Tag Archive for 'paving'

Going the Distance

High-Volume Asphalt Maintenance Mixture Sets Innovative Roadway Solutions on the Path to Productivity

The hardest part of a project for most contractors is the bid. Balancing customer specs with overhead costs to produce a number both sides are comfortable with takes skill and a deep understanding of an operation’s capabilities. Partnering with industry-leading OEMs to provide efficiency-optimizing equipment can give contractors an edge in the bidding process. But a tool is only as good as the hand wielding it – or, in the case of asphalt preservation applications, the one applying it. In this competitive industry, a successful bid requires expert leveraging of experience and equipment to provide quality results with no waste.

For Innovative Roadway Solutions success means taking advantage of new innovations, even if they present a challenge to current processes. The company partnered with Neal Manufacturing to help meet quality and efficiency needs on specialized high-volume highway and shoulder applications

For Innovative Roadway Solutions – a pavement preservation specialist operating in Texas, Missouri, and the surrounding states – success also means taking advantage of new innovations, even if they present a challenge to current processes. This was the case when the company began using Onyx, a high-performance mastic sealer produced by Ingevity and spec’d by several DOTs in its operating area. To apply Onyx efficiently, Innovative Roadway Solutions needed an OEM partner with not only the experience to produce reliable equipment for the high-aggregate mixture; it needed a manufacturer willing to listen and custom-engineer machines for specialized high-volume highway and shoulder applications. So, the company turned to Neal Manufacturing, a division of Blastcrete Equipment LLC, for a solution to help them maintain their reputation for quality and dependability and still be able to submit competitive bids. 

Challenging the Status Quo

With more than 30 years of experience, Innovative Roadway Solutions always strives to provide affordable preventative maintenance applications that extend the longevity of asphalt roadways. In 2017, the company became part of Lionmark Construction Companies, a privately held group specializing in pavement preservation and road and bridge construction. The acquisition extended Innovative Roadway Solutions’ service area and gave the company a chance to grow, doubling its size in just two years.

One thing that remained constant throughout the growth period is the company’s commitment to harnessing the latest technology and products for the benefit of its customers. New and existing employees worked together to ensure Innovative Roadway Solutions remained just that – innovative. As they grew service offerings, they looked to incorporate processes and products popular across Lionmark’s area of operation.

Onyx was one such product. Introduced in 2012, the frictional mastic surface treatment quickly gained popularity with DOTs across the U.S. It offers high durability with frictional characteristics achieved from improving micro texture on the pavement surface. Fast drying times makes it popular with contractors and motorists alike, while the consistently black color offers striking contrast for aesthetic and safety benefits. For Innovative Roadway Solutions, the high-performance product looked to revolutionize pavement preservation processes in terms of durability and affordability. 

“Onyx was starting to show up on the spec sheets for DOT projects in numerous states, which are about 95 percent of our business, but even where customers weren’t specifically asking for it, we recognized its value for certain applications,” said Kevin King, President of Innovative Roadway Solutions. “The product bridged the gap between a fog seal and slurry seal, allowing us to offer customers another solution that would extend the life of their road surface without breaking the bank.”

Innovative Roadway Solutions worked with Neal Manufacturing to retrofit one of its existing high-volume application trucks with the HDP system and spray apparatus. It also bought a new 3,000-gallon truck system from the OEM. Equipped with the Generation IV 150-gpm pump, the new truck provided productivity like never before.

But there were a few bumps in the road when it came to integrating the new product into its service lineup.

The Path to Productivity

“Contracts with government agencies at the city, county and state level aren’t easy to get,” King said. “It’s not just about the lowest bid, though that is definitely a part of it. It’s about reputation. The high aggregate composition of Onyx requires a stronger pump than other spray applications. To maintain our reputation for quality and dependability and still be able to submit competitive bids, we needed specialized equipment that provided the volume and precision that customers required.”

