• Tighter specs - According to Mike Kvach
, national sales manager of hot mix pavers for Cedarapids Inc., Cedar Rapids, Iowa, stricter specs stem from the state DOTs.States test more for segregation and temperature differential now, says Kvach
.But engineers need to spec end results, not method, when putting together project designs.When you consider what best suits the needs (to build a good pavement), it allows us (as manufacturers) to be more creative to come up with the equipment to solve the issues. In other words, Kvach
believes that tighter specs - specs that restrict how the pavement gets placed - limit the contractor's ability to creatively solve any placement problems and the manufacturer's ability to help him or her
Heitschmidt agrees with Kvach
that agencies need to shoot for end-result specs, which will allow manufacturers to tailor their machines to produce those end results.
DOTs and contractors are constantly looking at ways to eliminate material and aggregate segregation and temperature differential in the mat - this is our greatest challenge, says Kvach
.To find out how the segregation challenge can be overcome, the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) hosted a paving rodeo last fall in El Paso, Texas, to address segregation by evaluating available methods of feeding the paver.Paving equipment manufacturers, such as Roadtec/Astec, Caterpillar/Barber-Greene, Cedarapids and Blaw-Knox/Ingersoll-Rand, were invited to demonstrate the effectiveness of their material transfer devices (MTDs).The reason for the rodeo was that we (TxDOT) and many other states are trying to find ways to deal with segregation problems, says Maghsoud Tahmoressi, P.E., state bituminous engineer for TxDOT.We want to be able to tell contractors how we are going to quantify segregation and how they can keep segregation to a minimum..
adds that automation is becoming more efficient, accurate and advanced, especially when it comes to sonics.Contractors need to gain more knowledge and training when it comes to automation because that will help them feel more comfortable using it, he
says.Barre Banks, executive vice president of Midland Machinery Co.Inc., Tonawanda, N.Y., feels that training can bridge the gap between the introduction of new technology and its application out in the field.The crews really have to be highly trained and able to handle the sophisticated hardware to give them the end results everybody is trying to get, says Banks.The role of training is key.We found that we were shipping machines off to people who really do not know what they were buying.So our training has been constant.Sometimes there just be not enough qualified people to jump on the machines and make them do their best.