JBEC demos KM International’s alternatives to cold patching

KM International

Cold patching has become a common practice for completing many road repairs. However, it was never meant to be a go-to solution. 

To highlight alternatives, Johnstone Brothers Equipment Corp recently demonstrated road repair equipment developed by KM International at the Municipality of Barrie, Ontario’s yard. 

“Cold patch was designed for emergency fixes when you can’t get a hold of hot mix asphalt,” said Mike McGuckin, territory manager for KM International. “It’s not supposed to be the standard for patching our roads.”

The KM International T-2 Asphalt Recycler

The ability to access to hot mix asphalt (HMA) year-round is a luxury that is out of reach to many asphalt contractors or municipalities.

However, the KM International T-2 Asphalt Recycler is able to produce hot mix anywhere and anytime, regardless of weather or plant schedule. 

At the Johnstone Brothers demo, KM International demonstrated the T-2’s ability using millings from Municipality of Barrie’s yard.

“It helps us lose our dependence on cold patch. Everyone here has more than enough things to do in a day, we don’t want to go back and repair the same holes over and over again with cold patch,” McGuckin said. “In the winter, if we can get our hands on hot mix we’re going to make a good quality repair.” 

The recycler has a production rate of about four tons per hour and uses about 4 litres of fuel per ton. As well, its operator has the ability to add as much asphalt cement as they prefer to customize their mix. 

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The T-2 also features an output of 700,000 BTUs, with no direct flame impingement on material. 

When ready, the asphalt may be unloaded directly into the application area, or into the bucket of a loader. 

The machine is powered by a 23 hp Kubota Tier 4 interim compliant engine. 

“Kubota has told us that it will go (Tier 4) Final this year without the addition of filter or DEF injection,” McGuckin said.  

km international

Recycler origins

The asphalt recycler was created in 2009, while KM International was working with the Michigan Department of Transportation (DoT). 

“They wanted a recycler they could start instituting in their DoT yards,” McGuckin said. 

Since the first asphalt recycler was delivered to Michigan, KM International has manufactured more than 400 of the machines. 

“I would guess about 30 per cent of that is here in Canada,” McGuckin said.  

The asphalt recycler is well received in Canada due to the potentially limited availability of asphalt plants. During winter, asphalt plants can’t operate, and in rural areas, the plants may not be available on a regular basis.

“With the asphalt recycler, you can make asphalt in your yard when you need it, for about $45 a (short) ton Canadian,” McGuckin said. “That’s assuming our millings are free. We generally have piles of them in our yards.” 

The KM International 4-48 Infrared Heater

During the demo day, Johnstone Brothers also highlighted the KM 4-48 Asphalt Infrared Heater.

The KM 4-48 is the largest infrared asphalt heater KM International manufactures. With 4.5 square metres of heating area, the KM 4-48 delivers the ability to tackle any asphalt repair contractors or municipalities may come across.

McGuckin explained the KM 4-48 is “in-place” recycling of asphalt.  After 10 minutes of treatment by the heater, the damaged asphalt is ready to be raked. 

As the asphalt is heated by the KM 4-48, the machine turns on and off, allowing heat to safely permeate the surface. A built-in timer also ensures the asphalt isn’t overheated. 

“That allows us to get more heat penetration to get to that 1.5 to 2 inches of depth without cooking or burning that top surface,” he said. “Once you’ve burned or scorched the top layer, it’s (ruined).”

As well, the KM International 4-48 is the only infrared heater that lights its four independently controlled heating zones automatically. 

“The way we run our infrareds is that everything is independent meaning we don’t rely on one zone to light the other,” McGuckin said. “We have a central pilot light that runs down the centre of it and it provides the ignition for any of the zones.” 

KM 4000T Asphalt Hot Box

Rounding out the demo day highlights is the KM 4000T Asphalt Hot Box.

The KM 4000T is a 2-ton asphalt hotbox trailer capable of maintaining asphalt at recommended temperatures for up to 48 hours or to reclaim/reheat excess plant mix asphalt overnight. 

The hot box features triple wall construction with high efficiency insulation. As well, a thermostatically controlled heating system helps to improve fuel efficiency. 

For ease of use, the hot box is built with front to back loading doors with cantilevered handles. As well the burner and key components are mounted above the frame and in a steel enclosure. Furthermore, the KM 4000T is diesel (105,000 BTU) or propane (58,000 BTU) fired.