A new partnership has been announced that will see Sunbelt Rentals deploy Thermal Road Repairs’ low-carbon, zero-waste road repair technology through its new Smarter Road Repair solution.
“This latest technology provides a superior road repair solution, that’s both cost effective and good for the environment,” says Sunbelt Rentals’ Director of Traffic Management, Jim Mclachlan. “Too many times we see that road repairs and trench reinstatements fail, meaning that traffic management systems have to be reinstalled, contractors have to be called back, and road users have to suffer disruption again. With this new solution we now offer a combined pothole repair and traffic management service that will stop that from happening.”
The Thermal Road Repairs system uses patented thermal infrared heaters to heat up the material in and around a trench reinstatement, pothole, crack or other defect to make it soft and pliable. The system automatically switches off when the required heat has been reached to avoid over-heating the bitumen, which can lead to premature ageing and cracking of the road surface.
A small amount of fresh asphalt mix is then added and mixed with the existing materials, after which the area is compacted with a roller to form a long-lasting repair. Since all the material have been heated, old and new blend so that the repaired area is homogenous, cutting out any weak points that has the potential to fail.
Compared to a traditional pothole repair method, which would see failed material cut away, transported away and replaced, the Thermal Road Repair system emits 85% less carbon. The heaters can be charged by mains or solar energy, as well as now being biofuel compatible.
This method also requires far fewer vehicle movements, since there is one vehicle which brings the thermal heater, three-person crew and a hot box for fresh asphalt. As well as keeping the carbon footprint low, fewer vehicle movements reduce disruption to traffic and air pollution. Which in turn removes the requirement of requiring noisy equipment, such as grinders or jackhammers, this new process hugely reduces noise levels, meaning neighbours are not disturbed, and could also be done at any time of day even in residential areas.
With the longevity and quality of Thermal Road Repairs’ solution confirmed by its six-year track record, Sunbelt Rentals’ UK and Ireland depot network will enable the technology to be deployed far more widely. The agreement will also help drive Thermal Road Repairs’ ongoing research and development programme, with feedback from Sunbelt Rentals helping to inform the direction of travel, explained, Aidan Conway, Director of Thermal Road Repairs.
“We have already invested in our manufacturing facility to increase our capability on the back of the contract and will be looking to enhance that further through the next 12 months,” says Conway. Improvements include the addition of mezzanine floors, a new R&D centre, a new electrical department and four more employees.
Despite the disparity in size between Thermal Road Repairs and Sunbelt Rentals, the two companies share a common culture and approach, says Sunbelt Rentals’ Managing Director for Engineered Solutions in the UK, Gordon McKay, “Both businesses share many similarities, we’re both very people focused with an aim to deliver expert market-leading solutions for our customers. The Smarter Road Repair solution not only performs to the highest standard, but is also aligned to our strategic objective around carbon reduction and sustainability. I’m delighted with the new partnership and look forward to continuing our work with the Thermal Road Repairs team into the future.”
About Thermal Road Repairs:
Thermal Road Repairs is a green technology company which supplies systems to improve the quality, cost and time efficiency of road repairs and paving – at a far lower environmental cost than traditional methods. It invests significantly in R&D, to create new technologies and to continuously improve existing ones.
Thermal Road Repairs: Decarbonising the asphalt repair industry.
High output. Zero emission. Zero waste. Permanent solution.
About Sunbelt Rentals:
Sunbelt Rentals forms part of FTSE 100 Company, Ashtead Group plc and is the UK’s largest equipment rental company with over 195 service centres nationwide, more than 3,700 employees and over 35,000 customers in the construction, industrial, infrastructure, utilities and event sectors.