JCB has developed the Pothole Pro, a single-machine solution to fix potholes, without the need for labour intensive repair methods or additional machinery.
The Pothole Pro can repair a pothole in less than eight minutes, which is four times quicker and half the cost of current solutions. The machine’s development has been personally led by JCB Chairman Lord Anthony Bamford.
“Potholes are really a scourge; we are fixated on this dreadful problem, and I am fixated on finding a solution. We simply cannot allow our road networks to continue to be blighted by potholes,” Bamford said. “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 asphalt.”
With a 40 km per hour travel speed, the machine can rapidly relocate between sites without additional transport costs, repairing up to 700 potholes per month.
The Pothole Pro is equipped with a 60-cm-wide planer, with up to 1.3 metres of side-shift adjustment. This allows the operator to plane a full roadway lane from the curb, without repositioning the machine. Hydraulic tilt and depth control provide a consistent depth for larger patches.
The machine’s TAB two-piece boom features the JCB Multi-tool mounted on an X12 Steelwrist tilt-rotator. The multi-tool is comprised of two attachments, a dedicated hydraulic cropper and a sweeper/bucket with integrated dust suppression.
The 40-cm cropping tool eliminates the need for floor saws or hydraulic breakers, providing a squared, clean cut to the repair area. The operator then rotates the boom head to bring a 120-cm wide sweeper/bucket into use, to clean up the pothole area, eliminating the requirement for a separate sweeper truck. Material lifted by the sweeper/bucket can be loaded directly into a support truck for rapid removal from site.
The Pothole Pro can prepare up to 299 square yards of roadway in a single shift, or 6,540 cubic yards per month and allows the operator to cut the defect, crop the edges and clean the hole with one machine – mechanizing jobs traditionally done by pothole crews and delivering up to a 50 per cent reduction in daily costs. Safety is also improved as the crew does not have to complete the handheld cutting and breaking, eliminating the risk of hand arm vibration syndrome.
Pothole Pro trials
JCB has conducted tests with contractors and municipalities to confirm the 8-minute timeframe. The machine was tested on roads in Staffordshire, UK for months and the city council worked with JCB for 12 months as innovation partners to develop the Pothole Pro. In initial testing, the machine completed 51 road repair jobs in 20 days, which would have taken a crew of six workers 63 days to complete.
After purchasing the machine, the municipal government was able to complete almost three years of repairs in more than four months.
The local authority has repaired a staggering 13,080 square yards of road with the JCB Pothole Pro in just 130 days, an area equivalent to eight Olympic sized swimming pools. Using traditional methods, this task would have taken about 1,040 days or almost three years.
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As well, the Pothole Pro has been tested and evaluated in North America, most recently at multiple municipalities in Pennsylvania.
“Amazed. I was very impressed with how quickly it worked, the speed of the mill head is definitely faster than anything I’ve utilized out on a jobsite, and the maneuverability was fantastic,” said Neil Stoltzfus, Roadmaster of West Earl Township in Pennsylvania.
“This would typically have been a three-machine operation and instead the Pothole Pro was able to accomplish the task with one machine, without changing any attachments.”