Gini and Dan McKain, on assignment
for Calder Brothers Corporation
Special Collaboration


Not all Canadian hot mix asphalt contractors have the luxury of unlimited space. For many who work in smaller cities, towns and villages and pave single vehicle residential driveways and small commercial parking lots, space is a major consideration. Their paving spread must be large enough to comfortably complete whatever project they undertake and yet be compact enough to transport their equipment and work under space limited conditions. Often it is a matter of purchasing selective equipment.

"For the new paving season we have a new Mauldin 1550-C paver that replaces our older C-300 Allatt paver. For us it has been a different world since we purchased this new paver. After its initial break in period we stopped the Mauldin paver for routine service and factory specified maintenance purposes for a single day and returned to our Allatt. The results? It's like comparing a bicycle with a luxury Cadillac car. After once experiencing the new paver's capability and productivity, it would be very difficult to go back to using our former machine," said Mario Chartier, the president of Vincent Asphalte.

"We have been in business 16 years and do residential and commercial paving projects. About the smallest jobs we will do are the single-family driveways. Our largest projects, however, cover up to 8500 m2. "We use an MB-5 asphalt mix that is suitable for our residential and also for our commercial jobs," said Gaston Charette, also of Vincent Asphalte.

Vincent Asphalte of Saint-Paul-de-Joliette, Quebec, is a prime example. They have been in business for 30 years. Having adequate manpower and machinery are critical factors to the company's annual profit or loss.

It is a difficult business-oriented balancing act. Too many or too few of either is an untenable situation. As every asphalt contractor is painfully aware, skilled, reliable men are hard to find in this industry.

The same is true of equipment. Technology is rapidly changing the form and function of pavers, rollers and graders today. It is all but impossible to do today's job with yesterday's machines. Only recently Vincent Asphalte purchased the new Mauldin 1550-C because the of the benefits to be accrued from its use. The new 5580 kg machine would make it possible to put down a more precise, smoother and longer lasting asphalt mat with less manpower being required to do less handwork.

By making some slight modifications to the paver, the contractor is now able to carry three machines; the Mauldin paver, a roller and a loader/backhoe, on a single flatbed trailer. This is towed with one of the company's tri axle dump trucks which is also used to carry asphalt to the jobsite and stay within the Province's strict weight and overall length limits. By consolidating all the equipment, Vincent Asphalte does not block the streets near the house where they are paving a residential driveway, a feature very much appreciated by the neighbors.

"We put down approximately 7000 t of asphalt per year and estimate a 20% savings in labor expense, with a lot less effort. The paver will lay down a finished mat with practically no rake (lute) finishing behind. Our extensions will always carry a full head of material. With the Freedom Four vibratory screed, the auger extension system will supply the material to the over all maximum paving width. Combined with its John Deere 60 hp engine, we are never lacking for the power to push our fully loaded trucks. This is something that we were previously lacking with our older paver. The operator's station on the new Mauldin 1550-C is comfortable and accessible with a clear view of the job site. With its fully enclosed engine, it is pleasant to work behind this powerhouse. No distracting vibrations noise or fumes.

"We had some strict size criteria to meet because, being a smaller enterprise, we limit the size of our transport equipment," said Gaston Charette.

"We have been pleasantly surprised with the smoothness, compaction and the finish of the mat. This is a beautiful screed. Overall, we enjoy the convenience, performance, and production of the Mauldin 1550-C paver with its Freedom Four Screed. This is a super well built paver," he continued.

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