Commercial Vehicle Hire & Hot Box Specialists
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Hot Box Basics: What is a Hot Box and How Does It Work?


Hot boxes are fantastic tools for efficient and effective road maintenance and repair. By keeping asphalt hot and workable, they enable road crews to perform high-quality repairs with minimal waste and downtime. Whether you’re filling a pothole or laying a driveway, a hot box is a must-have piece of equipment for any road maintenance operation.

What is a Hot Box?

A hot box, in road repair and maintenance, refers to a portable container used to keep asphalt hot and workable for extended periods. Hot boxes come in various sizes, ranging from compact units suitable for small repairs to larger models capable of storing substantial quantities of hot mix asphalt.

How Does a Hot Box Work?

The operation of a hot box is quite straightforward yet incredibly effective. Here’s a step-by-step breakdown of how it works:


The hot box features a heating system, typically powered by propane or diesel burners, which keeps the asphalt inside at an optimal temperature. This is crucial because asphalt needs to be hot to remain workable and achieve proper compaction when applied. Our 18T GVW Econ Roadmender uses a digital temperature control and various other models available to hire use a thermostatically controlled gas system. 


Hot boxes are well-insulated to retain heat efficiently. This insulation helps maintain the internal temperature of the asphalt, preventing it from cooling down too quickly. ND Brown’s hot boxes have fully insulated containers to retain the heat of the asphalt.


Once hot mix asphalt is produced at an asphalt plant, it is transported to the job site in trucks. The asphalt is then loaded into the hotbox, where it stays hot and ready for use until needed for repairs.

On-Site Application: 

When road crews are ready to make repairs, they can transport the hot box directly to the repair site. The hot asphalt is then easily and quickly applied, eliminating the need to transport large volumes of asphalt from further away.


Hot boxes are versatile tools. They can be used for a variety of tasks, from filling potholes and repairing utility cuts to performing spot repairs on road surfaces. Their portability and efficiency make them indispensable for road maintenance projects of all sizes.

Factors to Consider

Capacity: Choose a hot box size that matches the scale of your projects. Our range has hot boxes available to hire from the 3.5T GVW Towable Hot Box to the 26T GVW Hot Box.

Heating System: Opt for a reliable heating system that suits your operational requirements and budget.

Mobility: Ensure the hot box is easy to transport and manoeuvre on-site.

Insulation: Look for models with superior insulation for better heat retention.

Hot Box Hire at ND Brown

At ND Brown, we provide a range of hot box solutions tailored to your needs. Contact us today to learn more about how our long or short-term hot box hire services can enhance the efficiency and quality of your road maintenance projects. 


About ND Brown

ND Brown Ltd is a specialist independent truck rental and sales company of over 40 years’ standing. Owned and operated by the same dedicated management team since its inception, ND Brown’s efforts are focused on supplying the utility, civil engineering, municipal and highway maintenance industries with high-quality modern HGV vehicles for both short and long-term self-drive hire.

From our sales division, we also sell a wide, but specialised range of new and used commercial vehicles.

Please call us on 01902 791991 or email us on