This versatile piece of equipment is essential to any contractor's fleet but especially for remove-and-replace patching.
Skid steers can pick up broken pavement, place it in a dump truck, carry asphalt mix to a repair, or use different attachments during the patching process. The ability to use different attachments provides a huge benefit for contractors. "Instead of having to buy a dedicated machine that just does one thing, contractors have a machine that can do so many things so well," says Bobcat Marketing Manager Greg Rostberg.
Rostberg says patching contractors often purchase larger skid steers. Larger units have a higher operating capacity and can carry a larger volume of material than their smaller counterparts. Plus, they tend to have a higher vertical lift as well.
Other essential considerations when purchasing a skid steer include the engine size, horsepower, and hydraulic flow. These factors are influenced by the attachments a contractor plans to use as well as the amount of material the unit will carry.
One of the pieces of equipment that is necessary but often forgotten for remove-and-replace crews is a dump truck. Otherwise, what happens to the material you remove from the repair area? The most efficient way to progress in remove-and-replace pothole repair is to use a skid steer to pick pavement and other material from the area to be repaired and then dump the debris into the dump truck for hauling to the plant.
Application of an asphalt emulsion tack coat improves adhesion of the hot mix to the face of the cuts. For smaller patches, a hand spray pump can work fine, though some contractors use a bucket of tack and a brush to essentially paint the faces of the patch.
For contractors who are doing large patches, or a large number of patches, it might be worth investing in a tack coat trailer which has its own spray wand.
Vibratory plates and rollers
Each lift of a patch needs to be compacted before the next one is placed so compactors are required equipment on just about any patching crew. Vibratory plates are lightweight and easy to transport and provide all the compactive effort a remove-and-replace patch would need. Rollers, which come in different sizes are another option for patching crews.
Among the essential hand tools are an asphalt rake, lute, broom, and shovel. Other tools a patching crew may use include a pouring pot, crackfilling squeegee, and a hand tamper.
When it comes to buying hand tools, contractors tend to choose the tools they need based on their specific job needs, says Dale Heidbrink, vice president of operations for Haviland Corporation.
Lutes, for example, come in a variety of widths. How heavy a material is will determine the width of the path the contractor can cover as well as what size lute is necessary, Heidbrink says. "To be able to handle a heavier material they will need a smaller width," he says.
Contractors can also choose from aluminum or wood lute handles as well as purchasing different length handles. "It's easier to make a longer length handle with aluminum," Heidbrink adds.
Patching creates a mess so each crew should also carry the tools and equipment needed to clean the site: a backpack blower to blow debris into a pile, a broom to sweep up the area, and a shovel to pick up debris and place it in the dump truck.