Measure Auger Height for Matching
BY John Ball
To get the head of material right, the paver operator will set the paver speed and auger rotation so that mix reaches the center of the augers as it feeds under the tractor. You won’t want the material to run low, starving the augers, or run too high, filling the auger box while you’re trying to pave a smooth mat. For the center of the augers to be in the right place, you need to measure before you even begin the pull.
First, set the screed down and pull ahead of the mat you’re going to match. Then measure the augers with a tape measure. Is the bottom of the auger sitting 6 or 7 inches off the ground? That’s too high and you’ll find yourself fighting with too much mix as you pave. Instead, you want to go with the rule of thumb that augers should be 2 inches above the existing mat. If you have a 2-inch mat that you need to match, you want the bottom of the auger to be 4 inches off the ground. Measure and set your bar appropriately.
Also measure from the head of the auger curl to the pre-strikeoff. You want it to be 5 to 6 inches. If your augers have worn too much, you’re going to see a larger space in there—6 to 7 inches—which will create the over-feeding problem as well. That’s one of the reasons it’s important to check the condition of the augers for thickness and wear.
Also clean the box, giving equipment a proper wash-down so the area isn’t dropping chunks of old, cold material into your hot, tested mix. Make top quality paving your goal throughout the process.
John Ball is the proprietor of Top Quality Paving, Manchester, New Hampshire. For more information, contact him at (603) 493-1458 or email@example.com. Visit his site at www.tqpaving.com.