A New Approach to Pavement Patching

The pavement preservation industry has come a long way since its start in the 1970s. Every once in a while, a breakthrough innovation brings a new level of efficiency and changes the way things are done. Crafco’s new EZ Patcher mastic melter-applicator is one of those breakthroughs.

The EZ Patcher is a skid steer attachment allowing faster, safer application of mastic repair material to pavement cracks, cuts and distresses. With the operator protected inside the skid steer cab, the EZ Patcher greatly reduces crew exposure to traffic – one of the main causes of injury and death in road work zones.

While visiting various job sites, Tom Pfuelb, Eastern Regional Sales Manager for Crafco, observed a need among agencies and contractors for a new way to apply mastic. He requested development of the EZ Patcher to meet that need. Crafco spent more than three years designing, testing and refining the EZ Patcher to provide an efficient, effective solution for agencies and contractors performing road repairs.

“The EZ Patcher makes it even easier and safer for state DOTs and contractors to apply mastic to difficult-to-repair pavement deficiencies like longitudinal joint failures, shoulder or edge of pavement drop-offs, cupped transverse joints, potholes and more,” Pfuelb said.

Compatible with most skid steers using the universal “quick attach” system, the EZ Patcher taps the skid steer’s hydraulic system to mix and dispense 65 gallons of mastic at a time. The key to the EZ Patcher’s effectiveness is its “floating” drag box design, which conforms to the surface of the road for smooth application. The drag box has a hopper which moves freely within its frame, compensating for changing angles between the ground and the machine. Two drag box hoppers (6” and 10”) are included for different applications like deteriorated longitudinal and transverse joints, fiber optic micro-trenches and more.

The EZ Patcher’s 76,000 BTU propane burner keeps material at application temperature, while the hydraulic agitation system features eight angled and staggered paddles to keep material properly mixed. In mix-melt mode, the agitator automatically reverses to maintain material at a uniform temperature and consistency. In dispensing mode, the agitator pushes material toward the hydraulic dispensing gate and into the hopper. Both the agitator mode and the dispensing gate are remotely controlled by the skid steer operator with simple in-cab controls for maximum efficiency. The EZ Patcher also has a color camera and monitor system providing the operator with a clear view of the work area for precise application without a spotter.

While it’s most efficient to fill the EZ Patcher from a larger mastic melter like Crafco’s Patcher II or Patcher 4, the new machine can also melt material as a stand-alone unit for low-volume applications. The EZ Patcher also has attachment points on both sides, so the operator can use the machine with the drag box on their left or right side.

With an experienced skid steer operator, the EZ Patcher enables crews to put down significantly more material in a day – safely and easily. Crafco field tested the EZ Patcher with real road crews on job sites around the U.S. to find and fix the kinds of problems that only show up through real-world use. Small touches like a fill light for the drag box camera and fork lift tubes for easy transport show that the EZ Patcher was designed with the end user in mind.

To learn more, visit Crafco.com/EZ-Patcher and contact your Crafco representative to see how the EZ Patcher can help you get more done.