Commander III Powers Through AR I-30 Job

Fri July 01, 2005 - West Edition

Two brothers-in-law, Voyne Weaver and Joe Bailey, started their own construction business in 1960.

Weaver Bailey Contractors Inc. focused on concrete slab work and driveways for residential developments in central Arkansas. The family-owned business grew and in 1967, incorporated and bid on its first highway project.

The company made the switch to the Gomaco brand in 1986, when it had to slipform 60,000 sq. yds. (50,166 sq m) of taxiway and parking apron at Adam’s Field Municipal Airport in Little Rock, AR. Weaver Bailey rented a Gomaco GP-3000 paver for the project and had such good success with it, the company purchased the paver and have since changed its paving fleet over exclusively to Gomaco equipment.

The newest paver to join Weaver Bailey’s fleet is a four-track Commander III ordered specifically for barrier work on I-30 south of Little Rock. The company has approximately 100,000 ft. (30,480 m) of different types of barrier wall to slipform on the project. The most challenging aspect of the wall included a stretch that grew from 42 in. (106.7 cm) tall to a height of 82 in. (208.3 cm).

“This is the first time we’ve tried to pour wall with any height to it over a steel cage,” said Harold ’Woody’ Woodward, paving superintendent of Weaver Bailey. “We really didn’t know what to expect, but the Commander III is doing an extremely good job and we’re really pleased with it.”

Weaver Bailey is using a standard Arkansas Highway Department concrete paving mix design for the wall. The dry concrete has a slump of only .25 in. (.6 cm).

“It’s just a standard mix that we modified a little bit,” said Don Weaver, vice president of Weaver Bailey. “The regular Arkansas mix has a top-size rock of one inch, but we increased that top size to 1.5 inch. We went to bigger rock because we think it stacks up better and with the Commander III and its power, we knew it could handle it.”

The concrete is delivered from Weaver Bailey’s own central-mix batch plant in Bryant. End-dump trucks carry the mix to the job site and to an RTP-500 rubber-tracked placer.

“It’s the tallest wall that we know of around this part of the country, and I don’t think we could have done this wall out of ready-mix trucks from a regular concrete plant,” Weaver said. “A ready-mix truck couldn’t have gotten the concrete out to start with and they couldn’t have kept up. The key to this project was slipping it with the central mix through the placer.”

The RTP-500 also helped increase production on the project while handling large amounts of concrete.

“At the maximum height, 82 inches, we were averaging 2.5 feet of wall per yard of concrete,” Woodward said. “It was just a large volume of concrete, but production averaged 18 inches per minute at the tallest section. As the wall came down in height, our maximum speed was three feet per minute.”

One of the most challenging aspects of the project was dealing with the steel, and Weaver Bailey worked closely with Gomaco to develop a mold to accommodate it.

“The steel was the biggest problem and Gomaco worked with us to develop a mold with a front that’s hydraulic,” Weaver explained. “We can either open or close it depending on whether we’re pouring over a full cage of steel or just running vertical bars through it. Gomaco was very helpful working with us to design it, and it’s really unique.”

Nine vibrators mounted inside the mold consolidate the concrete. Behind the mold, workers straightedge the wall, apply a broom finish and spray cure the wall.

The company placed an order for another Commander III, speced out exactly like its first one, but also adding on a 10 ft. (3 m) sidemount paving kit for shoulder work.

“I don’t think there’s another machine out there that will do this type of barrier work, with the steel cage and all,” Weaver said. “Gomaco puts out a good product and we get great service from their local dealer, Clark Machinery Company. They’ll send out as many people as we need and their response is fantastic.”

Weaver Bailey Contractors specializes in highway paving, subdivision and curb and gutter work. Its high standards for quality on its projects has earned them several state awards, as well as a national award from the American Concrete Paving Association.

“It’s not only the equipment, it’s also the people we have out there in the field,” Weaver said. “Most of our crew has been together 10 to 15 years, they know each other and they’re extremely good at what they do.”

(This story appears courtesy of “Gomaco World Magazine.”)