Types of Road Construction Equipment
India has the second largest road network in the world at 4.7 million kilometre. However keeping in mind the total area, population and economic goals, we are still lagging behind in terms of the density of roads and its quality. Worldwide the ratio is as high as 15-20kns of high quality roads per 1000 people. While we are on top when it comes to numbers, we lag drastically when it comes to quality of our road network. The Indian state of Gujrat however boasts of high density good quality roads, some of the best in the country. The rest of the country is set to follow suit and develop the roadways at least at par with Gujrat if not better to meet international standards.
Keeping these numbers in mind, here are some interesting things to know about the road construction equipments that will help materialize these ambitious plans of a world class road network across the country.
Backhoe loader/ excavator: A backhoe or excavator are heavy earth moving equipment that help even out the surface and remove the things that are not required. For example, a backhoe can be used to break asphalt on the old roads to create a solid clean base for the new roads. These machines also help demolish small constructions like dividers and small walls and trees etc to make way for the roads.
Motor Grader: A motor grader is the piece of equipment that comes in play to level the surface evenly for laying the asphalt. The motor grader quite literally lays the very foundation of an even road free of any levelling problems.
Asphalt mixing plant: Once the motor grader has done its work, the asphalt mixing plant comes into play. In the past this process was done manually and took a lot of time to build the required quality of roads. The mixing plant is an essential machine on a road construction site, for it combines various individual elements like sand, asphalt, minerals, fillers, cement etc evenly in the required proportions. The mixture is kept hot in the plant to ensure it is pliable enough to set on the roads. A mixing plant helps save both time and money in the making of quality roads.
Road Roller: A road roller is a rather bulky road construction equipment, one of the heaviest as a matter of fact. A road roller basically works like a rolling pin to even out and compact the various layers of asphalt laid on the road. The heavy pressure of the roller helps bind the various layers of the asphalt making the road a strong entity capable of withstanding climatic and other wear and tear over the years.
The excavators and backhoes come into action again to cover the trenches that were dug and to shift the earth and material on the site and clean it up.
This is the technology used so far, but much advancement has been made in the industry in terms of the materials used to make the roads. The materials chosen are to make the roads more durable and eco friendly to help reduce the carbon foot print of the industry. Newer technology is also being introduced to reduce the time for construction of roads.