Mention roads today and all eyes turn to the coming debate in Washington, D.C. regarding the next Transportation Act, which is due in the fall of 2009. While that will be the pivotal event in the road industry in 2009, funding isn’t the only issue that’s important to road users, or to road professionals.
Since President George W. Bush took office in 2000, the road industry has had a mandate to improve its efficiency in managing, repairing and rebuilding America’s roads.
The industry has responded with vigor, from the public road agencies who manage the roads, to the engineers who design them and the contractors who build them.
Pursuant to a Bush administration mandate, state and local road departments today have detailed inventories of the pavement assets they manage, including pavement conditions and projected dates for when interventions will be needed.
This single development has helped pavement experts begin changing road department pavement management priorities from what’s known in the industry as “worst first” to an emphasis on prevention. Traditionally, road budgets have been spent primarily on rebuilding and rehabilitating failing pavements, while spending little or nothing on the preventive maintenance of healthy pavement.
Today, an increasing number of road departments are putting a priority on prevention. Responding to their own computer modeling, these managers can see the best strategy for improving overall pavement conditions is to first slow the rate at which good pavements deteriorate into poor ones, then invest in rehabilitating bad pavements.
As a result, we are investing much more aggressively in prevention tactics, such as crack sealing, fog seals, chip seals, thin overlays and in-place recycling.
When we do engage in major rehabilitations and rebuilds, the materials and techniques we bring to the project have improved dramatically in recent years.
Concrete pavement engineers have reduced the amount of time it takes for a new pavement to cure, and the industry has continued to improve mix designs through performance – enhancing ad mixtures and cost-reducing portland cement substitutes. Currently, roller – compacted concrete-the concrete process that is most like asphalt paving-is getting a lot of attention in the industry. It is well established as a cost-effective solution for commercial areas with heavy vehicle traffic, such as truck distribution centers, and proponents are now bringing the process to public road applications such as residential streets.
In asphalt, the Superpave of the 1990s is being tweaked into an even more sophisticated product as engineers learn to manipulate polymers and performance-graded asphalt cements to local needs and conditions. Beyond Superpave, the asphalt, industry has successfully launched warm mix asphalt which uses additives to provide the same performance characteristics of hot mix asphalt in a product that doesn’t require as much heat and emits far fewer vapors, thus reducing energy costs and emissions.
Asphalt producers and their plant suppliers are becoming increasingly sophisticated in using recycled asphalt product (RAP) in asphalt mixes. As a result, many states are increasing the percentage of RAP allowed in mixes. In addition to being environmentally responsible, the increased use of RAP can reduce the cost of asphalt by displacing virgin aggregate.
Motorists get the same pavement performance, but the cost of the pavement is reduced and so is the environmental impact.
Higher prices for pavement materials, steel and transport costs are driving substantial growth in in-place recycling technologies. Thanks to a determined group of contractors and suppliers operating under the aegis of the Asphalt Reclaiming and Recycling Association, these technologies have become increasingly sophisticated over the past decade and many pavement engineers have learned how to integrate them into pavement management programs.
Hot-in-place recycling (HIR) is used as a prevention technique. It is primarily used to repair shallow imperfections such as small cracks or oxidized asphalt in the top inch or two of asphalt pavement. Improvements in the HIR process have made this a fast, cost-efficient way to extend the life of an aging pavement by many years – without tying up traffic for weeks or months at a time, and with a dramatic reduction in construction since most of the material needed for the job is already on the site.
Cold-in-place recycling is a deeper repair technique that has also evolved dramatically. Used to recondition pavements with cracks and imperfections that run deep into the pavement but not all the way through it, CIR mills off the precise depth of pavement specified, sizes the tailings to spec, then mixes them with a rejuvenating agent and any remedial additives required, then lays the mix with a paving screed. As with hot in-place recycling, the cold-recycled pavement is then sealed with a lift of hot-mix asphalt or a chip seal. CIR has become a very popular and efficient solution for rural roads that are far removed from sources of hot mix asphalt because it dramatically reduces the amount of hot mix needed for a refurbished roadway.
The road industry has also developed two recycling techniques to reduce costs, traffic, exhaust emissions and consumption of natural resources when rebuilding or replacing roads.
When high-traffic-load concrete pavements are removed today, many contractors are bringing mobile crushing and screening equipment to the job site so they can crush and size the old pavement to spec, and then place it as road base on site, eliminating miles of waste-hauling expense. Unused material is sold and delivered direct to other projects, again avoiding the expense of hauling the material to a crushing facility, then to the jobsite.
