Hot pour cracksealing can be an add-on service or an essential piece of business. But no matter what capacity it's done in, if a contractor is going to offer hot pour cracksealing he or she needs to first learn about the available application equipment.
Before purchasing, contractors should consider the type and size of cracksealing jobs they will be doing."Divide the work you'll be doing into 1,000 pounds per day," says Mark Manning, vice president of marketing for Crafco Inc. "If you want to place 1,000 pounds - or about a half pallet of sealant a day or less - then you would go with the smaller machines. If your primary application is roads then you'll be placing 1,000 pounds or more a day. You'll be looking at a 200- to 400-gallon machine for that."
The smallest option for hot pour cracksealing application is a pour pot. Pour pots generally hold only a few gallons of sealant which needs to be melted prior to being added to the pour pot, Manning says.
A pour pot is more a conveyance for material than an application system, says Brad Dunn, Cimline's vice president of sales and marketing. Usually a small, direct-fire kettle melts the sealant which is then added to the pour pot for application. Other contractors use the pour pots with larger melter units. "Some contractors buy 200-gallon melter/applicators without pumps and hoses and only use pour pots with several crew members," Dunn says.
Pour pots can be a good option for contractors doing very minimal cracksealing - such as sealcoating contractors who need to seal cracks on a driveway before sealing. The small size of pour pots also makes them a good option for cracksealing in small spaces.
Pour pots can come in different configurations depending on what a contractor prefers, says Kurt Schwartz, sales and marketing, KM International. Some may have a squeegee built on while some don't. Some pour pots come in straight configurations while others have a tilted elbow.
"Some people would rather stand up straight and have the material flow straight out the bottom," Schwartz says. "Other people want a tilted elbow because they find it easier to see the rubber flowing through."
The next option up is a bander, which is often found in 10-gallon capacities but can come in larger sizes, too. Some banders come with their own heat source and can act as a melter/applicator system while some need separate melting kettles like a pour pot.
Banders are usually gravity flow applicators with squeegees attached to help smooth the sealant over the crack, Schwartz says. Like pour pots, banders can also be used with smaller direct-fire kettles or larger melter/applicator units. Schwartz says banders can be good for smaller cracksealing jobs, but contractors may choose to use them on larger jobs as well.
The final step up are the larger melter/applicator units that are usually trailer mounted. The most popular sizes for these units are 100-, 200-, and 400-gallon capacities, Dunn says.
"The 100-gallon range is popular with the municipalities and small contractors doing parking lots," he adds. "The majority of contractors tend to be in the 200-gallon oil-jacketed unit range. The big ones are in the 400-gallon range; and that's typically for state work and contractors who need lots of capacity."
One important consideration when purchasing these larger application units is the type of trucks you have for towing. The GVW of a pickup truck will determine how large an application unit you can tow. So contractors need to decide whether they want to purchase what they can tow or if they want to purchase a new truck to tow a larger melter/applicator, Manning says.
Another consideration is the pumping unit on the melter/applicator. Pumping units can be static or recirculating, Dunn says. A static pump will run only when the contractor is asking for the sealant whereas a recirculating unit is constantly running whether sealant is being applied or not. "Typically, the recirculation is more important in high-production jobs," Dunn adds.