Don’t Be Scared of Micro Surfacing

I had the privilege of interviewing one of our customers, Larry Parker from Desert West, about his recent experience with the M310E and variable spreader box.  Below is an excerpt from our conversation about the job featured in the video.

Q: Was the Roswell Mall a paid project or just practice with the M310E?

A: It was a paid project that was our actual first time we tried to do it right.  It was literally the first time we hooked the box on and drug it.

Q:  How long did it take to finish the project?

A:  Well my aggregate supplier sent me the wrong product, but it was only 8,000 sq yards.  We certainly could have finished it in a few hours.  Had we had all our materials to start, it would have only been a few hours.

Q:  Was your customer happy with the end result?

A: Yes, this was some terrible pavement that needed to be torn out on part of it. We did a double application on the really bad areas.  They are just like everyone, not enough money to meet their needs.  This was just something to make it last a lot longer.  We put a double application on both areas and it ended up being a 2 or 3-hour project – or it should have been.

Q:  Because this was the first time your crew used the M310E, what did you learn about the equipment?

A:  Well we learned a lot.  We had Zach Jensen [Bergkamp Product Manager] come out here two or three days before to go over the truck itself and the functions.  Course we had talked about it for weeks and Zach gave us an idea of what to expect and what we needed to do.   Honestly, after our first truckload of material that ran through the machine, I was doing the line driving and I had an issue keeping straight and watching what’s going on to keep going.  By the time we got through the second load, everything was straight, the guys were comfortable, and the stuff was laying down like butter.  We’ve done micro with smaller manual machines, not the computer-aided stuff, and it’s a struggle to keep everything calibrated.  The design of the [spreader] box where it expands to different widths is a really handy part of that.  That [project] had a header curb on both sides so if you’re not driving perfectly and the guy doesn’t shift the box over, you can make it a little wider and catch an inch or two that we weren’t fixing to catch.  We learned a whole lot real quick, but by the end of the day we were laying, I felt comfortable and relaxed.  I’ve been worried sick about this because this is a huge purchase for us.  Nearly a million dollars once you get the truck and loaders.  Just to know this equipment does exactly what it’s supposed to do with a beautiful looking mat – best mat I’ve ever seen – just the ease of how it cleans.  We are above and beyond excited about it.  We fought it with the other manual machines and its easy with this equipment.

Q:  Is there anything you would have done differently after finishing this project?

A:  I don’t think so.  From the beginning, it has been an easy experience working with Bergkamp.  This all started back in the winter time over a conversation with a partner of mine that we do a lot of sub work for.  He was saying that we need to look at this micro surfacing.  From calling and looking up Bergkamp on my phone driving down I-10, I had a call back in 30 minutes from Tyler and the next morning we had a quote in hand.  We didn’t know if they [M310E] were $100,000 or $1,000,000, no idea.  In my opinion, you guys have overly taken care of us over and above any vendor that I buy equipment or even have services for.  I wouldn’t do anything different.  I think I picked the right equipment from day one.  I looked at other equipment really hard and now that we have been in one [M310E] and been laying, I know we make the right choice.

Q:  Because your crew was a little worried about this, what advice would you give to a new crew just starting with micro surfacing?

A:  Don’t be scared.  It’s not that difficult when the equipment is doing what it is supposed to do, and your mix designs are done properly, it’s not that hard.  With the struggles we’ve had with the little bit of micro we’ve done before; my guys were not happy when I told them I purchased two big machines because they know the fight we’ve had.  Now their whole attitude is changed.  They aren’t afraid of it.  We are more than pleased and everyone is good.  We have a small crew and 4 or 5 of us can make this happen.  Tyler has been excellent.  Zach is a great kid and that young man is years above his age and knowledge.  He is an extremely valuable asset!  All the way from the guys in the office, Rex and Mr. Cooper are so pleasant to deal with.  We ordered these trucks with a pintle hitch that was a new design for Bergkamp and you guys have been more than helpful with developing that and not charging us.  Nothing bad to say about Bergkamp and all its people.  You’ve all been very pleasant.

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Bergkamp Inc.
Bergkamp Inc.