Nearly three-and-a-half decades on a journey of growth and success

By Jeff Winke

It has been 20 years since Carlson Paving Products was acquired by Astec Industries, the conglomerate of state-of-the-art, global leaders in the manufacture of equipment for asphalt road building and aggregate processing. And it was 14 years prior, in 1986, that Carlson Paving Products was founded and began its journey of growth and success.

Headquartered in Tacoma, Washington — a mid-sized, urban port city — Carlson is considered an asphalt paving industry leader in highway-class asphalt screeds, commercial-class paver platforms, and paving machine attachments that are designed to enhance the safety and longevity of roadways.

Carlson designs, engineers and builds all of its products and offers an array of equipment platforms in front-mount, rear-mount and fixed width orientations. Carlson is considered an expert on screed design and performance stretching back to its EZII front mount extensions in 1982.

Along with its full range of highway-class screeds, Carlson offers various attachment technologies that include the Carlson Safety Edge, which is designed to create thirty-degree roadway edges, and the Joint Density Attachments that are designed to improve density figures at the longitudinal joint. Carlson also offers work zone and mobile equipment lighting with its LED Blade LightTM, said to be the only directional lighting platform that is designed to eliminate glare, insects, heat, and that can be run on AC and DC power sources.

Entering into the commercial-class paver market in 2008, Carlson has grown its market share and now offers commercial paver models for the North American market, along with export-compliant platforms for Australia, Central and South America, and around the globe.
Carlson Paving Products asphalt paving machine models include:

CP75 II Commercial Class Paver
The mid-sized Commercial Class CP75 II is designed for jobsites ranging from driveways to large parking lots. Its compact design allows it to pave in size-restrictive locations, including parking garages or covered areas, while its low hood and screed-mounted controls which are mounted relative the operator are designed to provide optimal visibility and comfort for the crew. Coupled with the high torque 74hp Deutz Tier IV Final engine (no DEF), the class-exclusive High Flow Anti-mix Segregation Material Conveyor, and a 8’-15’ (2.43-4.59m) electrically heated screed.

CP85 Commercial Class Paver
The small CP85 is said to be built like a heavy-duty, highway-class paver, but is made for the commercial-class contractor. Intended for small- to large-scale commercial paving projects, the CP85 paver uses heavy-duty, fully replaceable highway-class wear components and the EZC815 electrically heated screed. The paver features a heavy-duty, single-piece frame constructed from cold-rolled steel. Power is delivered from the 74 horsepower (55kW) Caterpillar® 3.4B Tier IV Final (no DEF) turbocharged engine, coupled with load-sense hydraulics and heavy-duty 2 speed, triple reduction planetaries.

CP100 II Commercial Class Paver
From small to large-scale commercial paving projects, the CP100 II paver is designed to be used in size-restrictive areas, such as parking garages, while having the performance and contractor-focus for sizeable parking lot and municipal applications. The paver features a Cummins® Tier IV Final engine, highway-class wear components, and what the manufacturer considers a class-leading screed platform in the 8’-15’ EZCSS, the CP100 II features what is considered the heaviest-duty material distribution system in the commercial class, and a fully-rebuildable platform with replaceable auger flights, bolt-on replaceable floor plates and one piece steel frame for longer machine lifecycle. The machine is available in 2-worker and 3-worker configurations.

CP130 Commercial Class Paver
The CP130 Commercial Class Paver is designed to deliver highway-class build, material throughput, and mat quality in a heavy-duty commercial machine. Featuring a 130hp (97kW) Cummins® Tier IV Final engine, heavy-duty wear components and class-exclusive armrest controls, the CP130 is paired with the EZCSS single slide 8’-15’ screed, and is said to provide the paving performance of its highway-class models into a commercial class platform. The CP130 is designed for a wide range of paving applications including driveways, large commercial projects, municipal jobsites and county roadways. The CP130 is also available in an export compliant platform, the CP130i, complete with a transport width of 2.45m and a Cummins® Tier III engine.

Though it’s the paver that usually gets the glory, it is the low-profile screed that really can define the quality of the finished mat. Created in the 1930s, the asphalt screed revolutionized the asphalt pavement process. It’s a tool designed to flatten the material, set it to a certain width, and provide the initial smoothness. The screed a contractor chooses boils down to preference and crew training.

Fixed-width screeds, popular until the turn of the century, now represent only 2 or 3 percent of the market and are predominantly used for paving long sections.
Front-mount screeds manage material easily through the pass, with the mix typically in front. Rear-mount screeds are favored for wide-width paving.
Carlson Paving Products offers several front mount and a rear mount highway-class asphalt paver screed models.

EZIV Highway Class Front Mount Screed
The award-winning EZIV screed has helped contractors to earn Sheldon G. Hayes Awards and other accolades. The EZIV provides contractors with a heavy-duty screed platform for commercial, municipal and highway-class applications. It offers thin lift paving ability and a single slide extension support system combined with heavy-duty, adjustable wear components. The EZIV features 2% screed taper, which is designed to facilitate great outboard flow of material towards the endgates, whether the augers are in operation or not. Its 1/2” (13mm) Hardox 450 main and extension plates are combined with heating elements for even heat through use of full length element hold downs. And with its pivot point location, the EZIV is designed to achieve increased screeding surface, which should enhance the smoothness and ride quality of the mat while maximizing screed plate lifecycle. Available in 8-foot (2.44m) and 10-foot (3.05m) models, the EZIV can be mounted to all current North American paving machine models, as well as retrofitted onto nearly any older North American highway-class paver.

EZV Highway Class Front Mount Screed
The Carlson EZV Front Mount Screed offers a hydraulically extendable and a fixed width platform in one. Combined with an enhanced equal-width single-slide extension support system, the EZV can handle wide width paving projects up to 26’. The screed features a class-exclusive ability to pave as a fixed-width screed up to 30’ (9.1m). It offers a heavy-duty extruded aluminum frame between two-inch diameter chrome rods. With a standard paving width of 10’-19.5’ (3.05-5.9m), the EZV can be mounted to all current 10-foot North American models offered by the major paver manufacturers, as well as able to retrofit to nearly any previous 10-foot North American highway-class paver.

EZR2 Highway Class Rear Mount Screed
Able to achieve paving widths up to 22’ (6.7m) in the 8-foot model and 30’ (9.14m) in the 10-foot, the Carlson EZR2 Rear Mount Screed combines many of the company’s industry-leading screed features into a rear-mount screed platform. The EZR2 features 20” (508mm) deep, single piece main and extension plates. Offering more screeding surface which is designed to provide for enhanced mat quality and flatter angle of attack, the EZR2’s plates are paired with full length element hold downs and state-of-the-art electric heating elements that provide direct contact to the upper surface of the plate for clean, even heat. Simple leveling is achieved through Carlson’s unique deck cone adjusters, prolonging the lifecycle of the plates and ensuring flawless mats. The EZR2’s 4-inch (102mm) chrome rods are fixed to a heavy-duty tubular frame, providing the extensions rigidity. Combined with large adjustable slide blocks and bushings, the EZR2 is designed to eliminate flexing at wide widths. The EZR2 can be mounted to all current 8-foot and 10-foot North American models offered by the major paver manufacturers, as well as able to retrofit to nearly any previous 8-foot or 10-foot North American highway-class paver.

Since its beginning, and especially during the past 20 years, since it joined Astec Industries, Carlson Paving Products has assembled what it believes to be an impressive array of asphalt pavers, screeds, and other products it sells to the asphalt paving market globally.

Please visit or give us a call at 253.875.8000.

Jeff Winke is a business and construction writer based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. He can be reached through