3D paving technology helps contractors be more profitable

Paving contractors in and around eastern Tennessee have used 2D paving technology on their mills and pavers for several years. Some of these contractors are now beginning to realize the value of 3D paving technology.

3D technology incorporates robotic total stations to provide millimeter accuracy on projects like virgin roads, airport repaving, and road reconstruction.

Trimble paving technology from SITECH
Trimble paving technology from SITECH

The investment in this new infrastructure seems to be worth it, though. According to Blake Pressly from SITECH Mid-South, contractors using 3D technology have been able to save enough in engineering costs during the process of bidding jobs to pay for their system investment in as little as three to four months.

Pressly describes several types of productivity and profitability benefits for contractors using today’s technologies for paving and surface design engineering.

First, contractors can bid projects more accurately, since they know exactly how much material they’ll remove and how much new substrate they’ll lay.

Second, using 3D milling along with a 3D model, contractors can use the mill instead of the paver to accomplish leveling, removing just the right quantity of material from the road surface to eliminate undulations and prepare a smoother sub-surface for new asphalt.

Finally, following 3D milling, pavers equipped with 2D dual-ski systems help crews meet thickness requirements, improving smoothness and rideability.

Pressly has received feedback from several customers who have commented that the Trimble equipment is very user friendly and faster to set up on a daily basis. Using the 2D paving setup, one operator described how he can “press just two buttons and be ready to work.”