Full-depth reclamation is the asphalt equivalent of this. Increasing sophistication in machinery, techniques and additives have made FDR an excellent solution for rebuilding old asphalt roads. In this process, a reclaiming machine pulverizes the old asphalt pavement and mixes it with an inch or two of base material, plus a binding agent such as an emulsion or foamed asphalt, and any specified additives. This mixture is then graded and compacted into an exceptionally strong base. It is topped with hot mix asphalt or a chip seal treatment, depending on the loads the road needs to accommodate. Like on-site concrete crushing, FDR dramatically reduces the price of taking out the old road and laying the new base.
When Congress begins debating the next transportation bill, the road industry will join road user groups in attempting to convince political leaders to invest in upgrading the quality and capacity of our roads. Since they will be seeking an increase in the federal fuel tax to pay for the work, the task they face will be a difficult one. The industry’s good-faith follow-through on making road management, repair and rebuilding ever more efficient and cost effective can only help the cause.
Roadtec introduces new generation of SX-7 soil stabilizers
Roadtec’s new generation SX-7 has a 700-horsepower Caterpillar C18 engine and delivers a 21-inch cutting depth at 8 1/2 feet wide with 500,000-pounds-per-inch torque. A 435-gallon fuel capacity will keep the SX-7 running at full horsepower for 11 hours of operation. A fully enclosed, climate-controlled operator cab helps operator comfort while on the job.
Protect equipment from contaminants with filter’s new design
Wix Filters has announced five new polyurethane inner safety air filters for tractor, loader and excavation equipment-type applications for a variety of manufacturers including Bobcat, Case, Caterpillar, John Deere, Komatsu and Kubota. The new filters are heat seamed, eliminating the metal clip from previous models. Additionally, the tall seal area on the new filters offers a superior fit with the original equipment housing.
Hydraulic hammer crafted from durable materials
Experience reliable performance and efficient production with the Maverick line of hydraulic hammers, available in a variety of size classes. Maverick hammers are manufactured from precision internal components and Hardox steel for consistent performance under extreme conditions.
Champion air-mobile motor grader moves closer to active duty
The C86 Air Assualt Compact Grader (AACG), the first class III compact motor grader tailored for rapid deployment with America’s airborne forces, is being considered by the Defense Logistics Agency for active duty. Previous graders used by the airborne were sectionalized by engineers in two large components that had to be transported separately, then re-assembled after delivery. The 100-horsepower all-wheel drive Champion C86 Compact Grader fits into single-lift profile for a C-130 transport or to sling-load under a CH-47 Chinook helicopter.
Auto Crane unveils new line of field service lube trucks
Auto Crane unveiled their new line of four field service lube trucks at ConExpo-Con/Agg in Las Vegas, Nevada. The trucks offer larger fluid reservoirs than previous models, making them suited for large jobsites where the lube skid carries more equipment for maintenance than fluids. The trucks can also be configured to carry diesel fuel, and are available in single and tandem axle models.
E-Z Drill offers two models in new line of on-grade concrete drills
E-Z Drill now offers two models – the 210B and 210B-2 – that each drill to a standard 18-inch depth and are useful for lane additions, large patchwork jobs and airport work. Both third-generation, on-grade concrete drill models feature a compact frame and can be operated within a 4-foot area. The drills are totally pneumatic and an optional vertical conversion kit allows each unit to transition from a horizontal drill to a vertical drill in approximately 20 minutes. Carriage locks secure the drill and bit in place when the air supply is disconnected or off and auto-lock couplers secure the air supply hose onto the drill coupling so the connection does not need to be manually pinned.
Mala’s Roadway Imaging Radar uses GPR to redefine highway investigations
Mala has introduced new FCC-approved Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR) technology for use in roadway evaluations. The system uses the advanced GPR control unit platform, PROEX, which allows for simultaneous data acquisition of multiple frequency transducers at highway speeds. The transducers can be adjusted for high frequency applications to lower frequency applications to accommodate a variety of geotechnical matters such as asphalt layer thickness, depth to bedrock, identification of sinkhole conditions and other deeper concerns.
Sokkia Instruments’ SCT6 total station is rugged, reliable and safe
Sokkia’s SCT6 has a water and dust resistant design encased in high-visibility yellow paint. Even novice operators will work like seasoned veterans with the help of the user-friendly interface with Bluetooth wireless technology. The SCT6 total station also is password capable, keeping your data private and safe.
Wetland Equipment offers amphibious pontoons
Wetland’s Amphibious Excavator has a Daewoo 200 long-reach boom with 32-foot-long, 5-inch-wide, 5-foot-4-inch-high pontoons with a transport width of 19 feet 6 inches. The pontoon fits on a standard 8-foot lowboy with outriggers. The machine can accommodate several different excavators and tree cutters.
