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Archive for the ‘Selection Process’ Category

Visit SMITH Stocking Dealers and Remove Faster

Monday, June 19th, 2017

Do you want to make your hard work of preparing concrete and asphalt surfaces, faster and easier?

Visit an Authorized SMITH Stocking Dealer!

SMITH partners with top pavement maintenance and concrete flooring maintenance dealers and resellers with a proven track record of delivering high-performance solutions to their customers.

Our dealer network is comprised of experienced professionals who stock, promote, sell, and service the SMITH brand to their qualified customer network with excellent showroom facilities and in-the-field product demonstration throughout their territory.


The SMITH brand is a reliable surface-prep solution consisting of a fast, easy, and cost-effective rotary and drum-style surface conditioners designed to support installation and repair of coatings, flooring and pavement marking systems. When applied with the proven SMITHing process, surfaces become safer and sustainable.

If you work on concrete or asphalt roadways, parking areas, sidewalks, floors, balconies and decks, a SMITH is the preferred choice by professionals to:

  • Remove walkway trip-hazards or uneven surfaces
  • Wipe-out flaking paints and coatings 
  • Surface-Prep overlayments for lasting surface bonds
  • Groove or grind into surfaces 
  • Erase stripes without grooves or undulations. 
  • Eliminate water pooling and edge flow lines 
  • Abrade non-skids and increase surface traction.
  • Eradicate glues, surface marks and material build-ups 
  • Mill, Plane, Reduce, Route, Scabble, Cut, Clean and more . . .

To find an authorized SMITH Dealer, please click here.

Mention code “CutterSmithy” for a special first order discount.

Marking Removal 101, Rotary or Drum, what to use on pavements and floors

Thursday, June 1st, 2017

Marking Removal – Drum or Rotary?

marking removal

On March 22, 2017, Steven Smith presented “Marking Removal 101” at the ATSSA How-To Conference to help stripers decide which style of pavement-marking remover (drum or rotary) is best.

This presentation will help the user select the right equipment to remove and replace pavement markings cost-effectively without ghost lines or grooves.

Leaving grooves when removing markings makes driving and biking unsafe. Grooving also causes pavement surfaces to rut and fail prematurely.

Never buy a pavement marking remover or surface-prep machine until you read this

Monday, September 19th, 2016

Equipment Selection Made Easy

marking removal

This process will help you select the right pavement marking removal or surface-prep machine.

We are frequently asked if there is a simple technique that companies can use to help select the right machine to remove pavement markings, groove-inlay to recess markings and/or to prep-before-stripe work.

Many find it difficult to obtain unbiased information about prep equipment. Obviously, people selling machines are skilled at pointing out the advantages of their products over those of the competition, and just as skilled at downplaying the limitations inherent in their machines. 

Marketing brochures can effectively convey machine features and some level of technical performance data, but they do not provide true comparisons with competitive machines.

The best advice we can provide is to use a technique we found useful when evaluating alternative products (not just removal machines). 

This technique is simple enough for anyone to use, yet ensures a structured approach to the equipment selection process. Perhaps even more importantly, the technique ensures all users have sufficient input to the decision-making process.

Step 1. Meet with everyone who will be involved in administering, operating and maintaining the equipment to develop a list of critical machine requirements. Markings crew, supervisors, engineers, and maintenance staff should participate in the development of this list.

A set of critical questions to obtain these requirements can be asked. Here are some we prepared:

