Asphalt paver performs well on difficult roads
First publishedin World Highways
Italian contractor VARESCO proved the new Caterpillar AP500E paver could work on compact sites and steep gradients on jobs in the north of the country
Italian paving contractor VARESCO has made good use of its new AP500E paver from Caterpillar Paving on two difficult jobsites. One was a confined site with an abundance of manholes. The other one featured a road with a slope so steep the transport truck trailers were covered to prevent material from spilling out the back. The confined site required paving of an access road leading to a residential area in Merano, a town of 38,000 in northern Italy.
VARESCO rebuilt the 200mm sub-base and placed an 80mm binder course. A 30mm surface course is being added later.
This road was 100m long and only 4m wide and the machine's ability to provide paving widths as narrow as 2.55m suited it to the application. The movable operator stations helped the crew work close to the kerb and wall. The frequent starts and stops caused by manholes presented additional challenges.
Creating an even, smooth mat despite the lack of continuous movement required precise delivery of mix from the hopper through the screed. Also important for a smooth restart was the wheeled paver's ability to grab the surface and effortlessly pull the paver and its full load of asphalt.
The other job provided a different challenge, paving roads to rural areas in Italy's South Tyrol and Trentino regions. The existing dirt roads are winding and steep, with grades exceeding 18%, so high traction is a necessity.
VARESCO used the AP500E close to the village of Lauregno, in Val d'Ultimo on a 1km stretch of road leading to an altitude of 1800m. The AP500E coped with the gradient even as the transport trucks struggled to maintain their loads because of the slope. An important feature of the machine was the lighter AS4252C screed, which reduced weight but performed like a heavier unit.