Chicago suburb uses 6-ton hot box to move away from cold mix,
keep crews busy year-round and perform long-lasting repairs.
When Mike Mahoney, street supervisor for the Village of Winnetka, first began looking at asphalt repair equipment, he thought a 2-ton unit would fit the needs of 12,000 residents living the in Chicago suburb. But with more than 50 miles of roadway within the Village’s jurisdiction, and the nearest asphalt plant located 12 miles away, he determined they needed a bigger, 6-ton solution that could keep asphalt hot all day and reheat cookies for the occasional larger patching jobs.
“We looked at equipment for several years,” Mahoney said. “Volume was an issue, so having the 6-ton capacity was key. Being able to put it on a truck was huge, and the heat management system in the Falcon unit was superior to anything else we looked at.” With traffic, a round trip to the asphalt plant can take up to three hours, so the large capacity was a key factor in keeping crews productive all day. The unique grid design of the EvenTemp™ heat management system uses a series of engineered baffles to heat the asphalt evenly throughout a massive 6-ton hopper.
Winnetka is one of the most affluent communities in Illinois, and one of the wealthiest in the United States, with a median household income above $250,000. Residents have very high expectations for the quality of services in the historic village, which has been the setting for many Hollywood feature films, including Home Alone, Risky Business and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner and his family were residents of Winnetka prior to moving to the Governor’s mansion in 2015, keeping the Village – and its roads – in the public spotlight.
“The Falcon unit provides a crisper patch with better appearance,” said Matt Deutsch, vice president at Midwest Paving Equipment, the local dealer in Glen Ellyn, Illinois that supports Winnetka’s equipment needs. By keeping asphalt hot all day at a consistent temperature, the Falcon hot box makes it easier to work with the material, providing time for proper site and pavement preparation to achieve a superior repair.
The Village of Winnetka uses its hot box unit year-round, including daily use in the summer months when crews are primarily focused on street maintenance. Much of the focus is on repairing and maintaining Green Bay Road, a high-traffic thoroughfare that connects the wealthy North Shore communities of Chicago.
“Quality was the main consideration when we purchased our Falcon machine,” said Mahoney. Winnetka is unique in the process that it uses to fill potholes. A dump truck is used to apply the base, and then the Falcon unit is used to provide a 1-1.5” finish coat for a stronger patch with a better appearance. “I love it for that,” he said.
One of the key advantages is the ability to load it on any of the three Village trucks via a hook lift system. This provides the flexibility Winnetka’s Public Works Department needs for its team of eight maintenance workers. In addition to routine and preventative maintenance of the Village’s roadways, Public Works is also responsible for refuse collection, street sweeping, leaf collection, spring cleanup, snow and ice control, and forestry services.
“Unfortunately, every truck had a different voltage output,” said Steve Konstanty, Central Region Sales Manager for Falcon Asphalt Repair Equipment. As a result, Winnetka was one of the first Falcon customers to pilot the patent-pending Voltage Indicator and Protector (VIP™) technology, which prevents the burner from operating below required voltage, protecting critical components from failure. “This was a huge improvement over previous systems,” added Mahoney.
“We like everything Falcon has shown us so far,” Mahoney said, who continues to partner with the municipality on new products and upgrades for its existing unit. With its 6-ton unit providing hot asphalt whenever and wherever needed, the Village of Winnetka is paving the way to smoother roads for years to come.
Falcon hot boxes and recyclers give you unparalleled versatility. You can transport cold mix, keeping it warm during the winter months and making it easier to work with; you can transport hot mix and keep it hot all day; and you can hold hot mix overnight, keeping it warm for up to 48 hours.
You can also reclaim unused hot mix, eliminating the waste of good material, and you can recycle asphalt chunks and millings. All of this makes Falcon the most versatile machine you can buy for pavement preservation.
All Falcon machines are built with pride in Midland, Michigan and come with the following standard features: patented heat management system featuring a 5-year maintenance-free combustion chamber, large unloading door for easy access, patented VIP system to eliminate damage from low voltage, a 2-year machine warranty and lifetime frame warranty, an emphasis on curbside safety and easy platform work surfaces, and a durable and reliable dump system.
Falcon Asphalt Hot Boxes and Cold Temperatures are a Great Match
It happens every year, cold weather comes and the asphalt plants shut down. Does that mean only cold mix is available for pothole repairs? No, it doesn’t have to be with a Falcon hot box. You can recycle that old asphalt and create your own hot mix any time you need it…and you will save money!
So when you need to do pothole repairs during the cold winter months, you load up your truck only to get half way through your repairs before your remaining asphalt mix becomes hard and unusable. Instead of wasting the mix (and your money) by returning it to the plant, there is a better way for both your pothole repair operation and your budget’s bottom line.
With a Falcon hot box, you can keep your mix hot all day so that all of the needed repairs can get done. And if you have some asphalt leftover you don’t have to waste it, recycle it later when it’s needed. Simply put old asphalt cookies into our hot box, heat it back up overnight through our recycling process, and the next morning you will have a hot mix ready to go.
