Municipal road maintenance managers often struggle to keep up with the demand for pothole repairs. This challenge intensifies during harsh winters, as the extreme weather weakens patch jobs and leads to costly fixes.

However, there is a way to make the repair process more efficient, cost-effective, and long-lasting. Hot mix asphalt can create permanent repairs that won’t require further attention for years to come.

The key to unlocking this potential lies in reheating asphalt – a game-changing approach for road maintenance teams. Read on to discover how a Falcon Hot Box can transform your repair operations.

Hot Mix vs. Cold Mix Asphalt

Hot mix asphalt is the ideal choice for durable, long-lasting pothole repairs. This type of asphalt works best in temperatures above 40°F, creating a resilient fix that withstands heavy traffic and harsh weather. 

However, it’s not always readily available, because asphalt plants in certain states close for extended periods during the colder months of the year. Instead, crews often use cold mix asphalt. It’s made of the same materials – gravel, sand, and cement – and can be purchased year-round. 

Cold-mix asphalt is a temporary fix with a limited lifespan though. Proper patching techniques are crucial to maximize its effectiveness. Cold-mix asphalt that is not heated, for example, in the back of a dump truck, will create very short-lasting patches that deteriorate quickly, wasting time and resources. 

Applications and Scenarios

Hot mix asphalt and reheating solutions like the Falcon Hot Box are invaluable for road maintenance throughout the year. Here are several real-world scenarios where reheating asphalt proves essential for efficient and cost-effective repairs.

Winter Asphalt Plant Closures: Many asphalt plants shut down during the winter due to freezing temperatures and reduced demand from paving companies. However, road maintenance crews still need to repair potholes and damage caused by winter storms. 

Stockpiling asphalt chunks in warmer months allows crews to reheat and reclaim this material, providing access to hot mix asphalt year-round. This strategy ensures timely repairs and eliminates purchasing expensive cold mix asphalt, resulting in significant cost savings.

Multi-Day Projects: Road maintenance projects often span multiple days. Leaving hot mix asphalt exposed overnight can cause it to cool and harden, leading to wasted material and project delays. To dispose of this material, some crews even have to pay to take it back to the plant, only to be back the next day to buy more asphalt. 

The Falcon Hot Box reheats leftover hot mix asphalt each morning, restoring it to optimal working temperature. This prevents unnecessary waste and ensures seamless project continuation, saving time and money. It also allows you to stockpile asphalt chunks and millings and recycle/reclaim that material back to its original form during the months when plants are closed. 

Long-Lasting Repairs: Frequently having to visit the same potholes multiple times throughout a year or even a month is a common problem faced by road crews. This wastes significant amounts of time and can leave tax-paying citizens in the community unsatisfied with the state of their roads. 

Even when hot mix asphalt is used for patching, if that material is not held at the proper temperature (275-290 degrees) then it will not adhere to the hole properly. A Falcon Hot Box gives you year-round access to hot mix and ensures that asphalt will be at the optimal temperature throughout the crew’s entire shift, allowing for durable patching repairs to be made. 

How Reheating Machines Work & Prevent Heat Damage

These types of machines allow your operation to stockpile asphalt while the asphalt plants are open. That asphalt is broken up and stored in chucks that can be recycled or reclaimed at a later date for year round access to hot mix. So, how do reheating machines work their magic? 

The asphalt plant dispenses material that’s around 300 degrees. For a reheating machine to work it needs to be able to have the material back up near that temperature. The optimal temperature of utilizing hot mix asphalt is between 275 and 290 degrees 

The need for control over the heat is essential in the reheating process. Too little heat and the material will take a long time to become workable. Too much heat and the material will become scorched and begin to harden to the sides of the machine. Not only does this cause wasted material it causes a headache of having to chisel the material carefully off the walls of the machine. 

The other key to reheating or recycling material is having even heat throughout the box. If the machine is not providing even heat to the material you will end up with different temperatures throughout your material. Rapid recycles with open flames typically can not achieve even heat. This is generally only achieved with a hot box design.  

The Advantages of Falcon’s Reheating Solutions

At Falcon, we design our asphalt hot boxes with road maintenance teams in mind. We understand the complex nature of keeping roadways pothole-free year round. That is why we design our machines to not only be able to transport hot and cold mix asphalt at the optimal temperature but also to reheat or recycle asphalt chunks and millings. 

We built our hot boxes to heat the asphalt to its optimal temperature quickly, ensuring a perfect patch every time. Our optional dual-burner system recycles leftover asphalt chunks and millings, preserving the original oils and creating soft, usable asphalt. This feature is handy for teams that need to reuse materials and reduce waste.

All Falcon Hot Boxes are built with triple wall constructed hoppers. This allows for the interior walls to be heated to high temperatures to heat the material. However, the exterior wall is cool to the touch and will only be as hot as the ambient temperature. This enables you to heat material without risking the safety of your crew. 

Falcon achieves 92% fuel efficiency by incorporating a combustion chamber shape and construction that creates a tumbling action to force a complete blending of fuel, air, and heat. It uses less than three gallons of diesel fuel per 8-hour shift. Falcon’s heat management system helps you achieve even heat throughout the box, and not just reclaim virgin uncompressed asphalt but also recycle asphalt chunks and millings.  

These technologies help to minimize waste and increase productivity, leading to even greater cost savings over time. Finally, our reheating solutions can extend the lifespan of asphalt, reducing the need for frequent repairs and replacements.

Unlock the Full Potential of Your Road Maintenance Operations

Reheating asphalt revolutionizes road maintenance by providing a faster approach to repairing potholes. This innovative method increases efficiency and reduces costs. Hot mix asphalt paired with a reliable reheating solution enables the creation of long-lasting repairs.

Falcon specializes in developing cutting-edge asphalt reheating solutions. We designed our line of hot boxes to transform your repair operations. Click below to explore our range of solutions.

See Our Asphalt Hot Boxes