Roads play a major part in our everyday life, the economic strength of a country is visible through their roads. Good roads not only allow for easier transportation but also benefit the economy significantly as roads are used to connect cities and rural areas.
History of Road Construction
Road construction began shortly after the invention of the wheel and roads have since been a symbol of economic prosperity across the globe. The earliest long-distance road built was between the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea, which was 1,500 miles long and came into use around 3,500 BC. The first major routes across Europe were used to create an extensive trading network to haul materials between countries.
The Romans were very advanced when it came to road building and understood the military, economic and administrative advantages of a good road system. In 334 BC, the Romans began constructing roads and by the peak of the great empire they had built nearly 53,000 miles of road connecting their capital with the borders of their extensive empire.
During the bronze age, the availability of metal tools made the construction of stone paving more feasible. Many countries across Europe began constructing roads using rocks and stones to pave the way.
However, the greatest advancement in road construction came from Scottish John McAdam. He began his road career in 1787, but it was in 1816 that McAdam took control of the Bristol Turnpike. He invented a new road building method by which revolutionised the industry to become what it is today.
He showed how traffic could be supported by a relatively thin layer of small, single-sized pieces of broken stone placed and compacted well on a well-drained natural formation and covered by an impermeable surface of smaller stones. Drainage is an essential part of the McAdam method which requires the pavement to be elevated above the surrounding surface.
What Machinery is used during the Road Construction Process?
The development of a road is a multiple stage process with various heavy duty road construction equipment used to complete the job. We have summarised some of the most popular machines throughout the process.
1. Tracked Excavator
Excavators are frequently used at the start of the road construction process and are used to move earth and large objects. Within the process they are often used to dig the foundations for the road and move any debris and materials that may be left behind throughout the road development. Tracked excavators are preferred since they are softer on the top layer of the soil, the Komatsu PC360-LC is perfect for this job.
2. Motor Grader
Motor Graders come equipped with a long blade that’s used to create a flat surface during the grading process and prepare it for the asphalt. The grading process enables the ground to have a proper slope to allow the area to drain correctly. These machines come in various sizes and configurations to suit the scale of the project and its requirements.
3. Road Roller
Road Rollers are used to compact materials and are used at different stages within the road construction process. Firstly, they are used to flatten and compact the base layer that the asphalt will be laid on. Secondly, rollers are used to press down the asphalt in place after it has been laid down on the prepared road surface. A popular model for this job is the Hamm 3411.
4. Asphalt Mixing Plant
Asphalt mixing plants are an important machine within the road construction process and are used to produce asphalt and various other types of coated stones used within the road surface. Asphalt is a paving material made from crushed rocks and bitumen. The plant mixes aggregates, sand and fillers in appropriate quantities to produce the required asphalt. The machine is used to keep the mixture at suitable high temperatures in order to prevent it from setting before it is laid and compacted on the road surface. One of the favoured manufacturers of asphalt mixing plants is Ammann, Omnia Machinery stock multiple models such as the ACM 140 Prime and EB90.
5. Wheel Loader
Similar to a tractor, a wheel loader is essential across many construction sites as they are used to lift a range of materials such as clay, stone and soil. The wheel loader lifts the materials into the back of a dumper truck so that they can be moved to another location and are favoured on site as their large bucket means it can lift materials without spreading them out. The Volvo L150H is the perfect machine to accompany this task.
6. Asphalt Paver
Asphalt pavers are a valuable machine with the road construction industry as they are used to lay asphalt on road surfaces, bridges, car parks and other such places. The two most common types of pavers are wheeled and tracked, which are both suitable in different applications. The type used will be dependent on the type of work you will be doing. The machines are also used to do some minor compaction before the road roller takes over. The Vogele Super 1303-3i is perfect for jobs in confined spaces and the Vogele Super 1900-2 is an excellent machine for your larger jobs, here at Omnia Machinery we have various quality used pavers for sale.
7. Road Planer
Road planers are used within the road construction process to repair asphalt and the resurfacing of roads and are often used as an alternative to the complete removal of the road surface. Instead of time consuming and costly excavation, the damaged road surface is removed using a planer machine, allowing the new surface to be laid directly onto the sublayers of the existing which proves to be much more efficient. We stock various used planers for sale, with one of the most popular models being the Wirtgen W2000.
8. Soil Stabilizer
Soil stabilizers are used to improve the properties of soil by blending and mixing in a variety of other materials which in turn increases the strength of the soil. The blending and mixing process involves the load-bearing capacity to better support paving and foundations. The Wirtgen WR2500S is often favoured for its capabilities and ease of use.
Omnia Machinery are a trusted machinery trader and we strive to provide our customers with the best road construction machinery. We can provide you with various plant machinery to suit the road construction process such as: Motor Graders, Rollers, Pavers, Stabilizers, Planers, Mixing Plants and Excavators. Our stock consists of some of the leading road construction manufacturers such as Wirtgen, Hamm, Vogele, Bomag, Caterpillar and more. Contact us with your used machinery requirements.