Amey has developed a mobile asphalt production unit that is enabling highways maintenance teams to work with much more flexibility – and with up to 30% less wastage.
Road maintenance crews have traditionally collected asphalt from plants before heading out to road locations that require surfacing. This, however, takes up valuable time from the day’s schedule and leads to high levels of wasted asphalt, owing to the minimum order that is usually required by plants and the difficulty in judging the exact quantity required for a job prior to working at a location.
Amey has now developed a new mobile unit with RSL Fabrications that can mix aggregates and bitumen – the key ingredients of asphalt – in situ. Removing the need to head to a plant for a supply of asphalt each time it is needed, this method of ‘self-delivery’ leads to much greater productivity as crews are able to work on a greater number of jobs in a single day. This also ensures that only the correct volume of asphalt is prepared and to an optimum hot temperature, guaranteeing minimal wastage of materials and best chances of a successful surface.
The units produce between one to three tonnes of asphalt every hour and can be towed behind a standard seven and a half tonne vehicle. Following positive trials, a unit is now routinely being used as part of the Hampshire highways maintenance service operated by Amey. There are further plans to introduce 10 other units to Amey’s highways services in Gloucestershire, Staffordshire and on Highways England’s Area 7 network.
Amey’s account director Paul Anderson said: “We are excited to be the first highways maintenance operators in the UK using this technology. It is proving to be a far better method of asphalt production – less wasteful, cheaper and much more reliable. Because we are no longer relying on asphalt plants to be open to get our supply of asphalt, we are also now able to work during antisocial hours, which is good news for our customers as it means less disruption during the working day.”