There is no doubt that market forces are rapidly changing the driveway market. Depending on your customer demands and the typical driveway work you do – from full depth new construction to driveway sealing – economic and environmental pressures will continue to push driveway work toward a recycling model. This model not only includes purchasing class 2 hot mix with recycled asphalt pavement (RAP) content of 50 percent or more, it includes in-place recycling of the existing driveway pavement as well.
You might as well jump aboard this trend and be the leader in your market area. Early birds are very difficult to chase and nearly impossible to overtake. You need to be the early bird in your area.
Your choices depend on climate and market conditions in your area. Generally, in-place methods are best completed in ambient temperatures between 45 and 80 degrees F. In some areas high demand drives up the cost of RAP, in other areas, there is almost no RAP to be found. But, where there is sufficient RAP available at reasonable prices, using the recycled product instead of virgin hot mix can yield excellent results for homeowners and commercial property parking lots – and your bottom line.
Every attachment for completing a cold in-place driveway recycling project is available for your skid steer. From cold-planers, grinders and scarifiers to compactors, it is possible to set up an efficient system that re-uses and rejuvenates the existing driveway pavement in place.
With the current commercial and residential real estate market in such transition, everyone is looking for lower cost solutions to fix driveways – the number one enhancement to the number one secret to success for enhancing the sale of a property – a smooth, good-looking driveway or parking area.
The other in-place solution is a rapid up-and-comer – infrared heaters for hot in-place work. Infrared can be used successfully in lower temperatures, which may expand your paving season. In some cases, your willingness and ability to pave in colder temperatures may enable you to charge premium rates. A longer paving season can only help your income.
The infrared manufacturers make constant improvements to the equipment to keep energy costs down, and the infrared arrays are available in more sizes than ever, with some able to heat an 8 sq. ft. surface area.
Offering hot in-place recycling also enables you to present yourself as the progressive contractor in your area.
The fact is, what you are doing today will soon be obsolete. With margins so thin in the driveway business, you must be constantly on the outlook for the next thing, the incremental improvement, the more efficient way to work and earn. There is no question that the use of recycled asphalt will continue to grow. In fact, there will come a time in the future when all asphalt is recycled! Be there.