It is important that you take the time to ensure that your paver is in top operating condition and that your paver operators are key to it. They know how the machine works every day and are paramount in understanding when something is wrong. For this reason, you should perform the daily maintenance checks on the machine.
Asphalt pavers are a big investment for your business and their performance determines the overall success of a job.
“The paver is the most critical part of an asphalt paving construction site,” says Brodie Hutchins, Vice President Dealer Development at Wirtgen Americas. “Everything revolves around this paver. If it fails, the plant fails, the rollers fail, the trucks and mills fail, fines can be imposed, and so on. You must do everything possible to make sure the paver does not fail. “
Here are 5 tips to properly maintain your paver.
1. Take the daily tours
A machine tour should be performed every morning to check for loose fasteners, damaged components, oil leaks, etc. The machine is located in an environment in which the components are exposed to extreme heat, work with highly abrasive material and wear out. Make sure to look for any damaged or excessively worn parts.
2. Make sure that the screed is ready for paving
The operator should visually inspect the screed prior to installation to ensure that it is level. To do this, it must be ensured that the screed is flat and that the equalization leveling has been completed in accordance with the manufacturer’s specifications before installation. If the screed is not level, it will affect the quality of the mat you are laying. Making sure the main screed is flat and the extensions level can avoid poor grout quality or an invert or crown in the mat.
3. Clean the machine every day
Cleaning your paver at the end of each day is essential to maintain a reliable and long-lasting device. Failure to remove all of the excess asphalt from your paver will result in premature failure and excessive wear and tear of critical machine operation components and ultimately downtime. If you don’t clean the old asphalt, the heat from the new asphalt will loosen cold chunks the next day, causing the conveyor chains to crack or, worse, break. Once that happens, you could be out of service for hours.
4. Complete the off-season maintenance
Right now, it is the slow time of year for many of us across the country, which makes it an ideal time to get on with maintenance that may have been postponed during the busy summer season.
At the end of each season, you should thoroughly clean the paver, removing all covers and guards to gain access to any fines and hard-to-reach areas that you cannot reach during your daily cleaning routine.
Flush and change hydraulic and coolant systems, transmissions, and other fluids. Check the machine frame, conveyors and screed. Adjust all of them as needed. Screed slabs and auger flights may need to be replaced, depending on the wear pattern.
Manufacturers also suggest that contractors inspect augers, auger drive chains, conveyor chains, and conveyor drive chains for wear and tension. Also, check your drive rails, rollers, and drive system for wear and operation. The engine and hydraulic coolers should also be checked and cleaned.
If you’re not sure that something will last all of the next season when you put it back into service, it’s time to replace it.
5. Work with dealers regularly
If you allow this, your dealer can make an important contribution to keeping your machines running smoothly all year round. Most manufacturers offer dealers a maintenance and inspection program that can be used in the off-season.
Many manufacturers also incentivize paving specialists to come out in the off-season and help customers do thorough inspections. They help identify potential problems that contractors may not need to look for, but that manufacturers see every day because they designed and built the equipment.
Once these specialists identify problems, many manufacturers offer discounts and incentives to replace parts before the start of the season.
Complete instructions on how to maintain the paver can be found here.