by Jim Keller––
Jasper County, located in the northwest corner of Indiana, had to find a better, less expensive way to repair its roads. Winter’s frost had really torn up the roads and they needed a better way to repair them. Problem was, traditional methods of repair were too expensive for the number of roads that needed help.
They had heard a rumor that neighboring Newton County had purchased a machine that it was saving them a bundle on their road repairs. It was called the Asphalt Zipper.
Public works director in Jasper County, Jack Haberlin, called his counterpart in Newton County to ask his opinion and to find out more about this Asphalt Zipper machine. He was invited to come over to Newton and witness it in action.
Newton County had purchased Asphalt Zipper’s 6-foot wide machine with the big 260 hp Cummins diesel engine. It had the ability to pulverize asphalt up to 12” thick at the amazing speed of about 6000 square feet per hour!
He watched an asphalt road become pulverized in no time at all and saw how easily the asphalt mixed into the base in one operation saving hundreds of man and equipment hours. Jobs that normally would take 2-3 days could now be done in less than one day! No hauling off the old material and no hauling in new. It was the ideal solution.
When Haberlin got back to his office, he immediately called and ordered the exact same machine for his county. Savings like this were simply too great to pass up.
Haberlin said, “Before getting the Asphalt Zipper, our usual method of repair was to crumble up the road with a motor grader and add additional stone on top. Then we usually chip sealed it. With the Zipper it just mixes the old road right into the base. It makes the base stronger. Then we can chip seal it or pave it for a smoother road. We really like it.”