HTC SandBagger helps you hold water back
The Hydraulic Truck Conveyor (HTC) with a sandbag attachment allows a sandbag to be filled in only two seconds. The fully portable unit allows for faster emergency response and eliminates hand shoveling. Fill sandbags where and when you need them. The HTC with sandbag attachment is suitable for emergency flood control, erosion control, containment berms and safety barricades.
Reduce jackhammer-related back injuries with the Jackhammer Lift Assist
Integrated Tool Solutions (ITS) recently debuted the JA90-350 Jackhammer Lift Assist, a 9-pound bolt-on attachment for most 90-pound, four-bolt, two-spring type jackhammers. The JA90-350 Jackhammer Lift Assist helps operators prevent back injuries and increases productivity by lifting the jackhammer out of the ground after each cut.
Cut brush, standing trees and grind stumps with grinding head
The ProGrind Series 50 has a 50-inch-by-26-inch smooth drum head with fixed carbide-patented teeth, patented drive belt system, hydraulic motor drive and a Caterpillar 440-horsepower engine. Grind stumps, cut brush and standing trees with one pass, lowering the impact on the environment and saving costs on the job. The ProHead can clean up low-lying limbs, ditch lines, creek banks, fence lines and other locations where a conventional mower cannot be employed.
Expander Systems’ locking mechanism reduces pivot wear
Virtually eliminate pivot wear without welding and line boring with the Expander System, which features an advanced locking mechanism that stabilizes the machine. Expander Systems’ locking mechanism has a 10-year warranty against future repairs.
Allu VP Compacting Plate offers mechanical or hydraulic rotating plate
Allu’s VP Compacting Plate features plate coverage from 2 square feet to 14 square feet. The compacting plates are available in five different models with up to 22,000 pounds of vibrating force. They have a mechanical or hydraulic rotating system. The Allu VP can be used with excavators and backhoes and delivers mobility when compacting narrow places in utility jobs.
FleetQuip solution provides fleet managers with key information
Ayantra’s FleetQuip uses GPS, wireless and web technologies to provide fleet managers with real-time information on location, status and engine hours via the web, e-mail or text messages. FleetQuip supports any make or model of machine, offers powerful mapping capabilities and extensive reporting. Updates are automatically issued each time the machine’s engine is turned on or off, users can also “ping” any machine for an up-to-the-minute update.
Tigercat 726E mulcher is also a feller-buncher
Convert the Tigercat M726E from a mulcher to a feller-buncher with the optional multi-function hydraulic system and quick-attach boom adapter. The 300-horsepower M726E propels horizontal drum mulching attachments requiring up to 230 horsepower. All Tigercat mulcher carriers perform in high temperatures and applications where there is significant airborne debris. The machines are equipped with automatic variable speed hydraulically driven fans with an automatic reversing cycle to clean debris from the coolers.
Severe duty excavator bucket is a tough bucket to crack
Designed specifically for digging in clay with scattered rocks, the severe duty large excavator bucket by Werk-Brau uses T-1 steel in all critical or high-wear components. A heavy reinforcing plate includes straps to protect the bottom and backs the cutting edge. Wear plates reinforce the sides for backfilling and the bucket is equipped with industry-standard teeth for longevity. Box rippers are also available and installed upon request.
Handy Hitch Gravel-Pro reclaims roadside gravel
Reclaim roadside gravel, mulch grass, grade and level material and break up clumps of sod with the Handy Hitch Gravel-Pro roadside processing machine. A heavy-duty driveline system supplies power to the rotor and a slip clutch with shear bolt arrangement protects against shock loads and excessive torque build-ups. An adjustable and replaceable moldboard attachment with a grader-style cutting blade is also available.
Trailer has 50-degree dump angle for fast release
With a low center of gravity and 50-degree dump angle for a faster and clean release, Side Dump trailers are stable both on the road and on the jobsite. The trailers’ bolted construction allows for quick field repairs while the Domex-100 steel provides flexibility, durability and long life.
ICS SpeedHook saves your diamond chains and helps straighten your cuts
The ICS SpeedHook supports the weight of ICS concrete chain saws by using a series of metal hooks anchored to the wall. The SpeedHook has been improved with high-performance polyethylene cams that lock the saw into position ensuring stabilization and straighter cuts. Supporting the saw with the SpeedHook will reduce operator fatigue and extend the life of your diamond chains.
Sage Oil Vac offers dine-in or carry-out for your skid lube applications
Sage Oil Vac Professional Series 21120 lube skid accommodates four different new fluids and oils. Forklift guides and lift rings allow the skid to be removed from the truck bed and left at the jobsite or at the shop if the truck is needed for other work. The enclosed system prevents contamination and provides for fast evacuation rates of up to 5 gallons per minute.