  1. What will be the typical pavement marking removal jobs the equipment will be used on?
  2. Will the equipment be required for other types of removal project in the future?
  3. What are the required agency specifications or contract demands that this equipment will have to perform under?
  4. Is there a requirement for a desired SP1 – SP10 surface profile finish?
  5. Will the equipment have to work on chip-seal, slurry seal, grooved pavements, or concrete?
  6. Will the equipment have to remove materials without compromising the pavement surface (i.e. micro-crack, bruise, shadow, groove, or destabilize the existing surface conditions)?
  7. What will be the typical pavement marking materials the equipment have to remove?
  8. Will my work be on temporary work-zones, or the final pavement surface lift?
  9. What are the types of surface conditions the equipment will be working on?
  10. What types of climate, altitude, and weather conditions will the equipment be subject to?
  11. Will the equipment be used for other applications, such as surface-preparation, groove-inlay applications.
  12. What are the time demands to start and complete the project?
  13. Will the project require the use of more than one machine?
  14. Will a rotary-style or drum-style eradication machine be adequate for the project, or will it require the use of water, shot, sand, or chemicals?
  15. Will the equipment selected be a model that is a walk behind, walk behind that can be attached to a ride-on driver, hand-held operated machine, a self-propel walk behind, skid steer attachment or machine that is truck mounted?
  16. What is the minimum machine horsepower, weight and center-weight machine balance to assure the equipment can hold the removal tools in the “cutter impact zone” to provide the right productivity, service life and surface profile finish?
  17. Will the removal operation have to be dust-free requiring OSHA approved vacuum collection systems?
  18. How experienced are the operators and are they required to be trained or certified prior to using the equipment for this or future jobs?
  19. Does the equipment manufacturer offer training and technical support?
  20. How quickly can you get equipment delivered after it is ordered?
  21. Does the equipment manufacturer have a process they follow to assure consistency and reliability?
  22. What are the transport issues getting the equipment to and from the job site?
  23. Will there be any job site obstacles i.e.: curbs, parked vehicles to stay clear from during operation.
  24. Do you currently own equipment or can rent equipment that will meet all job requirements?
  25. Does your existing equipment need to be upgraded or repaired prior to use on the project?
  26. Can the equipment selected quickly adapt to using other cutter drums or spindles in case the job requirement differ from the contract plans?
  27. How reputable is the equipment manufacturer and how long has their equipment model been in service?
  28. What is the capital cost to acquire the targeted equipment?
  29. What maintenance costs are required to keep the equipment running during the job.
  30. How long do machine wear components last, i.e: bearings, belts, wheels, etc?
  31. How long do the cutter tools last for the materials being removed and the pavement surface condition?

Step 2:After the list is created, there should be a ranking of the critical requirements by the group and loaded into a spreadsheet, along with the equipment manufacturing candidates to be evaluated. The objective here is to achieve group consensus, not necessarily unanimous rankings, for each critical machine requirement. A scale of 1 to 5 (with 5 being the highest ranking) works well. Ranking the critical requirements helps a company differentiate itself from the “typical” buyer by assigning more weight to a specific machine features that is important to its operation.

Step 3: Rate each equipment manufacturer against the ranked critical requirements using the  1-5 scale. Multiplying the critical requirement’s ranking by the rating of each equipment manufacturer results in an overall numeric score for each removal machine alternative.

Developing a numerical score for each machine alternative is the final step in the objective phase. However, once you have developed an objective ranking, it is reasonable to subjectively evaluate the machines that have similar overall scores.

Step 4: Evaluation of both objective and subjective criteria last. Sometimes, certain machines just have a feel, or reputation, that people are comfortable with. If an operator has some previous experience with a certain stripe removal, groove-inlay or prep-before-stripe machine and likes the way it performed, this is useful information that should be included in the decision making process.  However, this subjective evaluation should only be performed after the objective process has narrowed the field to two or three strong candidates.

Subjective criteria may help to decide between removal machine alternatives whose overall scores are quite close. However, it would be unrealistic to think that subjective criteria should raise the ranking of a removal machine alternative that lagged significantly behind the others in the objective ranking phase.

In conclusion, the key to any machine selection process is getting everyone to participate and offer ideas based on their unique perspectives. The more people that participate in this process, the greater the likelihood that a company will select the best machine for its needs.


Consider reading these and other articles during your selection process:

7 Prep Essentials That Belong in Every Striper’s Toolbox


Watch Videos on the Best Prep Tools You Don’t Know You Were Missing

Defining Stripe Removal Processes – Is it a Grinder?

Rotation Influences Stripe Removal performance

Waterblasting vs Erasing Airfield Markings

Surface prep starts with profiling ends with clean-up

Removing Airport Markings: Turning Doubters Into Believers

Miami Airport Airfield Marking Removal with Water or Dry Erasing

Airfield Markings Removal without Water

SMITH X3 in British Columbia



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