Cornell Local Roads Program

Throw & Roll!

Cold patch should always be compacted with a roller or a plate tamper, but in practice this is rarely done. Speed of repair is the primary reason given for this shortcut, which has earned the technique the name “Throw and Go.” The problem with this is that the lack of any compaction causes the material to fail very quickly. Patches placed one day are often gone the very next day.

A much more effective technique is called “Throw and Roll.” The only difference is that the truck is used to compact the material. Truck tires do a fairly good job of this. With compaction, more patches will survive the season. The 4 simple steps are listed below.

Truck tire compacts a "Throw and Go" patch

Throw and Roll does not take much more time, but just simply rolling over the patch typically increases the survival rate (the number of patches that will survive the season) from 10 to 25 percent. Using a proprietary mix, as opposed to a standard cold patch, can double the survival rate to 50 percent.

4 Simple Steps:

  1. 1. Place the patch material in the hole.
  2. 2. Roll over the patch.
  3. 3. Make sure the patch has some crown (1/4”).
  4. 4. Move on to the next pothole.

August 2006

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This work by the Cornell Local Roads Program (CLRP) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported License.