Tom Webber, street supervisor for the city of Sacramento, Calif., is responsible for line striping and legend marking for 2750 lane miles of city roadway. This includes 600 crosswalks and more than 150 school zones. Since 1999, an average of 10 intersections have been added annually to the city plan, with growth expected to continue. Webber faced a dilemma—managing a steep annual workload increase without adding personnel.
The stencil application program is the most time-consuming and labor-intensive aspect of pavement marking. The most common method uses a trailer- or truck-mounted applicator, aluminum stencils, and a manual extrude applicator. Crews have to maneuver around intersections to position the vehicle, causing traffic and safety disturbances. Material then is added to the applicator, and the legend is applied by running the cart over the stencils. The applicator is reloaded and the stencils are scraped off to allow a clean pass for the next legend.
To help simplify this process, Webber contacted TMT-Pathway—a division of St. Charles, Mo.-based Jackson Products—and described his problem. The solution, designed by the company's engineers, took an innovative look at how thermoplastic legends are applied. By enhancing the application with a faster, more efficient, safer stenciling unit, Webber would save the city time and money.
Rather than using the old extrusion method, the TMT-1004TS uses a spray system with a hydraulically adjustable floating extension boom. The system eliminates loading and unloading of an application cart, enhancing crew safety by reducing exposure to traffic. The spray boom floats over the legend, moving easily above the entire stencil, reducing operator fatigue. The resulting legend is applied in half the time of the extrusion method and the process eliminates cleaning between applications.
The solution solved Webber's problem in an economical and safe way. “Before, when using the old method of hand liners, we had a crew of three,” said Webber. “Now we have a crew of two, and our production has doubled.”
“The TMT-1004TS is moving us into a different century,” said Kevin Wasson, public works crew leader. “It increases our production and reduces operator effort. We simply get a lot more work done.”
— Rachel Hinson is marketing coordinator and Tony Becker is assistant sales manager with TMT-Pathway.