Understanding Different Supplies At Work

Why Your Asphalt And Paving Contractor Does Not Sell Asphalt, But They Know How To Get It

People often assume that asphalt contractors have a constant supply of asphalt and bitumen products at their disposal. That is only partially true. Asphalt contractors do not have their own asphalt and bitumen production plants, but they do know how to acquire these products through asphalt suppliers. Here are some of the more common places from which your contractor acquires paving materials. 

Oil Company Subsidiaries

Asphalt and bitumen contain tar, which comes from oil pits, oil sands, and tar pits. The tar is a byproduct of oil. Oil from all of these sources is shipped to refineries, where it is processed to a point. The more crude residues are then shipped to the subsidiaries of the oil companies, where it is turned into tar and then into bitumen and asphalt.

Most of the time these products are produced as "on demand" products, simply because asphalt and bitumen have to be kept really hot all the time or they will solidify, cool, and become useless. This last reason is precisely why asphalt and paving contractors do not lug asphalt around with them when they are working on roads. The product would become useless in a short time if they attempted to barrel it and haul it about until they were ready to use it. 

Road Material Recycling Plants

Given the recent developments in the limits of fossil fuels, there is concern that future roads will not have paving unless something can be done. It has led asphalt production and recycling companies to look at recycling asphalt and road materials in ways which provide more asphalt for paving. These plants are not common, but if there is one near you, your asphalt/paving contractor may look into acquiring paving materials this way. The recycled asphalt and bitumen go through an extensive process to make it a reusable material, but it may be a less expensive option if you only need to fill potholes or you are just paving a short driveway.

Finding the Asphalt Supplier with the Best Price

Your paving contractor will do their best to find asphalt for your project at a price you can afford. Many of the companies that produce asphalt and bitumen provide quotes to contractors, who then provide the estimates to you. Discuss these quotes and options at length with your paving contractor so that you get exactly the right kind of paved surface you are looking for in a road or driveway.