The one constant to survival in the hot-mix asphalt business is progress. New techniques and technologies almost mandate change. A case in point took place recently at Parking Area Maintenance, Inc. (PAMI) in Tampa, FL.
PAMI's name refers to only about half of what the company actually does.
The seal coating, specialty seal coatings and line striping fall under that portion. Commercial, industrial and other non-residential asphalt paving and rehabilitation work forms the other part of its business.
After several years and many thousands of hours of service from its LeeBoy Model 8500 pavers, the company purchased two new Model 8515 laydown machines and immediately placed them in service.
"The majority of our paving—all done with LeeBoy pavers—centers on large overlay resurfacing jobs and major asphalt rehabilitation projects. Not every machine can handle the thin mat undertakings that are standard fare in this aspect of the industry in Florida," notes Terri Gilligan, president and CEO of PAMI. "The new Model 8515 LeeBoy paver gives us a competitive edge over our competition."
According to factory engineers, the 8515's 12-in.-diameter augers send more material to the screed than the older 9-in.-diameter augers. The rollers and sprockets are heavier and stronger, than in previous, similar-sized LeeBoy pavers. The 16-in.-wide "rubber band" track system causes less disruption to the surface the paver is working on. The screed is slightly heavier and has two vibrators rather than a single unit for greater reliability and more initial mat compaction. The extensions now have an optional slope capability. The 7.5-ton receiving hopper and wings are fabricated from a heavier grade of steel.
Equipment durability and reliability are critical for PAMI. "We have a year-round operation and work throughout the State of Florida. That means that our teams and machines must be ready to go 52 weeks a year and often far from our maintenance shop," notes Gilligan.
Tom Leet, PAMI's vice president, emphasizes the importance of providing the teams with modern pavers and compaction equipment. "The well-equipped, dedicated team will take more pride in their work. They will keep the equipment cleaner, better maintained and produce a superior finished product," he explains.
"The LeeBoy pavers are versatile enough that we can multi-task with them - patching and overlay paving on the same job. It is company policy to employ the machine to reduce the amount of hand labor needed on a project. In the end, all this enhances the company's bottom line of profitability."
Paver mobility and maneuverability are especially important to the success of resurfacing on condominium projects, especially when paving in, under and around the many covered parking areas they encounter. "About the smallest job we would do with one of our LeeBoy pavers might be a 40- or 50-ton patch on an asphalt rehabilitation project," says Leet. "Our larger projects include resurfacing sizeable parking areas in major consumer shopping centers and the partial or complete resurfacing of large residential housing developments and condominiums."
Typical of the resurfacing projects is the one PAMI recently completed at The Hamptons, an 830-unit golf and country club gated community of manufactured homes in Auburndale, FL. Like many similar Florida communities, the 20-ft.-wide streets in the development have an inverted crown to permit storm water runoff to drain down the roadway centers and away from the front yards and residences.
The PAMI paving team, equipped with the 15,900-lb. LeeBoy 8515 paver with a 7.5-ton-capacity hopper and rubber track system, as well as a LeeBoy Model 400 steel drum roller and a Model 420 rubber-tired roller, were able to make short work of the job. The paver's adjustable 8- to 15-ft. screed was programmed for the negative roadway crown and, in two 10-ft.-wide passes, was able to put down and compact a 1-in. thin mat layer of Florida DOT Type S-III surface mix.
"We chose to go with LeeBoy asphalt paving equipment because working with thin mat asphalt requires totally different machinery. In areas where the wrong twist of a hand-held lute can often mar the surface of a mat, it was essential that we have a machine with a screed designed for that application," says Leet. "The teams typically put 1,500+ hours on our pavers annually. That's significantly more time than most other thin mat overlay companies. And we have stayed with LeeBoy all this time-even though we continually check out the competition - because we have found nothing that can compare to them."