Hot Mix handwork

Work with lutes, rakes, and other tools can make the difference between an average job and a top-quality driveway.

Probably the toughest part of a crews' hot mix paving day is when they have to use the tools - shovels, rakes, lutes, brooms, hand rollers, tampers - designed for handwork. Mix is difficult to shovel or push, and many contractors shy away from handwork because it wears out workers and because it can make the job take longer, reducing productivity and seemingly reducing crew efficiency. But on residential driveways handwork is essential because of the proximity of buildings, lawns, patios, and gardens and because there are always nooks and crannies where a paver can't reach. Handwork is also the most visible part of paving because it perfects what is done by the paver. John Ball, Top Quality Paving, stresses that while you don't want to do more handwork than is necessary, contractors need to embrace handwork and encourage their crews to embrace it as well. So make no mistake about it, handwork, especially on residential driveways where appearance is a major determiner of success or failure, can make the difference between an average job and a top-quality driveway that will generate accolades - and sales - for years to come.

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15 paving sessions at NPE in Nashville
National Pavement Expo, Jan. 30-Feb. 2 in Nashville, will offer a broad variety of paving-related educational programs including:

  • "Applying 'Best Practices' to Your Paving Operation" and "Essentials of Parking Lot & Driveway Paving" by John Ball, Top Quality Paving;
  • "Compaction Basics & New Technology," Chuck Deahl, Bomag Americas;
  • "Quality Paving Through Testing," Bob Joines, Troxler Electronic Labs;
  • "Effective Compaction of Hot Mix Asphalt," Jim Scherocman, consulting engineer; and
  • "Pavement Defects & Solutions," a new three-hour workshop by Alan Curtis, CHEC Consultants

Related paving seminars will cover basic grading for driveways and parking lots, basic pavement design, night paving, pavement milling, slurry seal, microsurfacing, pavement defects, and more.

For more information, including complete seminar descriptions, visit

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