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Creating Traffic Messages with Pavement Marking Equipment

March 21, 2019

Pavement marking equipment is used to restore faded markings on roads and parking lots. The job calls for a variety of products from paint to paint trucks. These powerful machines ultimately create text, lines and symbols that communicate with drivers. Here’s a deeper look at pavement marking equipment.

Various Pavement Marking Equipment

The Federal Department of Transportation defines pavement marking equipment as capable of traveling at certain speeds uphill and downhill, capable of laying glass spheres to the surface and capable of spraying paint with the appropriate thickness. Materials applied to a surface include an adhesive, standard paint, durable paint and glass spheres.

One of the most commonly used machines for intersections and parking lots is a handliner, which is a small truck useful for detailed work. Large long-line trucks are the more appropriate choice for large projects that cover several miles. Both handliners and long-line trucks can apply double stripes as well as thermoplastic material.

Other types of gear include hand-held heat, melting kettles, epoxy guns, riding stripers and pavement patching equipment. Grinders are used to prep work areas. Some portable devices have multiple uses, such as the Epoxy 160SP machine, which serves as a portable meter, mix, and dispensing system. It’s a useful choice for limiting exposure to fumes.

Paint is often used for temporary markings that aren’t expected to last longer than a year. Thermoplastic is a more durable solution that decreases the amount of remarkings on the same street. The main concern about applying thermoplastic besides cleaning and drying the surface is that the heat reaches above 50 degrees Fahrenheit. It can be applied in various ways including with a spray gun or a ribbon gun.

Pavement Marking Safety

Working with any kind of pavement marking equipment requires attention paid to safety, since it involves working with dangerous materials and machinery. When using thermoplastic materials, contractors should wear proper eye and skin protection. Operators should be aware of the temperature of the equipment and material, making sure it does not become over-heated. Applying paint on a road may require barricading and the placement of road work signs.

Working with striping machines capable of high air pressure up to 3000 psi should also be a concern for the work crew. Risks should always be assessed by the operator prior to arriving at the job site.

In places where there is predictably heavy traffic, it’s important to remark the pavement often as a priority due to wear and tear. Many times pavement markings are what get a driver’s attention first before signs on the right side of the road. Pavement markings should be updated so that they are clear and visible day or night, especially in areas where safety is a question.


Drivers need to see pavement markings clearly to ensure safe traffic conditions. The markings must be inspected periodically to make sure they can be seen from a sufficient distance. For more information on pavement marking equipment contact Zumar at our Arizona, California or Washington location.

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