Eliminate ground restoration work with AlturnaMats ground protection
Don’t get stuck in the mud around your jobsite and virtually eliminate expensive ground restorations with AlturnaMats 1/2-inch-thick polyethylene mats. Able to withstand 60-ton loads, the mats are guaranteed for six years. AlturnaMats also link together allowing you to create a temporary path or large working platform when performing applications where minimizing ground damage is necessary.
Know your load weight with Vulcan on-board dump truck weighing system
Vulcan’s dump truck weighing systems take the guesswork out of optimizing your load.
Accurate to within 1 percent of gross vehicle weight the system is recommended for both on-road and off-road use. The V300 meter within the cab displays gross vehicle or net payload weights and alerts the driver to unsafe or overloaded situations. Rugged pin-like load cells in the rear hinge and a hydraulic sensor for the front lift cylinder will provide you with the information needed to maximize efficiency.
Manage your construction site sediment with silt fence machine
The Enfencer Silt Machine from Erosion Control Implements installs support wire and silt fence fabric into the ground at the same time without trenching. The equipment can insert geo-textile fabric and support wire up to 12 inches deep. The silt machine also makes the silt fence difficult to pull out by creating a 2-inch crimp in the hog wire that bites into the ground. The machine can also insert rolled erosion controlled products, and the technology meets FHWA silt fence specifications.
Make difficult land clearing easy with crawler mulcher
Fecon’s FTX440 crawler mulcher is equipped with a Bull Hog BH350 mulcher and powered by a Caterpillar 440-horsepower engine. Useful for right-of-way maintenance, firebreaks and vegetation management, the FTX440 uses a synchronized interface between the mulcher and the crawler that allows a full range of motion for tackling standing, fallen or piled vegetation.
Multi-ripper bucket now available for 120-metric-ton machines
Leading Edge Attachments now has a new larger size class Hi-Cap Multi-Ripper Bucket for ripping and digging rock. Available for 120-metric-ton machines, the wider versions also have five shanks. SHARC “staggered shanks on an arc” technology allows the Hi-Cap Multi-Ripper Bucket to slice through rock with no extra hydraulics. The staggered ripper teeth fracture the substrate in sequential order because no two ripper teeth align with each other offering maximum breakout force being exerted to each tooth.
Haul variety of equipment with Jet Tag trailers
Jet Tag Trailers are manufactured to accommodate 10-, 12-, 20- and 25-ton hauling capacities. Four-inch cross members pierce the main beams on the trailers allowing for a more rigid frame and lower deck height. Jet Tag’s decks are made of 2-inch oak in a standard width of 8.5 feet with dual heavy-duty ramps that are spring-assisted and adjustable to different widths. The most popular options include cleats on the beavertail and a lockable toolbox. The 20-ton Tag is ideal for hauling excavators, backhoes, dozers and other small construction equipment.
Pipe lift is easy, safe and cost effective
Great for moving ductile iron, PVC, steel and RCP pipes, the Kenco Pipe Lift allows for hands-free movement of all kinds of pipe. Rubber coated tongs protect the pipe that you are lifting with increased grip. No additional hydraulics are needed with the pipe lift – the weight of the pipe causes the lifter to grip the load. The pipe lift is available in sizes to accommodate all types of pipe from 3 inches up.
Icon scraper has 12-foot transport width
Offering 21 cubic yards of scraping power, the Icon 821 has a transport width under 12 feet. The unit has a quick-attach 360 cast hitch, operator reference control gauge (RCG), industrial cylinders and 4,000-psi hydraulic hoses, a patented Swingwall for rapid eject, hydraulic gate operation and hydraulic brakes. The in-cab electronic RCG system provides the operator with precise height and depth control of the cutting bit and front load gate.
Produce pervious, self-consolidating and rapid-set mixes with volumetric mixers
Cemen Tech has volumetric concrete mixers with material capacities ranging from 2 to 12 cubic yards and production rates ranging from 15 cubic yards per hour and nearly 100 cubic yards an hour. The mixers have tolerances of +/- 1 percent and can accommodate pervious, self-consolidating and rapid-set mixes.
LeeBoy introduces high production asphalt paver
LeeBoy has unveiled their 33,000-pound 9000 asphalt paver, a high-production rubber tire unit that features an 8-foot electrically heated screed system and a 173-horsepower Caterpillar engine. The operator stations for the LeeBoy 9000 are designed for comfort and ease of operation. Two hydraulic slide-out operator stations enhance visibility fore and aft, the CAN-Bus system design and digital gauges offer precision information to help the operator with paving functions and diagnostics.
Convert your vehicle with rubber tracks
Achieve greater mobility in mud, sand, snow and even swamps with Mattracks’ rubber track conversions. The independent rubber track system can be used on most any four-wheel drive vehicle, including trucks to up to 20,500-pounds gross vehicle weight.
Highway class V