According to Chastain, if you operate pneumatic rollers properly and use caution, tires can last up to five years. However, many variables go into determining tire life, including the kind of material the roller is on and the number of hours it is used. (For more tips, see the sidebar, “Maintaining your pneumatic rollers.”)
A lot of contractors don’t want to use pneumatic rollers because of the possibility of material pickup. Material pickup not only affects the smoothness of the mat, it can damage the integrity of the asphalt.
Pickup of material can be caused by the tires not being hot enough; tire pressure being set too high; or a machine that is too heavy. Some types of aggregate are also stick more readily to tires and behave differently at certain temperatures.
Cole says you have two options to combat these issues: You can use heat skirts to keep the tires hot, or you can utilize a release agent in the water system.
It’s important to maintain proper care of the coco mats. “Checking and/or replacing coco mats on the tires is one step to follow,” Chastain says. “The coco mats pick up some of the material off of the surface. They act like a brush to brush that material off of the tire to prevent material from collecting.”
Also pay close attention to the scraper system, whether it’s steel brushes or coco mats. “Make sure you have a good scraper system to knock any material off of the tires,” says Cole. This, in turn, will help to extend tire life.