Nov 14, 2022
Don’t Leave Footprints in the Mat
No Joke: I’ve seen actual paving crewmembers type out snarky comments about footprints in the hot mat making no difference to pavement quality. For the love of all that is good in this world, teach your foremen and other crew members to fix that mindset.
During any kind of weather, you don’t want workers walking across the hot, uncompacted mat, leaving footprints and cut marks. This becomes even more important when cool ambient temperatures make the roller operator’s job more time-sensitive than usual.
The worker who walks immediately behind the screed not only leaves tracks in the non-compacted mat, but he also leaves miniature dips that no steel drum can roll out. The drum bridges these indentations as he rolls. Proper compaction is missed.
To prevent this problem, teach workers to walk along the screed platform or to cross the mat only on the coolest portion after the breakdown roller has achieved a high percentage of density. Remind workers that they don’t want to walk in front of the paver for safety reasons; that’s a “no-go” zone where haul truck drivers do not expect to find foot traffic. The area in front of the paver may be tacked as well; you don’t want anyone tracking tack around the jobsite.
Also encourage laborers to wear tamp shoes that spread their weight to help prevent deep indents. Make sure they know how to lift their feet to prevent cut marks.
Quick Fix Tip:
If workers have left tracks, you can prevent potholes from forming in those spots by filling the dents quickly. Have one laborer grab a shovel full of mix to cast into the footprints. The lute man will work this mix into place and scrape away the excess. This operation will take on greater urgency as temperatures drop. Because you want to keep handwork to a minimum during cool/cold weather paving (remember: each time you “fluff” mix, it loses heat to the air around it), prevention is the cure.
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