Keep the Level Out of the Way
BY John Ball
Whether paving or milling, your straight edge is a vital tool for double-checking grade, slope, mat height and more. You can carry your folding ruler in the pocket of your safety vest or on a loop on your tool belt, but the straight edge needs a safe place to nest out of the way yet within easy reach. You don’t want it lying on the ground where moisture can warp it, someone could trip over it or the crew could lose track of it on a night paving project.
This smart crew has welded simple U-channels (or U-joints, if you prefer) onto the screed frame so the straight edge slides down into place during normal operations. The U-channels cradle the ends of the straight edge, holding it a few inches off the screed deck so the workers can stand and move along the screed without stubbing their toes and kicking the tool. When they need to check mat height at the joint or double-check slope, all they have to do is reach down and grab the straight edge, not waste precious time searching for it.
Extra tip: Notice that this crew uses all-weather covers to protect the paver’s seats between shifts. This keeps the machine looking nice, and it also keeps the operator platform tidy and more comfortable for the workers.