AirX Utility Surveyors, Inc., a utility locating and potholing company located in San Diego, California, has been in business for 17 years and has provided Subsurface Utility Engineering (SUE) services to clients throughout the state of California.
After researching numerous equipment options, the company discovered Falcon Asphalt Repair Equipment and its two ton hot box trailer unit with electric hoist. The machine is perfect for AirX due to its size, its simplicity and its capacity.
“It works perfectly for us because it’s simple to use, it’s useful for small repairs, yet holds enough material that we are able to patch several different pothole locations in a day,” says Gail McMorran, president and CEO of AirX Utility Surveyors.
All about the Heat
Potholing for utilities, such as the work that AirX does, creates relatively small openings that are around 12 x 14 inches. There are usually several throughout an alignment, so the company isn’t paving large sections of the road, but multiple locations of spot repairs.
“Without our Falcon, we’d be able to fix eight to 12 potholes tops, depending on traffic control and other site conditions,” McMorran says. “With our Falcon, we can fix anywhere from 18 to 20 potholes in a day.”
One of the most beneficial features of the Falcon machine for AirX is its patented heat management system. The one piece, seamless ceramic combustion chamber creates a tumbling action that forces a complete blending of fuel, air and heat to achieve high combustion.
In fact, the system is independently certified to have 92 percent fuel efficiency and uses less than three gallons of diesel fuel per eight hour shift. The heat management system also provides even hopper temperatures to help eliminate material scorching from hot spots and material hardening from cold spots.
Another benefit of the Falcon hot box is its temperature control, which allows users to set the hot box to preheat materials prior to starting work on a job site or keep them warm overnight. To prevent materials from cooling while being transported, a Falcon hot box is also engineered to allow the burner to run while in tow.
“We absolutely love the temperature control on our Falcon machine,” says Sal Silva, AirX potholing foreman. “We set the temperature to maintain a low temp overnight. Then, in the mornings, we set the temperature to high before arriving on the job site so we’re ready to go.”
While the Falcon’s hopper heats materials to high temperatures, the outside walls stay safe to the touch as it has triple wall construction with high temperature insulation.
“The machine is specially insulated so the outside of the hot box doesn’t get super hot, yet materials are kept at the appropriate temperatures of around 240-270 degrees Fahrenheit,” McMorran says.
Another one of the reasons that AirX chose the two ton Falcon was its strong, durable design, yet easy to use simplicity.
‘The machine is strongly built, and has plenty of space for tools and other accessory equipment that are necessary to complete all of our work,” McMorran says.
All Falcon frames are constructed of structural rectangular steel tubing and all the welds on the frame are continuous with boxed-in and enclosed gussets. They also carry a lifetime warranty.
When asked if McMorran would recommend Falcon to others, she responds, “We liked our Falcon hot box so much… we just purchased a second unit.”