Reply To: Infrared Pavement Interest

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Hello John.

Mark has offered some good advice regarding the infrared process and marketplace. It seems that the IR market and it’s information network is still dominated by the manufacturers, and henceforth, they are the best source of info. I don’t mean for that negatively – as if the mfrs. are controlling the market – it is this way because the overall market is still developing to the maintenance contractor & consumer. Which is likely why you are researching answers to IR repairs vs. traditional R & R, marketing ideas & gate keepers.

Each regional market place does seem to react differently to ideas and “new concepts.” I’m not sure if this is because of regional personality in general, or if the asphalt paving traditionalists have enough influence to keep things “as is.” To say that IR techniques are new concepts really isn’t true anymore. The process & equipment options have steadily grown for at least the past 20 years. Previous to that there was activity among a couple of equipment manufacturers and contractors who are most likely responsible for the early development of the IR repair industry.

I’ve bounced around a bit, I’m sorry, I’ll attempt to directly address your questions.

You have to look at it from two different directions when marketing. If you are marketing to an experienced asphalt paver or maintenance professional, then you will likely need to validate the credibility and circumstances of when & where to use the IR process. Is he/she the gatekeeper? If so, then the best marketing is always physical demonstration. Do a repair. Like Mark did. He saved somebody’s a_ _, is a quality oriented craftsman and made a profit. If you get the opportunity to take down a high spot for a paver who has water trapped because of a bad paving seem, and his customer is holding a big check, I promise you will have just made a friend.

Now, if you are marketing to the end consumer i.e. homeowner, property manager, and alike, then you will win them over by explaining to them that you can “In Place Recycle” the damaged area, add minimal new asphalt from a hotbox, re-level & recomoact. They will at first be intrigued by the idea, they won’t fully understand it (even with pictures), they will question the durability, and then they will ultimately be most impressed by witnessing a rake go through previously hard pavement. The end consumer is mostly conerned with repair durability, or longevity, and of course money. How much does it cost?

The key to IR repairng is to learn the craft. The more you do, the better you get. The more experience you gain, the easier it is to evaluate when & where to use the process. Like Mark said, it is not a “cure all.” Base failure is base failure. And twenty year old pavement is old pavement.

IR repairing is most cost effective to the consumer and most profitable to the contractor when you are facing a variety of small defects (small usually meaning 15′ x 15′ and under) that you can re-heat, add new asphalt as needed, and complete the repair efficiently. Compare it to a contractor arriving at same job, sawcutting multiple repairs, removing tons of asphalt, hauling the removed asphalt away, buying all new asphalt, hauling to the job, dumping, leveling & compacting.

There is often a great cost & time advantage when comparing the above scenario but only having one or two areas in need of repair.

Overall, the IR repair process is gaining popularity within the asphalt maintenance community as well as the paving & installation community. This is helping to market it to the consumers.

I hope I’ve helped answer your questions.