"The knowledge of the crew and the automation - their making sure it's set up properly - had the positive effect on the end result," Schlosser says. "The crews said the Vision paver with Niveltronic Plus controls reacted a lot smoother than other systems we've used.
"The use of a material transfer vehicle helped, although at added cost, even though it was not required by the state," he says. "The MTV eliminated the contact of the truck against the paver, and helped remix the material to fight segregation issues. Again, paver setup was critical."
The new Vision pavers have constituted a major leap forward in terms of technology.
"There are improvements in visibility, and it's a cooler-running machine, with less heat around the operator," Schlosser says. "The track system is another item I like, especially after having issues with competing makes. With them, you could never keep those tracks aligned, no matter what you did.
"But with the Vision 5200-2's independent tensioning cylinders in the track, they run perfect," he continues. "We have never had an alignment problem with our Vision pavers as we had with the other pavers, one of which rode so hard to the outboard side that it wore a hole in the screed tow point cylinder. The benefit is reduced owning and operating costs for our tracked machines."
Training for smooth pavements
Training is so important to Shelly & Sands that earlier this year, it opened a corporate Safety & Training Center in Zanesville. The facility can accommodate up to 75 students in a classroom, with an attached garage for equipment or mechanical training. Classes began in December 2008 even before work on the facility was complete.
Training also comes from the distributor.
"At startup, I'm there as an ombudsman and to do additional training on the machine," says Scott McLean, The McLean Company, area distributor for Wirtgen Group products. "Our service technician, as well as Vögele America's, will be there as well. We make observations to see what's not happening, and then will try to correct it as a team.
"As a result of their training, the crew became very proficient going 23 feet wide, then a week later having to tear it down to place a narrower temporary pavement," Schlosser says. "They became adept at putting the screed plates and tunnel guards back on without any assistance. They weren't afraid of wide-width paving, and attacked the challenge and did a good job."
Typically a mechanic might have done the width changeovers, but not with this well-trained crew.
"We let the crew do it," Schlosser says. "Normally an on-site mechanic might have done it, but with a little bit of training, this crew did it all by themselves."
Shelly & Sands gives credit to its paving crew foreman, Neil Prouty; paver operator Matt Schlosser; screed men Sam Freese and Andy Cox; roller operators Pat Burton and Steve Dunlap; distributor operator Doug Hoskins; MTV operator Jason Davis; and MTV ground man Don Atkins.
Credit also was due Shelly & Sands' Marzane Asphalt Plant 12 crew, including foreman Larry Ewart, operator Chad Evans, and quality control technician Bill Miracle.
Paving 23-feet wide
Also beneficial to smoothness plus long-term performance were the wide paving widths used, with paving of 23-foot width for the base course, 22 feet 6 inches for the intermediate, and 22 feet for the surface course. With this wide paving, longitudinal joints are eliminated.
"The screed kit was set up properly for best paving practice," Schlosser says. "Augers were within the right distance, a foot and a half to 2 feet at the end gate. The tunnel guards and auger hanger bearings were mounted correctly, plus the tunnel supports and the aft supports for the bracing and bracketing were all put in place."
The project started in June 2006 and involved the complete reconstruction of an existing two-lane blacktop to new dual-lane highway between Granville and New Albany.
The completed project included 7.15 miles of new four-lane divided freeway, but also the construction of five service roads for local traffic, the construction of new interchanges at Beech Road and Ohio 310, and re-routing a portion of existing SR 161 to proposed Dublin-Granville Road.