How to Make Tomorrow’s Transverse Joint Easy, Smooth
BY John Ball
At the end of the paving shift, when you lift up the screed and pull away, think about what you leave for tomorrow’s take-off. Let’s prepare for a successful start by finishing off right. Get the crew together at the end of the pull and make a clean transverse joint for tomorrow’s start.
First, you’ll get some mix from the hopper in the loader’s bucket so your paver operator can take the machine away for routine cleaning and care at the end of the shift. Then lay a 6-mil thickness of poly or plastic sheet down across the transverse joint. You only need the strip to be about two to three feet wide.
Shovel mix from the loader bucket on top of the plastic so you cover it almost completely. You’ll want just a bit of plastic on the edges to get a handle on in the morning.
Tamp the mix down with your tamping shoes while you work. Go over it with the plate compactor or hand compactor to get it set in place.
At the beginning of the next shift, you will have one worker on each end of the transverse joint to lift it up. The laborers will be able to “fold” the plastic and pavement into sections to lift it into a waiting loader bucket. Shovel and sweep up the area completely to reveal the beautiful vertical edge of the transverse joint you’ll take off from. Use the melter to tack the vertical edge with care so you don’t overdo the tacking. You don’t want to track it up onto the existing new mat, but you do want to coat the vertical edge.
With that, you’re ready for the new day of paving.
Note: do not place the plastic with the mix into the same pile that will return to the plant for the RAP pile. Plastic is a contaminant that doesn’t belong in our RAP. You can easily slide the mix off the plastic so that RAP goes to one destination and plastic to another. Don’t be lazy; be responsible for your materials and your top quality paving.