Chapter1: A Brief History Of Roads - Where The Path Began.
Chapter2: Bulldozers - The Tough Guys.
Chapter3: Excavators - Digging For Dollars.
Chapter4: Scrapers - Push-Pull Production.
Chapter5: Graders - Earth Sculptors.
Chapter6: Milling Machines - A Cut Above.
Chapter7: Pavers - Laying It Down.
Chapter8: Rollers & Compactors - Where A Breakdown Is Good.
One of the great things about being a little kid is playing with toys. And some of the most fondly remembered toys are the Tonka Toys. These bright yellow replicas of real, heavy equipment fired our imaginations. We tore up mom's flower beds on a regular basis with our land improvements and moved topsoil by the tiny bucket load. We could imitate the sounds of big motors, growling and screeching, as we crushed the azaleas and rolled over the petunias. We got dirty along with our big, tough toys.
We all dreamed of running those large machines, whether it was a grader, an excavator or a bulldozer. Some dreams are never realized. We grow up to teach school, sell computers, or even write books. But, there are the lucky few who get to operate the big iron. They get to build America's roads and operate road construction equipment. Each year, teams of huge, powerful machines move tons of earth and lay down thousands of cubic feet of concrete and asphalt. These earth sculptors can move tons of dirt with the grace of a dancer. They lay pavement as smooth as a billiard table. Millions of motorists travel along these well-constructed roads and highways, which link people to home, work, and play.
The road construction team consists of many players. Bulldozers are the tough guys that clear away tree stumps and level the ground. Excavators are the diggers. They cut, or remove, large amounts of soil and dig drainage lines. Scrapers come in next to cut and fill, meaning they remove soil from a high area and transport it to a low area. Graders follow as finishing machines. Their job is to give the dirt road its final, smooth finish prior to paving. Pavers do just that-they pave the road with asphalt or concrete. Rollers and compactors finish the job, ensuring that the road surface is smooth and reliable. We will also look at milling machines, which chew up old roads so they can be repaved.