Asphalt Paving Equipment & Tools

Written by shane grey
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Asphalt Paving Equipment & Tools
Many roads and highways are built of durable asphalt. (Asphalt image by Westa Zikas from

Spreading a long-lasting layer of asphalt, or “blacktop”, across car parks, playgrounds and highways requires the tools and equipment capable of combining and binding the petroleum-based “tar” with aggregate. Tools used to mix, distribute and spread asphalt range from simple hand tools to powerful machines. An investment in reliable asphalt paving equipment pays dividends through the lasting, renewable surface it provides. Familiarise yourself with the paving tools available and choose according to the scope and scale of your project.

Surveyor’s Level

This tool allows a surveyor to determine angles and grades relative to the earth’s true horizon. Prior to excavation and road building, a surveyor uses this tool to level, mark and stake the location and elevation of the road. The surveyor’s level appears similar to a small telescope and mounts atop an adjustable tripod. A spirit level inside the scope allows the surveyor to orient the instrument to a level position.


For small and large jobs alike, round-nosed shovels dig and square-nosed shovels distribute material. Pavers use a spade-shaped, round-nosed shovel to finish off the digging work completed by machinery. Square-nosed shovels are used frequently to distribute dirt, asphalt and rock into the gaps and cracks left by grading and paving machinery.


The tamper manually compacts surfaces and paving materials, including soil, rock underlayment and asphalt. Tampers are large metal plates attached to handles that stretch about chest high. The handles allow a worker to lift and pound the plate repeatedly against the ground, levelling and compacting layers to make them solid and dense.


The earthmoving grader clears the path for asphalt road construction. The grader is a specialised type of bulldozer with long blades that move and shape soil along the intended path of an asphalt road. An internal combustion engine powers the four or more massive wheels of the grader and hydraulics hoist its cutting and shaping blades.


The paver, or paving machine, applies a mixture of aggregate and asphalt to prepared surfaces. About the size of a bulldozer, the paver features a compartment that holds, releases and evenly distributes asphalt. As asphalt leaves the paver’s holding compartment, a series of nozzles coat it with binder and the paver’s blades and rollers shape, form and compress the applied mixture.


The roller finishes off the paving process by compressing newly applied asphalt with a massive rolling pin. Roller pins are measured in tons. They are big, heavy and ensure densely pack layers of asphalt. Rollers, like graders and pavers, are heavy pieces of equipment powered by internal combustion engines.

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