JCB unveils solution to tackle pothole ‘scourge’

JCB has unveiled a new machine designed to tackle the ‘scourge’ of potholes on UK roads.

The PotholePro is described by the manufacturer as being capable of repairing a pothole in less than eight minutes.

The machine’s development has been personally led by JCB chairman Lord Bamford. 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.”

JCB revealed that tests with contractors and local authorities show the machine can complete a pothole repair in less than eight minutes – equivalent to 700 potholes per month. With a 40km/h travel speed, the machine can also quickly move between sites without additional transport costs.

The PotholePro features a modified Simex planer, with integrated dust suppression, mounted on the machine’s rear skid steer hitch. The planer is 600mm wide, with up to 1.3m of side-shift adjustment. JCB explained that this allows the operator to plane a full carriageway from the kerb, without repositioning the machine.

The machine’s TAB two-piece boom is fitted with the JCB ‘Multi-tool’, mounted on an X12 Steelwrist tiltrotator. The ‘Multi-tool’ comprises of two attachments: a dedicated hydraulic cropper and a sweeper/bucket. JCB added that the 600mm cropping tool eliminates the need for floor saws or hydraulic breakers, providing a ‘squared off, clean cut’ to the repair area. The operator then rotates the boom head to bring a 1.2m wide sweeper/bucket into use to clean up the pothole area.

The new product has been trialled on roads in Stoke-on-Trent for months and the city council has worked with JCB over the past year to help develop it. JCB said that in initial testing, the machine completed 51 road repair jobs in 20 days, which would have taken a team of up to six operatives 63 days to complete normally.

Councillor Daniel Jellyman, Stoke-on-Trent City Council cabinet member for infrastructure, regeneration and heritage, said he had seen a 700% increase in productivity. He said, “Potholes are a nuisance to motorists up and down the country and we’ve worked closely with JCB to come up with a solution to what is a national problem. In a time when every penny and pound counts for local authorities, we’re delighted to be at the forefront of developing and trialling new technologies and ways of working, especially ones which could save residents money.”