When the water department in Van Wert, Ohio needed to replace some water services that were failing, the Water Superintendent, Don “Bud” Mengerink was concerned because it was a very busy road. In addition to the issue of a busy road, there was another road closure in town, so time efficiency was important.
Cost of other tools
Bud started looking into ways to get through the 12 inches of blacktop. With the cost of renting a 30” blade, or even purchasing one at an average of $20,000, he chose to experiment with something that the Van Wert Street Department already had, the Mr. Manhole tool.
Cut deep and wide
He knew it could cut through blacktop, but was concerned that it would not go deep enough and wide enough for the crew to get down inside and get the work done. After using the tool, Bud said that there were times they were able to get through the black top and remove the asphalt “cookie” in just 8 to 9 minutes. The holes were completely excavated and ready to begin work on the water issue within two hours. If the crew had used a street saw and a hydra hammer for the black top, it would have easily doubled or tripled that time. Bud’s initial concern was unfounded.
Traditional ways damage roadway
With different tools and the traditional square cut, there would have been dirty edges to take care of and time would have been spent going back to straighten up those edges. Bud knew from seeing other projects around Van Wert that circle holes do not split out and crack the road the way square holes do. He estimates that using Mr. Manhole saved the city $100,000 worth of damage to the street.
Since Mr. Manhole does not leave any sharp corners, snowplows and other traffic will not have problems when they drive over the repair in the road.
The Mr. Manhole method made the work easier for Bud and his men. They were surprised and very pleased with the tool.
Use in road work beyond Manholes
Because Mr. Manhole is designed to cut through asphalt and concrete, it’s easy to see that there are other applications than simply repairing manholes. With so many utility lines under the roadway, this is a tool that is great to use on many municipal projects or contracting needs. This is due to its speed, ease of use, and superior repair quality.