Power-packed paver competition

A brief roll through the variety of asphalt paving machines on the market

Article December 28, 2000
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Selecting the correct paver is a time consuming and arduous process. The end result will affect everyone in the company from the president, financial officers, asphalt and project superintendents and especially the paving crew. Not to mention the DOT or company that contracted the job and especially the public, who will be next in line behind your boss with feedback regarding the level of job quality.

With the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century (TEA-21) soon to be passed, it is possible that $216 billion will be poured into the nation’s highways over the next six years. Not only will American citizens reap the benefits of the funds to be spent on the nation’s highways, eventually more jobs will be created for the paving industry.

With this in mind, paving companies expand their fleets based upon the need for commercial, private and residential paving needs. Upgrading is usually a step for most companies, although owners of the large pavers have begun to expand by purchasing smaller pavers.

“Traditionally, smaller companies who are interested in expanding their business have approached us in order to upgrade their capabilities by purchasing a mid-size paver. Recently, we have noticed companies which own larger size machines are now looking at the mid-size paver for commercial work applications,” said Charley Tilden, marketing manager for Gilcrest Propaver. “The popularity of the mid-size machine has grown.”

The ProPaver 813 by Gilcrest, Holden, Mo., gives the flexibility to accept jobs that couldn’t be taken earlier before owning a mid-size paver. The ProPaver 813 is a seven-and-one-half ton asphalt paver with planetary track drive, extendible-reversible augers, dual slat conveyers, load sensing hydraulic system and a standard 70-hp diesel engine. The unit contains the features of a big paver with the maneuverability of a small paver.

The mid-range paver has become one of the most diverse when it comes to different types of applications.

Caterpillar Paving Products, Minneapolis, offers the AP-650B, an intermediate-sized paver well suited to highways, city streets, country roads, lane additions, industrial sites, parking lots, overlays and other production-sized paving jobs.

The paver uses an exclusive closed-loop hydrostatic propel system that provides accurate control of steering and propulsion and assures straight-line tracking.
“With the introduction of the mobile track system, Caterpillar continues to see an emphasis placed on the smoothness and quality of asphalt paving,” said Terry Sharp, marketing communications manager for Caterpillar.
It also features an efficient conveyer and auger drive, in conjunction to the control system which eliminates feeder gates to adjust material volume. The conveyer to auger speed ratio can be adjusted to provide exact volumes of material. The result is slower running feeders that always operate full of asphalt. The ability to adjust conveyer to auger speed ratio also provides a system that accurately maintains mix levels in the auger chamber at all screed widths. In addition, the slower running feeders reduce component wear, minimize the potential for mix segregation and consume less horse power.

As the only paver in its size to have outboard feeder drives, the unit’s feeder drive motor is positioned outside the mainframe, away from the feeder tunnel and heat of the asphalt. The paver can be fitted with two screeds. The fixed-width 8B screed has a standard paving width of 8 ft and the 8-16B screed offers hydraulically variable widths from 8 ft to 151Ú2ft.

Conversely, the HP-9500 from the Neal paver line entertains features that enhance their durability, ease of use and finished asphalt mat. The Villa Rica, Ga., company’s 52-hp, seven ton capacity conveyer-fed paver can be used for commercial lots and road applications. The paver offers the UltraSteer steering system along with the big track performance of the Neal softrprint track system.

“The low-profile HP 9500 paves commercial lots and roads and features a dual conveyor system for efficient and consistent paving,” said Carie Robinson, advertising and marketing manager.

Head out to the highway

Larger pavers, used primarily for highway applications, are expensive and warrant a great deal of research before purchasing.

The Pro-Pav 1110W from Chambersburg, Pa.’s Champion Road Machinery, features an exclusive portal axle drive in conjunction with a hydrostatic drive system. This system provides true differential steering and lock for assistance in poor base conditions, eliminating drive chains and drum braking systems.

The high-volume, low-pressure material feed system has proportional paddle or ultrasonic sensors for a consistent head of material even in varying paving conditions. Power operated flow gates provide additional modulation of material feed when required in unusual applications.

“We are proud of the massive box-type screed on the Pro-Pav 1110W,” said Jerry Wright, marketing manager for Champion. “The screed extension slide on heavy-duty horizontal guidetubes creates no rainbowing or twisting. Another unique feature is the telescoping pre-strike offs. These limit overflow all the way to the ends of the extended screed, giving a superior, consistent mat across the entire width of the extended screed.”

Another option is the PF-5510 from Blaw-Knox, Matoon, Ill., a track- mounted, high-capacity paver capable of placing bituminous base, binder and surface course mixes, cement or lime stabilized sub-base and graded aggregate materials. The unit can be fit with extendible screeds that have paving widths ranging from 16 ft to 30 ft. The traction drive is an independent, hydrostatic direct drive system for each track with electric/hydraulic controlled two-speed planetaries and two-speed motors.

