Asphalt paving has become famous for driveways, private roads, and parking lots. Better-looking than cement pavement, easy to install and lasting longer, asphalt is the way to go 99% of the time. Asphalt pavement is also better regarding driveability, budget, and appearance when done right. It is also much more environmentally friendly.
But not all asphalt paving companies are the same. Make sure to look for a company with experience and capabilities. Look for reviews from previous clients. You should also check if they have the equipment to complete a specific project. If you’re near Pinellas County, check out Anderson & Son’s Asphalt for the best local asphalt services.
Different equipment and machines are used in various stages of completing asphalt paving or repair. This article will help you understand and get to know them so you know what to ask your contractor about the equipment they have.
Asphalt Paving Equipment
The correct equipment is necessary for efficient and effective asphalt paving. If you have basic knowledge, you can ask your contractor about the ones they use.
- Milling Machine. This machine is the equipment used for removing the top layer of any existing pavement before laying new asphalt. A full-depth removal is usually done using this equipment. This means the old or damaged areas are milled to the desired surface level.
- Also known as a cold planner, the milling machine has a large rotating drum designed to cut up existing asphalt. A vacuum also sucks the milled materials so they can be loaded onto the conveyor belt and then onto the milling machine.
- Graders. If the area is not fit for a milling machine, a grader is used instead. This is commonly used on surfaces with gravel or hard dirt. Since a flat surface is a key to the driveability and durability of asphalt pavements, grading a dirt or gravel surface is necessary.
- Sweepers. After grading or milling, cleaning the surface comes next. A sweeper is equipment used for gathering loose rocks and debris. This process ensures the surface is clean, and nothing will hinder the bonding capabilities of the new asphalt when laid on the surface.
- Dump Trucks. These trucks are vital in hauling asphalt to the job site. They are also used to move debris out of the site for disposal. There are several types of trucks used, depending on the contractor.
Most contractors will use bottom dump, end dump, and live bottom dump trucks. Bottom dump, or belly dump trucks, have sloped internal walls that guide the asphalt and dump them from underneath. If you saw trucks dumping loads by raising the front end, those are end dump trucks. Meanwhile, live bottom dump trucks feature a conveyor system at the bottom of the bed used to unload the asphalt or debris. The latter is best for segregation but is more expensive to operate.
- Reclaimers. If the project is to replace old pavement, reclaimers are used – these are designed for cutting and destroying old pavement. These machines feature rotors also used for mixing materials such as lime and cement into the foundation. This process helps stabilize bed surfaces.
- Asphalt Pavers. For hot mix asphalt, an asphalt paver is used. This is a self-propelled laydown machine that features a floating screed. The asphalt is loaded in front and then transferred to the back, spread out by augers, and leveled and compacted by the floating screed.
- An asphalt paver features two systems – a tractor and a screed. The latter is the most significant part when it comes to laying asphalt. On the other hand, the tractor acts as the feeder and spreads the asphalt.
- Compactor. After laying the asphalt, the compactor condenses and settles the surface. The operator of this machine works slowly to ensure that the asphalt is compressed solidly and uniformly.
Other machines and equipment may also be necessary depending on the project’s scope. The above are just the leading equipment and most essential among the lot. At Anderson and Sons Asphalt, our team is experienced in properly handling and operating these machines. This way, we can guarantee quality results while upholding workplace safety.