The Pothole Pro is set to be the latest thing in infrastructure repair. The new tractor from JCB can, according to the manufacturer, repair a pothole in as little as eight minutes.
That speed is possible thanks to a three-in-one solution that allows the Pothole Pro to cut, crop, and clean potholes. That means there are no other tools or crew needed for the repairs, saving time and money.
JCB claims the machine can prepare up to 250 square meters (2691 sq ft) in just one shift. And with a top speed of 25 mph, it can travel from hole to hole without requiring a trailer.
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The machine can crop potholes to create a more receptive surface for the tarmac, while a 600 mm planer helps clean the newly resurfaced road. The planer can work right up to and against the curb, and it’s self levelling.
Its 1,200 mm sweeper also speeds up the process and thanks to dust suppression, it helps avoid contaminating the new material.
“Potholes really are the scourge of our nation. Our country is quite rightly fixated on this dreadful problem and, as a British manufacturer, I’m fixated on finding a solution,” said JCB chairman, Lord Bamford, told Autocar. “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.”
In initial testing, the JCB was able to fill in 51 potholes in 20 days. That’s a task the company says would have taken a traditional team 63 days to complete.
And speed is crucial. In 2019-2020, England and Wales filled in an estimated 1.5 million potholes. Even though it’s a big number, it’s down from the previous financial year, in which they refilled 1.9 million. And with local council highway budgets falling, speed and cost-savings will play a critical role in the health of the UK’s roads.