May 15, 2023
Quick Tip to Reduce Mat Drag
You can call this what you like, but scuff marks, drag marks, bald spots or areas of segregation behind the screed require investigation. Obviously, you want to get the correct angle of attack, so the screed’s trailing edge isn’t digging into the mat and the nose isn’t plowing forward—we’re not preparing a field for planting here. But today’s tip isn’t about setting the screed for takeoff. Today, let’s talk about something simpler.
Get back-to-basics with the crew with a discussion of heating the screed before takeoff. Take the time to heat up the screed before the tractor pulls forward. Use a temperature gun to check multiple points across the width of the screed to ensure all the heaters are working properly. If one is out of commission, you can bet you’ll end up with that strange drag of segregation in the mat.
That’s not quality paving. Depending on the project—and severity of segregation—you could have an angry property manager calling you back to fix it or a state inspector telling you to grind it up for re-paving before you get paid. Avoid all that hassle with proper screed prep before you start the shift.
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