Rock to Road

Features Education Event Reports
OHMPA Presents Annual Spring Operations Seminar

New technologies on display at Georgian College.

June 15, 2012  By  Andrew Macklin

The Ontario Hot Mix Producers Association held their annual Spring
Operations Seminar at Georgian College in Barrie, Ont., on April 25.

The Ontario Hot Mix Producers Association held their annual Spring Operations Seminar at Georgian College in Barrie, Ont., on April 25.


With a crowd of over 100 people from the paving industry on hand, the morning sessions focused on technologies that are improving the quality and efficiency of paving work in Ontario. 

Jamal Mohammed of Sitech Mid-Canada Limited, a distributor for Trimble, introduced the room to the benefits of 3-D paving technology. Using the Trimble GCS900 UTS system, contractors are eliminating issues during primary compaction caused by dips in the road. The 3-D solution helps create better smoothness on the road, providing the contractor with a higher-quality end result. Adding the 3-D system to a current Trimble 2-D system requires the addition of just four components to the existing operation, making an upgrade easy. The CCS900 software component allows supervisors to track pass counts, temperature mapping, and any other quality control issues that can occur.


Another technology helping to create efficiencies for paving work is the Topcon RTP-300 real-time profiler. The unit, which attaches to any truck through the standard tow hitch, allows contractors to do high-speed surveying of a road. The three-laser system provides information on smoothness and defects in the roads such as bumps and dips. The unit records the data at as little as one-inch intervals at highway speeds. 

Bill Wilcox from Dynapac Canada discussed the use of chip spreaders for stone mastic asphalt. The wearing coarse, highway class asphalt has been used by the Ministry of Transportation in Ontario to varying degrees since 2000.

Wilcox said MTO has suggested it would like to have SMA on all 4+-lane highways in the province within the next four to five years. The one challenge has been to counter the traction issue caused by the bitumen-coated stones used as part of the mix. As a result, Dynapac has tested a 57-inch grit spreader using its CC234 eight-ton roller. After a series of tests, Dynapac was able to find a grit compound and spread that increased skid resistance by 30%-60%. With at least seven jobs released for 2012 by MTO that will require grit spreading, Dynapac has introduced a 66-inch spreader for companies to use on these projects. 

Night paving was also an area of focus during the morning sessions at the Spring Operations Seminar, from both a technology and a safety standpoint.

In terms of technology, LED lighting solutions offer significant benefits over their fluorescent counterparts, according to Josh Hachey of Safety Warning Systems Inc. With a life expectancy six to 10 times greater than that of fluorescent lighting, LED lights are greatly reducing the downtime caused by the replacement of bulbs. The LED lighting solutions are also significantly reducing issues caused by shadowing, as well as offering brighter lights for easier detection of defects in the paving work. 

Night-time paving causes an array of challenges from a health and safety perspective. Jim Lafontaine, Manager of Health and Safety for Dufferin Construction, spoke at length about the issues created from working at night. As the ORBA’s representative on the provincial health and safety committee for the construction industry, Lafontaine was able to present a number of disturbing near-miss, injury, and fatality statistics that plague the industry. Some of those are created by a list of issues facing night work, including: fatigue, language barriers, production pressures, inadequate training and improper tools. The presentation stressed the need for increased understanding of machine operations, increased use of qualified signalmen and better use of safety signage on work sites.

The morning session ended with an overview of the newest, latest, and greatest technological advancements that were on display at the World of Asphalt in Charlotte, N.C. For more information on that event, check out the April issue of Aggregates & Roadbuilding Magazine.

The afternoon session began with an in-depth discussion on studies done into paving temperature differentials. Led by James Hedderich, Technical Marketing Specialist Paving Quality for MOBA Corporation, the discussion focused on the Washington State study from the 1990s that caused the push towards temperature testing for paving projects. As a result of that study, the 25° differential has become the industry norm, which has been reached in large part to the emergence of material transfer vehicles. As of today, 28 states require temperature testing, and the province of Quebec has also implemented the 25° standard. Can Ontario be far behind?

Using the PAVE-IR system, Hedderich demonstrated the testing and tracking methods that MOBA has developed for use on job sites. Their high-tech software allows pavers to see real-time data on the quality and consistency of the temperature of the asphalt being laid.

The focal point of the day came with the final session, a series of live product demonstrations and showcases of the newest equipment available to paving contractors in Canada.

The primary demonstration involved proper plate sampling techniques and the use of a splitter device for sample collection thanks to the crew from K.J. Beamish Construction Co., Ltd. The demo involved using a Cat AP1055E Paver from Toromont, mounted with the Trimble GCS900 3D paving system.

Once the primary lane of gravel was laid, Bill Wilcox from Dynapac Canada used a CC234HF with a hydraulic bucket attachment to demonstrate the grit spreading technique as discussed during his presentation about SMA pavements.

Among the equipment available in static displays around the yard were two pieces of Roadtec equipment recently released at World of Asphalt: the RP-195e Paver and the SB2500e Shuttle Buggy. Those two machines are being distributed through a new company just opening its doors in Ontario: HMA in Orangeville. We hope to have an official announcement about this new business in the next few weeks.

Several other manufacturers had some of their newest paving machines on display around the yard, including Volvo, Hamm, John Deere, Dynapac, Cat, BOMAG and Weiler. Distributors were on hand to provide information on the equipment that was on display, but much of the talk steered towards what new equipment would be heading north of the border in the coming months. With all of the major manufacturers releasing new products for the industry, many of the attendees were eager to learn more about the newest products emerging in the paving industry.

The OHMPA will now focus its attention on four Partners in Quality discussions being held in various locations across the province. For more information, visit

Print this page


Stories continue below