Chapter 7: Equipment Inspection

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Section 1: Introduction

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Inspectors of seal coat work must be knowledgeable of the capabilities and limitations of the equipment. Equipment must be properly calibrated, well maintained, and functioning correctly to have a successful seal coat project.

This chapter will provide basic knowledge and general inspection procedures for the following typical types of equipment:

A manufacturer’s manual for each piece of equipment should be available on the project and consulted whenever specific questions arise.

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Provisions for Inspection

The contractor and project engineer typically coordinate the starting date of the project, and set a date and time for the equipment to be assembled for inspection. It is advisable to set aside a minimum of half a day for equipment inspection at least one day before seal coat work begins. Initial equipment inspection should not be done the first hour or two of the morning the project begins. Even if all the equipment was functioning correctly on the last project, equipment problems can occur during the movement of the equipment. Plenty of time should be allowed to carefully inspect all equipment, and to allow more time to correct any discrepancies that are found.

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Inspecting for Leaks

All equipment used on the project should be given a thorough visual inspection for leakage of any substance that might contaminate the asphalt, aggregate, or prevent adhesion to the pavement surface. These substances include fuel (both diesel and gasoline), hydraulic fluid, engine coolant, crankcase oil, and transmission fluid.

Inspecting for leaks is extremely important, not only before the project begins, but throughout the entire project. If a leak is detected in any piece of equipment, the equipment should be removed from the roadway until it is repaired.

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Follow the manufacturer’s safety procedures for inspection and operation of all equipment.

Additional safety procedures should be followed for any equipment used for transporting, storing, or applying asphalt materials. Heating asphalt binder always constitutes some degree of hazard, with the exception perhaps of emulsions. The most hazardous are cutback asphalts because of the highly flammable solvents used. Extreme care must be taken not to allow open flames to come in contact with the asphalt or the gases from these materials. When working with asphalt cement, the major safety concern is related to the high temperature of the binder. Asphalt cement at 300°F can cause very severe burns. Avoid standing near the asphalt distributor during heating and operation unless necessary. It is recommended that a copy of the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) for the binder being used be kept with the asphalt distributor truck. In addition, refer to TxDOT’s Handbook of Safe Practices (1997) regarding asphalt heaters, distributors, and storage.

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