What can I use to clean paving equipment other than diesel fuel?
Asphalt Release Agents broadly define a family of products that are designed to replace the use of fuel oil and other petrochemical solvents used for asphalt production. There are two areas in the paving operation these release agents are typically used: cleaning truck beds and cleaning paving equipment.
Cleaning Truck Beds
Every NYSDOT approved HMA Facility has a spray system that should be used to coat the truck bed prior to loading the hot mix asphalt (HMA). The producers are required to supply asphalt release agents that are environmentally friendly and a list of approved materials can be found on the NYSDOT Website linked below.
Many paving contractors use a citrus solvent to clean equipment and tools. Soy based products are another favorite. Many of the manufacturers of the NYSDOT approved release agents also produce these types of materials. It should be noted that while the materials themselves are “environmentally friendly,” they still create a “sludge” that that has to be contained and disposed of properly. The most significant problems with these non-petroleum based solvents are their high cost and low flash points. Before deciding on which product to use, check out the MSDS document for each product, which you can usually find on the manufacturers website.
NYSDOT Website - Release Agents for Use On Hot Mix Asphalt (HMA) Hauling Equipment