When asphalt is laid on a surface, such as a street or driveway, it is usually expanded and porous. Constructions workers use asphalt rollers, such as a pneumatic tired roller, to compact the substance before it cools and hardens. Pneumatic tire rollers are similar to tandem asphalt rollers, with the exception being that pneumatic tire rollers have a row of tires in the front and back of the vehicle. Pneumatic tire rollers are generally used in compacting asphalt on municipal roads, airport tarmacs, and highways.
Hamm and Case are both well-known manufacturers of pneumatic tire rollers. The Hamm GRW 280i Pneumatic Compactor comes with a 114-horsepower engine and a redesigned frame that includes viewing channels to provide the operator with a view of the edges and the tires of the outer wheels. The single driver seat can be pivoted at the side toward the machine’s outer edges, providing even more visibility. The Case PT240 is an eight-wheeled machine with an engine producing 99 horsepower. It can operate on grades up to 25 degrees and on materials with high rolling resistance.
Before you start, you need to fill the water tanks on the rollers. You will also need a release agent mixed into the water tank to ensure the hot asphalt does not stick to the rubber tires. If the asphalt is tender, use the roller in static mode. If it is less tender, however, and made with large aggregate that produce a 6-inch thick mat, use the roller in vibratory mode. Make sure you work in tandem with the vibratory double drum roller to help break down the hot asphalt. Make sure you continually wet the drums on the rollers. The last thing you want to have happen is for the hot asphalt to stick to the rubber tires and drums of the roller.
Safety Features & Guidelines
Like all job sites, there are several important safety guidelines you need to follow when operating a pneumatic tired roller, or when working near one. Make sure you know the area where you will be working, and are aware of any potential hazards or obstacles. Also make sure the area is completely clear before you begin working. Keep an eye out for people and vehicles while operating the roller, and make sure you have clear communication with people on the ground who can warn you of hazards or problems. Wear safety goggles, a hard hat, and ear protection. When using the roller, make sure you are constantly using water to wet the tires and the drum to prevent asphalt from sticking to the machine, which would not only ruin the job you are working on but would also damage your machine.
Pros & Cons
The use of a pneumatic tired roller is essential in the process of asphalt paving. Steel drum rollers are used in the initial phase of rolling, but are unable to knead the hot mix asphalt like pneumatic tired rollers do.
A pneumatic tired roller allows for denser compaction and drives the bigger aggregate in the mix down while bringing the finer aggregate to the top, which actually seals the asphalt to prevent water intrusion. They require constant maintenance on the job, however, to prevent the asphalt from sticking to the tires. This means constantly watering down the tires and drum, while ensuring the water tank is full and is mixed correctly with the proper release agent.