The answer may surprise you.

By Shawn Hutchings

Winter is upon us. It’s the time of year you see all the awesome snow removal equipment cleaning the streets. From the fancy telescoping plows to the super powerful snow blowers and even the material pickup units such as the force feed loader, these units help keep us moving during the winter months. (If you’ve never seen a force feed loader look them up, cool machines!) It’s also the time of year you see brand new potholes in your road surface appear!

New potholes show up in winter due to the extreme temperature changes from the daytime to nighttime. What happens is the moisture penetrates the asphalt or concrete and as the temperatures change the moisture expands and contracts thus breaking up the road surface. The intrusion of the moisture into and under the road surface is typically due to the asphalt or concrete being in poor condition and not being maintained properly.

Once the pothole appears it can be a huge burden for municipal crews to band aid these holes during winter months due to hot plants being closed for the winter or long travel distances from the select few plants that are open that time of year. Colder temperatures don’t help the long-distance travel situation either! Municipalities usually resort to cold mix to band aid the pothole until spring when they can make a more permanent repair. You’ll usually see a crew of three to five workers pulled up on the side of the road with a few bags of cold mix and a few shovels trying to throw the cold mix into the pothole just praying it holds while traffic zooms by at normal speeds. This situation is usually not a safe work environment, usually ineffective, and never a permanent solution.

Cold mix isn’t bad if installed properly and the patch has time to cure, typically in warmer temperatures with direct sunlight. Cold mix patches also do well if sealed over the top helping prevent moisture from easily penetrating the patch. In the middle of winter when these potholes show their face typically isn’t the best environment for a long-lasting cold mix repair.

So, what is a better solution?

One solution comes from a truck mounted pothole spray patcher unit which will produce permanent outstanding results. These trucks can be operated in sub zero temperatures and are a one-person operation with no workers on the ground in danger of being struck by oncoming traffic.

The spray patcher can be driven out to the damaged road surface, whether concrete or asphalt, and repair the pothole in minutes. Upon arriving at the pothole, the spray patcher will blow all the loose debris, small animals, and water/snow out of the hole to prepare for the permanent patch. Next the patcher truck will spray a tack oil to the pothole followed by precise mixture of rock and oil filling the damaged road surface. Finally, it will top it off with fresh washed aggregate to prevent any oil from sticking to the cars passing over it.

This process takes just a few minutes and traffic can be on it immediately after repair. The results are a permanent pothole patch that keeps our workers safely out of harms way during the repair and helps lower municipal spending on repeat pothole repairs.

Feel free to contact me if you have any questions about pothole repair or spray patchers.

Shawn Hutchings is a Territory Sales Manager with LeeBoy. He can be reached at