Pavement preservation solutions don’t come in one-size-fits-all. Traffic, weather, maintenance — hundreds of factors contribute to wear and tear on our roads. Material Resources Inc., a Louisiana-based asphalt maintenance contractor, understands that high-quality, long-lasting preservation services require an individualized approach. However, providing the right solution for the right road wasn’t always possible with their current equipment. To help them regain their versatility, Material Resources invested in a customized High-Volume Road Maintenance Vehicle with Generation IV pump. The vehicle gave Material Resources the flexibility to lay down the right treatment, for the right road, at the right time.
Minimizing Asphalt Maintenance
Constantly updating their products and services to meet customer needs has helped Material Resources provide quality, long-lasting results. But it has also led to some growing pains when old sealcoat equipment doesn’t work for new applications.
Recently, the company began working with Onyx® — a frictional surface treatment capable of loading a large amount of aggregate for superior durability and surface friction. The treatment allowed Material Resources to quickly improve road conditions and safety for weathered asphalt pavement with minor distresses without resorting to heavier treatments that were more costly and intrusive to motorists. The only problem was the company’s current asphalt spray equipment couldn’t handle the mixture, which led to frequent clogs.
“When we tried running Onyx on our existing equipment, we were plagued with numerous clogs,” Casto said, “Clogs don’t just increase downtime — they build up pressure and pose a danger to our crew when we have to remove them. Correctly depressurizing a spray system takes time. When you’re on a deadline, every second counts. So, we needed a sealcoat application system that could handle Onyx — or any of our other products— without clogging.”
Buying new equipment to apply a single product was costly and inefficient, but Material Resources was confident they could find a custom solution that allowed them to apply Onyx efficiently but also have the flexibility to tackle any of the other products and processes their customers required.
Treatment Application Versatility
Material Resources arrived with a detailed list of specs. In addition to versatility, they were looking for high-volume capacity to get the job done quickly. They were also looking for a solution that was easy to operate and maintain.
“County and rural roads make up a large portion of our business,” Casto said. “We’re not always close to home, so we needed a reliable machine that could put down a lot of material in one go and didn’t need a certified mechanic if something went wrong. The team at Blastcrete Equipment and Neal Manufacturing have a reputation for engineering equipment that is easy to operate, efficient and durable. We were hoping they’d have a solution to fit our situation, and they did.”
The end result is a customized High-Volume Road Maintenance Vehicle equipped with a 1,500-gallon tank that can spray approximately 10,000 to 12,000 square yards of road with a single application of material before refilling — half that for double applications.
With the Generation IV pump, Material Resources has the flexibility to apply a variety of sealcoat products, including Onyx, without worrying about clogs. In-cab controls also make application easier for crews, allowing them to adjust the spray bar and individual nozzles on the go.
The High-Volume Road Maintenance Vehicle provided positive results right away. Material Resources demonstrated the benefits of Onyx on a mile-long section of road for the city of Port Allen, Louisiana. With the efficiency of the High-Volume Vehicle, they were able to complete the project 30% faster than alternative applications. In situations that don’t call for Onyx, the High-Volume Vehicle still provides impressive productivity, allowing them to complete jobs up to 40% faster.
“Our goal has always been providing the right product, at the right time on the right road,” Casto said. “Asphalt preservation continues to evolve and what’s right today might change for tomorrow. Working with partners that understand means we will always be able to supply an ideal solution.”
For weathered asphalt pavement with minor distresses, Material Resources could improve road conditions and safety with a fast-drying application of Onyx rather than resorting to heavier treatments that were more costly and intrusive to motorists. The only problem was how to deliver it.