Most Common Problems With Asphalt Patch Trucks

by | Apr 4, 2023 | Uncategorized

Asphalt patch trucks offer a turnkey solution for repairing numerous potholes daily. However, many patch trucks on the market can suffer from a wide range of issues, such as reduced uptime, expensive repairs, and skilled labor requirements.

Read on to learn more about the five most common asphalt patch truck problems and how to avoid them.

CDL Driver Challenges

Most asphalt patch trucks utilize an auger, conveyor belt, and hydraulic system to deliver material to the ground. Those components are very heavy and give the truck a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of 26,000 lbs or more. As such, state and federal laws require that a driver has a valid Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) in order to drive the patch truck.

CDL drivers are extremely challenging to come by nowadays. For starters, there aren’t many out there due in part to labor shortages—and those you do find will require a hefty salary. Therefore, using a patch truck that doesn’t require a CDL license to operate is a more practical solution that results in significant cost savings.

Reduced Availability

A standard patch truck utilizes an auger or conveyor belt powered by hydraulics to deliver asphalt to the pothole. The auger belt delivery system is not ideal for this type of work. When one of the complex mechanical components breaks, you’re looking at two to three weeks (or more, depending on part availability) of repair downtime.

Unless you have an entire fleet of patch trucks at the ready, you’ll have to put asphalt patching operations on hold until the mechanic fixes the truck. If you’re a municipality, you risk angering voters who will start lodging complaints with City Hall while your patch truck sits in the mechanic’s bay.

Increased Maintenance Requirements

Many manufacturers build complex patch truck asphalt delivery systems that require ongoing maintenance and repairs. In addition to the added downtime, if you don’t perform timely maintenance or repairs, small issues can quickly turn into major ones.

You’ll also need to perform regular truck upkeep and battery maintenance. If you’re considering purchasing a used patch truck, you’ll need to perform more frequent repairs than you would with a brand-new one. New transmissions or engine rebuilds can be quite expensive and time-consuming.

Longer ROI

Most patch trucks cost significantly more up front, as well as in the long run, than their hot box counterparts. This means it will take far longer to realize a return on your investment. If the patch truck goes down, so does your entire patching operation—which can lead to significant losses until you make the needed repairs. 

How to Solve Patch Truck Problems

The Falcon patch truck solves many of the problems other patch trucks may have. The biggest advantage is that it does not require a hard-to-find CDL driver thanks to not having an auger, conveyor, or hydraulics. Instead, it uses a much lighter gravity dump to deliver asphalt material to the pothole.

Fewer moving parts mean that the Falcon patch truck weighs under 26,000 lbs GVWR—meaning anyone with a standard driver’s license can drive and operate it. Thanks to the simplicity of the gravity dump, the only upkeep requirements are to keep the battery maintained and charged. 

Other benefits of the Falcon patch truck include:

Improved Productivity—Due to the innovative design, you can reasonably reduce the number of trips to repair the same pothole by a ratio of 3:1 – 5:1 or 60-80% saving in material and labor when compared to using a dump truck.

The lowered shoveling deck height of this truck will help alleviate worker fatigue, potential injuries, and worker’s compensation claims. The gravity assist feature means workers won’t have to wait upon a slow auger or conveyor belt to deliver material to the ground.

Increased Uptime—Falcon patch trucks utilize the same brand-name parts and components you’ll find on our other highly popular and reliable hot boxes. Thanks to minimal moving parts, your workers will spend more time patching and less time twiddling their thumbs as they wait for truck repairs.

Ability to Hold Material Overnight—Our patch trucks allow your workers to hold material overnight. They simply need to turn the internal temperature down to keep the material warm (180-200 degrees for hot mix) and then turn the heat back up before returning to work.

This way they don’t have to wait in long lines at the asphalt plant or sit in rush-hour morning traffic. Keeping material warm overnight will help save money and eliminate a trip to the asphalt facility to return unused material.

You can also plan future work around the ability to hold material overnight. For example, since the asphalt plants aren’t open on Sunday, workers can pick up the material on Saturday, hold it overnight at your yard, and then patch potholes on Sunday.

Reduced Maintenance—Since Falcon asphalt pothole patch trucks do not have an auger, conveyor, hydraulics, or other moving parts, they require less maintenance than a competing patch truck.

However, you will still need to perform standard truck maintenance (oil changes, etc.) and ensure that the truck’s battery is in good operating condition.

Quick ROI—Thanks to its simplicity and the fact that it doesn’t require an expensive and hard-to-find CDL driver, you’ll realize a much quicker ROI with a Falcon patch truck.

Save Time and Money With a Falcon Patch Truck

Falcon non-CDL patch trucks offer an easy and economical way of patching multiple potholes daily. You’ll save time and money while enjoying increased uptime and reduced maintenance. Click below to learn more.

See Our Asphalt Patch Truck Options

Asphalt patching is essential in maintaining roadways, parking lots, and other paved surfaces. Patch trucks are the de facto workhorse used by many municipalities and patching operations thanks to their efficiency and cost-effectiveness. 

The downside to traditional asphalt patching trucks is that they require a CDL license to operate. Hiring CDL workers is difficult because there are few out there, and if you do find one, you’ll need to pay them a higher salary.

