Commercial Pavers Get On Track
Better Roads Staff
Asphalt pavers under 125 horsepower increasingly taking on characteristics of their highway-class big brothers
It’s a small group of mostly niche players that supplies commercial-class asphalt pavers to the North American construction market. But even with BOMAG’s recent decision to exit the paver business, the remaining players offer products with plenty of heft. Although these machines may be working on pathways, parking lots and street patches, many of them offer highway-class paver features.
“We were the first in the commercial paving industry to introduce an electrically-heated screed,” says Brian Hall, territory manager with LeeBoy. “This gives our users a more environmentally-friendly solution at a cost savings over the life of the machine. Wide, slow-moving conveyor flights extend the time between replacements of those components, including the augers, which do not need to run when paving at narrow widths. Segmented augers reduce the need to change augers if they are only partially worn.”
LeeBoy’s offering encompasses the range of the commercial-class pavers, with six tracked asphalt pavers ranging from the 5-foot-basic-width 5000 Path Master to the 8- to 15-foot 8500B Series machines.Its product offering runs from the limited-volume, box-gravity feed type – the “tilt hopper” 1000F model – to machines featuring the chain-conveyor-fed design standard on full-size pavers, topped off by the dual-deck-configuration 8515B.
Players in the game
While the number of players in the commercial paver market has dropped – brands such as Pro-Pav and AEM left long before BOMAG pulled back – the under-125-horsepower market continues to be well served (see Machine Matters Roundup on Page 38). In addition to LeeBoy they include:
• The Mauldin line, manufactured by Calder Brothers, offers machines with both box-gravity and chain hopper conveyor types. Among screeds made by Mauldin, the Freedom line is up to its third rendition using “patented technology that allows the extension mat to match the main screed mat automatically,” says sales manager Royal Cole. Mauldin prides itself on its high-density screens.
• A longtime leading supplier of screeds, Carlson has leveraged the technology of fellow Astec brand Roadtec, a manufacturer of highway-class pavers.
• Compact construction and agricultural equipment manufacturer Gehl continues to offers two box-gravity feed tracked asphalt paver models.
• And, most significantly bringing the commercial and highway-class worlds together, Wirtgen Group’s Vögele is the only brand to appear regularly throughout both tracked and wheel-type asphalt paver charts in the 2011-2012 Equipment World Spec Guide.
Big on features
The 100-horsepower Super 1300-2 model boasts the ErgoPlus control system, a highway-class paver feature that includes a swing-out paver operator’s stand, paver and screed state-of-the-art control consoles, and the optional Niveltronic Plus automatic grade and slope control system.
“Although these machines may be working on pathways, parking lots and street patches, many of them offer highway-class paver features”