"It's big, and you could actually see the curvature of the Earth. When a job is that big the guys couldn't see the end," he says. "But the job was wide open - perfect conditions to sealcoat that much space. There was no traffic, no traffic control, nothing to block off. That was a real advantage because sometimes the biggest part of the job is traffic control, keeping people moving around while keeping them out of the area you're working in, and keeping your workers safe."
Preparing the pavement
As with most sealcoating jobs, the first step was to clean the pavement, and Ingerslev decided to have the black-out crew follow right behind the blowers. He bought two Graco LineDrivers to make the black-out phase go quicker.
"We had four guys pushing Billy Goat blowers and it looked just like the Air Force Blue Angels out there, the way they were staggered and moving across the lot in formation," Ingerslev says. "The guys pushing them felt like they were never going to finish."
Early on the first day Ingerslev realized the cleaning crew couldn't stay ahead of the black-out crew, so he sent the black-out crew home and let the blowers clean the area. "When the blackout crew came back the next day they could just work their way through the lot without having to wait for anything. It was much more productive," he says.
As the job progressed Competitive Asphalt Coatings was sometimes able to borrow the jet blower used to clean the racetrack. "We would borrow that when the driver was available just to give our guys a break," he says. "The lot hadn't been sealed in 10 years or so, so the asphalt was unraveling pretty good, and there was a lot to clean off."
It took the crew two days to black out all the lines, and once the first section of pavement was cleaned and blacked out, the sealcoating process began. And what a process it was. Competitive Asphalt Coatings had five days to apply 80,000 gal. of uncut sealer to 4 million sq. ft. of pavement. Western Colloid dropped two 8,000-gallon tanks of uncut 301 Park Top asphalt-based sealer at the site then was responsible for keeping the tanks filled and moving them as needed.
"From one end to the other was at least a mile, and we didn't want to have to keep driving back and forth to a single staging area," Ingerslev says. "The success of the job was based on keeping our crews moving and keeping productivity high, and we couldn't do that with a single staging area for the tankers."
So tanks were placed as close to the sections the crews were sealcoating as possible, opposite from where the work started each day, sometimes in the next section to be done. As crews finished one section Western Colloid removed the tanks and placed a new tank on the opposite side of the new section, effectively leapfrogging through the parking lot.
"We had to move the staging area as we were getting closer to the stage because we wanted it out of the way but we didn't want to travel too far to pick up material," he says.
Ingerslev says the sealcoating operation was orchestrated throughout the project. Ambient temperature was 100°F throughout the job and pavement temperature at one point reach 180°F, so a water wagon misted the surface, cooling it off ahead of the 2,500-gal. sealcoating trucks. Two 2,500-gal. trucks cycled through the job, with one applying sealer while the other refilled from the storage tank. An Anders 325-gal. buggy edged around bleachers, light poles, fence posts, and other hard-to-reach areas, and two other Anders units followed the big tanks to finish out the job. A Kubota tractor outfitted with a 14-ft. squeegee blade Competitive Asphalt Coatings built just for this job also worked behind the tanks.
"It took us a little more than half an hour to empty the 2,500-gal. tankers. The pavement was old and very dry so it soaked it up real fast," Ingerslev says. "We would keep going and Western Colloid ran back to L.A. to come back and fill up or swap out the big tanks," Ingerslev says. "We were really hoping they could keep up and give us 20,000 gals. we needed on that job each day. And they pulled it off, and we pulled it off."
Each 2,500-gal. tanker had a driver and an operator on the back operating the valves. The initial plan was to keep each operator and driver together on the unit, but that changed early in the work.