The Advantages and Disadvantages of an Asphalt Paving Machine


Asphalt paver machines can be essential tools for contractors. To maximize their utility, contractors should carefully consider their paving needs and business goals before purchasing or renting one. Learn the best info about asphalt paving in Kittanning, PA.

Pavers consist of several primary elements: the hopper, feeder conveyors, and distribution augers. Problems may arise when these elements are poorly designed or maintained.

Controlling the Flow of Materials

An asphalt paver is a self-propelled machine used to spread hot mix asphalt on road beds. The HMA is placed in its front hopper before being transported via a conveyor system to its rear to spread across the width of the roadbed. An asphalt paver may be powered by diesel, gas, or electric engines.

Their hopper is heated using propane burners or electric heaters to maintain an ideal paving temperature, with material flow control and monitoring systems ensuring it fills at an even rate and avoids overflow.

Contractors often increase the temperature of the asphalt mixture to improve compaction and mat quality, yet too high a temperature may lead to oxidation and cracking in the pavement surface.

To avoid these problems, contractors should maintain a consistent head of asphalt throughout their paving operation. When material levels fluctuate wildly, this can cause rippled surfaces or low mats that must be corrected using adjustments such as auger speed, screed height, or paver travel speed; mobile reference devices like laser or ultrasonic sensors to measure road elevation may also help.

Temperature Control

If the asphalt temperature is not at an appropriate level, it will have difficulty flowing through an auger system and this is often encountered during paving projects. To remedy this situation, adjust the conveyor speed and height. In addition, mix the slurry properly.

An essential factor is ensuring the asphalt remains available to the paver at all times, which means never allowing its supply to run dry. Otherwise, cold asphalt in the hopper may slip onto the mat unmixed with hot aggregates, creating isolated low densities on mat surfaces.

Assuring there are enough transport vehicles at any given time is the easiest way to avoid this issue and ensure production remains uninterrupted, avoiding production pauses due to waiting for additional trucks or breaks in production. This is particularly relevant if your asphalt paving equipment uses Tier 4 Final diesel engines, which use DEF fluid and SCR systems to reduce NOx emissions; additionally, these controls help minimize unburned hydrocarbon emissions into the air.

Conveyor Issues

Asphalt paver conveyor systems are essential to their operations, yet they can sometimes become compromised by issues arising from incorrect adjustment of conveyor flight chains, leading to jammed or snagged items in their path. As this can lead to lost time and productivity losses, knowing how to adjust them correctly is vitally essential for the proper performance of this vital part of their machinery.

Issues associated with conveyor systems can include material build-up in hoppers or conveyor plates, improper chain tension, and lack of lubrication. All these issues can be corrected by cleaning hoppers, conveyors, and auger systems, checking chain pulleys to ensure that they align evenly with frames while maintaining appropriate tension, and keeping equipment lubricated.

An asphalt paving machine is essential to road construction and repair projects and must contain all the required safety features to protect workers from fire hazards or any other hazardous situations on the job site. When buying or renting this type of machinery, be sure to weigh its potential benefits against its costs as well as any additional protocols or certification fees that may be needed depending on specific job sites.

Poor Mat Finish

Asphalt paving requires careful timing. Both the laydown and roller compaction processes must happen quickly to produce long-life pavements, as even minor delays can reduce load-carrying capacity and cause low mat densities, thus shortening the overall pavement life span.

Poor mat finish can wreak havoc on the final pavement surface and is caused by multiple factors. These include insufficient screed heat, uncontrolled auger distribution, or the absence of a properly set-up machine.

Selecting and maintaining an appropriate paver speed for every project and day is essential. Your choice should take into account numerous considerations such as requirements, equipment capabilities, mixing plant production rates, temperature zones, and surface conditions – these all can have an effect on paving quality and density; to optimize this aspect of paving quality, it may be wise to aim for middle-temperature zones that achieve good density and smoothness as soon as possible; otherwise, it might become challenging to stop your paver long enough for it to cool off properly!


Contractors can choose from various kinds of asphalt paving equipment when selecting their equipment for projects. Each has distinct features, so contractors should conduct sufficient research to select a system that best matches their needs and budget.

Segregation is a widespread problem that can disrupt the flow of materials in an asphalt paving machine. It is caused by various factors, including quarry handling procedures, mixing processes, storage issues, and transport arrangements to and from paving sites. Segregation also frequently happens during transport between sites as it affects how mixes are loaded onto trucks and hoppers for delivery to them.

Hopper segregation occurs when cold, coarse aggregates collect in the hopper without being regularly recycled back into the mix, which causes asphalt density loss and creates low spots within the mat, eventually leading to rapid deterioration and raveling over time.