All County Paving Shows How to Maintain Courts
BY Sandy Lender
The last thing a student athlete wants to see is a cracked or uneven surface when it’s time to practice for a big game. To keep a basketball or tennis court surface smooth and functional, school districts turn to local contractors for expert work. Enter the team of All County Paving—National Pavement Management Solutions, based in Delray Beach, Florida. This company bids on projects ranging from paving, patching, milling, site work, concrete work, striping, ADA and sealcoating. They self-perform projects in the Southeast and reach out to contractors in their network to accomplish projects farther afield.
“ACP self-performs capital projects nationally and works with local vendors within the pavement network,” a spokesperson explained.
In March 2023, ACP performed a mill-and-fill for Polo Park Middle School, executing the milling, cleaning, leveling and paving of a basketball court and tennis court situated side by side. They hired a private company to haul mix from a local asphalt plant and brought in a subcontractor to handle the striping. Here’s how they accomplished the project with guidance and training from Paving Consultant John Ball of Top Quality Paving & Training, Manchester, New Hampshire.
Prep the Existing Surface
A spokesperson for ACP said the crew performed milling of the two courts on Monday and Tuesday, March 20 and 21, to a profile of no more than 2%.
To demonstrate preparing the surface for efficient paving, the crew performed additional, detailed cleaning prior to paving on Wednesday and Thursday, March 22 and 23. Ball described them using torches to ensure grass and weeds were burned out of cracks and using a leaf blower to get fine dust and stray debris off the surface.
“You want to burn off any weeds you see or they’re going to grow back in a year,” Ball said. “You want to use a blower to get fine dust out of the grooves so the tack can do its job.”
The crew also used a Stihl pavement saw, shovels and Kubota SSV75 skid steer bucket to remove problem areas that required additional work. You can see in the pictures included here that the laborers lined out the job and marked the areas that needed additional attention. They came in with the paver to level off these spots.
“There was some scabbing of the old, milled pavement, so the crew leveled it,” Ball said. “To do this, we set the screed down, null it out, then drag it with no angle of attack. This screeds it off, like we’re leveling the foam off a milkshake.” For a primer on nulling out the screed and setting your angle of attack, check out the article “Paving by the Numbers” at TheAsphaltPro.com.
Ball said the 11-person crew—including himself—took the time to get everything right for paving, dedicating about two hours to surface preparation before the mix arrived on each of the paving days.
Pave the Details
Because the project required a 1-inch compacted course of S3 mix, the crew had no room for error. They used a Weiler P385B paver with the screed extended to 10 feet to pave 6,900 square yards for both the basketball and tennis court over two days. To get final compaction, they placed the 1-inch overlay at about 1 1/8 to 1 1/4 inch thick, depending on the leveling required.
To get compaction, the breakdown roller operator hit the mat with a Cat CB36B small vibratory roller. The intermediate roller operator came along behind with a Basic 700 rubber-tire roller, featuring four tires on the front and three on the back. Not every contractor still uses sand, but this fellow had a very fine-grain sand to throw out to help prevent pickup on the tires.
“This crew goes above and beyond for the company and strives for success everyday making sure our customers’ expectations are exceeded,” ACP President Ken Goldberg said. “They all work together well and teach each other new skills that help them grow in the business and help the job run smoothly. Some crew members even stepped into leadership roles. The quality of work they produce is outstanding and we are so proud to have them as members of Team ACP.”
To build up leaders and maintain a knowledgeable crew, ACP prioritizes training. Management brought in Ball for a week of training in March and Goldberg regularly schedules lunch-and-learn sessions with both customers and vendors to spread knowledge on the industry and the company. “He loves doing them,” a spokesperson shared. “Our customers really enjoy them and they learn a lot about us and what we do. We usually do a lunch after the presentation and course, so it really gives us the opportunity to get to know them more and build relationships.”
For the middle school project in March, the crew put their education into practice to deliver a smooth finished surface for the young athletes. “We were paving 20 feet per minute,” Ball said. That gave them about five hours to place about 220 tons on the basketball court. “When you’re only laying an inch, the mat could easily tear or shove, so you want to take your time and do it right.”
Paving by the Numbers
You’ve probably seen this information as a picture and spelled out in great detail in the magazine before. As a quick reminder, here are the steps for paving by the numbers.
- Heat the screed (while it’s still suspended).
- Set tow points.
- Set paving width.
- Set crown height.
- Set extender height.
- Set extender slope.
- Set screed and remove slack.
- Null out screed.
- Position end gates.
- Set auger height.
- Position feed sensors.
- In low idle, fill auger chamber.
- Adjust feeder controls.
- Set accessory functions.
- Pull off starter plates.
Preparing for a Day’s Success
Just because the milling crew did a good job doesn’t mean you can rest on their laurels. Here’s the way ACP ensures success at the start of the paving day as they pull up to the job.
- The project manager and foreman will re-measure and line it out.
- They mark the number of tons for each pass directly on the surface.
- They have the tailgate talk to make sure everyone knows exactly what their roles are for the day and for the job.
- They perform surface prep with cleaning, brooming, blowing and even burning away weeds.
John Ball explained, “They did a lot of finesse work to prepare. That’s the difference between a good job and a great job.”