Technology Keeps You Ahead of the Curve

Today's technical tools can help you increase the bottom line

All asphalt contractors are facing the same challenge. Create a better pavement at minimum cost but at high quality. It's a daunting task, but fortunately there are many tools available for today's contractors that can help you achieve these goals.
Whether it's 3D grade control technology, intelligent compaction or updated automation controls for your asphalt plant, there are many technological advancement available that can help meet the tight tolerances of today's paving and preservation projects.
Our November issue takes a concentrated look at some of these advancements and how contractors are using them to get the job done better for less money. Our cover story (page 16) focuses on how Lane Construction, based in Cheshire, CT, used a 3D system to complete the western segment of the Raleigh, NC, Outer Loop project.
A Trimble PCS900 3D Paving Control System was used on this portion of the project to minimize waste and ensure accuracy across the three-lane highway. “At the end of the day, our company wants the highest quality results,” says Anthony Todd, assistant corporate survey manager for Lane Construction. “We’re achieving more accurate results using this technology. Higher accuracy means better quality.”
Another article (page 24) looks at how a hybrid laser-satellite automated grade control system helped to hold the milling and paving grade, as well as cross-slopes, on fast-track South Carolina interstate project. The automated system was considered a necessity because the project was scheduled to be completed over consecutive weekends, so time was of the essence.
On the production side, we take a look at how automation helped a Midwest asphalt plant employ a real-time system for immediate feedback on the energy usage at one of its plants (page 64). There's also a special report (page 70) on cloud-based software. Cloud computing basically refers to using the Internet as your source for storing and accessing information, and it's a tool I think you'll see a lot more of in the future.
As an asphalt contractor, you have a lot on your plate – delivering high quality projects with tight tolerances, incorporating warm mix, recycled materials (RAP and RAS) and other sustainable practices, managing it all in a short time frame and at (or under) budget. Hopefully this issue of Asphalt Contractor will give you some ideas of how other contractors are handling these challenges.
If you have a project where you used some new technology successfully, I'd love to hear about it. Email me at [email protected] or call 920-563-1673.
Thanks for reading!

Editor's Note: The October 2012 issue's cover story, "Illinois Tollway Moves to 100% Warm Mix Asphalt" did not identify MWV's Evotherm Warm Mix Asphalt additive as the primary additive used by the Illinois Tollway on its major rehabilitation projects. We regret the oversight.