When it came to pump design, Innovative Roadways Solutions knew there was no one in the pavement preservation industry with more experience than Neal Manufacturing and their parent company, Blastcrete Equipment LLC. Both companies have long histories of pump innovations. Since the 1950s, Blastcrete Equipment has been at the forefront of shotcrete pumping technology – introducing several equipment designs over the years that revolutionized applications in refractory and construction applications. Neal Manufacturing has similar claims to pump fame in the pavement preservation industry. Before its merger with Blastcrete in 2013, the company made significant innovations to hydraulic piston pumps to allow more efficiency and longevity for use with asphalt sealcoating products. Once the companies began operating out of the same Alabama-based facility, engineers continued to expand pump capacities for a number of applications. This combined experience and continued innovation earned Innovative Roadway Solutions’ trust.

“When dealing with high-aggregate products, Blastcrete provides a unique expertise other OEMs don’t have,” King said. “Their pumps are originally designed to handle robust, difficult materials. When they integrated that technology with Neal Manufacturing equipment, which already had excellent pumps for traditional preservation coatings, we knew we were working with a winning team for developing high-aggregate pavement preservation equipment.”

As Innovative Roadway Solutions made the transition to Onyx applications, the team worked with Neal Manufacturing to upgrade the pumps on some of their existing equipment to a more reliable hydraulic piston pump. Neal Manufacturing’s heavy-duty aggregate pump (HDP) system offered the fastest transfer rate on the market – up to 150 gpm – but more importantly, produced enough pressure to move mixtures with up to 10 pounds of sand per gallon. 

With a metering system custom-engineered from Neal Manufacturing, Innovative Roadway Solutions could accurately assess application rates and ensure uniform distribution of the surface treatment, allowing the contractor to remain a competitive bidder with agencies across its area of operation.

“Using Onyx with a traditional pump system results in a lot of unnecessary downtime,” King said. “Asphalt maintenance has a very limited season, only about seven months in some of the states we work in, so we need to make every minute count. Neal Manufacturing’s equipment is simple, easy to use and durable. With it there’s less cleaning, less maintenance and fewer clogs, saving us valuable minutes every day.” 

To truly maximize its potential on high-volume projects, Innovative Roadway Solutions needed more than a heavy-duty pump – it needed a reliable system with the precision to meet government agency specs. 

Miles to Go

Innovative Roadway Solutions worked with Neal Manufacturing to retrofit one of its existing high-volume application trucks with the HDP system and spray apparatus. It also bought a new 3,000-gallon truck system from the OEM. Equipped with the Generation IV 150-gpm pump, the new truck provided productivity like never before.

The basic design also provided a number of features that made application more user friendly for Innovative Roadway Solution crews. In-cab controls allowed drivers to easily control spray bar height for optimum control as weight shifted during application. This on-board system was also capable of controlling individual heads to provide more precision and flexibility for applications on narrow surfaces. 

However, the precision required by DOT and other government agencies still needed to be accounted for.

“We were bidding on projects with specified application rates, but, at first, we didn’t have a way to monitor that with the Neal Manufacturing system,” King said. “We had the right equipment but the trucks had to be modified to meet our customers’ standards. With Neal Manufacturing’s reputation for customized solutions, we knew we had the right partner to help us develop the appropriate equipment for our operation.”

True to their reputation, Neal Manufacturing listened to exactly what Innovative Roadway Solutions needed and engineered a metering system to work in conjunction with the contractor’s High-Volume Road Maintenance Vehicle. The system combined information for four load cells positioned on the corners of the tank with a component that measures distance to provide an accurate application rate. The OEM also included an on-board printer to provide immediate results when necessary. 

“It’s not always easy to find a manufacturer that’s willing to collaborate,” King said. “Often what you see is what you get when it comes to pavement preservation equipment. Or you have to wait awhile for the updated model to come out. Having Neal Manufacturing on our team meant that not only did we get the upgrades we needed quickly, but they’re now standard and will be available on the next high-volume vehicle we buy.”

With the new system, Innovative Roadway Solutions could accurately assess application rates and ensure uniform distribution, allowing the contractor to remain a competitive bidder with agencies across its area of operation.

Deep in the Heart of Texas

Since 2017, Innovative Roadway Solutions has completed approximately 25 contracts spec’ing Onyx. The majority of these have been with local, state or federal agencies, requiring a high degree of precision, quality and dependability. All of which the asphalt maintenance contractor provides time and again.

