The traditional pavement maintenance and paving seasons last from April to November, if you are lucky. So, for most asphalt contractors you have 6-7 months to make your profits for the year plus enough to cover expenses for 5-6 months during the “off-season”. Everyone is in business to make money and those months during the off season when you still have all those fixed monthly expenses going out and little to no revenue coming in frustrates even the most seasoned asphalt contractors. Some have just come to accept it as a part of the asphalt industry, some have found other avenues to keep revenue coming in such as snow plowing or other trade work, but many contractors have found a way to extend their working season by investing in an infrared and hotbox reclaimer.
An IR machine and a hotbox are two pieces of equipment that every single asphalt contractor should have or at least be familiar with. Their usefulness during the asphalt season is vital but their ability to extend your season and keep a steady revenue stream coming in is unmatched. Consider this, plants close in the Northern states in mid-late November, at that time most contractors call it quits but if you had a hotbox and IR machine you don’t have to. This is really a two-part equation; with a hotbox you can buy and stockpile as much asphalt as you want before the plants close and with the hotbox you can reclaim/reheat that to make repairs year-round. Now that you have the ability to have HMA year-round with a hotbox reclaimer, the IR is the second part of the equation. As you may or may not know an IR machine will perform in almost any weather condition. Because an IR is so versatile and can really be offered as a remedy to most asphalt defects this opens an opportunity to take on those late seasons or off-season jobs you previously had to turn away or push back until spring.
So, who is your target market during the off season? Traditionally you want to target companies or organizations who cannot afford to wait until spring for cost, or liability purposes. Municipal organizations whose plows keep tearing up asphalt, utility companies who need to make emergency repairs during the winter and cannot leave open road holes, big box stores with trip hazards they need to fix for liability purposes. And the best part about all this is in most scenarios you will be the only contractor who can perform these types of repairs with hotmix asphalt, which allows you to charge a premium “off season” price.
A real-world example from a past KM International customer: A municipal needed about 50 manhole repairs performed in December because they had sunk leaving a lip the plows keep catching on. This contractor took their hotbox and IR machine and easily repaired all 50 manholes and was paid a premium to do so. Better yet this created a relationship between the municipality and contractor that furnished more work for the contractor in the spring and summer.
Another huge unrecognized benefit of being able to perform winter work with a IR and hotbox is being able to keep your key employees around all year. We are all well aware of the current labor shortages and it is hard to find good people so being able to retain those employees instead of laying off is a huge added benefit.
KM International has been manufacturing infrared asphalt recyclers for over 30 years and in that time have helped thousands of contractors successfully incorporate infrared services into their existing or new businesses. Unlike most manufacturers KM International is not only interested in selling equipment they are interested in educating customers on the successful integration of their equipment into a customer business plan. KM International offers several resources as it pertains to infrared repair including online literature, videos, and seminars. KM International representatives routinely speak at industry events about general business practices, as well as other more specific topics. KM International’s product line consist of infrared, asphalt recyclers, asphalt hotbox reclaimers, and crack maintenance equipment.
To learn more about infrared repair or any other equipment related or general inquires, KM International can be found online at www.kminternational.com or reached by phone at 800-492-1757.