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Tools of the Trade

The Latest Generation of Paver Tools
are Functional and Safe

By Jodie Carter, regional editor




Steve Jones, president of Pave Tech, Inc., has spent a good part of his year career working in the field at what was once a backbreaking job-hauling and installing pavers. So when Jones says investing in quality products and equipment can improve quality and reduce injuries and turnover--you can bet he means it. Jones formed Pave Tech Inc.

Steve Jones, president of Pave Tech, Inc., has spent a good part of his year career working in the field at what was once a backbreaking job-hauling and installing pavers. So when Jones says investing in quality products and equipment can improve quality and reduce injuries and turnover--you can bet he means it. Jones formed Pave Tech Inc. in 1985 as a residential paver contractor, but within a few years Jones was developing and supplying specialty equipment and materials. By 1992, Jones was devoted full time to inventing and supplying paver equipment. During that time, Jones founded the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute, the industry association representing segmental interlocking pavers, with the goal of promoting and improving the quality of paving installations.






The width of the SandPull PRO Adjustable is easily adapted, allowing workers to screed different widths. Turn the SandPull over to "float" over the sand to smooth any size area.


"We've taken our experience from being contractors and turned it into a line of products and equipment for professional contractors. These products will help them not only do a better, more consistent job, but also to work more safely and efficiently--which in turn increases employee health and retention," assures Jones. "If you're willing to use better products, you can retain and attract higher quality workers."

Pave Tech is partnered with the German company Probst, which has been making segmental paving tool products to help contractors do a more efficient job since the 1950s.

"What Probst does with its products is to allow a fewer number of people to do a more consistent and high quality job for less effort," asserts Jones. "Investing in good equipment-it's just a good business decision."






The PaverSplitter's upper blade "L" cranks to adjust the blade height. Workers should adjust the handle down to a comfortable 45-degree-angle for better leverage when pushing the handle down to split the stone.











Here are just a few examples of smart, modern paving equipment products and how they're raising the bar on efficiency and safety.

SandPull PRO Adjustable

The Sandpull is an easily adjustable screed.

"If you're working with a very strong contour, you might want to adjust it down to work on a smaller area," suggests Jones. "To follow a changing contour-when trying to imitate a hill-you'll need to keep your screed as narrow as possible-otherwise you'll have big flats." The adjustable feature allows the SandPull PRO to get into those small places ordinary guides can't reach. Just turn the versatile SandPull PRO Adjustable over to "float" the sand, smoothing the area. The aluminum profile offers strength without weight.






Push the PaverExtractor down into the joint--hammering on the provided flat hammer points if needed--and squeeze the handle, lifting the paver out.


"Once you've struck off the sand you have to trowel out the rail mark-you can actually use the edging of the curb as your height guide, which saves you three to four percent of your time. When you add up all these savings it makes a lot of sense," asserts Jones.

PaverSpliter

The PaverSplitter's fixed, angled table enables operators to make double cuts and undercuts to ensure tight abutting of split pavers. Floating upper blades insure uniform top and bottom contact for cleaner, crisper splits. Four-sided top and bottom blades enable rotating to a fresh blade, should a blade wear down. The PaverSplitter is not recommended for use on natural stone but is perfect for splitting tumbled pavers.






Push on the PaverAdjustor's hand and foot rest to drive the adjustor into the joint and pivot to adjust.


"Tumbled pavers were tumbled for a reason--to give them that 'old world' look," says Jones. "If you use a sawcut on them, they lose that aged look. A splitter gives them a natural looking break. Splitters are the norm in Europe. The quality of concrete is higher over there than here. The higher the quality, the harder the concrete, the easier it is to split," assures Jones. When you apply a breaking force to hard concrete, it cracks cleaner and more true, but when you have soft concrete, it crumbles like a bad bar of soap.






Use the rubber-headed PaverPersuader to knock pavers into a tight formation without damage.


