Solve the Problem of Spilled Asphalt–For Good
BY John Ball
If the paver doesn’t have a truck lock to grab and hold the truck’s back wheels, you run the risk of a truck eventually falling out of the hopper or moving forward too soon. When that happens, the crew gets to shovel a mess of segregated material off the roadway for the RAP pile back at the plant. And wasting the material is a best-case scenario.
Some crews put the segregated and contaminated mix through the paver for a mat that will never get density and never pass inspection. To lessen the chances of mix getting spilled out the sides of the hopper, and to keep such messes at bay, you can try some best practices.
The Problem: Spilled Asphalt
Not all truck drivers have been trained to haul asphalt professionally. Some of them can line up in the middle of the hopper and some of them can’t. Some can follow hand signals and some of them can’t. If you find mounds of mix getting dumped in front of your paver too often, you may need to hire different vendors.
These photos have been collected from around the Internet; identities are withheld.
The Solution: Follow Mix Delivery Best Practices
The crew at Lorusso Corporation, Plainville, Massachusetts, rebuilt the rubber around the hopper of this paver and added flashing on the wings to prevent mix from falling out under normal operations. The flashing is about a foot wide and is affixed to each hopper wing so the truck bed will fit snuggly right in the middle. They custom made this.
Some pavers, particularly in the Midwest, have a grab hook that the paver operator can activate from his pedestal. When the truck backs into place, the paver operator locks the grips on the truck’s back wheels, preventing it from rolling out under the pressure of the charging hopper. When the bed is empty, the paver operator releases the truck wheels.
Best practices dictate the truck driver presses down on the brake while the paver pushes the truck forward. This is a balancing act that prevents the truck from rolling out as the weight of the mix falls into the hopper and tries to force the truck away. It’s imperative that the truck driver stays alert and aware of his job while the bed empties and while the crew directs him to avoid a mess of expensive, wasted material.
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.