The Pueblo Chieftan

Potholes to be fixed with ‘handy’ hot mix trailer

Potholes in Pueblo West are being filled and fixed quicker than ever, thanks to the purchase of a handy “hot mix trailer” that Pueblo West Public Works employees are putting to good use.

Director of Public Works Dan Centa said the asphalt hotbox trailer has increased productivity and decreased the amount of manual labor needed for repairs.

“Our anecdotal numbers show about a 50-percent increase in efficiency in the material we can put down,” Centa said.

“Before, we had hours of wasted time that, with the help of this box, have greatly improved.”

The hot box trailer – which the district purchased last year for about $22,000 – is kept heated overnight, through both electric and board heaters, so it’s ready to go in the morning when crews arrive.

It continues to stay heated while the workers drive the streets of Pueblo West, making repairs.

Bags of asphalt mix are put into the hotbox and heated appropriately to be used for pothole repairs.

Before, the asphalt mix had to be heated on site with a propane torch until it reached a viscosity that was useable to fill a hole.

Additionally, the pothole had to be heated with the propane torch as well in preparation.

“It was very labor intensive, and inefficient,” Centa said.

Now that the asphalt material is kept heated, it’s much easier to fill the holes.

Additionally, the hot box can be tilted and the asphalt mix is dumped out into the hole, whereas workers previously had to shovel the materials into the hole.

“We don’t have a jackhammer here, so the guys are still using spud bars to break out the old things out of the hole, but at least this is an improvement,” Centa said.

Centa said public works responds to notifications about potholes from residents.

And during the summer, the crew is working four days a week, filling whatever they find.

“They’ll just drive down a street and throw mix into a hole as they see it,” he said.

“We have a lot of issues on the edges of the road, so they repair those as they can.

“We’re very pleased with the increase in production with this trailer,” he added.

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