Lord Bamford of JCB
Potholes are one of the biggest issues for motorists - not to mention other road users. The AA calls them the source of a national emergency, responsible for damaging cars and endangering cyclists.
Although Chancellor Rishi Sunak last November promised to invest £1.6bn to fix potholes in Britain and ‘level-up’ uneven roads, figures from the AA reveal that more than £11bn-worth of potholes need repairing across the UK.
But British digger maker JCB has designs on rectifying the problem. It has launched the PotholePro - a machine that can repair a pothole in less than eight minutes – four times quicker than standard methods and at half the cost of current solutions: £30 versus £60.
JCB Chairman Lord Bamford has personally led the digger’s development. He said:
“Potholes really are the scourge of our nation. Our country is quite rightly fixated on this dreadful problem and as a British manufacturer I am fixated on finding a solution. We simply cannot allow our road network to continue to be blighted by potholes. JCB’s solution is simple and cost effective and fixes potholes permanently, first time. Once the machine has done its job all the contractor then needs to do is just add tar.”
Tests with local authorities and contractors show the JCB PotholePro can complete a pothole repair in a sub-eight minute window, which is equivalent to 700 potholes per month.
While the PotholePro is no speed merchant, it can travel at 25mph between pothole repair sites without having to be loaded on a trailer.
In testing with Stoke-on-Trent city council, the PotholePro completed 51 road repair jobs in 20 days, which would have taken a team of up to six operatives 63 days to complete normally.
How the PotholePro works
The PotholePro allows the contractor or local authority to cut the defect, crop the edges and clean the hole with one machine – mechanising jobs traditionally done by pothole gangs and delivering up to a 50% cut in daily costs. It is equipped with a 600mm wide planer and integrated dust suppression system, enabling the operator to plane a full carriageway from the kerb, without repositioning. The machine also comes with a sweeper/bucket and hydraulic cropping tool, allowing a uniform hole to be prepared by the operator from within the cab.
More than £8.1 million was paid out in compensation to drivers last year for vehicle damage caused by potholes.
Watch the PotholePro in action on YouTube
Stoke City Council demonstrates the advantages of the JCB PotholePro.