|Karvo Paving Sets New Standard on I-77 Job
Dynapac F1000T Paver Records Impressive Production Numbers On Major-Project Debut
Pictures by John Boykin
At 1 a.m. on a Saturday morning, the first-shift crew with Karvo Paving Company steadily makes its way southbound, down a 6-mile stretch of Interstate 77 outside of Cleveland, Ohio.
Running between Rockside Road and Interstate 490, this phase of the project, which began the first week of May 2011, is a 29,000-foot mill and fill operation on two lanes. Using three Wirtgen 2000s from Boca Construction, Karvo removes 4 inches of asphalt off the existing roadway and then places an initial lift of 2.5 inches using a Dynapac F1000T tracked paver – all within about 48 hours.
Progress cannot be interrupted. The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) only allows Karvo to work at night Monday-Thursday. This is when Karvo works on the shoulders of the road along the project. On the weekends, however, I-77 can be closed down to one lane so that Karvo can work non-stop. ODOT does not allow vehicles to travel on a milled surface, so the entire distance must be milled and paved by Monday morning.
That means that over the next 22-24 hours, Karvo will mill out approximately 12,150 tons or 54,000 square yards of asphalt. They will place 7,760 tons of new asphalt, paving two lanes simultaneously.
Robin Boer, Head Estimator with Karvo Paving, does not seem concerned. Karvo purchased their Dynapac F1000T with this project in mind, and it has been performing above expectations.
“The first day we used it there were some minor control issues,” says Boer. “The next day the Dynapac people came out and they helped our crew solve all of the problems. The crew pretty much fell in love with the machine.”
The F1000T is a 10-foot- to 19-foot-wide highway class tracked paver. Due to the short amount of time Karvo has to pave, they use a hopper insert to increase the capacity of the machine’s 207-cubic-foot hopper. Continuously fed by a Cedarapids transfer device and 25 trucks loaded with asphalt, the insert also keeps the flow steady and the mix more consistent.
The key, however, to a smooth mat is eliminating centerline segregation. The F1000T features Dynapac’s patented outboard auger drive system. This exclusive system allows material to flow freely into the auger area without the need for kickback augers or deflection plates. Since Karvo is simultaneously paving two lanes, they also employ screed and auger extensions that allow them to pave at a width of 24-26 feet.
“It’s able to pave 24 feet wide consistently at a decent speed,” says Derrick Sickles, Karvo Project Superintendent. “We’ve been going through a load of asphalt every two minutes. We’ve never done this kind of quantity before, and so far – so good.”
The height of the auger is also adjustable. Without a center drive, material flow is not impeded and is smoothly placed to the required width by a Carlson EZR-10 screed. Karvo has also outfitted the paver with the optional power tunnels to help control material distribution at wider widths. The tunnels can be coordinated with the extensions to move in/out as necessary.
“I like the way the tunnels can feed the augers,” says Monty Hooeps, Karvo Project Foreman. “You have a lot of volume that flows back. I think it’s quite easy to adjust your feed so it stays consistent to maintain a half-auger shaft. Even at 24 feet like we are, it has no problem getting the material out there. I truly think this paver could push 32-34 feet with no problem just by the design of the tunnels. I think that’s pretty key.”
Hooeps also likes the stability of the paver, which is assisted by the F1000T’s exclusive one-piece track design. The track offers greater load support while providing a superior balanced drive system. “The machine doesn’t shake,” adds Hooeps. “It’s pretty stable, especially pulling wide like this. A lot of pavers would give you a lot of movement.”
This is the first project for Karvo Paving’s new F1000T. “This is not a typical job for us because not many jobs like this are let,” says George Karvounides, President and owner of Karvo Paving. “This was an opportunity to use this new paver when we got the job. It’s what we looked at, and it is working out well.”
Karvounides also points out that his operators, foremen and shop superintendent have all been pleased with the paver. He points to its simplicity and performance as important features for his team. “I feel that it’s more user friendly. The guys seem to like the simplicity of it; it’s not complicated. It doesn’t have a lot of the bells and whistles some of the other pavers have, but it still performs just as good as any other paver. I would put it against any other paver that we have in our fleet.”
The Karvo team is quick to credit their dealer Columbus Equipment Company and Sales Representative Tim Kresowaty, and Bill Nittinger, Dynapac Regional Sales Manager – Northeast, for their responsiveness and support as they put the paver to the test for the first time.
“Once the asphalt drops into that hopper, it’s ‘go’ time,” says Kresowaty. “You can’t stop. The support we give to the product is most important to the guys who are running it, and we have the parts on hand should they be needed. Karvo is a very close-knit family operation; they are good people. They take pride in their work and take pride in the equipment they have running.”
Designed and built in the United States specifically for the North American market, Dynapac’s F1000T is changing the paver market.
“It’s the simplicity of the controls. You can manually override your solenoids and relays if needed to keep on going,” says Nittinger. “It’s the quality of the mat that’s most important and with no centerline segregation, we achieve just that. The machine is easy to use. It’s simple and very productive, and that’s what the operators wanted.”
After the first lift of asphalt is placed, Karvo Paving will undertake the drainage work along the project. By the first week of August, they will start placing the surface course. Paving operations should be finished by the second week of September, and the entire project is scheduled for completion by October 15, 2011.