A Drive For Innovation

Written by William Young

For more than half a century, Cimline, Inc. has been helping preserve the pavement, asphalt, and roadwork network across the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Cimline designs and manufactures equipment to preserve roadways throughout the world. With a drive for performance and innovation, Cimline continues to offer cutting edge technology through its worldwide network of distributors. The company is headquartered in Minneapolis, Minnesota with manufacturing plants in Minnesota and Mississippi.

Staying on top

Cimline and its dealer network routinely work with customers and agencies to train the industry in best practices, new equipment technologies, and material specifications. The company stays on top of the latest technology and methodologies in its field to offer best possible solutions for its clients.

Among its considerable array of pothole patchers, crack sealers, and various other machines, Cimline’s invention of the MA4 longitudinal joint sealer has opened new opportunity in the market for VRAM application. VRAM (void-reducing asphalt membrane) is a new technology becoming more widely accepted across the United States.

Sales Director Ben Thielbar describes the VRAM process as “pavement maintenance before a new asphalt surface is laid.” It extends asphalt life by making meet-joints and rumble-strip applications that are impermeable to water, extending pavement lifecycles a further four to six years.

Another source of continuous growth for the company is its pre-packaged mastic patching method, assisted by the ME3 large-capacity mastic melter applicator. The mastic product has varied uses in the pavement and asphalt industries, so Cimline has also introduced the 60-gallon ME1 unit for use in smaller jobs and property maintenance, as well as the 200-gallon ME2 specifically for agency and municipality needs.

For spray-patching applications, Cimline has introduced the P1 with a gas-over-electric design. The P1, following on the popular P2 (the number one market-share machine in America), embodies a non-pressurized 300-gallon emulsion tank, a new flush system, and a new on-demand roots blower.

Thielbar emphasizes the versatility of the Cimline catalogue as demonstration of its unique position in the market, and constant new additions to the lineup similarly affirm the company’s focus.

Time to learn

Although COVID-19 continues to stymie development and operations for countless companies, Cimline seized on the initial months of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021 as an opportunity to learn.

As tradeshows began to cancel, the company saw the need to adjust how to showcase products. The team created a campaign called “Hit the Road with the Cimline Innovation Team”.

The roadshow (as it later became known), was an opportunity for Cimline to showcase two new products to its dealers and end users.

Marketing Manager Katie Johnson remembers how the company communicated with its dealers throughout the process with email and social media. “We wanted people to pay attention to what Cimline was doing and follow us on our journey across the United States,” she explains.

It was also important for the company to humanize the impact of the road show, so they established a blog to capture the experience in photos and updates. The blog was a success and drew new traffic to the Cimline website. Over seven months, Cimline’s traveling roadshow journeyed to 38 states, 22,581 miles in all, to meet over 20 dealers and thousands of customers.

Its audience received the road show with enthusiasm, and it was considered a real win for Cimline. A valuable observation from the event was agencies and contractors needed customer support that was self-reliant to be able to react faster to the working environment. “They wanted support at their fingertips and knowledge that was easy to share and pass on to new members of crews and teams,” Johnson says.

With these insights the company changed gears. Instead of repeating the road show for 2022, it launched the initiative, “Cimline Academy” to support the dealer network with guides on topics ranging from equipment specification and start-up to detailed service training, with step-by-step video support for troubleshooting and machine diagnostics.

To date, the Academy has released more than 20 maintenance and support videos, as well as simple operations tutorials demonstrating best practices for each equipment category.

Time to invest

Following an unpredictable 2020, the pavement industry saw a surge of demand in the spring of 2021 as more businesses began to resume normal operations.

This resurgence empowered Cimline to invest heavily in its future technology. It brought operations like heated-hose manufacturing in house, and assured supply to its vendors by securing its inventory to enable quick turnover during the surge in business.

The supply chain of present day is proving to be challenging for many businesses due to transportation delays and material shortages, but Cimline has managed to maintain its speed of delivery, serving up some of the shortest lead times in the industry for its dealer network.

This not only helps the company to service its network but helps the contractors or agencies get necessary equipment in time to stay on track with their schedule, or take on further pavement maintenance.

The company’s capacity to thrive Is largely based on its partnership with its robust dealer network. Thielbar rates Cimline’s dealers as experts in their field for both service and after-market support of products, as do end users. Cimline and its dealer network train on a variety of products and methods in the pavement maintenance industry. “Innovation, experience, and continuous training are what Cimline aims for,” he emphasizes.

The desire of the company is to develop and educate the entire industry through its product and the self-evident effectiveness of its approach and best practices. To this end, Cimline considers its staff and dealers the linchpins of the company’s success.

Drawing from its recent successes, and on the heels of its newer offerings, the top priority for Cimline in the remainder of 2022 is to support both its dealer network and customer base by continuing to expand the training and support network by way of the considerable capabilities of the Cimline Academy. This will deliver to dealers and customers everywhere the easy access to support and education that they want.

Thielbar also expects the company soon to expand its signature product line with two current projects planned for release in the fall of 2022, in anticipation of the 2023 maintenance year.

The mood among the staff at Cimline is one of great optimism, as dealers and team members have stepped up to keep the company’s progress in recent months ahead of the industry, and Thielbar and Johnson alike are excited about what lies ahead for both the pavement industry and Cimline.



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