Seven-acre Outdoor Demonstration Site at Reinhard Wirtgen Learning Center permits equipment training under real-world conditions.
The new 21,000-sq. ft. Reinhard Wirtgen Learning Center of Wirtgen America, Inc., has opened its doors for the training of customer and dealer personnel in Nashville.
Wirtgen America, Inc., is the North American arm of the Wirtgen Group, the single-source marketer of asphalt reclaiming and recycling equipment from Wirtgen, asphalt and soil compactors from Hamm Compaction Division, asphalt pavers from Vögele America Inc., and construction materials processing equipment from Kleemann Inc. USA.
Ground was broken early in 2008 for the training and education facility, located in an enlarged campus setting at Wirtgen America’s suburban Nashville headquarters. This new building provides two lecture class rooms, each with 50-person capacity, and two laboratory classrooms, each with 50-person capacity. The lab classrooms will accelerate training for equipment electronics and hydraulics system.
The Learning Center features other top-rate innovations new to Wirtgen American and its customers:
- Show Room - A show room will permit display of Wirtgen Group’s largest machines, such as the 10-ft. Vision Series pavers from Vögele America Inc.; its largest double-drum rollers from Hamm Compaction Division; and large cold mills and reclaimer/stabilizers from Wirtgen America.
- Shop Area - A shop area with four large, fully equipped service bays will provide hands-on experience to Wirtgen Group contractor and dealer/distributor personnel.
- Dining Area - A dining area is provided that will accommodate 80 patrons.
- Offices - Offices are provided for training staff personnel.
- Company Store - A company store is staffed, where visitors may purchase official Wirtgen Group logo merchandise.
- Outdoor Demonstration Site - Outside, a seven-acre site will permit cold milling, soil stabilization, paving and compaction demonstrations, plus demos of Wirtgen Mineral Technologies crushing and screening plants from Kleemann Inc. USA, or of the new, very low-emission KMA 220 portable cold mix/Green Mix plant from Wirtgen.
Wirtgen America’s existing headquarters, located just minutes from Nashville International Airport, originally was built on 8.5 acres of land in suburban Nashville and opened in February 2001. Now, Wirtgen’s site has been expanded via property acquisitions into a campus headquarters, which ultimately will accommodate multiple buildings in an over-33-acre park-like setting. These buildings – of which the Learning Center is the first – will provide ample room to provide customer training that its growth in sales requires now and in the future.
On A Growth Track
"Wirtgen America is on a growth track in North America, and we intend to keep it there," said Jim McEvoy, president, Wirtgen America, Inc. "Our expansion represents a commitment to the future, and to future growth in the key areas of product support and training. This commitment is being fulfilled by our land acquisition and construction of the Learning Center."
The new training facility is needed because unprecedented demand from Wirtgen Group customers has totally outstripped the capacity of the existing classrooms built into its headquarters building just eight years ago.
Now the new building will provide four classrooms with an aggregate 200-person capacity. The lab classrooms will be able to teach mix designs such as foamed asphalt Green Mixes – which must be tailored according to the existing materials at each site – using the Wirtgen WLB 10 mobile lab.
Following extensive grading on Wirtgen’s hilly, wooded site, construction continued at a fast pace, with slab-on-grade foundation and poured concrete tilt-up walls enabling a January 2009 opening.
Having the new learning center located near the existing headquarters building led Wirtgen to acquire additional parcels around each structure, so future expansion will be much easier.
"For example, we anticipate that the existing building will require expansion in the warehouse and service areas at a later date," McEvoy said. "Just recently we ‘built out’ our product support and parts department offices, expanding into an interior mezzanine level of our warehouse. We are taking the opportunity of the new Learning Center to map out our company’s growth in the coming years."