Speed selection is infinitely variable in each of the four speed ranges, all of which include full reverse at any of the four speed ranges. The unit offers the traction and flotation of a track machine with the mobility and ridability of a wheel machine. The unitized rear feeder section reduces service access time to all major feeder system components by 50%.

After completing a job for the Indiana DOT, Dave Hurd of Rieth-Riley Construction Co. of Gary, Ind., said, “The machine’s screed was extremely sensitive and the paver’s automatics very accurate. That combination does give you a quality mat which, as most people know, is the bottom line.”

Rounding out the large pavers is the RP-230 from Roadtec Inc. of Chattanooga, Tenn. The rubber-tired asphalt paver is a super highway-class asphalt paver designed to handle large jobs and long hours. The paver weighs 43,000 lb and is powered by a 234-hp diesel engine. All hydraulic components are oversized for maximum work loads and long life under stressful conditions. Ni-hard conveyor lines and hydraulically adjustable augers are standard equipment. The unit is equipped with either a 10-ft standard vibratory screed or a low-profile, hydraulically-extendible vibratory screed. The FXS fume extraction system is standard equipment.

Jeff Richmond, vice president of sales and marketing for Roadtec said, “This unit is designed for high production and to lay higher tonages than conventional rubber-tired machines. It is also ideal for crews in the southwest who push windrow pick-up machines since it is designed to handle high temperatures, severe duty and handle enormous weight. With a 134-in. wheel base, the unit gives a great ride characteristics and pavement capabilities.”

Paving systems

Based in central Iowa, Cedarapids Inc., offers its new anti-segregation system on both the 400 and 500 Grayhound series which include the CR451RX and CR551RX rubber-tired models and CR461RX and CR561RX steel track models.

The remix anti-segregation system is designed to solve hot-mix segregation by continuously reblending hot-mix in the paver’s hopper just prior to placement by the screed.

Mark Hunt, product manager for Cedarapids said, “The paver offers contractors a cost effective solution available in helping control HMA segregation. Cost savings to contractors include lower initial equipment investment plus savings on fuel, maintenance, crew wages and material trucking.”

According to Hunt, “The system reblends material in two phases, first by pulling hot mix uniformly from all areas of the paver’s hopper and secondly via the agitating action of the hydraulically driven twin auger assemblies.”

The entire line of Cedarapids pavers meet all OSHA standards and offer a wide range of paving applications ranging from parking lots to interstate highways.

Imported goods

Dynapac Pavers, San Antonio, Texas, checks in with the F30W paver, design that exhibits higher production rates, greater densities, eliminates center line segregation and thermostatically controlled heating. Material conveying begins with a 265-cu-ft capacity hopper with individually controlled sides and a steep dumping angle. Material is distributed via two separate and independent hydraulic driven augers, with infinitely variable speed control.

Proportional sonic sensors control each side independently and the separate drive eliminates the centerline chain case and segregation associated with it. Equipped with a hydraulically extendible screed that is infinitely variable out to 18 ft, with extensions it can pave at widths just over 26 ft. Horizontal tube design ensure greater rigidity, lower profile and better material visibility as well as providing greater density and superior mat texture.

“This is the only machine with European experience on Superpave type mix. It is designed with specifications to eliminate center-line segregation from the paver and improve initial densities to ensure smoother driving Superpave mixes,” according to James Hedderich, vice president of marketing, Dynapac Pavers, “This machine solves many of the shortcomings I have heard customers complain about for years. For example, it features independently-driven feeder and auger systems. This system eliminates the center chain case and adds independent outboard auger drives. With no centermounted chain case, the paver eliminates a point of aggregate segregation under the screed.”

Tonawanda, N.Y.’s Midland Machinery Co. rounds out the field with the NOVA-PAVER concept that was developed in conjunction with a firm in France. This machine combines the operation of sealing old pavement with a polymer-modified bond/seal coat and the placement of a new open-graded wearing course.

NOVA-PAVER places the bonding/ seal coat from its 3,000-gal. emulsion tank through the computer controlled full circulating spray system. The variable width spray bar, just ahead of the material discharge, is linked to the hydraulically extendible screed to automatically match any adjustments to the paving width. The gap-graded pre-mix is conveyed from the folding receiving hopper to the discharge chute by four screw feeders. The feeders are activated in pairs by ultrasonic controllers which keep a constant head of material in front of the screed. Each feeder shaft is driven by its own hydraulic motor for maximum power and torque.

Barre Banks, executive vice president of Midland explained, “This process was used in Europe and we are bringing it to national applications in North America. The concept is a hybrid of what has been done in North America with higher type pavement and thin-layer with good skid resistance. NOVAPAVER is a specialty unit used for a special type of material.”

Paver manufacturers are an important part of the highway safety programs. Based on the high quality standards that manufacturers impose on their pavers, highway safety programs literally begin from the ground up.

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