The asphalt paving industry is just beginning to get its “foot in the door” when it comes to automated systems. The idea is to take an engineered design or survey of a site and create a working grading plan for a project. From that point, equipment has become smart enough to read these designs and create them in real-time with an operator’s guidance. This technology is called machine control, and it will soon play a major role in every phase of an asphalt paving project, from dirt-work to paving.


When surveying a site, the GPS equipment control uses a maintained system called Global Navigation Satellite Systems (GNSS). The GNSS provides survey positioning corrections throughout the entire state of Minnesota. This gives BR staff the ability to stay mobile and topo graph any site with the use of Wi-Fi and surveyor equipment, called rovers. We are then able to upload these surveys into our computers to design sites with accuracy and precision through a project design software called AutoCAD. We then export these designs into our equipment that connect to a custom coordinate system and begin building the projects. With the guidance of an operator and the automation of the machine control, the equipment is capable of pushing material and shaping dirt with a design error of less than one-inch throughout an entire site.


BR currently has multiple field engineers working on project designs and grading plans using GPS machine control and are using the new technology on dozers, blades, and backhoes. We have started with the automation of dirt-work rather than paving or milling because we consider it to be the backbone of a project. If the grading is done perfectly, it makes every other phase of the project easier, such as paving. To pave, the operators can focus solely on installing the correct thickness of asphalt and everything will function properly because of the precision grading done by GPS machine control. It also gives us a greater certainty that projects will drain and comply with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA) requirements.


Machine control will someday play a role in every facet of the construction industry. It gives operators and site personnel the peace of mind, knowing their project is being created properly from start to finish. It also significantly increases production rates and decreases the physical labor required to layout a project. The possibilities with machine control are endless and the efficiencies will be shown through our competitive pricing and top-tier workmanship.


Contact Bituminous Roadways Today

For more than 70 years, Bituminous Roadways, Inc. has sought out innovative ways to increase productivity, decrease errors and create efficiencies in every part of our business. If you are looking for an asphalt paving contractor in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area to handle your pavement projects, look no further! Contact us today at 651-686-7001 or request a consultation online. We’d be happy to provide you with a free estimate on your next asphalt paving project!