My family has been in the road construction business for generations, so for me, providing the best performing asphalt products is deeply personal. More than 15 years ago, Blacklidge was inspired to create The Original Trackless Tack® — at a time when the concept of trackless tack coat was just beginning.
In the early 1990s, asphalt pavements were at risk of losing ground in Florida. The absence of a viable trackless tack coat was wreaking havoc across the state. Tack coats are notorious for sticking to the wheels of vehicles, causing issues. The tack coat sticking to tires could track on safety stripes all over the road — and contractors bear the brunt (and expense) of cleaning it up. Additionally, tracking leads to poorly bonded pavements that could cause delamination, potentially resulting in cracking, slipping and shoving — lessening the life of the pavement. At one point, FDOT even considered green lighting more concrete road construction projects due to excessive tracking of tack. Concrete would result in delays, extended construction times and, ultimately, poor ride quality. This dire situation motivated us to develop a trackless tack coat with superior performance.
Early on, we introduced our first trackless prime coat: EPR1 Prime. Based on positive feedback from our customers, we continued to innovate and eventually developed our flagship product — UltraTack®. Despite hesitation from contractors to adopt a trackless tack coat at the time, our faith never wavered. We knew that trackless tack was the future of asphalt paving. It was imperative that our trackless tack coat was long-lasting, provided better interlayer bonding, and resulted in cleaner job sites. To persevere, we stood by our guiding principles. We used integrity and worked with persistence, tenacity and grit in the pursuit of creating and cultivating this new product — even when times got tough.
FDOT, around the Gainesville area, was one of our first UltraTack customers. They used UltraTack to pave the area around their football stadium — what Gator fans call “The Swamp.” At first, the product failed. Rather than succumbing to defeat, we went back to square one, dug up the pavement, and constructed a new one with UltraTack. This time, the product performed with excellence. Because of its high performance, UltraTack is still used all around The Swamp today — a testament to the lasting impact of the original trackless tack coat technology.
Once trackless tack coat became widely adopted, it was a game-changer in Florida. The beginning and final steps of road construction could be done more quickly (UltraTack sets in 15-30 minutes), giving crews the ability to keep traffic flowing. Additionally, trackless tack coats enhance sustainability by helping roads last longer through superior interlayer bonding strength. While trackless tack coat gained traction in Florida, it began to pique the interest of other states — eventually becoming the most researched and tested tack coat in the industry.
For example, in 2010, a study by the Virginia DOT and the Virginia Transportation Research Council revealed that using trackless tack results in a 10 percent service-life extension, essentially saving the state $20 million per year in maintenance-resurfacing costs of a $200 million budget. Collectively, this equates to a free paving season once every 10 years!
Over time, trackless tack coat has proven itself theoretically and in real-world applications. As a result, Florida has become a 100 percent trackless tack coat state and, since 2014, we have proudly been a part of paving nearly 90 percent of their state and federal roadways. We are excited about this acceptance because, as they say, “so goes Florida, so goes the country.” And Blacklidge, the original trackless tack coat expert, is ready to seize the opportunity.
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