Non-CDL asphalt patch trucks are the answer to this costly problem. Non-CDL patch trucks look and operate the same as traditional ones. However, they weigh less than 26,000 pounds, which is the cutoff for requiring a CDL license.

Read on to learn more about Falcon non-CDL asphalt patch trucks, their features, and the benefits they will add to your patching operation.

CDL Requirements

Part of the reason why CDL drivers are so expensive to hire and somewhat challenging to find is that it’s not easy to become one. The FMCSA (Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration) Safety Act of 1986 sets forth the requirements for obtaining a CDL license.

All applicants must first apply for and receive a Commercial Learner’s Permit (CLP). This enables them to legally drive a commercial motor vehicle while being supervised by an instructor.

To apply for a CDL, applicants must:

  • Have a valid non-commercial driver’s license
  • Be at least 21 years old (if transporting hazardous materials or driving across state lines)
  • Have proof of citizenship and residency
  • Pass all background checks
  • Pass an intensive medical examination
  • Provide a statement that certifies they’re not subject to disqualification as per FMCSA 383.51
  • Pass a state-approved written test and road test

Competition to hire CDL drivers is relatively intense and often results in very high salary and benefits packages. Many municipalities and smaller patching operations often cannot afford to offer competitive salaries and benefits commensurate with what large corporations will pay.

How Non-CDL Asphalt Patching Trucks Work

The FMCSA requires all trucks that weigh 26,001 lbs or more to have a driver with a CDL license. Falcon non-CDL asphalt patch trucks weigh under 26,000 lbs—meaning anyone with a valid standard driver’s license can operate them.

How is that possible?

For starters, a Falcon non-CDL patch truck does not utilize an auger or conveyor belt like a traditional one. Instead, Falcon uses a gravity dump to deliver the material to the patch site.

Augers, conveyors, and the hydraulics used to run them are extremely heavy. The lack of those parts allows the Falcon patch truck to weigh less than 26,000 lbs.

Benefits of a Falcon Non-CDL Asphalt Patch Truck

In addition to not requiring a CDL license, Falcon non-CDL asphalt patch trucks have a user-friendly design that offers several other benefits, such as:

Faster material delivery

Traditional patch trucks that utilize an auger and conveyor belt are limited in the quantity of material and speed they can deliver it due to their significantly smaller unloading opening. This can substantially slow down worker productivity and cause each patch job to take longer.

Falcon non-CDL asphalt patch trucks have the largest delivery doors on the market. This means workers have the flexibility to determine how much material they want and at what speeds they will get it. Those same large doors also allow for easier access to the hopper for cleaning.

Lowered lifetime cost

Falcon non-CDL asphalt patch trucks are more cost-effective than their counterparts, thanks to the lack of hydraulics, augers, and conveyor belts. Fewer components mean fewer things that can break down in the future.

Another significant cost saver is that you won’t have to hire an expensive driver with a CDL license. If that driver should suddenly resign or call in sick, you’d be scrambling to find someone qualified to drive a CDL truck.

More fuel efficient

Because Falcon non-CDL asphalt patch trucks do not have hydraulic motors or pumps to turn an auger, they also burn less fuel. That adds up to significant cost savings over an 8-hour shift. 

Fewer trips to the asphalt plant

Workers also have the option to hold material overnight, which allows them to start working immediately the next day instead of waiting in line at the asphalt plant—which might be located on the other side of town—in rush hour traffic. 

Fewer moving parts

Due to not having an auger, hydraulic pump, or conveyor belt, Falcon non-CDL asphalt patch trucks have fewer parts than their traditional counterparts. This directly translates into increased uptime availability and lower maintenance and operating costs over the truck’s lifetime.

Sufficient capacity

Non-CDL asphalt patch trucks from Falcon have an 8,000 lb carrying capacity—which is more than enough material to be held at the optimum temperature.  


One of the most significant benefits of the Falcon non-CDL asphalt patch truck is that it uses the same guts, hopper, and tack tank as their other highly popular and durable hotboxes, trailers, and recyclers. 

Your choice of truck

The Falcon non-CDL asphalt patch truck requires a class 6 truck. You can supply your own truck or choose from one of seven different models that we’ll provide:

  • Ford F750
  • Freightliner MD6 106
  • Hino 268A
  • International MV
  • Kenworth T270
  • Mack MD6
  • Peterbilt 536/7

The size, brand, options, etc. of the truck we supply will determine the final cost. If you have a different brand truck than listed above, call us and we’ll help you figure out if we can make it work. We’re more than happy to consider alternative truck options.

Non-CDL Asphalt Patch Truck Required Maintenance

Falcon non-CDL asphalt patch trucks require very little maintenance compared to their traditional counterparts. However, basic maintenance requirements are the same as other patchers, including burner and battery maintenance, keeping the hopper clean, and truck upkeep.


Falcon Non-CDL Asphalt Patching Trucks

Falcon non-CDL asphalt patching trucks will save you time, money, and headaches in the long run. They’ll increase productivity and efficiency while reducing the need for expensive maintenance and operators. Click below to learn more.


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