Kemroc helping to make small scale road repairs ‘in house’

Published 27/12, 2019 at 17:30

Long term repairs to poor road surfaces can be carried out by milling damaged areas and replacing the material with hot mixed asphalt. An excavator with a milling attachment has been found to be the ideal tool for repairs to smaller areas of road surfaces.

As in other areas of the Black Forest region, the Road Maintenance Department at Gernsbach are fighting a continuous battle to maintain road surfaces in areas at high altitudes affected by frost damage causing potholes. Additionally in the more temperate areas along the Rhine valley, the department must contend with cracks, ruts and surface distortions caused by heavy traffic. In the past, damaged surfaces underwent several short term repairs which consisted of simply covering the damaged area with cold mixed asphalt and occasionally, painstakingly using compressors and pneumatic hammers to remove material before resurfacing. 

Today, repairs are much quicker, more cost effective and require less manual work, as the towns of Gernsbach and Bühl, as well as the Rastatt District Council purchased a 6t compact excavator fitted with a Kemroc EX 30 HD patch planer. This equipment is shared between teams from each town to make cost effective repairs to relatively small areas of road surface. After delivery, the equipment was firstly given to Manuel Weller, the senior engineer responsible for the maintenance of approximately 280km of major, rural and suburban roads in the area around Gernsbach for evaluation.

All patch planers in the Kemroc EX range can be used on suitable carriers for the milling of either concrete or asphalt road surfaces. In contrast to the use of compressors and pneumatic breakers, the accurate depth control feature on EX patch planers allows the operator to remove a well-defined surface layer without damaging the material below. This provides the ideal conditions for long term, high quality repairs to road surfaces. The EX 30 HD has a planing width of 300mm and a steplessly adjustable depth range from 0 to 120mm. At the same time he saw the equipment being demonstrated, head of road maintenance Mr Weller was impressed by the power of the hydraulic motor: “I wasn’t expecting so much power from such a small planer.”

In Germany, the repair and maintenance of road surfaces must be carried out according to ZTV BEA StB regulations, in which surface milling is classified as a preparatory operation. However, these road building regulations mainly refer to repairs carried out by self-propelled road planing machines. For most road maintenance departments, these machines are too large and not cost effective for small scale road repairs. In many cases, carrier machines such as excavators or compact loaders fitted with a patch planer attachment are more flexible. “With our equipment, we have the capability to repair small road surface areas in-house efficiently and economically. In the past our repair teams needed many hours using compressors and breakers only for surface preparation work whereas today we achieve a complete repair in half a day,” says Mr Weller.

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