It was just 11 years ago that a couple of entrepreneurs in central Florida took a deep breath and jumped into the road construction market with just one dozer and a single employee. Today, P & S Paving Inc. of Daytona Beach, FL has 240 full-time employees who operate millions of dollars worth of state-of-the-art hot-mix-asphalt (HMA) production equipment, as well as sophisticated milling and paving equipment.
"We might have started out small," says Tim Phillips, president of P & S Paving, "but today our annual sales are more than $65 million. We're proud of that record."
P & S Paving operates within a 60-mile radius north, west and south of its Daytona Beach asphalt production facility.
"When we started, we were just doing site work," Phillips recalls. "All of our paving work was sub-contracted to other companies. But in about our fourth year, we realized that we needed to make our own hot mix and lay it. That's when we went out and bought an old 1956 Cedarapids batch plant."
Over the next four years, the firm continued to grow. Phillips says his company was producing approximately 100,000 tons of hot-mix per year with the old batch plant when he and his brother, Todd, began to consider a more modern, more productive plant.
"We wanted to continue to grow in this market area," says Phillips. "So we looked around at the market until we found what we thought was the very best asphalt plant we could buy — an Astec Turbo 400 Double Barrel drum-mixer plant."
About the only decision left to make after purchasing the new plant was where to locate it without disrupting the company's entire HMA operation. After some discussion, the owners decided to put it right where the old batch plant was located.
"We took that old batch plant down and installed the new Astec plant right in its place," Phillips says. "The control house was only three years old, so it stayed in place. But we removed everything else — down to the original dirt — and built a new plant from the ground up. Astec's engineers helped us with the basic planning. And we handled the installation ourselves."
P & S Paving personnel and Astec personnel stayed in close touch during the installation. And the timing of the installation was truly remarkable: They started taking down the old plant in the middle of November 2001 and started making mix in the new plant by mid-January of 2002.
"It was really kind of neat," says Phillips. "We took down a 1950s plant and put up a totally modern 21st Century plant in its place!"
The centerpiece of the new plant is a relocatable Astec Turbo 400 Double Barrel plant that Astec has rated at 400 tph. There is also a relocatable cold-feed system with five 10 x 14 foot compartments, plus a one-compartment recycle feed system. Particulate control is provided by an Astec baghouse with a horizontal cyclone. The initial installation also included one 200-ton Astec New Generation storage silo. Another identical storage silo was installed a few months after the new plant was brought on-line.
The new plant's asphalt-storage needs are handled by a 30,000-gallon Heatec liquid asphalt-cement (AC) tank that is split in half to accommodate two different blends. The tank has a full 6 inches of insulation. Heat for the liquid AC is supplied by a Heatec helical coil hot-oil heater. The installation also has a stationary 15,000-gallon above-ground storage tank for fuel oil, as well as a 1,000 gph preheater for heavy fuel.
Phillips says P & S Paving has been successful in obtaining quite a few paving contracts for Florida DOT work in recent years. He says much of their work has involved HMA production calling for high percentages of reclaimed asphalt pavement (RAP).
"On the average, we're running 30 to 40 percent RAP in our mixes," says Phillips. "But we have the ability to go up to 50 percent in some of our base courses."