The word “pothole” can elicit grunts and groans from just about every driver, not to mention road repair crews and municipal leaders who are responsible for making those holes disappear. Pothole filling and general road maintenance are never-ending struggles, so more and more municipalities are starting to contract out their asphalt work.
As a contractor, you most certainly want to have an edge on your competition when you submit your bids. Could owning an asphalt hotbox be the solution?
Without a single doubt!
A typical Department of Public Works or Road Commission has about 50 different responsibilities, and often none are more visible and criticized than pothole patching, especially in the northern states. Recognizing that asphalt contractors already have the equipment, experience, and manpower to tackle these asphalt issues quickly and efficiently, many municipal entities have started to solicit bids for asphalt patching contracts.
Depending on the municipality, these bids can be very specific or very general. A common factor in most of them, however, is a requirement for the type of asphalt and the temperature at which it is applied. Although most municipalities will spec out patch work with hotmix asphalt, some will also allow cold patch material, depending on the time of year and asphalt availability. However, there will often be a set temperature requirement at which the asphalt must be applied, usually 325 to 350 degrees Fahrenheit for hotmix and 80 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit for cold patch, depending on the manufacturer’s specifications.
These application temperatures are obviously unrealistic for contractors who are simply patching out of the back of a pickup or dump truck. And this is exactly where owning an asphalt hotbox could make a world of difference!
An asphalt hotbox can maintain asphalt temperatures for up to two full days, allowing you, as the contractor, to completely fulfill the municipality’s requirements. With an asphalt hotbox, you can even exceed the expectations of the municipality bidding the work and hopefully foster a long relationship for future contracts and bids.
Additionally, asphalt hotboxes are reclaimer-type units, meaning you can reheat bulk stored or leftover virgin asphalt year-round. Let’s say you get 20 tons of material before the asphalt plants close and bulk store that material in your yard. With an asphalt hotbox reclaimer, you can reheat/reclaim that material overnight and can patch with hot mix asphalt year-round.
Competing bidders without a hotbox reclaimer would be forced to use cold patch material, which is more expensive and less reliable. With an asphalt hotbox, you will undoubtedly have a huge competitive advantage over them, especially when bidding winter work.
The ability to have hotmix asphalt year-round is game changing when it comes to patch work both for municipal clients as well as commercial clients, such as utility companies that are constantly looking for asphalt contractors to fill in utility cuts made during the winter.
With the right equipment and knowledge base, municipal contracts can be lucrative and very profitable for contractors. Setting yourself above your competitors by owning an asphalt hotbox can be the difference between winning and losing these contracts. A small investment in an asphalt hotbox could yield huge returns down the road.