Today's asphalt operations carry a heavy load - as everyone knows that the cost of aggregate transport and handling via truck or loader is at record levels and rising. Added to that are skyrocketing asphalt cement prices, which saw a 93-percent increase between 2004 and 2006, and an additional 33-percent increase expected by the end of 2007.
While a growing number of asphalt operations are being served by onsite rail- or barge-based distribution centers, certainly the majority of asphalt plants remain dependent upon the truck delivery of aggregate. Likewise, even those asphalt plants fed by an onsite quarry feel the pinch of in-pit truck and loader use.
Savvy asphalt producers are curbing trucking and fuel costs by using truck unloading and conveying systems - and often they are even automating the process.
Truck unloading systems improve cycle times, increase safety, minimize loader use, and guarantee product quality by removing any extra handling of material. Plus, consider that when truck unloaders are used in combination with automated telescoping radial stacking conveyors, the payback is even greater in product quality control and costs-per-ton savings.
New low-profile truck unloaders
An innovative alternative is the availability of particularly low-profile road portable truck unloading systems - ones that require only 22-inch-high earthen ramps - while using less space and taking only minutes for setup. Conventional truck unloaders (at heights from 5- to 9-feet) typically demand a full day of ramp construction.
Available with either a 72- or 48-inch belt, the new RazerTail Truck Unloader from Superior Industries can quickly and easily transfer material from belly dump trucks or end dump trucks, onto a conveyor or onto another truck. Then if need be, the unloading system can be moved, set up and running at another jobsite in just a couple of hours. Its efficient use is illustrated in the following example:
A new asphalt plant requires the stockpiling of five different aggregate products. More than 170,000 tons of aggregate material must be transported in both end dump and belly dump trucks. Requiring the delivery of at least 6,000 truckloads, the company estimated a need to unload a truck every four minutes. They would also have to move the unloading system every week or two to accommodate the building of varying product stockpiles.
They looked at traditional truck unloaders, none of which were highly portable. Each required a 6-foot-or-higher earth ramp. That would mean 8 to 10 hours of moving and configuring more than 1,000 cubic yards of material at an approximate cost of $2,000 per relocation each week - a scenario that was unacceptable.
An easily transportable, low profile RazerTail Truck Unloader is chosen. Though compact, the unloader features a 72-inch conveyor belt that allows the transfer of up to 25 tons of 100 PCF material in just minutes. A removable discharge hood then directs material onto the 36-inch belt on a radial stacking conveyor. Plus, as the unloader requires only a 22-inch earth ramp, they can easily move the unit from one stockpile to another, and be up and running again in under two hours.
Truck unloaders & automated telescoping conveyors
Superior Industries engineers explain that when combining a RazerTail Truck Unloader with a TeleStacker Conveyor, asphalt producers can gain even greater control over product and operational costs, all of which is well illustrated in the following suggested application:
An asphalt producer wants to achieve greater control over the production process from material delivery through the creation of a quality hot mix.
To meet increased demand, he needs more truckloads in and out the gate, in less time. Yet the site is limited in space, and safety is compromised when traffic is congested. As truckloads arrive around the clock, a loader and operator is required 24/7 - not only to direct trucks to unload onto the right pile, but also to build the stockpiles. The producer wants to minimize loader use, and prevent stockpile segregation to ensure that the mix meets tough specifications.
The operation is streamlined with the addition of a low profile truck unloader. The load is fed from the unloader to a transfer conveyor, which feeds an automated telescoping radial stacking conveyor, a unit that stockpiles in very thin lifts to ensure material uniformity and proper gradation. The loader operator can control the telescoping stacker from his cab, and can program it to automatically build the fully desegregated stockpiles in desired configurations.
For this asphalt producer, a truck unloading and automated stockpiling system literally cuts costs, while extending operating hours. They can schedule incoming truckloads at night (without the need for a loader/operator), keeping trucks free to work with other divisions of the company during the day. But most importantly, the operation can control its materials, its processes and its profitability - to deliver a quality product at a competitive price.
Topcon 3D Steep Slope Kits
The new 3D steep slope add-on kits for motorgraders from Topcon Positioning Systems (TPS) gives contractors a wide-range sensor tool.
- Allows for precise measurement of up to 100T cross slope whenever needed by a Topcon System Five 2D or 3D application
- Compatible with all System Four, System Five and 9168 control boxes and features a temperature-compensated sensing element to enhance its use in any weather condition
Kennametal Road Razor Tools
The re-engineered Road Razor RZ Series tools are more impact resistant, stronger and have greater protection against tip loss.
- Tip profile geometry improves rotation for longer tool life and less chipping in hard cutting conditions
- Forged carbide tip and tool body
- Retainer clip pre-compressed and washer pre-installed halfway up tool body for easy installation
- Eight styles with carbide tips of different lengths, diameters, shapes and grades of hardness
- Body style available with or without puller groove
Oil-Flo Safety Solvent Cleaner
Titan Laboratories' Safety Solvent Cleaner non-volatile, non-foaming oil-flo safety solvent cleaner is a specialized product for removing organic stains such as asphalt, tar, oils, and more.
- Water-soluble liquid that has a slow evaporation
- Contaminants are dissolved, they can be washed away cleanly with water leaving no residue
Caterpillar Fuel Management System
The 988H Wheel Loader Fuel Management System is designed to deliver solid productivity and fuel savings of as much as 15 percent.
- Available on new 988H loaders and can be retrofitted to 988H units in the field
- Three different operating modes: full power mode; balanced mode offers fuel savings of 10 to 15 percent in truck loading applications and keeps production within a few percent of maximum; and max fuel savings mode lowers engine speed even more during all segments of a cycle except digging
Bomag BW211-40 Series Rollers
These 12-ton class single-drum vibratory rollers are available with a smooth (BW211D-40) or padfoot (BW211PD-40) drum.
- Generate 1,800 and 2,160 vpm across an 84-inch operating width
- 22,930-pound BW211D-40 generates 53,100 pounds of centrifugal force in high amplitude and 38,250 pounds in low amplitude
- 25,785-pound BW211PD-40 generates 61,875 pounds of force in high amplitude and 44,550 pounds in low amplitude
R&D Trench Paver
The R&D asphalt trench paver attaches to your equipment providing faster production with less labor.
- Lays over 1,800 tons a day
- Fully adjustable for mat depth and trench widths between 16 and 60 inches
- Mounts easily to front-end loaders
FilterPro Filter Cleaning
FilterPro has been successfully cleaning arimid filters for over 20 years.
- New computerized "solvent injection" optimizes cleaning results
- Cleaned filters are tested to assure airflow and material strengths are within original factory specifications
- No minimal shrinkage with drying procedure