Payne & Dolan Inc., Waukesha, WI, is constantly upgrading and improving its equipment spread. This includes both the addition of new Blaw-Knox PF-3200 pavers, a new RW-100A road widener, and increased emphasis on working safety.
The terms safety and technology are, according to Robert “Rocky” Rockenbach, equipment manager, Payne & Dolan, mutually accommodating, and are something to be embraced by any asphalt contractor seeking success.
“A company doesn’t need to be burly, brash and overly concerned about image in order to maintain true greatness and human values,” he said. “If they just stick to the basics of the industry, have a very aggressive safety program, and willingly accept technological changes, you will retain your qualified workers. And, for that matter, you’ll actually have others seeking you out for employment.
“In our company, working safely takes precedence over everything else that we do. With safety comes productivity. With productivity comes profitability. We have contracts calling for the rehabilitation and resurfacing sections of I-94 and I-43 in the Milwaukee, Wisconsin, area that are as different as day from night. In no case, however, is safety on one more important than the other,” he said.
The company was working with more than 147,874 metric tons (163,000 tons) of SuperPave asphalt. The crews — working both day and night — have their hands full said Rockenbach. Because of the heavy volume of traffic on both jobs and the need to maintain it at all times, the company must remain as accident free as possible.
Payne & Dolan has a total of four Blaw-Knox pavers, including two new PF-3200 machines and one Blaw-Knox RW-100A road widener on the projects. The company also has four rollers on each job to obtain the required compaction.
“Is segregation an important consideration? Absolutely, ” said Rockenbach. “We don’t want to see it. We don’t want it on any of our jobs. In fact, we, at Payne & Dolan Inc., have a very aggressive program to reduce or eliminate segregation right at its source.
“It is my feeling that a paver should not be a mixing plant, I think it should only be a laydown machine. However some of our Blaw-Knox pavers have a hopper-remixer in them to help reduce segregation,” he said.
Paving foreman Bob Beck said that the 12.8-kilometers (8 mi.) long I-94 SuperPave project south of Milwaukee in Kenosha County was paved only in daylight. His mainline crew, equipped with a Blaw-Knox PF-3200, was skipping over the bridges on the roadway. Crews will come back to these later when a special structural membrane is put down just prior to paving. A second crew, also equipped with a Blaw-Knox PF-3200 paver is brought in when there are enough on-off ramps ready for resurfacing. The original road was PCC and had been overlain with HMA twice previously.
“The project on I-43 north of Milwaukee was 43.2 kilometers (27 mi.) long on a typical divided interstate highway. There are two 3.6 meters (12 ft.) wide driving lanes, a 3 meters (10 ft.) wide outside and 1.2 meters (4 ft.) wide inside shoulder in each direction. Crews are putting down a total of about 28,800 metric tons (32,000 tons). This includes a 2.54- centimeter (1 in.) thick scratch coat and capping that has a 5.08-centimeter (2 in.) thick surface course.”
“Because we are getting asphalt from one of our plants that has permission [Waukesha] to work 24-hours a day, we are able to do our work at night from about 8 p.m. until 6 a.m.,” said Paving Foreman Fred Hass.
“Safety out here is a major consideration. We have the job delineated every 50 feet with reflective barrels but in some areas there is no lighting other than what we have on our equipment,” said Rockenbach. Unfortunately between Brown Deer and Good Hope roads, it gets awful dark. One advantage that we do have is that the Milwaukee County Sheriff’s Department has a program designed to help contractors working at night. There are certain officers and vehicles assigned to help slow down the traffic and enforce speed laws.”
Payne & Dolan are both hot mix asphalt producers and consumers. The firm was founded approximately 60 years ago. From a single asphalt plant, the company has grown numerous sites across the Badger State.
(This article appears courtesy of Blaw-Knox.)