Concrete is the best material for truck courts for many reasons. When heavy trucks sit on a paved surface for an extended period of time, the wheels can easily sink into an asphalt pavement. Asphalt is a flexible pavement and in the heat of the summer it is particularly susceptible to this occurrence. Concrete is a rigid pavement that will not dent. Introducing wire mesh or metal rebar into the slab, makes an extremely strong concrete and steel matrix that will hold up much longer than asphalt under the weighty load of heavy trucks.
The landing gear of a tractor trailer exerts an extremely high downward force on the pavement. Landing gear can easily produce dents and deep holes in an asphalt pavement and can in some instances, result in the gear completely falling through the pavement. Concrete is not susceptible to this type of problem. Concrete also is not adversely affected by oil spills. The hydraulic fluids that frequently leak from trucks will not soften the pavement.
- Lay out and mark the area where the truck court is to be installed or repaired.
- Set up warning barriers to make the work site safe.
- Jackhammer or saw cut the perimeter of the existing concrete or asphalt to produce a smooth and even edge.
- Excavate the concrete, asphalt or other material and haul to recycling facility.
- The new concrete should be at least 6″ thick, if subgrade conditions are good. If subgrade conditions are poor, then the concrete thickness should be increased to 8″ and additional crushed stone should be installed if necessary.
- Install 4″ – 8″ of crushed stone, if warranted, and compact thoroughly using a vibratory tamper.
- Install 6 x 6 #10 welded wire mesh or 1/2″ (#4) steel rebar to strengthen the slab. Rebar should be placed in a criss-cross pattern and tied with wire. Wire or rebar should be set on “chairs” so it stays in the middle of the slab. Wire or rebar that falls to the bottom of the concrete does not add additional strength to the matrix.
- Set concrete forms using metal or wood forms, pinned at sufficient intervals to keep the forms from disfiguring or “blowing out” when the concrete is introduced.
- Pour concrete using 3500 psi or 4000 psi air-entrained mix. Air entrainment is used for exterior concrete only and helps it endure changing weather conditions.
- Trowel the concrete level and score control joints in the slab. If the slab is rectangular, then control joints can be used to create “squares” of concrete. The control joints are used to “control” cracking of the slab. As expansion and contraction is a natural occurrence for concrete, it will inevitably crack. It is generally accepted that a square pattern is best to reduce the chance of random cracking in the slab and to allow cracks to form within these joints. The largest square should be no more than 15′ x 15′.
- In large slabs, expansion joints should be installed at regular intervals. Your Pavement Network professional can make a recommendation on placement of expansion joints.
- Apply broom finish to the concrete once it is partially set.
- Once concrete has completely set, strip forms and remove from the site. Any available dirt from on site can be used to backfill the voids where the forms were, if necessary.
- Remove any remaining trash or debris.
- Keep the truck court free of heavy traffic for a minimum of seven days.