By Marvin Joles III and Daniel Wright

In the past few years, if you have been paying attention much, the Cracksealing market, as far as offerings from manufacturers go, has been “heating up”.

With every manufacturer showing off new features and making advancements to their staple pieces of equipment, the competition to create the best Cracksealing machine on the market has been getting good. Which helps us as contractors overall, as the machines are running better, heating better, lasting longer, getting safer and getting easier to operate.

If you follow Blacktop Banter on social media, you will see that we do numerous “walkthroughs” and highlights of these machines at conferences and on site across the country. Through these interviews, attending conferences, talking to their local suppliers or just reaching out to the manufacturer directly, the potential customer (us contractors) can figure out which one suits our needs best.

But the market goes much “deeper” and has a “wider” array of offerings than what’s “at the surface”… ok, I’m done with the Cracksealing puns.
Also, at these shows, we get a chance to see some Cracksealing ideas and offerings that employ todays technology, robotics, infrared, and more.

The direct fire melters market is a fun one for me to watch personally, because that’s where I started as a contractor and so many other contractors that I speak to regularly are there too. The infrared technology to heat these melters has been a major upgrade for efficiency and safety. You can likely even “Retro-Fit” your old DF melter with an Infrared heating system. Reach out to me via my email at the end of this article for more info.

With many choices on Cracksealing rubber materials and more popping up seemingly every other year, our network of contractors at the Blacktop Banter Success Group talk about the “Best and Worst” ones out there often and if the prices we are paying are worth the quality that we may be sacrificing. Let’s be honest, if you have shopped around and tried different ones in this area of our material choices, you know this to be true. You seemingly do “get what you pay for” when it comes to the quality of Direct Fire crack sealant. I cannot recommend shopping around and trying different products enough. Find the one that’s just right for you and what you aim to offer.

Lastly on my end, and I hate to always be promoting events and conferences (they truly are awesome), but there are great educational courses put on by some of the leading Industry conferences over the “Off-Season” and they are led by people who KNOW how to succeed at Cracksealing efficiency, techniques and pricing. Do yourself a favor if you are attending these conferences and sign-up for one or three.
I don’t want to leave you without any quality insight that you can put into action though, so I employed the help of my friend Daniel Wright, President and CEO of Proline Parking Lot Maintenance to offer us “3 Quick Tips for Successful Cracksealing”.

Daniel’s Tips:
Tip 1: Make sure you have the right equipment for the Job. Such as pre-melters, applicators or tow-behind units. Pre-Melters are your 10-30-50 gallon Direct Fire melters that feed your applicators. Applicators are pour pots, speed banders, or a 10 gallon walk behind applicator. Your Tow-Behind Applicator unit is entirely self-contained and completes the process from melting to application and is best suited for roadways and larger commercial projects.

Tip 2: Make sure you know your melting times and application rates of your products. Knowing your melting times, and those being in check, will help with your efficiency and scheduling for the highest production rates possible.

Tip 3: Quality of service delivered is going to depend highly on the cleaning/prep of the surface area. Remove vegetation, loose debris and moisture inside the cracks with torches or heat lances. If there is dirt around the cracks, remove dirt with steel bristled brooms, wire wheels or power brooms. Blow any residual dust or dirt away from the crack to ensure proper adhesion.

Daniel Wright can be found on all social media outlets (LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram) and Proline can be found online at www.prolineplm.com and well as all social media outlets.

As always, if you have any insight or criticisms about this article or anything in it, please feel free to email us at marvin@blacktopbanter.com and of course, reach out to us at Blacktop Banter on any form of social media. You can listen to Blacktop Banter anywhere podcasts are available, and the Video Versions are always posted to the Blacktop Banter YouTube Channel. Also, don’t forget to visit their booth at the upcoming Pave/X show in January in San Antonio, Texas.