Pride in patching
Published on 11 July 2022
Kiama Council’s patching truck is out and about five to seven days a week fixing pot holes and making roads safe across our municipality.
Our regular patching truck crew is a team of three: Graham Willard (team leader), Nathan Maloney and Max Willard.
What does the patching truck crew do?
We do both reactive and preventative maintenance.
Reactive maintenance is usually in response to a request from a resident to fill pot holes that is sent through to us by Council’s customer service team (via Council’s feedback form, Report it online portal or a call or email to customer service). The frequency generally depends on the weather: storms and rain generate more potholes and more requests.
We have two working days to respond but if it’s flagged as an urgent safety issue we will respond straight away to make it safe.
Preventative maintenance is undertaken by us driving and inspecting the roads in the municipality on a daily basis. We fill pot holes and make roads safe, we then make a list of major defects and prioritise them by size and safety.
We assess what we can complete in-house with council staff and what should go to a contractor who has the capacity to complete larger repairs.
What areas do you focus on?
Roads, car parks and some footpaths.
Certain roads we know are more prone to defects so we know where to focus our time. Other roads we may visit less frequently as they are less prone to weather damage or have been re-sealed in the last few years.
How do you assess a job?
It depends on the size or safety factors.
For medium-size jobs that are too big for the patching truck, we do have a skid steer with a milling attachment that can profile and remove the damaged section of road and we can re-lay new asphalt.
Larger jobs that need to be contracted out are assessed in conjunction with our yearly Capital Works road re-sealing program.
Has the rain this year affected your work?
Yes, there has been a significant increase in potholes and permanent road defects that now require major repairs.
Who else do you work with?
Other crews of council provide support filling pot holes, providing traffic control, and assistance with the skid steer, excavator or truck to help permanently repair defects.
How long do jobs take and how much asphalt gets used?
Major defects we complete in-house are one or two days. Larger defects that are contracted out are one day.
With the recent weather, on a normal pot holing day the crew has been obtaining four tonnes of asphalt every day to use. The crew works for as long as it takes to get rid of the mix during the day filling potholes.