Recently, the department took ownership of two shiny Trackless Vehicles. With attachments for snow plowing and blowing and asphalt repair along with a 175 amp generator, these versatile vehicles will be used year-round to address a variety of repair and maintenance projects. Changing attachment takes little time.
In keeping with their policy of improving preventive maintenance, part of this package included an infrared asphalt heater that will be used to "re-weld" cracked sections of asphalt to prevent them from developing into future potholes. The 4'x6' heating pan is powered by an 80 horsepower, 45 kW generator that heats the broken pavement to 400 degrees. Once heated, the now melted asphalt is leveled out and rolled to a near-new solid finish. If needed, additional asphalt material is added to maintain a level road or sidewalk surface.
Already DPW staff have taken the machine for a spin and General Foreman for Streets Ed Patenaude is excited about its capabilities. "This asphalt heater will add a new option to our roadway maintenance efforts," he said. "Up until now our only alternatives were to patch and re-patch or repave. This accessory gives us a middle option and the ability to extend a street’s life by making more permanent repairs to targeted surface failures."
During power outages, the generator could be used for emergency power. Snow blowing attachments will help clear snow from sidewalks more efficiently while a plowing attachment will allow these flexible machines to address areas that larger vehicles cannot.
Taken from: Blog from the Office of the City Manager, Lowell MA