The PaverSplitter uses a concentric cam that lowers the blade, and the upper blade "L" cranks to adjust for height so you can adjust the handle down to a comfortable 45-degree-angle-an easy leverage point to push the handle down, splitting the stone. The cutting length is 13 inches. Cutting height is three-eights inch to four and three-quarter inches, dead weight of the PaverSplitter is 94 lbs.

PaverExtractor

The PaverExtractor is the efficient way to remove defective, cracked or broken pavers found during or after installation. As the tamp operator compacts the pavers into the sand, he/she will notice the broken cracked pavers and mark them with soap stone. Another worker will follow the tamp, pulling and replacing the bad pavers. To remove a defective paver that's been seated solidly with a tamp, just push the PaverExtractor down into the joint--hammering on the provided flat points if needed-and squeeze the handle, lifting the paver out. If the defective pavers have already been tamped and swept with sand, "They are really hard to get out," says Jones. He has seen many workers, bent over on hands and knees, wearing out a bucket-load of screwdrivers trying to wedge pavers out, often scratching up adjacent pavers in the process. The opening range of the PaverExtractor is three and one-third to 12 inches.






The PaverCart's long handles allow workers to stand upright while moving heavy bands of pavers. To pick up a band, position the cart immediately behind the pavers. Rotate the lever activating the center cam clamp, which will snap closed on the lower band, holding them securely. Standing with a straight back, tilt the cart back and haul them away. An optional third wheel can be installed for better balance and stability when hauling heavy loads.




PaverCart

The PaverCart is an exceptionally designed paver dolly cart. Dolly carts need to be strong enough to haul around a band of 500 to 700 pavers, supporting that enormous weight, while light enough not to add much additional weight. Pave Tech's PaverCart is designed with a dolly surface made of perforated steel. "The perforating holes save seven pounds off the weight of the unit, which allows the luxury of beefing up other parts of the cart," says Jones who adds that the handles on the cart were purposely made longer than most - long enough to offer good leverage and control.






The "bread roller" seen on the bottom of the cart is used for leverage to move the cart safely on or off a pallet of pavers.


An optional third wheel can be added to the cart to make it balance more steadily, like a tricycle. "With a 500 to 700 band of pavers it can be difficult to maintain balance, especially for smaller guys-it can be a safety issue," states Jones. A "bread roller" on the bottom of the cart offers a leverage point to move the cart on or off a pallet of pavers, easing the cart on and off the pallet with a controlled motion-so the loaded cart doesn't fall as it moves off the pallet, banging to the ground.






Paver carts need to be strong enough to haul around a band of 500 to 700 pavers, while light enough not to add weight. The perforated steel platform of the PaverCart is beefy enough to haul heavy loads, while reducing seven pounds off the weight of the total unit.




WallSplitter

The WallSplitter is the perfect alternative to saw cutting, providing the same look and texture as the split faced block. The WallSplitter has a large two-sided loading table, with one side solid mounted for perfect 90-degree splits, and another side that can be tilted to enable undercuts or double angle cuts. Floating upper blades ensure uniform contact top and bottom for cleaner, crisper splits. Four-sided blades on both top and bottom enable rotating to a fresh blade, should a blade wear. The WallSplitter is perfect for splitting pavers or concrete block for retaining walls, but is not recommended or warranted for use on natural stone. Turn levers on each side of the steel blade drivers can be adjusted so that the blades hit the block when the hand-operated splitter lever is at a comfortable 45-degree angle, ensuring good, safe leverage for the operator. The cutting length is 17 inches. Cutting height is three-eights to 12 inches. Dead weight is 145 pounds.






Used to split large pavers of up to 12 inches in height, the WallSplitter was designed with a two-sided loading table to easily achieve different cut angles. One side of the table is solid-mounted to achieve 90 degree splits. The second side can be adjusted to specified angles, enabling undercuts or double angle cuts.







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June 18, 2019, 8:42 am PDT

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