• May 22, 2009
The Pothole Killer: Click above to watch the video after the jump

Potholes suck. Every spring, northern towns see the snow melt, only to find destroyed streets in wake of Old Man Winter, and southern towns with heavy trucking routes aren't exactly exempt from the phenomena, either. Chuckholes destroy tires and warp those expensive aluminum wheels, and the worst of them can throw your alignment out of whack. That's when the patching crews come in to save the day. You've seen them: A gang of guys and gals in hard hats and orange vests, each wielding a shovel and some hot, smelly black stuff. Usually, only one or two are working at any given time, but the cost to taxpayers is astonishing; $70 per hole filled, says My Fox DC. And they're everywhere.

In our nation's capitol, potholes are as bad there as anywhere else in America, but they've got a secret weapon, and it's called 'The Pothole Killer.' The PK is a truck with a tank of black goo connected to a long hose on a mechanical arm. The driver of the truck has a joystick that is used to evenly spray the pothole filler, smoothing over potholes in a matter of seconds. The machine can fill some 300 holes a day, and it costs only $3 per crevice on average. We assume that it would get boring to use the Pothole Killer after about 10 minutes, but we'd like to try it just the same. Hit the jump to see video this urban warrior in action.

[Source: My Fox DC]


Pot Hole Killer - For more funny videos, click here


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  • 33 Comments
      • 5 Years Ago
      what I don't get about all this, viewing from across the Atlantic, is: we have winters here as well. Cold ones. Lots of snow and ice and all. Still, potholes aren't a problem I have ever heard people bitching about.

      Do we construct roads differently from the start? Or what is the reason?
      • 5 Years Ago
      I'm from DC ... our outgoing mayor, Mayor Tony, made potholes a priority when he came into office 5+ years ago, and even set up a hotline where you could call in the location of potholes. Very quickly DC went from the second-worst potholed city I've ever lived in to being one of the better ones. I'm glad to see they're keeping it up.

      It is a lesson that, if you bitch enough, you can get a candidate for mayor or controller to take potholes seriously and really do something about it. For people like me who are single and don't use 9/10 of city services, fixing potholes is a cheap way to get my vote! Convince some mayoral candidate of that, and you will have a politician who will actually do something about it. Politicians just listen for the squeaky wheel, but if you convince them there is a sizable minority bloc who will vote for them just because they hire a few dudes to go around and make proper patches to the street (i.e. not have to fix the school system or hospitals or something else really hard), then they will jump at it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Yeah, who cares about restrictions on constitutional rights and high crime rates. As long as those pot holes are filled...
      • 5 Years Ago
      It might be juvenile, but I wanna try it. Then again it's probably best that I don't. I could get up to a lot of trouble with a machine like that...
      • 5 Years Ago
      when are we going to buy more of these trucks for all cities in the USA??????????
      • 5 Years Ago
      Well, does it do it, you know, *well*? Lots of pothole fills I see are done terribly - its like they didn't even TRY to level it with the surrounding road or even smooth it out. It seems to get worse the more North you go, although possibly parts of Georgia with their "metal plate" system might win the prize of laziest and least skilled road workers.
        • 5 Years Ago
        It's because government workers are LAZY, and so incompetent that they can't work in the private sector. Hear me State Workers?

        YOU. SUCK.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @ Rob: What an asinine generalization.
        • 5 Years Ago
        eb110...I know what you mean. There are a lot of streets in the city I work in that are like that. I will tell you that our department doesn't do that (the department that takes care of main breaks, etc. does that). But that department will fill an area they cut out with patch and it will be fine for a week or so but then it will settle.

        But there are streets in this city that NEED to be repaved. No amount of patching will help. It does help alleviate the problems with potholes but after every winter, a crew will spend a week or more just on one block. And then you get the street sweepers out there and if that stuff didn't have the time to harden, it just gets torn right back up. It's pretty much a nonstop process.

        I just patched a street that hadn't been repaved since the mid 70s. It's not riddled with potholes but there are a lot of cracks and sections that have heaved over the years. Sadly, we have no say in what streets get done but there are streets that have gotten repaved in the last couple years that didn't need it.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Man! You aren't kidding! Here in LA (and everywhere else in California for that matter) they are constantly patching cracks and potholes in roads. Even worse than that, every time someone needs access to utilities such as water, gas, sewage, electrical, etc. they will cut a hole in the road and fill it just the same as any pothole.

        This might be sustainable if it was to hold the roads over for six months before repaving, but they'll keep doing this for years and never repave over it. There's a well traveled two-to-one lane (each way) in the city where I grew up and every time I go back to visit the Bay Area, I see it's still not been repaved--in over 20 years! If we have to drive over this crap for 2 decades, the least they could do is make it flat enough so you don't feel like you just ran over a phone book. They need to invent a machine which does that: makes the pothole-filled road FLAT.
        • 5 Years Ago
        Those steal plates are usually put over manholes or catch basins that need to be completely replaced.

        Anyways, I happen to patch streets for one of the cities in the Metro Detroit area and I can tell you county workers are the worst. I have seen them patch streets (usually leaving the pile four or so inches too high) and having to redo it a week later. We do our patching a tad differently.

        If we have to do along a curb we first sweep the hell out of the hole, fill it with mix (we use cold patch) and use the truck to roll it. That way the patch has a better chance of staying. There are quite a few patch jobs that I did two years ago that are still in place. For the stuff in the center of the streets, we put in he correct amount, tap it down with the shovels and if we can, run them over with the trucks.

