JCB’s pothole fixer arrived in the Highlands this week as part of a nationwide mission to fix Britain’s roads.
The company launched the JCB PotholePro earlier this year – 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.
The Highland Council took part in a two-day demonstration of the machine this week on a patch of potholes in Alness where the machine repaired defects on a 300 square metre area of road.
JCB PotholePro Product Specialist Paul Swallow said: “It’s been a hugely successful trial in The Highlands and I’m confident that everyone involved got to see just how effective the JCB PotholePro is at fixing potholes permanently and at half the cost of current solutions.
“Potholes are a huge concern for councils all over the country and one of the issues with repairs at the moment is that in most cases they are only short term fixes – and that’s where the JCB PotholePro differs. Just like when you have a filling, the dentist has to carefully remove all the decay so your tooth can be filled properly without recurrence of pain. It’s just the same with a pothole: it needs to be prepared properly before it is filled so the pothole doesn’t open up again within weeks. That’s exactly what the JCB PotholePro does; it cuts, crops and cleans the hole so a permanent repair can be carried out.”
The RAC recently revealed that calls out to damage caused by holes in the road was up 37 per cent since the same point in 2020 despite traffic levels plummeting due to lockdown measures.
Tests with local authorities and contractors show the JCB PotholePro can complete a pothole repair in less than eight minutes – equivalent to up to 250 square metres per day and 700 potholes per month. With a 40km/h travel speed, the machine can rapidly relocate between sites without additional transport costs. The demonstration was arranged through the council and JCB dealer Scot JCB.
The PotholePro allows the contractor or local authority to cut the defect, crop the edges and clean the hole with one machine – 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 the comfort of their cab.
Councils around the country get a request to fix a pothole every 46 seconds, and nationwide more than £8.1 million was paid out in compensation to drivers last year for vehicle damage caused by potholes.