Prepare for the winter months now by stockpiling needed amounts of asphalt at hot mix prices. Then reclaim/recycle those stored cookies/chunks of asphalt in your Falcon hot box when needed.
This is a big benefit to your budget. At a $50 difference in price per ton for cold mix versus hot mix, you could save (or invest in another Falcon hot box), $5,000 for every 100 tons of asphalt. Think of the additional road repairs that could be made with that additional equipment, and by using hot mix your repairs will last longer!
A few specs about our machines that make us the best in the industry:
- Two-year machine warranty, lifetime frame warranty
- One-piece, seamless ceramic combustion chamber (diesel) at 92% efficiency
- Hopper is fully insulated with the floor and all 4 walls heated
- Patented VIP technology (Voltage Indicator and Protector)
When it comes to preparing equipment for harsh winters, brutal temperatures and chilly conditions, the most important thing to consider is preventative maintenance (PM). Preventative maintenance is the regularly performed care to maintain a machine’s prime operating condition and the correction of failures or breakdown before they occur.
Here are some routine methods to help prepare your equipment for a successful winter season:
1) Tune-up Kits. Falcon offers a full tune-up kit specific to single and dual burner machines that includes CAD cells, fuel filters and gaskets. A kit such as this could save a lot of trouble later.
2) Clean the floor and the walls of the machine of any excess material that has built up. Residual material has a direct effect on the efficiency of the machine and can affect the heating system, so make sure to keep your machine as clean as possible.
3) Tires. It’s extremely important to check the tread wear on your equipment’s tires. If a machine is not properly leveled to the tow vehicle, it can cause premature tire wear and cause unnecessary downtime.
4) Double-check all of the safety features. Falcon Asphalt is the leading manufacturer of asphalt hot boxes that are designed to keep workers safe. However, it’s always important to double-check safety features, especially in the winter when there’s inclement weather and low temperatures.
Inspect all hazard and warning lights for operation and maximum visibility. Check to see if there is any material clouding them and either remove it or replace the lights. Lower the rear stabilizer jacks, raise the dump bed on trailers, secure the cylinders with the yellow cylinder block located between the battery box and the hydraulic tank box, and inspect the frame of the trailer and belly of the hot box for any wear or damage.
5) Check tack tanks and spray systems. If your machine has a tack tank and/or spray system, winter is the perfect time to service them as well. Inspect and flush the tack tank with an approved chemical release agent to ensure the bottom is free from any build up of residual material to ensure complete and efficient operation. If you have a spray system, you should cycle it more times than usual with an approved release agent to completely clean the lines and free them from any blockage from hardened material. Also, replace the spray nozzle on the spray wand.
6) Treat the tank. Make sure to treat the diesel tank with an additive that prevents gelling and ensure the tank is full. Make sure to also treat the gasoline motor of the spray system, if applicable, with a preservative to prevent any starting issues later.
Also, you should treat the tank with an approved, high quality, high flashpoint release agent like Soy Solve – making sure to avoid any contact with painted surfaces – to loosen any of the residual asphalt that may remain. If you get any release agent on a painted surface, immediately rinse it with water to protect the paint finish.
Falcon Asphalt Repair Equipment helps customers build “street cred” one pothole at a time. Now, our customers are joining in on the fun and helping build OUR street cred! Check out these top-notch customer testimonials about our FalconNOW quick ship program.
Jordan Snipes from Snipes Drilling, LLC / GHL
“The FalconNOW quick ship program has a really fast turnaround and got us on the ground running in order to meet our customer’s needs. It’s enabled us to maximize profit and add another facet to our business with patchwork. We turned into a one-stop-shop for contractors, and we couldn’t be happier.”
Bill Peters from the Village of Lemont Department of Public Works
“Our experience with the FalconNOW program actually worked perfectly for our needs. We need board approval to order items over a certain amount, so sometimes the order gets delayed and we end up waiting weeks – sometimes months – to get products. When we ordered with the FalconNOW program, we received our order right away with plenty of time before pothole season. If you need it, you will get it!”
Homer Allen from the City of East Lansing
“The FalconNOW quick ship program is great because we don’t have to wait for a piece of equipment that usually takes months to get. And not only was it delivered quickly, but the customer service follow up to make sure that everything was correct and the way we ordered it was fantastic. Overall, the turnaround time from start to finish is hands down remarkable, and the machine comes complete and ready to work.”
Even our dealers have great things to say about FalconNOW. Check out this testimonial from Jeff MacDonald of AMACO:
“The benefit of the FalconNOW quick ship program is flexibility. Customers are able to consider a wide selection of available options in various machine sizes with what, in our industry, is a fast delivery timeframe. Previously, quick delivery was only available with in-stock units with fixed options – but not with Falcon. Falcon is devoting time and effort into getting machines out to customers quickly with the options they want and need.”