NPE 2008 Nashville!

Diverse exhibit floor offers opportunities for growth, diversification, and greater productivity.

In addition to choosing from more than 50 educational sessions, the almost 2,200 contractors attending this year's National Pavement Expo, Jan. 30 - Feb. 2 in Nashville, got an eyefull of equipment and products on one of the show's most diverse exhibit floors in years.

Here's just a sampling of what contractors saw as they made their way through the crowded aisles.

A first-time exhibitor at NPE, Kaplan Technology Products, Inc. showed off its new FastMeasure product which can "turn your vehicle into a giant measuring wheel." FastMeasure was developed for the paving industry and mounts in trucks, cars, on crack routers, and on concrete saws. Once mounted, the FastMeasure measures the distance the vehicle travels, which helps save time on measuring and estimating. Also on display (and able to be taken for a brief test ride) was the FastMeasure Scooter, which featured the measuring device attached to a motorized scooter as another lightweight option to measure and lay out patching and paving work.

Technical Coatings Inc. showcased its one-of-a-kind high build liquid thermoplastic Plastech at the show. This cold-applied thermoplastic can be applied with a conventional sprayer or airless machines and has a fast dry and cure time. Technical Coatings pitches Plastech as tough and abrasion resistant, with low VOC and high solids, and up to 120-mil buildup. They say it has excellent bead retention, has water and solvent base, and is great for nighttime reflectivity. Other products drawing interest at the Technical Coatings booth included Dura Stripe Aerosol Paint, Sharp Stripe machines, Aerosol Layout Chalk, Stampcrete asphalt and concrete overlays, and Supreme Curb Paint.

The new Cushotrac Clamp-On Track Pads from Superior Tire & Rubber Corp. are made for crawler cranes, excavators, trenchers, directional or vertical drills, or other steel-tracked construction equipment. The Cushotrac Clamp-On is designed to fit steel double or triple bar grouser shoes. Superior's ALS (Active Leveraging System) forces the dual clamps to continuously tighten, virtually eliminating track pad failure due to mechanical breakdown. The Cushotrac Clamp-On installs quickly and easily using two floating clamps and no drilling.

At Elgin Sweeper's exhibit contractors could get an operator's-eye view from the cab of the Eagle situated on the new UD3300 Nissan Diesel American chassis. Designed specifically to accommodate Elgin sweepers, the UD chassis was introduced on Elgin equipment to contractors at the National Pavement Expo West show last November. Standard features include right-hand steering, a three-year bumper-to-bumper warranty, and a vareity of operator comforts such as air conditioning and air-ride seats.

WEP Asphalt introduced to visitors at its booth the WEP Wizard crack cleaning tool, which WEP Wizard says was developed for contractors looking for a new way to clean cracks. They say the WEP Wizard is designed to help relieve physical stress and reduce hours spent on crack cleaning. The tool can be used on both concrete and asphalt commercial parking lots and residential driveways. Contractors can buy just the WEP Wizard or the tool and a complete tool kit, which includes a hose reel and 100-foot 3/8-inch hose, a steel skid platform, and an air compressor.

RoadKare International displayed its ADA warning mats and rubber traffic calming devices to all passersby. The detectable warnings can be useful for any contractor to help its customers meet ADA Accessibility Guidelines on a project. RoadKare offers contractors two types of detectable warning mats. The retrofit model glues to any dry surface. Another option is the insert model, which is placed directly into wet concrete. Also on display was RoadKare's rubber speed breakers. These speed bumps, made of recycled rubber, are secured to the road or parking lot surface using metal dowels.

Stewart-Amos Sweeper Co. displayed its new Starfire S-6 at this year's show. This four wheel, dual engine, mechanical broom street sweeper is designed for rugged high production jobs. The company says the Starfire S-6 has great mobility, ease of maintenance, is remarkably quiet, and extremely fuel efficient. The Starfire S-6 features a 10-foot sweeping swath, a 350-gallon water tank, and a 6.3-cubic-yard debris hopper that can dump over 12 feet high. A safety monitoring camera system is also included on the sweeper.

M-B Companies Inc.'s 1004TS Thermoplastic Spray Stenciling System was attracting the attention of many pavement marking contractors. According to M-B, benefits of this unit include speeding thermoplastic legend application up to 50%, eliminating loading and unloading of hand applicator, reduced disruptions to traffic, and reduction in material waste on stencils. The 1004TS has a hydraulically adjustable spray arm with a pneumatic thermoplastic spray gun as well as a high capacity thermoplastic application pump. Options for the 1004TS include an auto shut down, an automatic pre-heater with timer, and an auxiliary material discharge valve and chute to drain the kettle or load a hand applicator.

