J.D. Abrams LP started their company in 1966 in El Paso, Texas, specializing in canal work. Shortly thereafter, they entered into the highway market to become the heavy and highway contractor that they are today. The company's corporate office is located in Austin, with branch offices in Houston, Dallas, and El Paso. They have paved with GOMACO equipment since 1968, when the company purchased their first C-450 cylinder finisher machine.
At the end of last year, J.D. Abrams decided it was time to add another machine to their inventory. A machine capable of slipforming both side-mounted shoulder and barrier. They looked at the newest paver GOMACO had to offer, the four-track GP-2400.
"We had two opportunities in front of us," Brad Everett, Vice President of Operations for J.D. Abrams, said. "One was barrier wall and the other was side draft paving. With the GP-2400, we are able to take on both of those with one machine."
J.D. Abrams took delivery of their new GP-2400 earlier this year. It has been at work on the Border Highway in El Paso ever since slipforming 10 foot (3 m) wide sidemounted shoulder. The scab-on shoulder is 11 inches (279 mm) thick and slipformed over single-mat steel reinforcing.
"The continually-reinforced concrete is typical Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT) paving," Everett said. "On this project, we have electrical boxes approximately every 300 feet (91.4 m), and we were concerned we would have to hand pour or form around those boxes. We figured out we could slipform right over those boxes with the GP-2400 so we're very, very pleased."
The shoulder also has a keyway slipformed into the outside edge to allow precast barrier wall to be placed and secured along the highway. The keyway is an attachment that is bolted onto the shoulder mold and forms the square keyway.
A GOMACO 9500 placer works in front of the GP-2400 paver. Trucks dump the approximately one inch (25 mm) slump TxDOT-approved concrete into the hopper on the 9500. The 9500's long placing conveyor places the concrete over the steel reinforcing and helps increase paving production on J.D. Abrams' projects.
"The 9500 helps us put more concrete out there faster," Everett explained. "We always want to get the most production we can from our pavers, get more concrete down in a day, and the 9500 allows us to do that. It's a great machine for us."
Paving production typically averages 2000 cubic yards (1529 m3) per day. Their best production has reached up to 20 feet (6.1 m) per minute.
The GP-2400 is not running on stringline for the scab-on shoulder. J.D. Abrams is using steer sensors that follow the edge of the existing slab and the paver slipforms locked to grade. A sensor with a spring-loaded plate is attached to the back, right side of the mold and traces the edge of the existing slab.
The GP-2400 features GOMACO's new proprietary G+ control system. J.D. Abrams' operator learned the new system quickly and is enjoying the system's easy operation. He also has an excellent view of the entire paving operation and the G+ controller from the operator's platform on top of the paver.
"We're very pleased with our GP-2400," Everett said. "Almost every job we're on has an application for it whether it's a barrier situation, a shoulder, or concrete adjacent to a retaining wall. It has a lot of applications for us and we're looking forward to giving it a lot more use."