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My local city added a fresh batch of tar snakes on the roads today. Why is it that they need to spread a 2" wide stream of tar to fill a 1/4" crack in the road? It seems to me that it would save on a lot of tar if they were a little more efficient and only filled the crack.
 

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Just a guess but maybe the application tool they use puts out a 2 in strip so one tool does it all......covers various size cracks.

Also I don't think they just want to fill the crack I think they need to seal it from any water/moisture to prevent it from getting worse. That would require some overlap.

I do find them slippery on warm days in the curves.

Any Civil Engineers around?
 

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Fun when wet too! Like having a dance partner with 2 left legs.:mrgreen:
 

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I'm only guessing, since I'm not an engineer, but if they just put the tar inside the crack, there isn't as much surface area for the tar to adhere to when the frost and heave cycles begin in the winter time. If they overfill the crack and then spread out the tar on the road surface, there is that much more surface area that the tar plug can stick to. Plus the two inch wide strip on top probably provides a smoother surface to drive on, the way you feather out joint compound on a drywall joint rather than just stick a blob of mud where the drywall panels meet.
 

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If they overfill the crack and then spread out the tar on the road surface, there is that much more surface area that the tar plug can stick to.
Yup, just like patching an inner tube. You don't reach for the tiniest patch that barely covers the pinhole.

When I had my Goldwing 1500 I found that some front tires would "grab" tarsnakes and jerk the handlebars rather than feel slippery on them.
 

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Here it's far snakes but mostly a film of tar with chips of rock(?) thrown over it. So much fun in a curve.:furious:
 

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simple. they measured a typical motorcycle tire contact patch, then added a quarter inch... :yesnod:
 

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My local city added a fresh batch of tar snakes on the roads today. Why is it that they need to spread a 2" wide stream of tar to fill a 1/4" crack in the road? It seems to me that it would save on a lot of tar if they were a little more efficient and only filled the crack.
While doing my summer job with the D.O.T. the year I graduated high school, I got loaned out to the "Roadsavers" crew (a private company contracted to do the work) for 2 or 3 days as a flagger. Long, hard days, and I was only carrying a sign.

Anyway, I observed the way the work was done, and I'll just say this: I'd like to see anyone pour hot liquid tar (actually it's a rubberized sealing compound) into a crack and not have it spread out a little on either side. They want to fill the crack all the way to the top and then some, too, because they don't want water pooling in there again after they fill it. There was also a guy who came along behind the guy pouring the tar, throwing dust (Portland cement, I think) down on the freshly poured tar so that it wouldn't stick to cars' tires and get pulled out.

As with most things in life, there is a lot more to the seemingly simple task of filling cracks in the road than is apparent to the outsider. Each crack would get gouged out by a machine that looked a lot like a rear-tine rototiller, then blown clean with a leaf blower, presumably to encourage better adhesion. Then it would get filled with tar, by hand. There was one guy who did all the tar pouring - he was the expert at it, and it probably took more skill to do well than it appeared.

Yeah, tar snakes can definitely cause bikes to exhibit some squirrely behaviour, but it's a lot cheaper than fulling repaving a road, or even chipsealing it, and keeps the road from deteriorating even more. I'd sooner deal with tar snakes than big potholes.
 

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Here it's far snakes but mostly a film of tar with chips of rock(?) thrown over it. So much fun in a curve.:furious:
Actually, once the excess loose stone is removed, chipseal provides a very grippy surface, in my experience. The problem is that fresh, loose chipseal and old chipseal without the loose stone look pretty near the same.
 

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I'd like to see anyone pour hot liquid tar (actually it's a rubberized sealing compound) into a crack and not have it spread out a little on either side.
my thoughts exactly.

dirty work, the tar gets everywhere.

Also I don't think they just want to fill the crack I think they need to seal it from any water/moisture to prevent it from getting worse.
damn, I have a dirty mind...

:ihih:
 

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The edge of the cracks deteriorate over time and require what the industry calls overbanding to obtain the best seal and protection. Sand or aggregate is placed over the fresh repair when it is impossible to keep traffic off of it. This is done usually only on roads that have heavy traffic and not usually the kind of roads we like to ride on. The aggregate or sand application also aids in skid resistance. There is a test to determine skid resistance and I doubt it is rarely done.

