Ask Your Mates Open Forum

Pothole Patching Methods in use

  • 1.  Pothole Patching Methods in use

    Posted 30 October 2016 23:16

    I am interested to hear from Councils and other road maintenance organisations about what pothole patching methods/systems they are using. We are looking to innovate, improve or at least adopt methods suitable for the different road types (CBD, rural, urban, carpark, cycleway, bitumen seal, asphalt, concrete)

    Please share what your organisation does or is planning to do. I expect that some organisations use different methods for different service level/hierarchy. Without an asphalt plant within reasonable distance, hot asphalt is not looking like an option for us but if you use it then I'd be happy to hear about your method.

    As a prompt, here are some options:

    1 Machine patching using emulsion/aggregate spray eg Paveline 'Autopatch', Ausroads 'Jetmaster'/'Jetpatcher'

    2 Machine placed 'Python' or similar machine. (material?, sweeping?, compaction?)

    3 Manual placed with tippers or box trailers. (material?, sweeping?, compaction?)

    4 Manual placed using Flocon truck. (material?, sweeping?, compaction?) 

    5 Other methods

    We are also interested in the materials, cleanup and compaction options:

    a standard coldmix

    b 'higher quality' coldmix eg.: EZ Street, Boral PPR etc

    c No sweeping

    d hand broom

    e pothole machine mounted broom

    f dedicated tractor broom or other sweeping vehicle

    g dedicated vacuum/broom truck

    h sweeping by other (please share)

    i compaction by traffic

    j compaction by vibrating plate

    k compaction by manual steel tamper

    l compaction by machine mounted device

    m compaction by a small roller

    n compaction by other (please share)

    Alex Gale
    Wingecarribee Shire Council

  • 2.  RE: Pothole Patching Methods in use

    Posted 01 November 2016 19:14


    IPWEA is currently researching this issue.  To our surprise this is a big issue for Councils.  We are likely to be producing a best practice guide and welcome feedback and comments from the industry. 

    Robert Fuller
    Chief Executive Officer
    IPWEA Australasia
    Sydney NSW


  • 3.  RE: Pothole Patching Methods in use

    Posted 08 February 2017 18:27
    Gday mate,

    I am very interested to see this best practice guide, how is it progressing? 

    Tony Rintala
    Works Engineer
    Federation Council


  • 4.  RE: Pothole Patching Methods in use

    Posted 02 November 2016 19:07


    Your method depends on the road, weather and the traffic. The most important factor is squaring off the pothole nicely, otherwise you can't compact the mix. I work with mostly granular pavements, but some asphalt.

    We generally use cold mix, there are several on the market. The one we make is quite flexible after sitting around for a bit, which can be the deciding factor (however, in hotter Australia, this may not be as much of an issue??).

    We also use a south African product made by A J Broom, which is a seal coat patch (i.e. like a piece of carpet of bitumen and chipseal). It's not cheap, but it lasts. This does NOT work in very cold weather (once we start getting frosts).

    NB the contract I work on, pavement maintenance is lump sum, so there is no commercial benefit to me proposing the solution, our client pays us no more to use the (initially) more expensive stick on patch. We use them because they last longer, they save us money in the long run.

    Cara Lauder
    Higgins Group


  • 5.  RE: Pothole Patching Methods in use

    Posted 03 November 2016 18:41

    Hi Alex, agree with Cara, it relies a lot on the climate, topography and whether the street is in a town centre or minor road. We have found that the use of a paveline type (spray seal) treatment is not suitable for town centres and high traffic areas but is great for quieter and semi-rural/rural roads. The use of products like PPR has been excellent in providing a long term repair to potholes, especially in busy streets. The added cost of the product is more that compensated by the speed of the repair and that a smaller team can apply the material. We have found that the traditional cold mix was only a short term repair and frequently failed in wet weather.

    The 2 critical aspects are the preparation (remove loose material, square up edges) and the compaction. if these 2 factors are done properly the short term repair will have a lot longer life before permanent repairs can be programmed.

    The use of a flocon type vehicle will save a lot on waste AC as it keeps it hotter for longer and can unload the material in small piles to be spread. If the work is on larger patches then a standard tipper would be fine but it may raise WHS issues in spreading the material.

    Much of the advice on things like sweeping would depend on the size of the area your teams are working on. Generally the larger the areas, the more efficiencies can be gained buy by using skid steers and sweeper trucks.

    Compaction is also relevant to the size/depth of the area being worked on. If it is a pothole a tamper might be OK but for larger patching areas a vibrating plate or a roller would be required to get the necessary compaction.

    I would suggest you look at the situations your teams are required to work on and look at the best options specific to that application.


    Paul Creelman
    Operations Engineer
    Blue Mountains City Council


  • 6.  RE: Pothole Patching Methods in use

    Posted 06 November 2016 19:13

    Hi Alex,

    Firstly, our (City of Whittlesea) Knowledge Base says the following with respect to Pothole Patching/Asphalt Patching. 

    "Council has a fleet of two Flocon-type vehicles dedicated to asphalt patching – one in the urban area and one in the rural area.  These vehicles have a heated hopper to keep the asphalt workable throughout each day (not overnight) and have a rear, narrow delivery chute.  Both crews have access to a backhoe (each), a bobcat, and a tip truck (each) – other trucks can be made available if needed.  We have  a steel wheel roller for larger jobs and Wacker plates for smaller jobs.  They also have a Compressor with jackhammer, etc attachments and a number of power saws for trimming of the holes to be patched."

    Not sure how much that helps, but it is what it is.

    Secondly, here is a link to the Work Instruction we had in place when I was working for Bundaberg Regional Council, which might be of interest.

    Hope that all helps at least a bit.

    Regards, Wayne.

    Wayne Eddy
    Strategic Asset Planning Coordinator
    City of Whittlesea


  • 7.  RE: Pothole Patching Methods in use

    Posted 12 February 2017 18:08
    One thing you DON'T do in patching heavily trafficked roads is use too much straight emulsion, like our local council.  It leads to unstable patches in hot weather, and has to be dug out before any street resurfacing.  Break emulsion down with water if necessary. 

    John Gould

    John Gould