Hauling Industry News

Job Descriptions on the Paving Train

By Pulltarps Mfg | October 16, 2019

Story by Asphaltpro Staff

Every person on the paving train needs to know exactly what is–and is not–their responsibility for both a smooth job and a smooth mat. This is true whether the crew is paving a highway or a driveway.

At World of Asphalt 2019, Brian Hall presented a seminar of best practices for residential and commercial paving. Hall, a territory manager with LeeBoy, Lincolnton, North Carolina, visits up to a dozen paving jobs each week.

Here, we share some of the insight Hall presented in the first of a three-part series devoted to best paving practices for residential and commercial jobs. This article outlines the job descriptions of each member of the crew, and future articles will detail job site planning and best paving practices.

The Haul Truck Driver
The haul truck driver’s responsibilities include properly loading the haul truck at the asphalt plant, tarping the load, proceeding safely to job site staging area, lining up in front of the paver, staying centered in front of the paver, paying attention to the dump man, stopping just short of the paver, exiting quickly and proceeding to the clean-out area, Hall outlined.

Loading the truck correctly means following the proper three-dump sequence required to minimize segregation: the first drop should be in the front of the bed, the second should be in the back of the bed, and the third should be in the middle of the bed.

Afterward, the driver should tarp his or her load, which is mandated in most states. This prevents any material from blowing out on the way to the job, but the main reason to tarp the load is to keep the mix as hot as possible.

“When that material comes out of the silo, you’re looking at 290 degree material when it comes out of the silo into that truck,” Hall said. “But without a tarp, the top will be cooled off while the center is still warm by the time you reach the job site. When you dump that, it’s going to come out in chunks.” The chunks are what you wish to avoid.

The driver will then proceed safely to the job site to deliver his load to the paver. He will follow the dump man’s instructions to stop short of the paver to avoid bumping it. The driver should avoid any distractions while at the paver or he risks lifting his foot off the brake, pulling away from the paver, and dumping costly asphalt in front of the paver that must then be cleaned up.

From the moment the driver raises his bed to it being fully lowered, he will be watching for any overhead obstructions such as trees or powerlines.

“If you start breaking limbs off a 100-year-old Oak tree on a residential job, that homeowner is sure to be upset and all those limbs and leaves are getting into your mix and that will affect the quality of your mat,” Hall said.

The driver should only pull away from the paver once the dump man has told him to do so. As much asphalt as possible should be dumped into the hopper or the driver is wasting money. After the dump man flags the truck to leave, the driver will lower his bed and head to the clean-out area.

“I’ve seen it time and again that the driver pulls off and raises his bed to drop what he’s got left right in front of the paver,” Hall said. “That asphalt is now cooled off and that’s going to make the compaction process uneven across that spot.”

If the driver does clean out his bed in front of the paver, a crew member should pick up that asphalt with a skid steer before the paver drives over it.