Throughout the job V&V used two 4-person crews to keep layout, striping, and stenciling of more than 150 arrows moving. Crews used Kelly Creswell and JCL air stripers because he says air stripers are more forgiving on the pavement.
"We always use air machines," Toth says. "Airless machines put down such a crisp line that they show every imperfection with the asphalt. Any bump or pebble in the pavement makes the line look bad. Air machines help the striper overcome imperfect pavement."
Toth says that in a straight layout a 6-person V&V crew can typically stripe up to 3,000 stalls a day.
"That's how complex this job was," he says.
When to turn to GPS
Using global positioning to lay out a parking lot is obviously not necessary on most jobs. Small fast-food and strip mall parking lots can be chalked and striped without turning to GPS. But as the lot gets larger, or if the layout cannot build easily off of previous lines, striping contractors might want to consider bringing in a GPS specialist.
"A lot of it depends on the comfort level of the striper," Stewart says. "If he feels he can layout banks of stalls 200 feet long, then okay go ahead and do it. But the longer the run of stalls, the greater the chance for error where you could run into a problem."
Stewart emphasizes that distance compounds any measuring inaccuracy, pointing out that a 1-inch-per-stall mistake over a bank of 10 stalls might be able to be absorbed within the layout without a problem. But a 1-inch-per-stall mistake over 400 stalls will cost the layout a number of stalls and would skew the design.
"Certainly any layouts with banks of stalls over 400 or 500 feet can benefit from GPS," Stewart says. "When you start getting that long it's easy to veer off instead of going in a straight line."
He says costs of hiring a GPS specialist vary. Stewart's company charges by the hour and spent 30 hours on the V&V job, eventually billing the company more than $3,000.
On the eighth day of the 14-day job Six Flags job Stewart was able to get on site to take GPS readings, and on the ninth day he placed initial coordinates on the pavement, enabling V&V to begin chalking and striping. On the last day of the schedule V&V completed new layout and striping for a bus parking area and the handicapped parking area, and the job was finished.
"It was the most difficult layout we've ever done, and with the help of GPS is worked out very well," Toth says. "It could have been a nightmare but it turned out to be a profitable job."