The PQI 301 Pavement Quality Indicator caught the attention of a number of paving contractors following NPE's seminar on "Quality Paving Through Testing." Exhibited by TransTech Systems Inc., the PQI 301 is non-nuclear and designed to take density measurements of HMA mats. TransTech says the PQI 301 gives accurate readings of mat temperature and moisture levels in three seconds. Developed for today's perpetual pavement mixes, they say the indicator allows asphalt paving contractors to get on and off the mat fast and not interfere with compaction. Since the device is non-nuclear, TransTech says there is no need for a certified operator to run the PQI.

If you're interested in added signage as a new area of business, or even if it's a service you already offer, 4S Sign & Supply Inc.'s booth was one of the places to stop while walking the show floor. The booth displayed a variety of the many signs 4S Sign & Supply offers, including regulatory signs, parking signs, warning and construction signs, as well as decals and street signs. The decals allow contractors or property owners to specify the message they want included on the sign. Also available are sign posts, a post driver, and sign-mounting hardware.

The ES4896 paver from Eagle & Son is designed for paving 4- to 8-foot widths and offers front loading with a skid steer. The paver is designed to be able to pass within 1 1/2 inches of poles, trees, and walls, enabling it to pave in tight areas. A positive rear drive axle with 29-inch tires provides maximum traction.

At the EZ-Liner Industries booth contractors could learn more about one of several models of self-propelled ride-on stripers on the exhibit floor. The airless, single operator design has a reversible forward carriage design with pneumatic lift and paint capacities ranging from 20 to 50 gallons. This unit gives contractors the option to choose their chassis as well as their paint and bead guns. Varied gun configurations are available. Other features are a self-contained power pack with 20-hp Honda auxiliary engine and 12-gallon fuel tank, low- and high-pressure paint filtration system, and 17 gpm hydraulic pump with 12-gallon reservoir.

Safety is a constant concern for contractors and their property manager customers, and visitors to the Ennis Paint booth had a chance to check out the company's Tyregrip and Stonegrip high-friction and decorative surfacing systems. These systems are comprised of a 1:1 two-part epoxy basecoat that is covered with aggregate. Ennis offers the aggregate in various gradations of natural and colored stones depending on the end use. Ennis says the Tyregrip is good for use on horizontal curves, intersection approaches, crosswalks, and bridge decks. Stonegrip is designed for use on driveways, patios, walkways, bike trails, and for traffic calming. The systems are available in 5-gallon kits that cover between 12 and 15 square yards, the company says.

In addition to its Power Box asphalt pavers Gehl Co. exhibited its 5640E Turbo skid steer (right), which has an operating height of 162 in. fully raised, a 70-in. width, and an overall length with a 70-in. bucket of 131 in.

Equipment's ESP-550T trailer-mounted sealcoating system features a hydraulically driven 50 or 100 gpm piston pump. Material is supplied to the pump via 2-in. plumbing and a 1/4-in. plate surge provides consistent flow through an in-line filtering system.

Huber Construction's versatile maintainer can be used as a motor grader, loader, bull dozer, scarifier, and more, which accounted for much of the attention it received. The maintainer features hydrostatic drive, a power sliding moldboard, and a variety of optional attachments.

Contractors looking to finance any of their NPE equipment purchases could get help right on the exhibit floor from Stearns Bank or Sovereign Bank, both of which offered a variety of financing options.

Titan Tool Inc.'s Speeflo PowrLiners range from the light duty Model 800 to the top-of-the-line 9900XLT. Production ranges from 1.3 gpm (550 lineal feet per minute) to 2 gpm (800 lineal feet per minute) and all units are equipped with the SC-6 airless tips.

Celebrating its 75th Anniversary The Brewer Co. made its presence known on the floor with its signature-color tanker. Based in Milford, OH, the manufacturer of Brewer Cote coal tar sealer is also a distributor of a full line of pavement maintenance tools, equipment, and supplies.

Specializing in road marking removal equipment, Stripe Removal Technologies focused its efforts on walk-behind models that remove paint, thermoplastic, epoxy, and tape.

Allstates Coatings Co. brought its new booth from NPE West to Nashville in support of its line of paints, latex additives, and crack sealants.

Neal Manufacturing's Harold Neal discusses some of the finer points of the company's line of sealcoating equipment. The company used NPE 2008 as an opportunity to introduce its new paver, the Model 5500 path paver, to the market. The unit has an operating width of 5 ft. 3 in. and a 52-in. track system.

For an "add-on" service C&L Sweeping Service offers the Poletector 360, a maintenance-free modular cover for light pole bases.

Bomag Americas generated interest not only with its pavers and rollers but with with one of its BM Series of cold milling machines.