“We’re still submitting the low bid for these projects,” King said, “but at this point, some of these agencies are more like our loyal customers. They know we will get the job done quickly, efficiently, and to spec.”

For one such project, completed for the Paris District of the TxDOT, Innovative Roadway Solutions applied 767,331 square yards of Onyx in the weeks leading up to Memorial Day weekend in 2019. As part of the overall job, crews used the Neal Manufacturing equipment to apply the mastic sealer to 207,748 square yards of parking areas, boat ramps, main grounds and RV spots at US Army Corps of Engineers Lake Jim Chapman at Cooper Dam, commonly called Cooper Lake. The application didn’t disturb visitors and surfaces were dry enough to resume normal traffic in time for the holiday. 

“This is a great time to be in the asphalt maintenance industry,” King said. “The process is changing. New products are coming out. Experienced manufacturers are stepping up to provide the equipment we need to leverage these to our customer’s advantage. It’s an ideal environment for Innovative Roadway Solutions to continue growing and continue pushing ourselves.”

This material appeared in the June 2020 issues of the ACP Magazines:

California Builder & Engineer, Construction, Construction Digest, Construction News, Constructioneer, Dixie Contractor, Michigan Contractor & Builder, Midwest Contractor, New England Construction, Pacific Builder & Engineer, Rocky Mountain Construction, Texas Contractor, Western Builder

GOMACO at CONEXPO-CON/AGG 2020

GOMACO

Xtreme Curb and Gutter Machines

GOMACO’s Xtreme line of concrete curb and gutter machines were featured in the GOMACO booth as part of the company’s display. The new pavers feature Xtreme steering capabilities with rotary-sensored slew drives on each track, Xtreme intelligence with smart hydraulic cylinders combined with G+ control, Xtreme hydraulic packages with independent hydraulic travel circuits to each track with G+ control on each individual track’s speed and smooth travel around radii, and Xtreme radius capabilities when paving with 3D guidance or stringline. 

The 3300 is GOMACO’s multi-application paver with a symmetrical design for right-side and left-side paving. It can also be equipped with a mold mounting kit to undermount a paving mold and be utilized as a transverse slipform paver.

Other Xtreme curb and gutter machines in the GOMACO line up capable of slipforming tight radii are the Xtreme GT-3600 and Commander IIIx. The Xtreme Commander IIIx and GT-3600 are the curb and gutter machines contractors rely on for high-production, maximum quality curb and gutter, barrier, parapet, sidewalk, recreational path, small canal, water channel, and more, multi-application slipform machines.

Rounding out GOMACO’s curb and gutter machine line is the GT-3200, GOMACO’s compact curb and gutter paver. The curb and gutter machines on display will feature the different stringline and stringless paving options from Topcon, Leica Geosystems, and Trimble.

The Curb Cadet

GOMACO reinvented its compact curb machine, the Curb Cadet. It now features a new fiberglass engine shroud, Tier 4 final engine, and the relocation of all controls to the handle for easy reach and operation. It’s now the ultimate compact and highly mobile curb machine for slipforming concrete curb or optional asphalt extrusion.

The Curb Cadet slipforms concrete curb and accommodates concrete mold configurations within 12 inches wide by 14 inches high, and can place concrete over dowels or continuous steel reinforcing. It can also slipform a 24-inch radius, depending on the curb profile. The Curb Cadet is right-hand or left-hand side pour capable with an adjustable sliding hopper and mold. Inside the hopper, a 12-inch diameter by 4.7-foot-long auger moves the concrete. A coordinated stop switch on the Curb Cadet provides automatic on/off vibrator control that is synchronized with the machine’s forward travel. 

GP360 Placer/Spreader Slipform Paver

GOMACO introduces the revolutionary GP360 Placer/Spreader Slipform Paver. The GP360 is the first of its kind, designed and built upon decades of high-production placing and spreading accuracy. It’s both a slipform paver and a placer/spreader on two tracks. As a GP3 slipform paver, it’s capable of slipforming up to 30 feet wide. Add a 60-inch belt and it becomes a concrete placer/spreader for up to 36 feet wide. 

