Note that the greatest road builders in history were the ancient Romans. For military and economic reasons, they constructed durable roads with layers of stone, concrete, and pebbles to all corners of their empire. Parts of many of these roads are still in use today. Today roads and highways are also built in layers, but science has made changes in the materials they are made of. Many laboratories study the properties of various road building materials to discover a workable compromise between materials that are durable but also economical. Streets and highways today are paved mainly with asphalt cement. It is made of asphalt, which is an oil product that occurs naturally or can be derived from the refining of petroleum, and aggregate, which can be gravel, sand, crushed stone, or even recycled into a solid mass that makes a long-lasting and tenacious building material. This mix may be applied cold or hot, but for large paving jobs hot mix asphalt is always applied by large paving machines.
Job Descriptions and Positions
In the asphalt paving operation supervisor estimating jobs evaluate the cost of the materials, including number of available machines, and labor must also be considered. Although the different makes of asphalt paving machines each have their own unique features, the basic processes they perform are the same. They are propelled by a tractor mechanism and are designed to move in a straight path, sometimes by following a preset guide wire. In a receiving hopper, they carry the paving materials and keep it warm and workable. Depending on the job, paving materials may be mixed at the job site by a portable pug-mill or mixed in a factory and trucked to the job site. The paving materials are carried on conveyor belts through flow control gates and onto the ground, where it is smoothed and tamped down by a heavy, floating metal plate called a ‘screed.’ The screed can be widened to accommodate any width of road; some of the largest asphalt paving machines can lay the materials up to thirty-six feet wide in a single pass. The screed often has heaters and vibrators built in which can be adjusted to ensure uniform paving. These huge machines are run by asphalt paving machine operators, sometimes called power operators. On some machines, a second employee, the screed operator, rides or walks alongside the back of the machine to monitor the application of paving materials and to adjust the screed when necessary. Paving machine operators and inspectors coordinate each other in the estimating construction jobs for the project. They also inspect their machines at the beginning of the workday and also at the day’s end. In the morning, they check to make sure all moving parts (screed plate, conveyors, flow control gates and vibrators) are in good working order. They double check the tire pressure or, if the paving machine runs on tracks, make certain that that tracks are fitting tightly. Operators clean their machines when the workday is over and remove any accumulated materials while it is still warm and pliable.
Asphalt paving machine supervisors and operators work all over the country as they oversee the whole projects, even laying pavement for streets, highways, airport runways, parking lots, railway roadbeds, and even the linings for sanitary landfills and water treatment plants. A high-school diploma is not necessary for this occupation; however knowledge of machinery can be acquired E1 in shop classes or in vocational school, and that has a definite advantage. Asphalt paving machine operators can also enhance their value to employers by learning how to operate other heavy machinery such as bulldozers, loaders, dump trucks, cranes, and cherry pickers. If a developer or contractor needs someone to run a bulldozer now, there is a good chance a paving machine operator may be needed soon after, and a person who can operate both will have a better chance at regular employment. For the asphalt paving machine supervisor cost estimator job, they must have every angle of knowledge of the all the cost of the materials, the manpower needed, the time frame, as well as the available resources in order to arrive in to a more precise budget allocation and accurate projection of its completion.
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