With the DA 350, "you get more production with less labor," Humphries says. Plus, the DA 350 offers the option to squeegee or spray. He says most contractors believe that for the best sealcaoting job, squeegee the first coat, filling all the voids with sealer and providing a smooth surface. Spraying the second coat creates a wearing surface that is uniform and looks good. "By spraying the second coat you are able to leave a thicker application of sealer on the wear surface, which is the top of the aggregate to the top of the dried film of sealer," he says. And that second spray coat will cover anything the first squeegee coat may have missed, Humphries adds.
Humphries says the unit is often used by medium- to large-sized sealcoating or paving contractors. But, no matter what size a company is, the DA 350 can be used for almost any size of job. "As long as you have a feeder tanker on site you can do pretty much any size job you want to do with that machine," he says.
According to Humphries, time on the job is one of the largest expenses a contractor can incur. The two-in-one nature of the DA 350 is ideal for contractors who want to cut down on both labor and time spent on a job but still make sure they do a quality job.
Nealco offers upgrades and options
The ESP-550T trailer unit is Nealco Equipment LLC's most popular sealcoating unit, according to Rick O'Donnell, customer service representative. Some of the unit's key features include a 550-gal. tank, a 10,000-lb. load capacity trailer, and a hydraulic driven pumping system. Nealco bought the rights for the 550T from Ingersoll-Rand (Blaw-Knox) in 2005 and started producing the unit in January 2006, O'Donnell says. He says Nealco made some improvements to the unit including a larger and higher manway to prevent material from splashing out, a larger material filter, and a quieter version of the hydraulic pump.
Aside from what comes standard on the 550T, Nealco allows contractors the choice of a 50- or 100-gal. pump at no additional charge. "That way they can set up the machine and make it what works best for them," O'Donnell says. "Some guys only want the smaller pump, but other guys want the bigger pump and the second hose. We have quite a few options."
Steve Dixon, Dixon Sealer and Supply, a Nealco distributor, says the 550T is good for contractors who are just starting out, but contractors of all sizes purchase the unit. Dixon says the 550T can cover about 27,500 sq. ft. with two coats of material and is used for both driveway and parking lot work.
Dick Dixon, also of Dixon Sealer and Supply, says he likes the convenience of the front hitch on the 550T. "Now, with just switching two bolts, they [contractors] can switch the hitch from a Pintel to a ball hitch," he says. "If a guy's truck won't run on a certain day he can switch to a different truck by just switching the hitches."
Steve Dixon says the biggest benefit the 550T offers contractors is its hydraulic-driven piston pump. "The big advantage of the hydraulic-driven piston pump is that you can put a lot of sand in it," he says, adding that the 550T hydraulic pump allows a contractor to put six pounds or more of sand to the gallon in the machine.
Pacific Coatings designs for asphalt-based mix
The Pro Mix PS 550 is Pacific Coatings' most popular unit, says Gerry Guertin, president of Pacific Coatings. This 550-gal. spray tank, which can be skid or trailer mounted, has an air-driven diaphragm pump and a 13-hp powered air compressor. But the design and strength of its agitation system is something Pacific Coating feels it does differently than other manufactures, Guertin says.
"We're located on the West Coast, where asphalt-based sealers are the predominant materials being used," he says. The Pacific Coatings' agitation system consists of four individual blades that each sweep one quarter of the bottom of the tank with each revolution. Guertin says this blade system works well with asphalt-based sealer mix and requires less power. "Our agitators are built stronger than most, but that's what we know we need to have for these people that are turning these extreme materials."
Pacific Coatings also manufactures a different filter basket for contractors who use asphalt-based material. This filter basket has larger orifices that allow fillers and fibers to pass through but filter out chunks of aggregate that could cause a clog in the spray tip. Contractors have a choice of which filter basket they want in their unit depending on the type of material they are using.