Whitfield County Finds Success Patching Potholes

A great turnout of public works professionals made it to the Dalton Convention Center to see the demo.

📅   Tue September 15, 2015 - Southeast Edition
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Public works professionals gather for a demonstration of pothole patching using a Stepp Manufacturing asphalt recycler at the Dalton Convention Center in Dalton, Ga.
Public works professionals gather for a demonstration of pothole patching using a Stepp Manufacturing asphalt recycler at the Dalton Convention Center in Dalton, Ga.
Public works professionals gather for a demonstration of pothole patching using a Stepp Manufacturing asphalt recycler at the Dalton Convention Center in Dalton, Ga. Milled material is fed into the hopper of the Stepp asphalt recycler through a conveyor and makes a half ton of fresh hot mix asphalt for the start of the demonstration process. A Gradall XL 4100 is used for placement of base material. “Surge Rock” from a local quarry is the preferred product to use as a base for Whitfield County Public Works. Base material is compacted and made ready for the asphalt “topping.” A hot mix of asphalt from the Stepp asphalt recycler is placed on top of the base material. Final compaction of the asphalt and the patching is complete. (L-R): DeWayne Hunt, Whitfield County public works director; Steve Young, Reynolds-Warren; Dan Dwyer and Brian Meissen conduct a successful pothole patching demonstration using Stepp Manufacturing equipment.

At the conclusion of a recent quarterly meeting and luncheon of the northwest Georgia branch of the APWA (American Public Works Association), the Whitfield County Georgia Public Works Department held a demonstration of its Stepp Manufacturing SRM asphalt recycler. A great turnout of public works professionals made it to the Dalton Convention Center in Dalton, Ga., to see the demo and the process for efficiently patching potholes in any weather condition.

Whitfield County has experienced tremendous success with this machine since the company purchased it new from Reynolds-Warren Equipment Company, based in Forest Park, Ga.

DeWayne Hunt, Whitfield County public works director, said they’ve had the machine for just over a year.

“The advantage of this machine is the 24/7, 365 time frame that it can be used. If we have a pothole anytime of the day, anytime of the year, we can get to it, cut it out, compact some base, heat the mix up-using recycled milled asphalt from the local plant and deliver to anywhere we need it in the county. Our local asphalt plant does not run every day, especially during the winter months. We blend the millings from the asphalt plant with a small quantity of AC tack to create our mix and the unit also has a wand to spray tack around the edge of our cut to obtain a good bond with the existing edge.”

Hunt went on to say that after the pothole area is dug out, the material they put back into the holes and compact for base is called “surge rock” from a local quarry. “We have used GAB and crusher run, but surge rock has worked well for us, it is a mix of all the materials they have at the quarry. From number 3’s down to GAB is what makes up the mix. Above the compacted base material, The Stepp machine is used to place 2 to 3 inches of hot mix asphalt topping that gives a good quality ride when compacted down.”

“We use the machine weekly and sometimes we’ll make up to 10 to 20 loads a day. It depends on the size of the potholes. We may have five large potholes that require five loads each. Other days, we may have our more typical pothole repair, a 2’ x 2’ which usually requires 1 batch (1000 pounds). We rotate the machine between our 4 right of way maintenance crews, so it is in a different areas of the county each week, each crew will have some number of work orders to complete. We also require the local utility company to call our office with road cuts, they provide a temporary patch and then we are paid to complete their repair with an asphalt patch. It makes sense for us to work together, plus we are going to get the call anyway. It takes about a month to cycle around the county. As always, we can change the plan and move the machine to address emergency situations,” said Hunt.

Hunt said that each load they produce with the Stepp asphalt machine is 1,000 lbs. (453 kg), and the auger system helps empty the machine.

When asked about the purchase of the machine from Reynolds-Warren, Hunt said it was an interesting process.

“We researched and liked this machine, but it was not sold in our area.We talked with Steve Young at Reynolds-Warren and explained to what we were trying to do. So they went out and worked all the legal agreements and they became the distributor and then we ended up buying the first one sold in the state of Georgia. We were essentially working through the process of learning the machine at the same time. We understood it was a new product for them, and a new product for us. When issues came up with the machine that we didn’t understand, they were quick to get back with the manufacturer and iron out the details. Steve Young, is a great listener and he’s excellent at executing what you’re thinking about or what you dream up, and just makes things happen. He’s a great guy and a pleasure to work with.”

For more information, visit www.steppmfg.com.