Tar snakes add some life to roads before resurfacing is required, however, in most cases local governments or state or provincial governments use this method because of budget belt tightening without any concern for the additional hazard they create for motorcyclists.

Contact your insurance company and legislator or local government official in writing of the location of areas to inform them of unsafe road conditions due to tar snakes. Even with overbanding there is a maximum height above the road surface that they can be which I believe is 1/8". "cc" everyone you write to (email is fine) in order to have a record of your concerns. When local officials note that you have informed your insurance company they may take some action but given government budgets and the foolish cry of the public to reduce taxes we are going to see more and more inferior applications by fly by night tar snake companies with little oversight and no quality control or testing for skid resistance.

My two bits! Don't just complain take action. Motorcycle clubs and organizations should band together to raise the issue of poor traction and possible accidents and injuries. Now, because its only going to get worse as governments forego proper maintenance to non-"slab" roads and stop listening to those political fools who only want to ruin the positive roles governments play for our common benefit. An additional 1 cent in fuel taxes in the US would raise a bit more than $2 billion. An additional 15 cents a gallon would generate enough funds to keep the road infrastructure well maintained.

"It is more cost effective to resurface a street before pavement deterioration." With less and less money to do this governments resort to snake oil sales people who con them into crack sealing and overbanding (tar snakes).

In 2011 all of the US states together spent $40 billion on "road preservation". There are more than 4 million miles of roadways in the US! By 2020 US governments will have deferred road maintenance costs to the tune of $184 billion! So, if they are going to use tar snakes as a stop gap measure the least they can do is make them safe or safer. One final point... Don't bug your local road maintenance crew as they are only able to work with budgets handed to them by short-sighted self-interested politicians!
 

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I can say this, my K60's don't like them so I find myself weaving around the TS's in big sweepers.
 

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Do riders actually crash because of tar snakes?

I feel my front tire squirm around on them but no loss of traction. Maybe if someone over reacts to the movement they could go down but I would blame that on the rider.
 

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I find them slippery in hot weather. Not a big deal on straight roads but on winding roads (as in canyons in mountainous country) when you are leaning in corners it takes all the fun out of the ride. May not be slippery but there is a sideways give as the surface moves from sideways forces in the corner. They can be thick and syrup like in warm weather.
 

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While doing my summer job with the D.O.T. the year I graduated high school, I got loaned out to the "Roadsavers" crew (a private company contracted to do the work) for 2 or 3 days as a flagger. Long, hard days, and I was only carrying a sign.

Anyway, I observed the way the work was done, and I'll just say this: I'd like to see anyone pour hot liquid tar (actually it's a rubberized sealing compound) into a crack and not have it spread out a little on either side. They want to fill the crack all the way to the top and then some, too, because they don't want water pooling in there again after they fill it. There was also a guy who came along behind the guy pouring the tar, throwing dust (Portland cement, I think) down on the freshly poured tar so that it wouldn't stick to cars' tires and get pulled out.



As with most things in life, there is a lot more to the seemingly simple task of filling cracks in the road than is apparent to the outsider. Each crack would get gouged out by a machine that looked a lot like a rear-tine rototiller, then blown clean with a leaf blower, presumably to encourage better adhesion. Then it would get filled with tar, by hand. There was one guy who did all the tar pouring - he was the expert at it, and it probably took more skill to do well than it appeared.

Yeah, tar snakes can definitely cause bikes to exhibit some squirrely behaviour, but it's a lot cheaper than fulling repaving a road, or even chipsealing it, and keeps the road from deteriorating even more. I'd sooner deal with tar snakes than big potholes.
Wow! Around here they just squirt tar into the crack and that's it! I have the stuff all over the side of my pickup, at least it won't rust there.
 

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Tar snakes have been around almost as long as tar. They're not going away.

I don't mind the older ones that have worn down, but I've seen some fresh ones raised a quarter inch. Sliding on and off that does upset the contact patch. I remember UT 12 one time was particularly bad on my Sprint. Quite unnerving even at moderate speed.
 

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They'll make you pucker up if you're banked into a turn and your bike skips across them. But as far as I can tell the tires latch back onto the pavement with no harm done. I do take it easy when turning across them though.


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