The new innovation gives contractors the technology of the GOMACO GP3 slipform paver with the ability to convert the prime mover into a concrete placer/spreader. The prime mover is equipped with vibrator circuits for paving and auger drive circuits for placing. Controlling the new technology is made possible with the GOMACO-exclusive G+ digital control system. G+ is able to seamlessly handle the controls conversion needed for each application while also bringing onboard machine to machine communication, sonic sensors, 3D machine guidance, and more. 

New High-Production Screed

GOMACO introduces a new high-production screed for widths up to 104 Feet. The new high-production screed can advance up to 4 feet in a single pass drastically reducing finishing time and providing savings on concrete delivery costs and total project labor. It features a 5.7-foot-long leading auger with a high-production strike-off action that reduces the number of puddlers needed out front. A 5-foot-long finishing cylinder, directly behind the auger, compacts and finishes the concrete in a single pass. A 6-foot trailing screed provides the final finish to the surface of the concrete with a unique GOMACO-designed vibratory system. The high-production screed with a patent-pending design for tilt and skew is mounted to the GOMACO C-450 truss system. The new mount is instrumental for the optional 3D package to finish to a 3D design model. The new GOMACO screed system now allows contractors to economically finish city streets, concrete floors, bridge decks, tunnels, and canals at widths up to 104 feet. 

This material appeared in the May 2020 issues of the ACP Magazines:

California Builder & Engineer, Construction, Construction Digest, Construction News, Constructioneer, Dixie Contractor, Michigan Contractor & Builder, Midwest Contractor, New England Construction, Pacific Builder & Engineer, Rocky Mountain Construction, Texas Contractor, Western Builder

Cemen Tech Announces April 2020 Webinar Series

 Cemen Tech has announced its training webinar series for April, 2020. Available at no cost, Cemen Tech’s webinars cover a variety of important topics related to the volumetric concrete industry. 

The ongoing webinar series is hosted by Cemen Tech volumetric concrete experts, and often features contractors, aggregate product manufacturers, equipment finance professionals and other guest speakers. 

How Volumetric Technology Benefits The Road Industry

April 14th, 2020 – 10:00 AM – 10:30 AM CST

The session will focus on the benefits of using volumetric mixers across interstate, highway and bridge projects. It will also cover the basics of volumetric mixers, road restoration projects and the fuel behind it all — fast-setting cements.

Hosted by Collin Robinson, Product Manager, Cemen Tech, and John Caldwell, VP Sales & Marketing, FastTrac Construction Products.

Increasing Your Efficiency With ACCU-POUR Technology

April 16th, 2020 – 10:00 AM – 10:30 AM CST

This session will focus on gaining better control of your concrete business by using dispatch technology. The session will address how to ensure that every possible minute is dedicated to pouring concrete and why it is important to leverage technology to eliminate paper and manual data entry.

– Online scheduling and real-time communication with drivers

– Manage your business proactively by tracking every yard of concrete poured and having immediate access to all of your production data

– Save time and money through improved dispatch, driver communication, and administrative reporting

Hosted by Rob Peterson, Technology Sales Manager, Cemen Tech.

Understanding Mix Designs & Admixtures Needed For High-Quality Concrete

April 21, 2020 – 10:00 AM – 10:30 AM CST

Hosted by Collin Robinson, Product Manager, Cemen Tech, and Ryan Risley, Darcole Products

How To Start A Retail Concrete Business With A Volumetric Mixer

April 23rd, 2020 – 10:00 AM – 10:30 AM CST

Hosted by Mark Rinehart, Director of Sales & Marketing, Cemen Tech, and Rick Nation, Nation’s Mini Mix

What You Need To Know About Equipment Financing

April 28th, 2020 – 10:00 AM – 10:30 AM CST

Hosted by Andy Bruns, TransLease

Leverage Digital Marketing To Grow Your Customer Base

April 30th, 2020 – 10:00 AM – 10:30 AM CST 

Hosted by Kris Moorman, Marketing Manager, Cemen Tech, and Trilix

For more information, or to register for one of the webinars listed above, please visithttps://cementech.com/webinars.

