A paver, also known as a paving machine, an asphalt finisher, or a paver finisher, is a piece of heavy machinery that is used to lay asphalt on roads, parking lots, bridges, and other areas. It lays the asphalt flat and provides minor compaction before a roller is used to completely compact it down on the surface. Barber Greene Co. developed the first asphalt paver in the 1930s, and the main features they used have been incorporated into almost all pavers manufactured since then.
There are numerous manufacturers that produce and distribute pavers. Some of the most popular American manufacturers include Barber Greene Co., Gilcrest, and Terex. Barber Greene actually created the first paver and continues to manufacturer and distribute them today. They offer rubber tired and crawler units, each of which promises excellent reliability and top of the line performance.
The asphalt is added from a material transfer unit, such as a dump truck, into the paver’s hopper. It is then carried by a conveyor to the auger, where it is then spread over the width of the road or surface area by the screed. It also provides the initial compaction before the compacter follows. The paver uses a free floating screen in order to provide a smooth surface behind the screed. In order to continue to provide a smooth surface, operators need to ensure that the paver proceeds at a constant speed and has a consistent stockpile of material in front of the screed. This is one of the main reasons why a material transfer unit is used, as it allows for constant material feed to the paver without coming into contact with the vehicle, preventing it from affecting the screed height or altering the paver’s speed.
Safety Features & Guidelines
Similar to when using other heavy construction equipment, there are several safety guidelines you should follow. Before you even begin operating the paver, make sure all the buttons work and the machine’s various parts are in working order and good condition. You want to discover if a certain part needs to be replaced before you start using the machine. Be sure to always check out the job site before you start working so you are aware of any potential safety hazards. Always make sure you have communication with people on the ground or in other machines. While you are working, drive at a steady but consistent pace so the paver works properly, but immediately stop if a person, vehicle or other obstacle suddenly appears in front of you.
Pros & Cons
If you like working outdoors, then driving a paver may be the job for you. While you will have to spend a solid amount of time inside the vehicle, you will spend the rest of the time outside on the job site, which can be more appealing to some people than being locked in an office all day.
Construction work generally pays well, which is another benefit. It can be hard on the body, however, even if you are just driving the paver. You may have to attach certain accessories and perform regular maintenance on the machine as well as other tasks, which can be hard on the body.