Equipment World Staff | August 15, 2011

Installing and removing cold patch asphalt around road plates has always been time consuming, hazardous and labor intensive. Fortunately today, it’s no longer necessary. Plate Locks, winner of the Transportation Development Foundation Award and 2009 Roadway Work Zone Safety Awareness Award, has developed a new and inventive cost effective, reusable road plate securing system that does away with cold-mix for road plates and actually marks, identifies and secures them.

Unlike cold patch, which depends entirely on adhesion to the road, Plate Locks is actually fastened to the road, preventing any sliding and shifting of the plate. Plate Locks is made from a recyclable, safety orange polypropylene thermoplastic. It comes in 5 ft. lengths and can be cut to fit any sized plate or configuration of multiple plates. You can move them from job to job and it pays for itself after 1-2 uses, versus cold patch asphalt material.

“I was skeptical,” says Tad Blanton, Field Operations Supervisor for Medford, Oregon Public Works Dept., “but we set up a demonstration in our yard. We tested the proto-type wedges with a 1-inch thick plate over an uneven asphalt haul road. We used plate shims in several places to give the plate full bearing. The plate got an estimated 100 trips a day across it with all heavy trucks and heavy equipment. We left it in place for about 19 days and the plate never moved. I was impressed. Not only did the plate stay in place without cold-mix, the “Plate Locks” strips made the ride across the plate better than cold-mix generally would. ”

Plate Locks is also environmentally safe, unlike cold mix. It is reusable, has no off gassing of VOC’s and is recyclable. There are also no harmful chemicals that can contaminate storm drains.

More than 100 million gallons of petroleum are used each year in the manufacturing of cold mix and it takes only one gallon of petroleum to pollute one million gallons of water.

“We have been using Plate Locks for about a year on several projects in Southern Oregon,” says Rand LeBaron, President of Pilot Rock Excavation. “Our previous practice for securing trench plates was to surround them with cold-mix asphalt. That old method has literally kept us awake at night with worry about plate-walk in heavily traveled areas. Plate Locks has ended our worries about the trench plates moving and causing a serious accident… and the savings over the cost of cold-mix asphalt and the labor to place it multiply every time we use Plate Locks.”

If you’re looking for a safer, more cost effective and environmentally friendly product, Plate Locks is your answer. For more information on this innovative new product, visit our website at, call 541-821-3622 or email Chris Lane at

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