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About Cemen Tech Inc.

Cemen Tech, Inc. has over 50 years manufacturing and engineering experience in the volumetric mixing industry.  As the industry leader, the company provides the highest quality concrete mixers to its customers.  Cemen Tech currently operates in over 70 countries, services mixers across the globe, and supplies equipment to the United States military. Cemen Tech believes that people, businesses, and communities around the world should have the infrastructure to access clean water, to transport goods and services, and to reliable housing. Their products provide the foundation and stability to meet the needs of a growing world in an environmentally conscious way.www.CemenTech.com

ACCU-POUR™

Cemen Tech’s proprietary technology suite ACCU-POUR can make an impact in any size of operation.  Its tools provide a holistic view of your business operations, from up-to-the-minute to a yearly overview. Blend the big picture together with everyday details and gain complete control over your concrete through ACCU-POUR. Every Cemen Tech C60 has the standard base of ACCU-POUR included on it – AP Touch Panel, Auto-Stow™ and Auto-Wash™; components such as Auto-Gates, Office and Mobile are options.  www.ACCU-POUR.com

Intelligent Compaction is the Key

By Jeff Winke

Long-lasting, Durable Surfaces Result From Quality Compaction

The most elemental meaning of the word “compaction,” is the exertion of force on something so that it becomes more dense.

In the realm of road construction, compaction is considered one of the most important processes in pavement and roadway surface construction. It is necessary in order to attain high quality and uniformity of pavement materials, which in turn better ensures the long-lasting performance of the road. 

It has been more than a few years since the term and method of “intelligent compaction” (IC) has become a given in discusions of paving. Today, it has become the norm – compaction is pretty much considered intelligent compaction.

IC refers to the compaction of road materials, such as soils, aggregate bases, or asphalt pavement materials, using modern vibratory rollers equipped with an integrated measurement system, an onboard computer reporting system, Global Positioning System (GPS) based mapping, and optional feedback control. IC rollers facilitate real-time compaction monitoring and timely adjustments to the compaction process by integrating measurement, documentation, and control systems. IC rollers also maintain a continuous record of color-coded plots, allowing the user to view plots of the precise location of the roller, the number of roller passes, and material stiffness measurements.

“Operators have told me that intelligent compaction takes the guessing game out of their rolling pattern,” said Daniel F. Brown, President of Phend & Brown, Inc., Milford, Indiana. “They no longer need to remember which utility power pole or mailbox they started or stopped at with their rolling pattern. Additionally, uniform pass coverage is assured because pass coverage is being measured and documented.”

The Background on IC

Back in 2011, the Federal Highway Association (FHWA) reported on a major three-year research project that was designed to verify that IC, which at the time had been considered “emerging technology,” was mature enough to be implemented in the real world. The intent of the project was to create the blueprint in the FHWA IC strategic plan. This study was under the Transportation Pooled Fund project, which included 12 participating state department of transportation: Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, North Dakota, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin.

The report’s Executive Summary states that the project “demonstrated tried-and-true Intelligent Compaction (IC) technologies through 16 field projects and open house activities, numerous meetings and training for State personnel and local earthwork/paving contractors, and assistance on the development of State IC specifications.”

The IC project’s key conclusions:

  • IC mapping of existing support layers is effective in identifying weak support areas for corrective actions prior to the compaction of the upper layers. 
  • With hot-mix asphalt (HMA) paving, IC tracking compaction roller passes and HMA surface temperatures can provide the necessary means to maintain a consistent rolling pattern within optimal ranges of temperatures for coverage of 100 percent of the construction area. 
  • IC technologies can be especially beneficial to maintain consistent rolling patterns under lower visibility conditions, such as night paving operations.

IC Technology Aids Productivity

IC technology, the report stated, will have profound influence on the responsibilities of various stages of pavement constructions and will eventually help produce better and more consistent pavement products. 

“We are currently running Topcon C-53 IC Systems on two Caterpillar CB-534 D XW Rollers, and two systems on Bomag BW190 AD Rollers,” stated Brown. “At the time of purchase, the C-53, which offers the GX-55 control box, was the newest technology available.

