All parking lots have potholes and other areas where the pavement is deteriorating and needs patching. But to successfully offer patching services you need to outfit your crew properly.
Types of patching
The most common and most accepted repair approach is probably the traditional remove-and-replace patches. This can be used for almost any type of pavement defect but is an essential approach when the pavement has experienced damage, such as water intrusion, beneath the surface.
Infrared patching, unlike remove-and-replace patching, requires no removal of existing asphalt. Infrared equipment can be used to repair any type of pavement defect - except those areas that require full-depth repairs.
The most popular sizes for an infrared heater are a 4 ft. x 4 ft. unit and a 6 ft. x 8 ft. unit, says Bryan Burke, vice president of production with KM International. Both sized units can be used anywhere when it comes to patching - parking lots, driveways, and roads - Burke says.
The overall equipment investment to set up an infrared patching crew is minimal when compared to the equipment necessary for full depth remove-and-replace patching, Burke adds.
When it comes to choosing infrared equipment for your patching crew, Burke says there are two key questions contractors should ask themselves: Where will I be using it, and how often will I be using it? The answers to these questions will dictate the type and size of equipment to purchase. How often it is used is an important factor, too.
"If you are anticipating using it five days a week then your capital investment is more likely to be a bigger investment than for occasional use," Burke says.
Hot boxes, which are available as truck- or trailer-mounted units, are a key piece of equipment for every patching crew. Hot boxes usually come in standard sizes of 2 or 4 ton.
"Perhaps the greatest asset that the hot box offers to your patching crew is flexibility. An asphalt hot box can keep material hot for extended time periods (up to three days) or even reclaim stockpiled asphalt allowing a patching crew to work when the asphalt plants aren't operating," Burke says.
When it comes to purchasing a hot box, the main things contractors should consider are the capacity and how it fits on the vehicle the contractor will use, Burke says. The next consideration, as with most pieces of equipment, is cost. Make sure you are purchasing a unit that will make it worth the investment. Just like when purchasing infrared patching equipment, a contractor purchasing a hot box should ask himself, "How often and where am I going to use this hot box?"
When it comes to choosing a pavement cutting saw, the keys to look for are production, maneuverability, durability, portability, and serviceability, says Husqvarna Product Manager Richard Tremain.
Tremain says, most pavement patching crews will use a walk-behind saw for larger jobs because they are more productive and cause less fatigue than using a handsaw for cutting.
There are two styles of walk-behind saws - rear pivot and front pivot. Most pavement patching contractors use a front pivot saw, but the choice is usually based on the preference of the contractor, Tremain says.
Consider horsepower when looking at productivity. More horsepower on a saw will offer more productivity, Tremain points out.
"Thirty-five to 66-horsepower saws are what contractors usually use for pavement work on larger jobs," Tremain says. "You can use 9 to 25 horsepower saws, but your production will be lower."
Contractors saw-cutting a patch will also need access to a water supply. The size of the water tank depends on how much work it will be doing that day and whether the crew can refill it if necessary throughout the day. Some contractors outfit a patching trailer with a water tank and pump, which is filled before it leaves the yard each day. But if a contractor doesn't have his own water tank he can usually hook on to a water supply on the jobsite. If that's the approach you take make sure to have plenty of hose.