Bitumen project moving slowly due economic issue and rainy season in Africa.The pressure on road paving is increasing for a variety of reasons including climate change and rising average ambient air temperatures. Roads are not designed to withstand this, leading to early-life surface rutting and deformation that has to be repaired more frequently, and that is not sustainable.
The new generation of fuel-efficient autonomous vehicles, whether they be hybrid or fully electric, represent another significant challenge when it comes to road maintenance. Autonomous vehicles will move very close together one after the other in a ‘canalised’ fashion, with very few rest periods.While this may be good for both commuters and the environment, it will inevitably place additional strain on road networks because all of that stress is being exerted by vehicles on the pavement in exactly the same points on the road surface every time, which will lead to more early-life failures.
The transition from conventional dual-wheel axles on vehicles to super single tyres, while undeniably good in terms of reducing tyre wear, also results in higher levels of pavement damage. Similarly, leaks from poorly maintained air suspensions can lead to steel-on-steel contact instead of a cushioned load, meaning the actual peak loads being applied on the road surface are much higher.
We are also witnessing a tendency for haulage companies to carry more freight on a single vehicle. Again, this is good for the environment, but the increased weight can lead to more road damage.The road paving industry has a key role to play in this sustainable future, and I am proud that we are continuing to lead the way in developing innovative, impactful solutions that empower our customers to make positive changes now.