Clean Endgates are Key for Quality Joint Construction
BY John Ball
One of the most important components for building a good joint is the endgate. The endgate and shoe have to be clean, of course, but they also have to be maintained properly.
Either the screed operator or paver operator will be assigned to walk around the paving equipment before each shift to check for problems and to take care of greasing and basic care. At that time, the operator will be able to see if the shoe, depth crank, springs, or any other portion of the endgate needs attention before the paving shift begins. Let’s take a look at the picture here to see what kind of problems will mar the mat and ruin this crew’s chances for a good joint.
The first thing that should catch the operator’s eye is the condition of the springs. Both the front and back springs are displaced. You can see that the stubs inside the spring coils have been mashed together. They aren’t supposed to touch, normally. Because the springs are bent, forcing the stubs to mash together, the endgate will not float down the lane the way it’s supposed to. There’s no flexibility. The endgate can’t glide up and down as it should.
When the springs have been bent in this way, they can’t be repaired. They have to be replaced.
What causes this kind of damage? This particular machine was probably shoved into the ground when being unloaded from the lowboy, causing the damage here. Notice the handcrank has also been shoved. It has disrupted the down-pressure of the springs. This crew needs to replace the depth crank rod and both springs, and they need to realign the shoe before they’ll be able to build a successful joint.
The savvy operator performing his morning walk-around will catch something like this and get it resolved before it creates a bad job for the owner.
John Ball is the proprietor of Top Quality Paving & Training, Manchester, New Hampshire. He provides personal, on-site paving consulting services around the United States and into Canada. For more information, contact him at (603) 493-1458 or firstname.lastname@example.org.