JCB has developed a single-machine pothole patching and repair solution that can fix potholes permanently without the need for labour-intensive repair methods or additional expensive machinery.
The Pothole Pro can repair a pothole in less than eight minutes which JCB says is four times quicker than standard methods and at half the cost.
"Potholes are really a scourge; we are fixated on this dreadful problem and I am fixated on finding a solution," says Lord Bamford, JCB chairman, who led the machine's development. "We simply cannot allow our road networks 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 asphalt."
Tests with contractors and municipalities show the JCB Pothole Pro can complete a pothole repair in less than eight minutes – equivalent to 700 potholes per month. With a 25-mph travel speed, the machine can quickly relocate between sites without additional transport costs.
The JCB Pothole Pro is equipped with a planer mounted on the machine's rear skid steer hitch. The planer is 24 inches wide, with up to 4.26 feet 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 JCB's ‘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 16-inch 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 four-foot 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 the site.
The Pothole Pro can prepare up to 299 square yards of roadway in a single shift and allows the contractor or municipality to cut the defect, crop the edges, and clean the hole with one machine – mechanizing jobs traditionally done by pothole crews and delivering what JCB says is up to a 50 percent cut 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 (HAVS).
The machine was tested on roads in Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire, in the U.K. 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 normally.
The council became the first to invest in one of the machines last year and earlier this year celebrated a major milestone in its mission to fix potholes quickly and permanently - after completing almost three years of repairs in just over four months with JCB's revolutionary Pothole Pro machine.
The local authority has repaired 13080 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 1,040 days or almost three years.
The Pothole Pro has also 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 job site, and the manoeuvrability was fantastic," says 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."