Road builders striving to improve pavements are keeping asphalt pavers on the list of the most aggressively developing types of construction equipment. A major agent of change is state specifiers' preoccupation with preventing cooler portions of the asphalt material from segregating before it reaches the screed.
Many highway-class pavers have been refitted with more horsepower and load-carrying capacity to accommodate the hopper extensions used with asphalt transfer vehicles or windrow pickups.
To reduce segregation in the hopper, Caterpillar uses independent hydrostatic drives on each slat-chain conveyor and auger. Electronic sensors monitor the head of material and adjust feeder speed to reduce the over handling that accelerates segregation. The Cedarapids Remix pavers from Terex Roadbuilding replace slat-chain conveyors in the hopper with augers. Augers blend the mix as they move it back to the screed.
Of course, roller manufacturers have made news buying into the under-19,000-pound commercial-paver market, too. Ingersoll Rand is marketing two rebranded Blaw-Knox machines and two new models all under the Ingersoll Rand banner. The horsepower, weight, paving widths, and hopper capacity of the new machines challenge competitors at the top of the commercial-paver market. Bomag's ProPavers—a line purchased from Gilcrest—deliver the most horsepower in their size classes.
The largest commercial pavers have traditionally topped out at less than 16,000 pounds. LeeBoy has drawn attention to the thinly populated size range between 20,000 and 30,000 pounds, describing its new 25,000-pound Model 8816 as "a heavy-duty commercial paver." The 130-hp LeeBoy has direct competition from Caterpillar-owned Bitelli, whose 24,250-pound BB 642 is less powerful but can pave wider.
|Average Paver Costs|
|Wheeled||List price||Hourly cost*|
|* Monthly ownership cost (based on list price) plus operating expenses, divided by 176 hours.|
|Source: EquipmentWatch.com, phone: 800-669-3282, www.equipmentwatch.com|
|Under 19,000 pounds||$ 55,835||$ 46|
|19,000 to 29,000 pounds||$233,906||$117|
|More than 29,000 pounds||$300,546||$144|
|Under 19,000 pounds||$ 57,923||$ 48|
|19,000 to 29,000 pounds||$252,211||$130|
|More than 29,000 pounds||$315,480||$157|
|Bitelli (a Caterpillar co.)
|Ingersoll Rand ABG