March 05, 2024

Guardian telematics system saves Texas paving company from a costly repair

ASTEC Digital’s Guardian asphalt mobile telematics system at work.

ASTEC Digital’s Guardian asphalt mobile telematics system at work.

Chance Floyd, construction manager at RK Hall, can quantify ASTEC Digital’s Guardian telematics system's impact on the Texas-based company. Not only has the telematics and equipment manager improved RK Hall’s ability to troubleshoot equipment problems and its efficiency during downtime, but it saved the company thousands of dollars.

After RK Hall purchased two pavers in the same year, one had a fan motor pump fail, necessitating a costly repair. Not even a month later, Floyd got a call from a paving crew: there was a subtle but worrying noise coming from the other paver. Floyd fired up Guardian, checked the paver’s fan motors, and noticed one had a restriction that indicated it was on the fritz. He was able to shut the machine down before any damage had been done. “It costs thousands to have those machines repaired, and I saved that money right away,” he says.

RK Hall is a vertically integrated aggregate, hot mix asphalt paving and ready-mix concrete firm that has operating companies across Texas, southern Oklahoma, and southwest Arkansas. The company began using the Guardian telematics system in 2017 and has since installed it on 12 units—a combination of shuttle buggies and pavers—across five paving crews. It will soon add Guardian to two additional units.

The company prides itself on a high-quality, high-performance paving job. “When someone gets on a highway we paved, we don’t want them to say, ‘Man, this ride’s rough.’ We want them to say, ‘This is the smoothest thing I’ve been on in 100 miles,’” Floyd says. Guardian has helped RK Hall deliver on that commitment.

When paving crews are experiencing choppiness as they lay down asphalt, Floyd is able to use Guardian to remotely connect to the automated levelling system that RK Hall uses to determine what adjustments the crew needs to make to return to optimum smoothness as quickly as possible. Given that pavers run roughly 30 feet per minute, Floyd says that time is of the essence. In the years since RK Hall began using Guardian, the company has worked with ASTEC Digital to send adjustments directly from Floyd’s tablet to the automated levelling system.

Floyd says he’s such a fan of the telematics and equipment diagnostics system that he recently convinced the representative of another Texas paving company to subscribe to Guardian by demonstrating the system’s ability to monitor pavers’ hydraulics, pressure, and paving speed. Being able to see the paving speed has been particularly valuable, he says: RK Hall’s quality control department recently called Floyd and warned him that pavers were outrunning rollers at one of the company’s paving jobs. “I pulled up Guardian immediately, called the crew, and said, ‘Hey, there’s a set point you’re supposed to be at.’ It’s a great monitoring tool.”

RK Hall has also increasingly leveraged Guardian’s real-time monitoring capabilities to troubleshoot issues with its mobile assets and increase the efficiency of its downtime. For example, when the propel switch on a paver isn’t working, Floyd can use Guardian to identify whether it’s sending a current or if the issue is with the pump not receiving the current. “It allows us to figure out what part we need before we get there,” he says.


ASTEC Digital’s Guardian asphalt mobile telematics system.


Twelve mobile units — a combination of shuttle buggies and pavers — across five RK Hall paving crews in Texas.


Texas-based RK Hall wanted a monitoring solution for its mobile fleet of shuttle buggies and pavers to ensure it’s producing the high-quality paving jobs it prides itself on and improve its efficiency during equipment downtime.


RK Hall began using the Guardian telematics system in 2017 and has since installed it on 12 shuttle buggies and pavers.


Guardian saved RK Hall $19,000 on what would have been a costly paver repair by allowing the company to identify a fan motor issue quickly. It has also helped the company troubleshoot and address choppiness and any maintenance issues during a paving job. RK Hall is planning to add Guardian to an additional two units.

Optimize your operations with intuitive, precise, intelligent asphalt plant control systems. ASTEC Digital’s telematics and plant control systems simplify and improve plant management for the asphalt industry. Visit our website to learn more.