Mountain paving

Oct. 26, 2007

In Maine's north woods, not far from the Quebec border, a new 2219T paver from Vögele America Inc. was climbing mountain grades and providing a new pavement for a busy ski season last winter.

In Maine's north woods, not far from the Quebec border, a new 2219T paver from Vögele America Inc. was climbing mountain grades and providing a new pavement for a busy ski season last winter.

Contractor Pike Industries Inc. of Belmont, N.H., an Oldcastle company, was using its 2219T with HR500E screed to pave and improve 12 miles of Maine State Rte. 27 near Eustis, in Maine's scenic north woods and ski country.

"This machine has a lot of power," said Gene Alley, paving foreman for Pike. "If you have a truck with his brakes on too hard, it's still going to push him."

Pike acquired the Vögele America 2219T paver in June 2006. "We started the surface of this job with that paver and we've had really good luck with it," Alley said. "Pike is looking at many products. My crew feels very comfortable with this paver, and it has an edge over a competing make I also was impressed with. The 2219T goes just a little bit faster, but still is getting us 94s and 95s [density] when done. I can lay a really nice, consistent mat with it, and really get some tonnage down."

Placing mats consistently, in large amounts - and getting paid for it - is the No. 1 key to profitable contracting, and the Vögele America 2219T is making that happen, Alley said.

"With our old line of pavers, the best I could do was 22 ft per minute, and that was getting densities and getting paid," he said. "If you did 1,200 or 1,400 tons per day—all things being equal—you were doing good. But with this 2219T , up here on this job, I had a day where I did almost 2,100 tons of 1 1/4-in. surface at 14 ft wide, with an hour-and-a-half set back time to tie the joint up, and we were still done at 7 p.m. with 94% and 95% density. We increased the tonnage anywhere from 500 to 700 tons in the same amount of time and got paid for it."

"Behind the screed itself, before any rollers hit it, we have gotten densities in the low-to-mid 80s, which is really good," Alley said. "When the knockdown [breakdown] roller hits the first pass, you're up to 92 and 93. And by the time the last two rollers finish, you've got your 94s and 95s, which is what you want."

The heavier HF500E electric screed makes a difference, Alley said. "The screen is 2,000 lb heavier than other screeds, which makes a big difference," he said. "You don't have to run the vibes quite so hard to achieve the same or better density. And when not running the vibe so hard, you are not putting so much wear-and-tear on the product for longer life."

The electric screed is the way to go, he added. "I love the electric screed," Alley said. "When I first started 18 years ago, screeds used smoky, dirty, nasty diesel burners. They needed constant maintenance. And if they're kept on too long, they actually can warp the screed, adding deviations to the screed that you can't get out.

"Electric screed heat is uniform, even heat that will only go to a certain temperature, avoiding the potential warping. This newer-style electric screed is a lot quieter because the generator is placed with the engine. It makes a big difference."

"The 2219T is very operator friendly; you can drive it with one finger," Allen said. "You don't have to hold the steering wheel all day, because it doesn't go back to a zero point or have a lot of tension in the wheel. Visibility is a lot better, too, and even the white seat is a plus; it doesn't get hot in the summer."

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