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LeeBoy-Rosco Machine a Workhorse for Va. Paving Firms

Sun September 09, 2012 - Southeast Edition
Eric Olson

When one of the mid- Atlantic region’s top paving and emulsion contractors needed a cutting edge new machine to apply its product to the area’s streets and highways, it trusted one brand and one dealer enough to deliver it to them sight unseen.

At the beginning of this year’s spring paving season, Virginia’s Slurry Pavers and its subsidiary, Asphalt Emulsion, bought a new 2011 LeeBoy-Rosco Maximizer 3B, a machine designed to distribute emulsified asphalt onto a road surface ahead of a paving machine. The companies purchased the Maximizer from Richmond Machinery & Equipment Co., a dealer that the two companies have worked with for decades.

“We bought it sight unseen because we had to have it and also because of the trust we have in Richmond Machinery,” said Eugene Cifers, sales manager of Asphalt Emulsion. “We have dealt with those guys, Mike Colley and Glenn Muse, for a long time and we have received such good service from them on our other machines over the years.”

The distributor apparatus of the Maximizer 3B is made by Rosco, a LeeBoy company. Rosco, established in 1926, began its business building asphalt distributors. In the 1940s, it added water trucks to its product offerings. Rosco was acquired by LeeBoy in 2001.

The new Maximizer is the seventh distributor truck owned by the two companies, according to Cifers. So far, he has been mightily impressed with the new machine, he said.

“The distributor portion of the machine has the ability to spray 16 feet wide with a spray bar that extends sideways rather than having the wings that fold down,” explained Cifers. “Most machines can only spray 12 feet. Plus, the computer system is an upgrade from earlier models and is a completely different setup than the Maximizer 2.”

Although the new Maximizer employs updated electronics and improved functions, Cifers said that it did not require a great deal of new training for his operators.

“It is basically the same machine, only with this model an operator is using a computer screen instead of a selector switch to change the function,” he said. “Instead of having a selector switch for tank circulation and spray-wand application, you actually can watch a screen and then touch a button on the side of the screen to carry out whatever function you need. It is just done a little differently than in the past.”

The new Maximizer is slated to be used exclusively by Asphalt Emulsion in the delivery of the various paving emulsions that it manufactures. Included in that is its Slurry Seal and latex-modified Slurry Seal, as well as recycled emulsions and tack coats for hot-mix pavers.

Specifically, Cifers said that the new machine is being used to spray the tack coat down in front of the pavers in hot-mix paving.

“We have a tack for the Slurry Seal and for the latex-modified Slurry Seal and what Asphalt Emulsion is using this particular Maximizer for is to do priming for paving contractors and to apply fog seals for ourselves on contracts we have with the North Carolina DOT and for the U.S. Navy,” he said.

Currently, the Maximizer 3B is being used by Asphalt Emulsion to upgrade the shoulders along Interstate 95 near Dunn, N.C., in the eastern part of the state. In this project, the machine is used to apply a fog seal that is part of the crack-sealing process. By doing so, Cifers explained, the fog seal keeps the shoulders from oxidizing any further.

Coincidentally, Asphalt Emulsion has a manufacturing plant in Dunn, one of five such factories the company operates. The others are all located in Virginia in Richmond, Dumfries, Newport News and Manassas. A new plant is currently under construction in Morehead City, N.C.

The bulk of the work that Slurry Pavers and its subsidiary does is in Maryland, Virginia and North Carolina, although it often takes on projects in other mid-Atlantic states, as well.

Cifers explained that his company got into the emulsions business because it wanted to make its own emulsions for quality-control purposes. The majority of what Asphalt Emulsion sells are surface treatment emulsions to a variety of customers, such as the state DOTs and independent contractors in its area.

Cifers expects to get a lot of use out of the Maximizer 3B. The company’s Maximizer 2 machines in its fleet, he said, are used virtually every working day during the paving season, which lasts from April to December. Already, Cifers said the new Maximizer has been used close to 90 percent of the time since it was purchased.

“We have one truck in our fleet that’s a very old machine at probably 15 years old,” he added. “We may actually have had it longer than that. It’s a big tandem machine with a 3,100-gallon tank on it. It is not nearly as efficient as the newer machines, but it has been a workhorse. Really, all of them have been. For instance, we have another Maximizer 2 that is probably 10 years old and still working great.”

Slurry Pavers and Asphalt Emulsion rely on Richmond Machinery to service their equipment, but, as Cifers said, “we very rarely have any trouble with our LeeBoy-Rosco equipment.”

In business since 1919, Richmond Machinery & Equipment has been working with Slurry Pavers since the late 1950s, said Mike Colley, the dealership’s president. The company has 22 employees, including 9 service technicians that work to quickly fix any mechanical problems encountered by its customers.

“Richmond Machinery is an excellent example of a company knowing its customers and working with them to provide them with the correct equipment at the right time for their projects,” added LeeBoy-Rosco’s Jeremiah Reinhardt from his office at the company’s headquarters in Lincolnton, N.C.

Colley said that the Maximizer 3B purchased by Asphalt Emulsion was the first of the new model that it has sold.

“We normally go out with our customers and help to train them on their new equipment, but this new Maximizer is actually about as simple as using a calculator,” Colley said. “It asks you questions such as ’How wide do you want to spray?’ and once you do that it will ask for the application rate. Everything is much easier to do with this machine.”


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