        State and County workers wish they could do our level of work. But nope...
        • 5 Years Ago
        If my job is filling potholes, why would I want to permanently fix a pothole?
      • 5 Years Ago
      We need these in Tulsa, we have some of the worst roads in the nation down here. Mixture of low funding, a lot of older roads with heavy traffic. (Oil boom in the 20s laid out some of northern Tulsa really oddly, the roads are very narrow and traffic is high with no room to expand)

      But worst of all, Oklahoma has a red clay type of soil that doesnt absorb water. Couple that with our weird weather patterns that fluctuate our temp and conditions so much (oddest in the nation, Tulsa is actually the hub for Meteorology for the entire country, look it up) Horrible for our roads. I have 20s on my car with low profiles and it looks nice but it was a dumb move considering the state of our roads.

      Tulsa sucks. You probably already knew that, but Ill go ahead and confirm it, Tulsa sucks.


        • 5 Years Ago
        You have it backwards, its South Tulsa which is newer and has the nicer roads. (Relatively nicer, they still face a lot of the same issues) and its North Tulsa which is older and has the smaller roads.

        Tulsa expanded South, not North.

        And yeah lol, North Tulsa does have the huge drainage systems on the side, but at least Tulsa has one of the most advanced flood systems in the nation, even more so than New Orleans had. My first wreck was into a flood drainage pipe.

        Again, its because of the clay soil....not the wreck...the floods....
        • 5 Years Ago
        Thing is, nobody cares about Oklahoma. :P
        • 5 Years Ago
        I can vouch for this. I moved from Texas a couple of years, nice roads, and Tulsa roads are crap.

        North Tulsa isn't bad to get around since all of the major streets are four lane. South Tulsa and their two lane streets with six foot drainage ditches on either side is horrible to drive in. Anytime during the day the intersections are stacked ten cars deep at a minimum. It's the most idiotic street system I've seen.
        • 5 Years Ago
        lol, even Oklahomans dont care about Oklahoma
      • 5 Years Ago
      Great use of taxpayer dollars! This is something that saves money! Cheers!!!
      • 5 Years Ago
      Couple things:

      1. We've had these in Milwaukee for years, but Milwaukee is cool and uses gravel. Yep. Just gravel. So then the stones get kicked out in a few days and it's like it was before, only tax payer money was wasted.

      2. Big problem isn't throwing your suspension out of whack, its the increased wear on balljoints, bushings, struts, etc.
      • 5 Years Ago
      IN my city they usually fix a pothole within 2 days of it being reported online. I am happy with that, the problem I do have is with the increased funding (thanks Obama) to fix roads, my city has decided that micro-surfacing is the way to go. Essentially this spreads about a 1 cm layer of tar and asphalt sealing the road. this does not smooth out the road because it was not smooth before, and most importantly i parked on it days after it as done, and when i drove away my tires tore up the surface where the car sat (my car is a compact car). There's what I love about all of it, lets stretch our dollar so far, what were doing will cost more in the long run because it is done so poorly.
      JDM Life
      • 5 Years Ago
      I live in New york and I am FU**ING FED UP with pot holes.....

      Every corner, every block. Im always dodging then. I've seen huge, deep pot holes that have people slamming on the brakes. I saw one too late one time, the hit felt so severe that I pulled over, got out the car to check...it felt like it took my front axle off....jesus.

      I got my car aligned more times then I can remember just from living in NY alone.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @JDM Life
        JDM,

        I hear you. Ground clearance and the ability to deal with the terrain here in QNS was one of the main criteria when I bought my MDX. Mercedes R class was thrown out of consideration quickly for this very fact. It's funny but my realistic dream car now id the Cayenne Turbo or the ML63 because I want something that's quick but can handle the sh!tty roads.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @JDM Life
        To witness the sheer scale of how bad that stupid street is, make sure you click the down arrow to go back down the street...there's a bazillion other badly filled potholes that aren't level at all. Probably would have been cheaper just to repave the damned thing instead of filling 900 potholes.
        • 5 Years Ago
        @JDM Life
        If you think NYC is bad come up to Western NY and take a drive. NYC sucks but at least the potholes kinda get filled.

        Actually, I take that back, I know of one street in Queens which has the absolute worst potholes humanly possible-I think they had to tear up a patch every 5 feet or so to get access for something and when they repatched it every 5 feet there's basically a sunken patch.

        Thanks to the magic of Google Maps we can now all witness the idiocy:
        http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=11355&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=55.543096,114.257812&ie=UTF8&ll=40.756908,-73.832465&spn=0.003283,0.006974&z=18&iwloc=A&layer=c&cbll=40.756952,-73.832367&panoid=7LdGwo_QWuHiaGV0yOq8SA&cbp=12,239.55,,0,29.22
      • 5 Years Ago
      I dont get why american road service has to be so crappy. I lived in Japan for a year and their road crews were ninja quick, in and out in half a day with perfect results. In fact, I dont remember any pot holes at all. Maybe it has to do with work ethic.
      • 5 Years Ago
      Pass the cheese, please. My city is pretty much beyond broke due to the drop in sales taxes so all non-major road projects (i.e. all upkeep jobs are gone) in city limits has been stopped for quite a few months now. You never see a street sweeper or crack sealer crew any more. BTW this city has about half a million residents, about one million in the entire county. I'm glad I work from home and practically never need to commute to the office :-)
      J
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