Asphalt Hauling and Transportation
Asphalt and blacktop are a combination of stone aggregates, fillers, and a binder. Aggregates consist of crushed stone, sand, and some recycling materials, the binder is used as glue to hold the materials together. The binder most used is a thick bitumen. Bitumen is a byproduct of the distillation of crude oil. It is what is left over after distilling all different products such as gasoline and other gases.
85% of all bitumen produced is used for Asphalt and Blacktop paving. In the United States, over 100 million tons of asphalt binder is used annually. Suppliers and manufacturers of bitumen and asphalt use specialized machinery and procedures to carefully manufacture the material and transporting hot asphalt is very important to hauling it appropriately.
There several means of transporting hot asphalt and bitumen.
A barge is a flat-bottomed boat specifically built for transporting large loads through rivers or canals. These barges may be propelled by its own engine or towed by a towboat.
Transporting by barge is considered the most cost-effective and clean method. One major consideration when hauling asphalt or bitumen by barge is that it must be maintained at the desired temperature for proper handling. Suppliers usually load the binder at 300°F onto the barge and it is kept at that temperature during transit.
Transporting by train is also a common means of hauling bitumen and asphalt materials through the USA. This material is stored in 90-ton cars. As mentioned before, maintaining the desired temperature makes it ideal for handling during unloading. A disadvantage that railing transportation has is that the cars are not heated and depending on the distance and time during the route, the material may need to be reheated.
Hauling by Truck
We are very familiar with truck transportation and it is the most familiar means for transporting asphalt. Truck transportation has several advantages, it gives suppliers more control in regards to delivery time but it also has disadvantages. Delivering by truck is considered the most expensive means. Another concern is contamination. Trucks can handle small quantities of material at one time, contamination can occur when small quantities of material are left in the truck tank from previous loads.
Safety requires careful consideration and enforcement when transporting bitumen and asphalt materials. Gases can build up in the tank and cause severe harm or explosions if not handled properly. Every person, driver, or handler must have and be familiar with the product’s Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) The MSDS has very important information contained in the product. It will indicate the makeup of the material and highlight its flashpoint, boiling point, acute, and chronic effects of the materials. It will also list recommended Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and fire emergency and clean up in case of a spill or accident.
Bitument is a crucial ingredient for the production of asphalt and blacktop and having an effective transportation system is just as important.
If you are a supplier, transportation company of bitumen and asphalt materials, we welcome you to list your business in our Asphalt Hauling category.