Solve Rideability at the Paver Track
BY John Ball
Even if the mix is delivered perfectly to the job, your crew can mess up rideability if you don’t move the material smoothly through the paver. The lift you place behind the screed needs to be smooth like butter with no jagged tears or bumps caused by globs of material or jerky movements of the machine. In other words, you want the paver to move smoothly, towing the screed smoothly in a gentle, flowing, gliding motion down the lane. One way to achieve this is to keep the track clean and well-maintained. Let’s look at a couple of problem areas that are easy to keep clean with proper upkeep and best practices.
If you have rideability problems in the mat, look to more than the mix design. Look to your best practices. Is the paver up to par? Here, we see an overfed endgate flooding the track with mix. This causes the bogie wheels to pick up mix, clogging them with material. This could result in a bumpy ride that not only jars the tow arm, thus jarring the screed, but can also knock loose clumps of material in the hopper or anywhere along the material conveying system. Material segregation will also mar your mat.
Broken, crumbling or otherwise poorly maintained bogies will also cause bumps or jumps in the movement of the paver.
In this picture, you can see that the Lorusso Corporation in Plainville, Massachusetts, has a beautifully kept machine. Notice the tow point cylinder is clean and capable of smooth movement up and down as needed. The operator can clearly see the tow point indicator. The track and bogie wheels are clean and free to move in a fluid manner for a smooth ride. All bogies are in good repair.
The hose that you see in the foreground leads from a container of release agent solution to a wand that the operator uses prior to the day’s shift to spray down the hopper and conveyors to ensure material moves freely with no clumping and globbing. This is a clean and well-maintained paver, ready to contribute to a rideable mat.
Photos courtesy John Ball of Top Quality Paving.
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.