing WDM® with sufficient stability to consider long term resourcing and the opportunity to innovate, both in terms of the client’s changing business needs and the knowledge of technical developments.
NZTA and WDM® have worked together closely over the years in refining and developing a pragmatic yet accurate system to allow for the seasonal and weather-related influence on the measurements of skid resistance. The client has identified the correction process as high risk and within the partnership approach WDM® has freely shared its international experience in developing the current procedures.
Contracts have delivered a benefit to the environment that might not otherwise have been achieved. Three significant examples are the use of one test vehicle rather than two separate vehicles in New Zealand and Australia, the introduction of a new vehicle with the highest levels of emission control and the introduction of a water control device for skid testing.
WDM® has also exported its technology world-wide, building SCRIM machines for use in the USA, Argentina, Belgium, Canada, Chile, China, Germany, Italy, Slovenia and South Africa.
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