Pave to sidewalk
The paver has come and gone, leaving the mix flush against the concrete. Laborers are working to make sure the mix is high enough so it will be even with the sidewalk after compaction. A second laborer is sweeping fine particles away from the mat and the sidewalk. If left in place these particles will be crushed into the sidewalk or mat by the roller, leaving a messy appearance.
Ready to pave apron
With the paver across the sidewalk, the 2 x 4s are removed and laborers dribble hot mix next to the concrete, creating a pad (similar to the wider mat constructed at the garage) to support the screed and make sure there's enough mix adjacent to the sidewalk. Note the laborer cleaning the lute.
Paving the apron
The paver has backed to the small pad, lowered the screed, and pulled forward toward the street, placing the remainder of the driveway and completing the apron…almost. The lute man is fine tuning the edge, making sure it's the correct height so it will be level with the concrete when rolled.
Saw edge for a finishing touch
The step most contractors don't make time for: using a pavement saw to cut a nice straight line at the end of the driveway between the asphalt street and the end of the driveway. This not only enables the asphalt to seal up properly because it's compacted against a straight face, but it also makes the edge of the driveway look uniform, providing a very nice cosmetic touch to finish off the job. Depending on how much is cut out, a skid steer can be used to pick up the debris, or as in this case a shovel and broom will work fine.
For best compaction: follow the water!
If you want a good job, roll straight. If you want to mess up a driveway, roll crooked! Operators who can follow water marks will make sure the finished job is rolled in sequence and that no area is left without proper compaction. Here it's easy to see how the operator followed the triangle left after the first paving pass.
Nice curved edge
Successful driveway paving results not only in well-placed, properly compacted mix. Good driveways also have nice straight edges - even if the edge is on a curve - that are paved tight to the grass.
|More images and insights on demanding driveways in the equipment gallery.|
Information for this article was provided by John S. Ball III, Top Quality Paving, Manchester, NH (www.tqpaving.com). Photos by Allan Heydorn; paving by S&H Paving, Schaumburg, IL. John Ball will present a variety of paving seminars at National Pavement Expo West, Nov. 15-17, Las Vegas; and National Pavement Expo, Jan. 30-Feb. 2, 2008 in Nashville. For more information visit www.nationalpavementexpo.com..
S&H Paving: "Driveways Are Our Bread and Butter"
Joined in business by sons Ozzy and Fernando, cousin Abel Hernandez, and Noel and Efrain Espinal, the paving operation relies on a systematic approach to generating as much work as possible, at as high a quality as possible, ensuring that word of mouth helps market the company throughout the Chicagoland area.
"Driveways are our bread and butter. That's what we live off of," says Ozzy Hernandez, who has worked with his father for more than 15 years. "We've got a few people working with us and they all have families, so it's important we do a good job and take care of the job. That's how my father has kept this business growing."
Ozzy says one of the first steps S&H takes when arriving on any jobsite is to take a good look around so everyone on the crew is aware of the surroundings. While some of the six-person crew begins unhitching the equipment, father and son walk the jobsite, getting the lay of the land and looking for any problem areas they will need to deal with. Can they pull the truck back to the beginning of the driveway? Are there any wires in the way? How close are the houses or other buildings? Is there a patio that might come into play?
"We're very careful around the property we're doing," Ozzy says.
He says that unlike commercial jobs, where the crew works in a large space with few obstacles and no one looking over their shoulder, paving residential driveways requires patience and a little more care. "Most homeowners are very observant about the work we're doing," he says. "They want to make sure we don't damage their lawn, or their flowers, or the side of their house. That's important to them so we make ourselves aware of it."
He says S&H usually prepares three driveways a day, which includes ripping out old pavement, adding gravel, leveling it and compacting it. Once the prepared driveways receive approval from local inspectors, S&H can pave several in a day. "That approach enables us to keep ahead, and we can have plenty to do and can really keep the paving going over the summer," he says.
He says that in addition to experienced workers, good equipment is the key to their success. S&H uses several trucks, a Leeboy 1000 paver, a Wacker 1 ½-ton roller, an Edco pavement saw, a Case 1845C skid steer, a 500-gal. and 1,000-gal. Able sealcoating rigs, and miscellaneous hand tools. "We might take our time around a house, but it's important that we take care," Hernandez says. "We don't rush anything, we don't force anything, and we make sure the homeowner is happy with the way the finished driveway looks."