Making Small-Scale Road Repairs In-House
Long term repairs to poor road surfaces can be carried out by milling damaged areas and replacing the material with hot mixed asphalt. An excavator with a milling attachment is the ideal tool for repairs to smaller areas of road surfaces. The road maintenance department at the German town of Gernsbach proves how public companies can carry out such road repairs cost-effectively and sustainably.
A KEMROC EX 30 HD patch planer mounted on a 6-ton excavator used by the Gernsbach road maintenance department to remove asphalt from damaged sections of roadway.
As in other areas of the Black Forest region, the Road Maintenance Department at Gernsbach is fighting a continuous battle to maintain road surfaces in areas at high altitudes affected by frost damage-causing potholes. On the contrary, in the more temperate areas along the Rhine valley, they must contend with damage caused by heavy traffic resulting in cracks, ruts and surface distortions.
In the past, damaged surfaces underwent several short-term repairs which consisted of simply covering the damaged area with cold mixed asphalt and occasionally, painstakingly using compressors and pneumatic hammers to remove material before resurfacing. Today, repairs are much quicker, more cost-effective and require less manual work. At the request of the Managers of the Road Maintenance Departments of the towns of Gernsbach and Bühl, the Rastatt District Council purchased a 6-ton compact excavator fitted with a KEMROC EX 30 HD patch planer. This equipment is shared between teams from each town to make cost-effective repairs to relatively small areas of road surfaces. After delivery, the equipment was firstly given to Manuel Weller, the senior engineer responsible for the maintenance of approximately 280 km of major, rural and suburban roads in the area around Gernsbach, for evaluation.
Ending the hot phase; the freshly laid hot asphalt mix is spread evenly, producing a smooth, flat road surface.
All patch planers in the EX range from KEMROC can be used on suitable carriers for the milling of either concrete or asphalt road surfaces. In contrast to the use of compressors and pneumatic breakers, the accurate depth control feature on EX patch planers allows the operator to remove a well-defined surface layer without damaging the material below. This provides the ideal conditions for long term, high-quality repairs to road surfaces. Reichert Servicecenter at Sinzheim was the dealer of construction equipment that supplied the 6-ton excavator together with the KEMROC patch planer. The EX 30 HD has a planing width of 300 mm and a steplessly adjustable depth range from 0 to 120 mm.
At the time he saw the equipment being demonstrated, Head Road Maintenance Engineer Mr Weller was impressed by the power of the hydraulic motor:
“I wasn’t expecting so much power from such a small planer”
Repair of the road section near the town of Gernsbach is finished. After a short period of time to allow the asphalt to cool, the road is opened for traffic.
In Germany, repair and maintenance of road surfaces must be carried out according to ZTV BEA StB regulations, in which surface milling is classified as a preparatory operation. However, these road building regulations mainly refer to repairs carried out by self-propelled road planing machines. But for most road maintenance departments, these machines are too large and not cost-effective for small scale road repairs.
Moreover, they are ideal tools for specialist road planing contractors but not practical for all types of surface repair work. In many cases, carrier machines such as excavators or compact loaders fitted with a patch planer attachment are more flexible. “With our equipment,” says Mr Weller, “we have the capability to repair small road surface areas in-house efficiently and economically. In the past, our repair teams needed many hours using compressors and breakers only for surface preparation work whereas today we achieve a complete repair in half a day.”