In Kansas City, Kansas, Public Works’ Street Maintenance team uses the city’s Hot Patchers, Spray Patcher, and the traditional “Throw and Roll” cold patching methods.
With onboard attachments like a jackhammer and tack oil application wand, the Hot Patchers allow team members to apply long-lasting and more uniform repairs to road surfaces. While this process is initially slower than the "throw and roll," repairs last much longer – in some cases until the next overlay or rebuild. Over time, the need to patch the same hole time and time again diminishes significantly. Team members do still occasionally use older patching methods to get material in troublesome holes and buy time until the Hot Patchers or surface treatments are available.
Unlike the city's Hot Patchers, the LeeBoy® Spray Pothole Patcher is operated by a single team member using a "Patch-on-the-Go" spray injection system. In some cases, the new vehicle can patch potholes in as little as two minutes. Unique to this model is an extendable hydraulic boom that allows operators a wide working range for patching from side to side. The boom draws material from an onboard kettle that can heat, mix, and hold up to 11,000 pounds of material. Potholes are patched by a driver-operated in-cab joystick that performs a four-step injection process via the hydraulic boom:
- Clean – The operator uses a high-volume blower to clear the pothole of debris and moisture
- Tack – The operator sprays a tack coat on the pothole’s interior
- Fill – The operator sprays a mixture of emulsion and aggregate into the pothole
- Finish – The operator sprays a finishing coat of dry aggregate on the surface
In the hands of a skilled operator, the new Spray Patcher can cover large areas and patch up to 200 potholes daily.
Public Works also uses a Crack Sealing Machine to help keep streets healthy. Pavement expands and contracts as it cools and warms throughout the year. In some cases, this can cause cracks to appear on the streets. If these cracks are not addressed quickly, they allow moisture to sneak into the road’s surface and ultimately decrease the road’s overall lifespan. The new Crack Sealer allows teams to apply repairs quickly and efficiently, which aids Public Works significantly in their effort to stretch limited dollars further and keep roads healthier, longer. Unique to this model is its onboard and completely self-contained Asphalt Crack Sealing Kettle, which makes it capable of heating, melting, and applying all grades of rubberized asphalt crack sealer, joint sealants, and waterproofing compounds without the need for additional equipment.