Every day, paving supervisors try to increase production any way they can—a few minutes here, a few pounds there. The efforts can add up by the end of a job, with dollars and even days saved.
As a paving supervisor, Wayne Thames of Ranger Construction Industries Inc. in West Palm Beach, Florida knows all about production and the effort that goes into making even marginal gains. That makes Ranger’s recent road-widening job all the more impressive.
“We bid the job thinking we would use a road widener,” Thames says. Yet the more he thought about goals for production, smoothness and density, the more it seemed like a job best suited for a paver.
Thames spoke with the local Cat® dealer, Kelly Tractor Co., and determined that the AP255E paver would be ideal for meeting project specifications. It has a hopper big enough to accept asphalt from a material transfer vehicle (MTV) and a narrow paving width. It didn’t take much testing for Thames or others at Ranger to become believers.
Asphalt foreman Kenny Newhouse is among them. “After that first day, it really sold me on what that paver can do,” he says. “I mostly operate the 10-footers (3 m), and the AP255E is a lot smaller. I kept an open mind and it worked really well. It’s very operator friendly. Easy to operate. It has electronics and joint matcher. It’s a lot better than the smaller pavers I’ve used in the past, especially with the electronic controls for the operator.”
“It’s a one-man operation,” Thames says. “One individual can stand back there and operate the left- and right-hand sides of the screed. He can operate the augers, the flight chains—everything that usually takes two people, he can do from the center-console position.”
By using the AP255E paver, production was increased by 56-78 percent from what was originally estimated. “Since day one, the paver has performed,” Thames says. “That machine has already paid for itself many times over.”