On the Road


Making Long-Lasting Roads: Tip #2 Let’s Be TACKtical

Welcome back. I hope you enjoyed my previous blog post and learned about the many adverse effects dirty/dusty pavements can have on properly bonding asphalt roads. This time, I want to address eliminating tracking and improving bond strength with premium tack vs. commodity tack.

Paving the road

Let’s talk about trackless tack

Here at Blacklidge, we take pride in our premium products, including UltraTack—the original trackless tack. The quality of a premium tack, like ours, far surpasses the performance of a commodity product. When commodity or tracking tacks are used, taxpayers end up footing a larger bill and are stuck with an inferior road. Just take a look at this chart provided to us by the Virginia D.O.T. (1)

This chart shows us that premium trackless product:

  • Requires less material to get the job done
  • Dries more rapidly
  • Is much stronger
  • Results in a longer-lasting road

As I did in my first article, I will compare tack to paint. If you go with the cheap stuff, you’ll end up using more of it to get the coverage you want, spending more time and money in the long run. The Virginia D.O.T. ran the numbers and concluded they could save up to $3M on a single project using premium trackless tack. (1)

Trackless tack is hitting the road

Virginia is not the only state agency to realize that using trackless tack will give you a safer, more cost effective, and longer lasting road. For several years, Florida has only allowed trackless products in the building of its roads and highways. And just recently, Texas implemented a process to identify and categorize trackless tacks. Many other cities and counties have also learned the value of properly tacking roads for superior bond strength, ultimately resulting in longer road life.

I look forward to seeing more D.O.T.’s and municipalities adopt premium tack coats into their road construction projects. In time, I predict premium tack will be standard practice across the country and tracking will become a thing of the past. Until then, take the high road and choose quality tack for long-lasting roads.

(1) Source: “Trackless Tack Coat – A Better Way to Pave” Virginia Asphalt Acceptance Program (VAAP) Annual Meeting. VDOT (May 2017).


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