What Are the Biggest Problems With Patching Potholes?

by | Mar 9, 2022 | FalconNOW

As pavement ages, it tends to distress in certain areas due to traffic and environmental factors. If these minor potholes aren’t remedied quickly, they grow into even bigger holes.

Ask any mayor or city council member—potholes are one of the most frequent complaints that they hear. As the election day draws near, the pothole situation is fresh on voters’ minds as they head to the voting booths.

Members of the community like seeing public works departments who are out fixing roads with purpose-built equipment—they can see immediate results of their tax dollars put to good use.

When it comes to repairing potholes, there are several challenges that often present themselves. Read on to learn more about the biggest problems faced when patching potholes—and the correct way to solve them.

Pothole Repair Issues

Pothole repair is a relatively simple process. The exact method chosen to do the repair depends on the size of the crack or hole. But the most popular repair methods include “crack sealing” or filling the pothole with cold mix asphalt or hot mix asphalt.

However, several issues often manifest themselves when patching or repairing a pothole:

Using Cooled/Cooling Material 

When workers use material (either cold mix or hot mix) that is not at an optimal temperature, it’s inefficient and causes waste. Repairs that are made with this material are less effective, and within days, weeks, or months, the potholes reappear seemingly out of nowhere.

Even if the material was at a usable temperature to begin the day, it cools fast and becomes increasingly difficult to work with as the clock ticks. Workers are often stuck in the “it’s always been done this way” mentality of putting hot asphalt in the bed of their trucks. By the time they get to the pothole it has already cooled and is harder to work with

In the end, supervisors usually chalk up the extra asphalt expense as the cost of doing business, and crews repatch the same potholes over and over. 

Ergonomic Problems

Shoveling material from raised truck beds requires the workers to lift the shovel above their shoulders and at awkward angles to scoop up asphalt material and then bring it back down to the ground. 

This process causes tremendous stress on the worker’s backs and upper bodies, which can  lead to disability or workers’ comp claims. It’s also highly inefficient—the guy with the shovel full of heavy asphalt tends to work at a much slower pace.

Benefits of Using a Falcon Hot Box

A Falcon hot box is the ideal solution to all of the above problems. When using a hot box to keep the material at the correct temperature, you will increase the efficiency of your operations—saving money on material and labor.

The repair(s) will last longer. This means fewer trips back and forth to the same pothole, and fewer trips mean less material used and more money saved. With a Falcon hot box, you can also hold material overnight for up to 72 hours and save unused material versus wasting it.

Your workers will also thank you—as a Falcon hot box is specially designed to allow for ergonomic loading and unloading of asphalt material. This directly translates to increased efficiency, fewer workers’ comp claims, and better employee retention. 

How Hot Boxes Can Save Money

Generally speaking, you can conservatively reduce the number of trips to repair the same pothole by a ratio of 3:1 to 5:1 or a 60-80% savings in material and labor. 

It is also reasonable to believe you can reduce material waste by 10-20%. Falcon hot boxes also reduce operator fatigue—thereby increasing efficiency and operator safety.

Types of Hot Boxes

Falcon makes several different types of hot boxes, each with its own unique benefits:

Dump Box

The Dump Box is our most popular asphalt hot box and recycler. With the push of a button, it cleanly dumps asphalt onto the ground. We construct the Falcon dump box trailers using two hydraulic cylinders that prevent twisting from uneven loads. Available in 2, 3, 4, or 6-ton capacities

Truck-Mount Hot Box

You don’t have to run out and buy a trailer to keep your asphalt warm—Falcon truck mount hot boxes slide into the bed of a standard pickup truck. They’re available in 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, or 10-ton capacity. We can also configure it with a self-dumping capability or customized sub-frame for hook-life, roll-off, or chassis-mount systems.

Trailer Asphalt Hot Box & Recycler

Our trailer hot box uses a stationary hopper and comes in 2, 3, or 4-ton capacities. You have the option of having it built with either one or two burners, and it comes with a full line of customized options.

Solve Your Asphalt Patching Problems with a Falcon Hot Box

A Falcon hot box can save time, money, and eliminate the most common problems faced when repairing asphalt potholes. 

Click below to see our asphalt repair equipment options.

Asphalt Recyclers & Hot Boxes

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