Make Your Own Extension Marks
BY John Ball
When placing a lift that is 12 feet wide with a 10-foot screed, you must use the extensions, of course. For best paving, you will keep the screed balanced by extending an equal amount on each side whenever possible. This helps you regulate the mix coming out of the truck, helps maintain the head of material and helps you with steering of the paver.
This means you’ll extend one foot on each side of the screed to get your 12-foot width.
The screed operator will manually slide out the extension on each side. He will stop it at one foot on the left and one foot on the right. Let’s think about how he knows when the endgate is one foot past the end of the main screed plate. The logical screed operator looks at the markings on the extension. Depending on the make and model of the paver and screed, those markings could be easy to read. Depending on the age and cleanliness of the screed and extensions, those markings could be worn off or hidden by grime.
Do yourself a favor and make this a quick-and-easy measurement to check during paving. Clean the extensions thoroughly, and then use a tape measure to mark each inch along the length of the extension.
You will want to make your first mark with something you can rub off, in case you make a mistake. Double-check your work. Then, when you’re confident the marks are exactly one inch apart and start exactly one inch from the edge, make the marks permanent with paint and/or a tool. You can also buy a decal (in plastic or metal) designed especially for this purpose, to stick on the extension.
You can see the white lines in the top picture on this page indicating each inch of the extension. That’s an easy indicator for the screed operator to see from his platform. Put numbers on there to make it quick-and-easy to double-check settings during paving.
John Ball is the proprietor of Top Quality Paving and 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.