Highways and roadways demand some of the biggest maintenance jobs, requiring miles of thermoplastic or tape lines to be laid. But they are also home to crosswalks, parking lots, bridges, turning arrows and stop bars. These smaller jobs require precision, dexterity and a different kind of tool.

Many operators use hand-liners for their smallest jobs, but these tools can be heavy, unwieldy and inefficient. What if you could jump on the back of a unit kitted out to suit any of your small-job requirements, and even equipped to melt thermoplastic itself?

Introducing the Mini Hog, the new ride-on unit that brings the capabilities of big trucks to a tractor-sized piece of equipment, from leading roadway equipment manufacturer Hog Technologies.

“The Mini Hog would replace any of your hand-lining units,” says Wade Cooper, Hog Technologies lead design engineer. “You can use it for jobs like crosswalks, stop bars and short-distance lines on roads and parking lots.”

Introduced just a year ago, the Mini Hog is already transforming the way operators complete their detailed jobs requiring thermoplastic and tape. Soon, it promises to offer waterborne paint capabilities too.

For smaller operators, the Mini Hog is an accessible starting point. For big companies, it is an ideal addition to the fleet, enabling them to undertake detailed work alongside their bigger jobs. It has already been sold around the world, from North America to Germany and Vietnam.

Boost ease and efficiency

With hand-liners and other ride-on units, operators must manually change the blades to control the width or pattern of the line. This means stopping operations, laying down tools and making adjustments to big blades.

“With the Mini Hog, it’s controlled from sitting down,” says Cooper. “If you need to do a 12-inch line, you can adjust it accordingly. You can do any pattern that you need, all at the flick of a switch.”

The Mini Hog is designed with the operator in mind. Engine controls are conveniently located for ease of operation, and its Skiptimer system by Skipline Inc. includes footage counters and speedometer capabilities.

The unit has also been engineered to have a low centre of gravity, giving greater stability, which enables consistent line widths. This means the job can be done neatly and accurately the first time around.

Many other thermoplastic and tape-laying equipment options come with an extended startup time, inconvenient for users and inefficient for operators. “Our startup time is only around an hour to an hour and a half,” says Cooper. “That’s faster than a lot of others.”

Reduce waste

Most other units that resemble the Mini Hog can keep melted thermoplastic warm, but can’t melt it themselves. This means thermoplastic has to be added to the kettle already melted and the excess dumped out at the end of the day. Not only does this lead to huge amount of waste, it exposes workers to a heavy, risky dumping procedure, involving liquid thermoplastic heated to 400 degrees.

One of the champion features of the Mini Hog is its ability to melt the plastic itself.

“We can melt the plastic inside the kettle,” says Cooper. “At the end of the day, you can just shut down our units. Anything left in the kettle, you can just melt down the next day.”

This is a game-changer in terms of safety, cost and convenience for operators.

As well as this, the Mini Hog keeps the melted thermoplastic moving within the kettle, avoiding the glass beads settling out removing the need to clean waste material out of the blades every ten minutes. This cuts out unnecessary downtime, waste and risk exposure.

Hog Technologies has recognised the benefits of scaled-down equipment which runs just as safely, efficiently and conveniently as heavier pieces of kit. The Mini Hog is just the start of an envisioned line of mini units, to include a mini paint unit for runways and a smaller water blaster.

To find out more about the rest of the fleet, download the whitepaper