Preventing asphalt pickup on asphalt rollers is key to a successful pave. When pickup occurs, small pieces of aggregate are stripped from the freshly paved mat by the roller and leave holes in the asphalt. This leads to a quick deterioration of the pavement if not fixed properly, costing a contractor more money and time to either fix and repair. Luckily, it’s easy to prevent.

Let’s look at how we can prevent asphalt pickup with an asphalt roller release agent like PavePro Blue.

Asphalt pickup is when the fine particles within the mix detach from the aggregate and stick to pneumatic tires and steel rollers, which creates gaps in the asphalt mat. This issue requires the contractor to repair the surface, to prevent further problems in the pavement down the road: raveling, cracking, and disintegration.

Unfortunately for contractors, asphalt pickup results in delays in the project and increased expenses for both material and labor to repair the surface to prevent these problems. Because pneumatic tires and rollers tend to attract to the liquid asphalt, leading to the asphalt sticking to the roller, it becomes very difficult to prevent asphalt pickup from occurring.

However, there are a couple of strategies that can prevent asphalt roller pickup.

Operation Solutions To Prevent Roller Pickup

Before we even discuss the need for an asphalt roller release agent like PavePro Blue, we need to touch on the importance of proper roller operations. While using an asphalt release agent for your rollers is the best way to prevent asphalt pickup, proper operations and care of your roller play a big role too.

The first thing to do is pretty obvious, but you’ve got to check air tire pressure if you’re using a tire roller. Ensuring proper air tire pressure can help reduce pickup. An under-inflated tire will almost always have more aggregate sticking to it than a correctly inflated one.

The next thing to do is to keep the tires warm so that the oils don’t cool down and start to stick to the tires. When the temperature starts to drop, aggregate begins to pick up and stick.

It’s also important to keep the rollers moving. Even if the train stops, the rollers need to keep moving so they stay warm. The tires cool quickly and even a few minutes of sitting can increase the chances of asphalt pickup.

The best way to prevent asphalt pickup, however, is an asphalt release agent applied directly to the roller.

Using Asphalt Roller Release Agents

For years, diesel fuel has been used as an asphalt release agent throughout paving operations: on hand tools, truck beds and in pavers. But there is a huge problem with using diesel fuel as a release because it strips the oil from the aggregate and disintegrates the pavement over time. Whether in a truck bed or on a shovel, the diesel fuel strips the asphalt and stays in the pavement for a long time, slowly breaking it down and causing failure much more quickly.

The same principle applies to asphalt rollers as well. Surprisingly, it’s been done before. Diesel is not an acceptable asphalt pickup solution for several reasons. The most important reason it can’t be used as a release agent is the fact that it cuts right through a fresh mat, and reduces its strength and integrity. If asphalt pickup is a problem that you’re trying to solve because it weakens the mat’s surface, a release agent that further weakens the mat is obviously not the right solution.

If you’ve read our blog before, you know that diesel fuel is illegal to use as an asphalt release agent after being banned by three federal acts. If you want to stay out of trouble and produce quality work, it’s best to stay away from the “good ‘ol number 2.”

Use PavePro Blue As An Asphalt Roller Release Agent

The best way to prevent asphalt roller pickup is to use PavePro Blue in the roller’s existing water tank. Our release agent comes in two forms, ready-to-go and concentrate, is DOT-approved, and will not strip the asphalt. It is even biodegradable, so you don’t have to worry about getting in trouble with the law.

PavePro’s release agents are like no other. They have been tested by the National Transportation Product Evaluation Program (NTPEP) and completely shattered their scales. Literally. The testers stopped testing the product because it wouldn’t fail. That should speak volumes about how good this stuff is.

PavePro Blue prevents liquid asphalt from adhering to the roller and will eliminate the threat of asphalt pickup, ensuring a consistently smooth and strong mat every time you pave.