“We like that the technology provides for remote mobile access via Sitelink to allow process balance decisions to be based on real-time data for the entire paver/roller operation, which in turn ensures that optimal production rates and density values are consistently achieved.” 

Topcon Positioning Systems offers an IC system that is designed to track pass counts of multiple rollers or IC machines working on the same project. Through secure connectivity to Topcon’s global Sitelink3D service, each compactor not only performs its tasks, but also becomes part of the overall monitored project. 

“Each operator is not only able to see their own passes, but those made by other machines on-screen in real time,” Brown said. “And in real time, the paving superintendant, foreman, and general contractor personnel can also see what exactly is going on via the Sitelink platform. This ensures proper compaction from each machine and eliminates redundancy.” 

The IC system is designed to:

  • Leverage multiple integrated temperature sensors, so each compactor can achieve consistent results through constant feedback into the system.
  • Provide accurate pass counts, geographic locations of each run, as well as georeferenced task assignments and their completion via its GNSS technology.
  • Ensure that regulatory IC standards are being met by documenting surface stiffness values through its accelerometer.
  • Connect to the Sitelink3D Enterprise service which provides 24/7 access to project data, team collaboration, custom reporting, as well as standard export to Veta management and analysis software, which can provide additional customized information. 
  • Provide data to demonstrate specification compliance and confirm proper density claims.

“We’re using the Topcon C-53 IC System with a GX-75 control box on our 850 Series Sakai Oscillation/Vibration Paving Roller, which allows the machine operator to monitor the compaction pattern and the temperature as they’re working,” stated Sergio Muniz, Paving Superintendent with Payne & Dolan, Inc., Waukesha, Wisconsin, who acquired the system working through his local Topcon Solutions Store. “I like that I can jump onto my laptop and see the work being completed in real time and make certain we’re complying with the tough DOT state specifications.”

Muniz added: “We’re finding the Topcon system to be essential for our high-profile big jobs to ensure we remain on task and is instrumental for when we work at night. It also is proving handy for smaller parking-lot-type jobs as well.”

The key benefit of IC is greater control over the compaction results, which in turn provides better finished paved results. Compaction at its most elemental is the exertion of force on something so that it becomes more dense, while IC provides the technological means to ensure that compaction is performed consistently, thoroughly, and accurately. The goal is to achieve optimum densities that ensure adequate support, stability, and strength. Achieving these densities uniformly is key, and clearly IC aids this process.

This feature appeared in the January 2020 issues of the ACP Magazines:

California Builder & Engineer, Construction, Construction Digest, Construction News, Constructioneer, Dixie Contractor, Michigan Contractor & Builder, Midwest Contractor, New England Construction, Pacific Builder & Engineer, Rocky Mountain Construction, Texas Contractor, Western Builder

ARTBA on: Final FY 2020 Spending Bill Ready for President’s Signature

By Dean Franks, senior vice president, congressional relations, ARTBA

The Senate Dec. 19 passed 71-23 an eight-bill omnibus appropriations package, the next-to-last step to enactment of a full-year FY 2020 transportation spending law. President Donald Trump is expected to sign the bill into law before the midnight Dec. 20 expiration of the temporary measure now funding government programs.

The package fully-funds the FAST Act authorized spending for all Highway Trust Fund-supported programs and adds an additional $4.08 billion for surface transportation and airport improvements from the General Fund that were not previously authorized. The supplemental investment includes:

  • $2.17 billion for highways;
  • $400 million for airport capital projects;
  • $510 million for bus and transit program grants; and
  • $1 billion for BUILD (formerly known as TIGER) multi-modal surface transportation discretionary grants.

Full details in the chart below.

The expected enactment of the full fiscal year spending bills marks the first time in five years state departments of transportation will have their full spending authority prior to Jan. 1. The finalization of the appropriations and the repeal of the contract authority rescission in November mark an eventful end of year for federal transportation investment.

With these accomplishments complete, and other non-related major legislation also in the rear-view mirror, there is a clear path for Congress to tackle bipartisan measures post-impeachment.