Reducing Operation Costs for Pothole Repair Work

by | Nov 17, 2022 | Uncategorized

Repairing potholes in a timely manner can be low on the list of priorities for road agencies and municipalities. This is often due to the high labor, time, and money cost. 

However, there are ways to significantly reduce multiple operating costs and ensure that the repair jobs last for several years—instead of just a season or two. Read on to learn more about the three main pothole repair work costs and the best practices that can help significantly reduce them.


Many asphalt patching operations will utilize cold mix to perform repairs since it’s less expensive than hot mix asphalt. This can result in immediate material savings, however, the cost-benefit is only temporary. With an average lifespan of one year, cold mix is nowhere near as good nor lasts as long as the 1-3 year lifespan of hot mix asphalt.

A downside to hot mix asphalt is that you can only use it when the outside temperature is 40F degrees or higher. This means that some emergency repairs will still require cold mix during the cooler months of the year. When the spring thaw comes around, the cold mix patch can be replaced with a more permanent hot mix one.


The labor cost is directly tied to the size of the patching crew. For example, smaller public works departments can get away with using a single laborer who utilizes the throw-and-go technique. A much larger municipality will opt for the throw-and-roll method that requires one worker to drive the truck and the other to add the asphalt to the pothole.

For semi-permanent repairs, four workers are often the most ideal for productivity and efficiency. Using this method, two of them will prepare the pothole by cleaning and squaring the edges while the other two will follow behind and perform the repairs. 

While this method is more costly than other ones, it can save tremendous time and money by preventing the same pothole from reemerging every year.

Traffic control is another labor cost. Whether it’s a safety truck slowly following the spray-injection equipment or one or more workers whose job is manually directing traffic around the repair operations, these jobs can pose a safety risk to workers. 

A single accident can cost hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars in terms of medical expenses, insurance, and equipment damage.


The cost of equipment will vary depending on the type of repair method used. For example, throw-and-go or throw-and-roll only require rakes, shovels, and miscellaneous hand tools. 

If using the semi-permanent method, workers will need a jackhammer, an air compressor, a compactor, and saws. Spray injection operations require a trailer-mounted or self-contained spray injection device.

How to Reduce Costs

equipment to reduce pothole repair costs

There are several ways municipalities and repair operations can reduce pothole repair costs:

Using Better Materials—Even if they’re more costly upfront, using better materials will save tremendous amounts of money in the long run. 

Cold asphalt is nowhere near as strong as hot mix asphalt and is only ideal for temporary fixes until it’s possible to implement a more permanent repair solution. 

Hot mix asphalt is weather resistant, quick to cool down, strong, and will bend but not break. This makes it the ideal material for pothole repairs that will last several years.

Using Better Equipment—Instead of a traditional dump truck, consider investing in an asphalt hot box and recycler, which can help save time and money. The ergonomic design of the hotbox means that your workers won’t be shoveling mixture at awkward angles, which can cause a slowdown in productivity and even injury.

A Falcon Hot Box and Recycler can also hold hot mix overnight and for up to 72 hours. This will save your crews from making multiple trips back and forth to the asphalt plant and will allow them to recycle asphalt chunks and millings out in the field.

Utilize Proactive Measures—It’s important to identify proactive pavement preservation techniques that will help prevent potholes from forming over time. For example, the Minnesota Department of Transportation released a study that details several asphalt preservation activities, such as:

  • Crack filling
  • Route and seal cracks
  • Micro-surfacing
  • Ultra Thin Bonded Wear Course (UTBWC)
  • Thin Overlay or Thin Lift Mill and Overlay 1” to 1.5″ 
  • Thin Overlay or Thin Lift Mill and Overlay 1.5″ 
  • Ultra Thin Bonded Wear Course (UTBWC)
  • Seal coat

Reduce Operation Costs With a Falcon HotBox

Falcon hotboxes will help reduce pothole repair costs while increasing production rates. We offer a wide range of customization options to meet the exact needs of your asphalt patching operations. Contact us today or click below to learn more about our equipment.

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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